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Chapter 6 – The Journey

L. Frank BaumOct 04, 2016'Command+D' Bookmark this page

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Ojo had never traveled before and so he only knew
that the path down the mountainside led into the
open Munchkin Country, where large numbers of
people dwelt. Scraps was quite new and not
supposed to know anything of the Land of Oz, while
the Glass Cat admitted she had never wandered very
far away from the Magician’s house. There was only
one path before them, at the beginning, so they
could not miss their way, and for a time they
walked through the thick forest in silent thought,
each one impressed with the importance of the
adventure they had undertaken.

Suddenly the Patchwork Girl laughed. It was
funny to see her laugh, because her cheeks
wrinkled up, her nose tipped, her silver button
eyes twinkled and her mouth curled at the
corners in a comical way.

“Has something pleased you?” asked Ojo, who was
feeling solemn and joyless through thinking upon
his uncle’s sad fate.

“Yes,” she answered. “Your world pleases me, for
it’s a queer world, and life in it is queerer
still. Here am I, made from an old bedquilt and
intended to be a slave to Margolotte, rendered
free as air by an accident that none of you could
foresee. I am enjoying life and seeing the world,
while the woman who made me is standing helpless
as a block of wood. If that isn’t funny enough to
laugh at, I don’t know what is.”

“You’re not seeing much of the world yet,
my poor, innocent Scraps,” remarked the Cat.
“The world doesn’t consist wholly of the trees
that are on all sides of us.”

“But they’re part of it; and aren’t they pretty
trees?” returned Scraps, bobbing her head until
her brown yarn curls fluttered in the breeze.
“Growing between them I can see lovely ferns
and wild-flowers, and soft green mosses. If the
rest of your world is half as beautiful I shall be
glad I’m alive.”

“I don’t know what the rest of the world is
like, I’m sure,” said the cat; “but I mean to
find out.”

“I have never been out of the forest,” Ojo
added; “but to me the trees are gloomy and sad
and the wild-flowers seem lonesome. It must be
nicer where there are no trees and there is room
for lots of people to live together.”

“I wonder if any of the people we shall meet
will be as splendid as I am,” said the Patchwork
Girl. “All I have seen, so far, have pale,
colorless skins and clothes as blue as the country
they live in, while I am of many gorgeous colors–
face and body and clothes. That is why I am bright
and contented, Ojo, while you are blue and sad.”

“I think I made a mistake in giving you so many
sorts of brains,” observed the boy. “Perhaps, as
the Magician said, you have an over-dose, and they
may not agree with you.”

“What had you to do with my brains?” asked
Scraps.

“A lot,” replied Ojo. “Old Margolotte meant
to give you only a few–just enough to keep
you going–but when she wasn’t looking I added
a good many more, of the best kinds I could
find in the Magician’s cupboard.”

“Thanks,” said the girl, dancing along the
path ahead of Ojo and then dancing back to his
side. “If a few brains are good, many brains
must be better.”

“But they ought to be evenly balanced,” said the
boy, “and I had no time to be careful. From the
way you’re acting, I guess the dose was badly
mixed.”

“Scraps hasn’t enough brains to hurt her, so
don’t worry,” remarked the cat, which was trotting
along in a very dainty and graceful manner. “The
only brains worth considering are mine, which are
pink. You can see ’em work.”

After walking a long time they came to a little
brook that trickled across the path, and here Ojo
sat down to rest and eat something from his
basket. He found that the Magician had given him
part of a loaf of bread and a slice of cheese. He
broke off some of the bread and was surprised to
find the loaf just as large as it was before. It
was the same way with the cheese: however much he
broke off from the slice, it remained exactly the
same size.

“Ah,” said he, nodding wisely; “that’s magic.
Dr. Pipt has enchanted the bread and the cheese,
so it will last me all through my journey, however
much I eat.”

“Why do you put those things into your mouth?”
asked Scraps, gazing at him in astonishment. “Do
you need more stuffing? Then why don’t you use
cotton, such as I am stuffed with?”

“I don’t need that kind,” said Ojo.

“But a mouth is to talk with, isn’t it?”

“It is also to eat with,” replied the boy. “If I
didn’t put food into my mouth, and eat it, I would
get hungry and starve.

“Ah, I didn’t know that,” she said. “Give me
some.”

Ojo handed her a bit of the bread and she put it
in her mouth.

“What next?” she asked, scarcely able to speak.

“Chew it and swallow it,” said the boy.

Scraps tried that. Her pearl teeth were unable
to chew the bread and beyond her mouth there was
no opening. Being unable to swallow she threw away
the bread and laughed.

“I must get hungry and starve, for I can’t eat,”
she said.

“Neither can I,” announced the cat; “but I’m
not fool enough to try. Can’t you understand
that you and I are superior people and not made
like these poor humans?”

“Why should I understand that, or anything
else?” asked the girl. “Don’t bother my head by
asking conundrums, I beg of you. Just let me
discover myself in my own way.”

With this she began amusing herself by leaping
across the brook and hack again.

