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Chapter 13 – Scraps and the Scarecrow

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

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From here on the country improved and the desert
places began to give way to fertile spots; still
no houses were yet to be seen near the road. There
were some hills, with valleys between them, and on
reaching the top of one of these hills the
travelers found before them a high wall, running
to the right and the left as far as their eyes
could reach. Immediately in front of them, where
the wall crossed the roadway, stood a gate having
stout iron bars that extended from top to bottom.
They found, on coming nearer, that this gate was
locked with a great padlock, rusty through lack of
use.

“Well,” said Scraps, “I guess we’ll stop here.”

“It’s a good guess,” replied Ojo. “Our way is
barred by this great wall and gate. It looks as if
no one had passed through in many years.

“Looks are deceiving,” declared the Shaggy Man,
laughing at their disappointed faces, “and this
barrier is the most deceiving thing in all Oz.”

“It prevents our going any farther, anyhow,”
said Scraps. “There is no one to mind the gate
and let people through, and we’ve no key to
the padlock.”

“True,” replied Ojo, going a little nearer to
peep through the bars of the gate. “What shall we
do, Shaggy Man? If we had wings we might fly over
the wall, but we cannot climb it and unless we get
to the Emerald City I won’t be able to find the
things to restore Unc Nunkie to life.”

“All very true,” answered the Shaggy Man,
quietly; “but I know this gate, having passed
through it many times.”

“How?” they all eagerly inquired.

“I’ll show you how,” said he. He stood Ojo
in the middle of the road and placed Scraps
just behind him, with her padded hands on his
shoulders. After the Patchwork Girl came the
Woozy, who held a part of her skirt in his
mouth. Then, last of all, was the Glass Cat,
holding fast to the Woozy’s tail with her glass
jaws.

“Now,” said the Shaggy Man, “you must all
shut your eyes tight, and keep them shut until
I tell you to open them.”

“I can’t,” objected Scraps. “My eyes are but-
tons, and they won’t shut.”

So the Shaggy Man tied his red handkerchief over
the Patchwork Girl’s eyes and examined all the
others to make sure they had their eyes fast shut
and could see nothing.

“What’s the game, anyhow–blind-man’s-buff?”
asked Scraps.

“Keep quiet!” commanded the Shaggy Man,
sternly. “All ready? Then follow me.”

He took Ojo’s hand and led him forward over the
road of yellow bricks, toward the gate. Holding
fast to one another they all followed in a row,
expecting every minute to bump against the iron
bars. The Shaggy Man also had his eyes closed, but
marched straight ahead, nevertheless, and after
he had taken one hundred steps, by actual count,
he stopped and said:

“Now you may open your eyes.”

They did so, and to their astonishment found
the wall and the gateway far behind them,
while in front the former Blue Country of the
Munchkins had given way to green fields, with
pretty farm-houses scattered among them.

“That wall,” explained the Shaggy Man, “is
what is called an optical illusion. It is quite real
while you have your eyes open, but if you are
not looking at it the barrier doesn’t exist at all.
It’s the same way with many other evils in life;
they seem to exist, and yet it’s all seeming and
not true. You will notice that the wall–or what
we thought was a wall–separates the Munchkin
Country from the green country that surrounds
the Emerald City, which lies exactly in the
center of Oz. There are two roads of yellow
bricks through the Munchkin Country, but the
one we followed is the best of the two. Dorothy
once traveled the other way, and met with more
dangers than we did. But all our troubles are
over for the present, as another day’s journey
will bring us to the great Emerald City.”

They were delighted to know this, and proceeded
with new courage. In a couple of hours they
stopped at a farmhouse, where the people were very
hospitable and invited them to dinner. The farm
folk regarded Scraps with much curiosity but no
great astonishment, for they were accustomed to
seeing extraordinary people in the Land of Oz.

The woman of this house got her needle and
thread and sewed up the holes made by the
porcupine quills in the Patchwork Girl’s body,
after which Scraps was assured she looked as
beautiful as ever.

“You ought to have a hat to wear,” remarked
the woman, “for that would keep the sun from
fading the colors of your face. I have some
patches and scraps put away, and if you will
wait two or three days I’ll make you a lovely
hat that will match the rest of you.”

“Never mind the hat,” said Scraps, shaking
her yarn braids; “it’s a kind offer, but we can’t
stop. I can’t see that my colors have faded a
particle, as yet; can you?”

“Not much,” replied the woman. “You are still
very gorgeous, in spite of your long journey.”

The children of the house wanted to keep the
Class Cat to play with, so Bungle was offered
a good home if she would remain; but the cat
was too much interested in Ojo’s adventures and
refused to stop.

“Children are rough playmates,” she remarked to
the Shaggy Man, “and although this home is more
pleasant than that of the Crooked Magician I fear
I would soon be smashed to pieces by the boys and
girls.”