“Be careful, or you’ll fall in the water,”
warned Ojo.

“Never mind.”

“You’d better. If you get wet you’ll be soggy
and can’t walk. Your colors might run, too,”
he said.

“Don’t my colors run whenever I run?” she asked.

“Not in the way I mean. If they get wet, the
reds and greens and yellows and purples of your
patches might run into each other and become
just a blur–no color at all, you know.”

“Then,” said the Patchwork Girl, “I’ll be
careful, for if I spoiled my splendid colors I
would cease to be beautiful.”

“Pah!” sneered the Glass Cat, “such colors are
not beautiful; they’re ugly, and in bad taste.
Please notice that my body has no color at all.
I’m transparent, except for my exquisite red heart
and my lovely pink brains–you can see ’em work.”

“Shoo-shoo-shoo!” cried Scraps, dancing
around and laughing. “And your horrid green eyes,
Miss Bungle! You can’t see your eyes, but we can,
and I notice you’re very proud of what little
color you have. Shoo, Miss Bungle, shoo-shoo-shoo!
If you were all colors and many colors, as I am,
you’d be too stuck up for anything.” She leaped
over the cat and back again, and the startled
Bungle crept close to a tree to escape her. This
made Scraps laugh more heartily than ever, and she
said:

“Whoop-tedoodle-doo!
The cat has lost her shoe.
Her tootsie’s bare, but she don’t care,
So what’s the odds to you?”

“Dear me, Ojo,” said the cat; “don’t you think
the creature is a little bit crazy?”

“It may be,” he answered, with a puzzled look.

“If she continues her insults I’ll scratch off
her suspender-button eyes,” declared the cat.

“Don’t quarrel, please,” pleaded the boy, rising
to resume the journey. “Let us be good comrades
and as happy and cheerful as possible, for we are
likely to meet with plenty of trouble on our way.”

It was nearly sundown when they came to the edge
of the forest and saw spread out before them a
delightful landscape. There were broad blue fields
stretching for miles over the valley, which was
dotted everywhere with pretty, blue domed houses,
none of which, however, was very near to the place
where they stood. Just at the point where the path
left the forest stood a tiny house covered with
leaves from the trees, and before this stood a
Munchkin man with an axe in his hand. He seemed
very much surprised when Ojo and Scraps and the
Glass Cat came out of the woods, but as the
Patchwork Girl approached nearer he sat down upon
a bench and laughed so hard that he could not
speak for a long time.

This man was a woodchopper and lived all alone
in the little house. He had bushy blue whiskers
and merry blue eyes and his blue clothes were quite
old and worn.

“Mercy me!” exclaimed the woodchopper, when at
last he could stop laughing. “Who would think such
a funny harlequin lived in the Land of Oz? Where
did you come from, Crazy-quilt?”

“Do you mean me?” asked the Patchwork Girl.

“Of course,” he replied.

“You misjudge my ancestry. I’m not a crazy-
quilt; I’m patchwork,” she said.

“There’s no difference,” he replied, beginning
to laugh again. “When my old grandmother sews such
things together she calls it a crazy-quilt; but I
never thought such a jumble could come to life.”

“It was the Magic Powder that did it,” explained
Ojo.

“Oh, then you have come from the Crooked
Magician on the mountain. I might have known it,
for–Well, I declare! here’s a glass cat. But the
Magician will get in trouble for this; it’s
against the law for anyone to work magic except
Glinda the Good and the royal Wizard of Oz. If you
people–or things–or glass spectacles–or crazy-
quilts–or whatever you are, go near the Emerald
City, you’ll be arrested.”

“We’re going there, anyhow,” declared
Scraps, sitting upon the bench and swinging her
stuffed legs.

“If any of us takes a rest,
We’ll be arrested sure,
And get no restitution
‘Cause the rest we must endure.”

“I see,” said the woodchopper, nodding; “you’re
as crazy as the crazy-quilt you’re made of.”

“She really is crazy,” remarked the Glass Cat.
“But that isn’t to he wondered at when you
remember how many different things she’s made of.
For my part, I’m made of pure glass–except my
jewel heart and my pretty pink brains. Did you
notice my brains, stranger? You can see em work.”

“So I can,” replied the woodchopper; “but I
can’t see that they accomplish much. A glass cat
is a useless sort of thing, but a Patchwork Girl
is really useful. She makes me laugh, and laughter
is the best thing in life. There was once a
woodchopper, a friend of mine, who was made all of
tin, and I used to laugh every time I saw him.”

“A tin woodchopper?” said Ojo. “That is
strange.”

“My friend wasn’t always tin,” said the man,
“but he was careless with his axe, and used to
chop himself very badly. Whenever he lost an arm
or a leg he had it replaced with tin; so after a
while he was all tin.”

“And could he chop wood then?” asked the boy.

“He could if he didn’t rust his tin joints. But
one day he met Dorothy in the forest and went with
her to the Emerald City, where he made his
fortune. He is now one of the favorites of
Princess Ozma, and she has made him the Emperor of
the Winkies–the Country where all is yellow.”