After they had rested themselves they renewed
their journey, finding the road now smooth and
pleasant to walk upon and the country growing more
beautiful the nearer they drew to the Emerald
City.

By and by Ojo began to walk on the green
grass, looking carefully around him.

“What are you trying to find?” asked Scraps.

“A six-leaved clover,” said he.

“Don’t do that!” exclaimed the Shaggy Man,
earnestly. “It’s against the Law to pick a six-
leaved clover. You must wait until you get Ozma’s
consent.”

“She wouldn’t know it,” declared the boy.

“Ozma knows many things,” said the Shaggy Man.
“In her room is a Magic Picture that shows any
scene in the Land of Oz where strangers or
travelers happen to be. She may be watching the
picture of us even now, and noticing everything
that we do.”

“Does she always watch the Magic Picture?”
asked Ojo.

“Not always, for she has many other things
to do; but, as I said, she may be watching us
this very minute.”

“I don’t care,” said Ojo, in an obstinate tone
of voice; “Ozma’s only a girl.”

The Shaggy Man looked at him in surprise.

“You ought to care for Ozma,” said he, “if you
expect to save your uncle. For, if you displease
our powerful Ruler, your journey will surely prove
a failure; whereas, if you make a friend of Ozma,
she will gladly assist you. As for her being a
girl, that is another reason why you should obey
her laws, if you are courteous and polite.
Everyone in Oz loves Ozma and hates her enemies,
for she is as just as she is powerful.”

Ojo sulked a while, but finally returned to the
road and kept away from the green clover. The
boy was moody and bad tempered for an hour
or two afterward, because he could really see
no harm in picking a six-leaved clover, if he
found one, and in spite of what the Shaggy
Man had said he considered Ozma’s law to be
unjust.

They presently came to a beautiful grove of tall
and stately trees, through which the road wound in
sharp curves–first one way and then another. As
they were walking through this grove they heard
some one in the distance singing, and the sounds
grew nearer and nearer until they could
distinguish the words, although the bend in the
road still hid the singer. The song was something
like this:

“Here’s to the hale old bale of straw
That’s cut from the waving grain,
The sweetest sight man ever saw
In forest, dell or plain.
It fills me with a crunkling joy
A straw-stack to behold,
For then I pad this lucky boy
With strands of yellow gold.”

“Ah!” exclaimed the Shaggy Man; “here comes my
friend the Scarecrow.

“What, a live Scarecrow?” asked Ojo.

“Yes; the one I told you of. He’s a splendid
fellow, and very intelligent. You’ll like him,
I’m sure.

Just then the famous Scarecrow of Oz came
around the bend in the road, riding astride a
wooden Sawhorse which was so small that its
rider’s legs nearly touched the ground.

The Scarecrow wore the blue dress of the
Munchkins, in which country he was made,
and on his head was set a peaked hat with a flat
brim trimmed with tinkling bells. A rope was
tied around his waist to hold him in shape. for
he was stuffed with straw in every part of him
except the top of his head, where at one time
the Wizard of Oz had placed sawdust, mixed
with needles and pins, to sharpen his wits. The
head itself was merely a bag of cloth, fastened
to the body at the neck, and on the front of this
bag was painted the face–ears, eyes, nose and
mouth.

The Scarecrow’s face was very interesting, for
it bore a comical and yet winning expression,
although one eye was a bit larger than the other
and ears were not mates. The Munchkin farmer who
had made the Scarecrow had neglected to sew him
together with close stitches and therefore some of
the straw with which he was stuffed was inclined
to stick out between the seams. His hands
consisted of padded white gloves, with the fingers
long and rather limp, and on his feet he wore
Munchkin boots of blue leather with broad turns at
the tops of them.

The Sawhorse was almost as curious as its rider.
It had been rudely made, in the beginning, to saw
logs upon, so that its body was a short length of
a log, and its legs were stout branches fitted
into four holes made in the body. The tail was
formed by a small branch that had been left on the
log, while the head was a gnarled bump on one end
of the body. Two knots of wood formed the eyes,
and the mouth was a gash chopped in the log. When
the Sawhorse first came to life it had no ears at
all, and so could not hear; but the boy who then
owned him had whittled two ears out of bark and
stuck them in the head, after which the Sawhorse
heard very distinctly.

This queer wooden horse was a great favorite
with Princess Ozma, who had caused the bottoms of
its legs to be shod with plates of gold, so the
wood would not wear away. Its saddle was made of
cloth-of-gold richly encrusted with precious gems.
It had never worn a bridle.

As the Scarecrow came in sight of the party of
travelers, he reined in his wooden steed and
dismounted, greeting the Shaggy Man with a smiling
nod. Then he turned to stare at the Patchwork Girl
in wonder, while she in turn stared at him.