“Who is Dorothy?” inquired the Patchwork Girl.

“A little maid who used to live in Kansas, but
is now a Princess of Oz. She’s Ozma’s best
friend, they say, and lives with her in the royal
palace.”

“Is Dorothy made of tin?” inquired Ojo.

“Is she patchwork, like me?” inquired Scraps.

“No,” said the man; “Dorothy is flesh, just as I
am. I know of only one tin person, and that is
Nick Chopper, the Tin Woodman; and there will
never be but one Patchwork Girl, for any magician
that sees you will refuse to make another one like
you.”

“I suppose we shall see the Tin Woodman, for we
are going to the Country of the Winkies,” said the
boy.

“What for?” asked the woodchopper.

“To get the left wing of a yellow butterfly.”

“It is a long journey,” declared the man, “and
you will go through lonely parts of Oz and cross
rivers and traverse dark forests before you get
there.”

“Suits me all right,” said Scraps. “I’ll get a
chance to see the country.”

“You’re crazy, girl. Better crawl into a rag-bag
and hide there; or give yourself to some little
girl to play with. Those who travel are likely to
meet trouble; that’s why I stay at home.”

The woodchopper then invited them all to
stay the night at his little hut, but they were
anxious to get on and so left him and continued
along the path, which was broader, now, and
more distinct.

They expected to reach some other house before
it grew dark, but the twilight was brief and Ojo
soon began to fear they had made a mistake in
leaving the woodchopper.

“I can scarcely see the path,” he said at last.
“Can you see it, Scraps?”

“No,” replied the Patchwork Girl, who was
holding fast to the boy’s arm so he could
guide her.

“I can see,” declared the Glass Cat. “My eyes
are better than yours, and my pink brains–”

“Never mind your pink brains, please,” said
Ojo hastily; “just run ahead and show us the
way. Wait a minute and I’ll tie a string to you;
for then you can lead us.”

He got a string from his pocket and tied it
around the cat’s neck, and after that the creature
guided them along the path. They had proceeded in
this way for about an hour when a twinkling blue
light appeared ahead of them.

“Good! there’s a house at last,” cried Ojo.
“When we reach it the good people will surely
welcome us and give us a night’s lodging.” But
however far they walked the light seemed to get
no nearer, so by and by the cat stopped short,
saying:

“I think the light is traveling, too, and we
shall never be able to catch up with it. But here
is a house by the roadside, so why go farther?”

“Where is the house, Bungle?”

“Just here beside us, Scraps.”

Ojo was now able to see a small house near
the pathway. It was dark and silent, but the boy
was tired and wanted to rest, so he went up to
the door and knocked.

“Who is there?” cried a voice from within.

“I am Ojo the Unlucky, and with me are
Miss Scraps Patchwork and the Glass Cat,” he
replied.

“What do you want?” asked the Voice.

“A place to sleep,” said Ojo.

“Come in, then; but don’t make any noise,
and you must go directly to bed,” returned the
Voice.

Ojo unlatched the door and entered. It was
very dark inside and he could see nothing at all.
But the cat exclaimed: “Why, there’s no one
here!”

“There must be,” said the boy. “Some one
spoke to me.”

“I can see everything in the room,” replied the
cat, “and no one is present but ourselves. But
here are three beds, all made up, so we may as
well go to sleep.”

“What is sleep?” inquired the Patchwork Girl.

“It’s what you do when you go to bed,” said Ojo.

“But why do you go to bed?” persisted the
Patchwork Girl.

“Here, here! You are making altogether too
much noise,” cried the Voice they had heard
before. “Keep quiet, strangers, and go to bed.”

The cat, which could see in the dark, looked
sharply around for the owner of the Voice, hut
could discover no one, although the Voice had
seemed close beside them. She arched her back
a little and seemed afraid. Then she whispered
to Ojo: “Come!” and led him to a bed.

With his hands the boy felt of the bed and
found it was big and soft, with feather pillows
and plenty of blankets. So he took off his shoes
and hat and crept into the bed. Then the cat
led Scraps to another bed and the Patchwork
Girl was puzzled to know what to do with it.

“Lie down and keep quiet,” whispered the
cat, warningly.

“Can’t I sing?” asked Scraps.

“Can’t I whistle?” asked Scraps.

“Can’t I dance till morning, if I want to?”
asked Scraps.

“You must keep quiet,” said the cat, in a soft
voice.

“I don’t want to,” replied the Patchwork Girl,
speaking as loudly as usual. “What right have you
to order me around? If I want to talk, or yell, or
whistle–”

Before she could say anything more an unseen
hand seized her firmly and threw her out of the
door, which closed behind her with a sharp
slam. She found herself bumping and rolling in
the road and when she got up and tried to open
the door of the house again she found it locked.

“What has happened to Scraps?” asked Ojo.

“Never mind. Let’s go to sleep, or something
will happen to us,” answered the Glass Cat.

So Ojo snuggled down in his bed and fell
asleep, and he was so tired that he never
wakened until broad daylight.

 

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