“Shags,” he whispered, drawing the Shaggy Man
aside, “pat me into shape, there’s a good fellow!”

While his friend punched and patted the
Scarecrow’s body, to smooth out the humps, Scraps
turned to Ojo and whispered: “Roll me out, please;
I’ve sagged down dreadfully from walking so much
and men like to see a stately figure.”

She then fell upon the ground and the boy rolled
her back and forth like a rolling-pin, until the
cotton had filled all the spaces in her patchwork
covering and the body had lengthened to its
fullest extent. Scraps and the Scarecrow both
finished their hasty toilets at the same time, and
again they faced each other.

“Allow me, Miss Patchwork,” said the Shaggy Man,
“to present my friend, the Right Royal Scarecrow
of Oz. Scarecrow, this is Miss Scraps Patches;
Scraps, this is the Scarecrow. Scarecrow–Scraps;
Scraps–Scarecrow.”

They both bowed with much dignity.

“Forgive me for staring so rudely,” said the
Scarecrow, “but you are the most beautiful sight
my eyes have ever beheld.”

“That is a high compliment from one who is
himself so beautiful,” murmured Scraps, casting
down her suspender-button eyes by lowering her
head. “But, tell me, good sir, are you not a
trifle lumpy?”

“Yes, of course; that’s my straw, you know.
It bunches up, sometimes, in spite of all my
efforts to keep it even. Doesn’t your straw ever
bunch?”

“Oh, I’m stuffed with cotton,” said Scraps.
“It never bunches, but it’s inclined to pack down
and make me sag.”

“But cotton is a high-grade stuffing. I may say
it is even more stylish, not to say aristocratic,
than straw,” said the Scarecrow politely. “Still,
it is but proper that one so entrancingly lovely
should have the best stuffing there is going. I–
er–I’m so glad I’ve met you, Miss Scraps!
Introduce us again, Shaggy.”

“Once is enough,” replied the Shaggy Man,
laughing at his friend’s enthusiasm.

“Then tell me where you found her, and–Dear me,
what a queer cat! What are you made of–gelatine?”

“Pure glass,” answered the cat, proud to have
attracted the Scarecrow’s attention. “I am much
more beautiful than the Patchwork Girl. I’m
transparent, and Scraps isn’t; I’ve pink brains–
you can see ’em work; and I’ve a ruby heart,
finely polished, while Scraps hasn’t any heart at
all.”

“No more have I,” said the Scarecrow, shaking
hands with Scraps, as if to congratulate her on
the fact. “I’ve a friend, the Tin Woodman, who has
a heart, but I find I get along pretty well
without one. And so–Well, well! here’s a little
Munchkin boy, too. Shake hands, my little man. How
are you?”

Ojo placed his hand in the flabby stuffed glove
that served the Scarecrow for a hand, and the
Scarecrow pressed it so cordially that the straw
in his glove crackled.

Meantime, the Woozy had approached the Sawhorse
and begun to sniff at it. The Sawhorse resented
this familiarity and with a sudden kick pounded
the Woozy squarely on its Lead with one gold-shod
foot.

“Take that, you monster!” it cried angrily.

The Woozy never even winked.

“To be sure,” he said; “I’ll take anything I
have to. But don’t make me angry, you wooden
beast, or my eyes will flash fire and burn you
up.”

The Sawhorse rolled its knot eyes wickedly
and kicked again, but the Woozy trotted away
and said to the Scarecrow:

“What a sweet disposition that creature has!
I advise you to chop it up for kindling-wood
and use me to ride upon. My back is flat and
you can’t fall off.”

“I think the trouble is that you haven’t been
properly introduced,” said the Scarecrow,
regarding the Woozy with much wonder, for he had
never seen such a queer animal before.

“The Sawhorse is the favorite steed of Princess
Ozma, the Ruler of the Land of Oz, and he lives in
a stable decorated with pearls and emeralds, at
the rear of the royal palace. He is swift as the
wind, untiring, and is kind to his friends. All
the people of Oz respect the Sawhorse highly, and
when I visit Ozma she sometimes allows me to ride
him–as I am doing to-day. Now you know what an
important personage the Sawhorse is, and if some
one–perhaps your-self–will tell me your name,
your rank and station, and your history, it will
give me pleasure to relate them to the Sawhorse.
This will lead to mutual respect and friendship.”

The Woozy was somewhat abashed by this speech
and did not know how to reply. But Ojo said:

“This square beast is called the Woozy, and he
isn’t of much importance except that he has three
hairs growing on the tip of his tail.”

The Scarecrow looked and saw that this was true.

“But,” said he, in a puzzled way, “what makes
those three hairs important? The Shaggy Man has
thousands of hairs, but no one has ever accused
him of being important.”

So Ojo related the sad story of Unc Nunkie’s
transformation into a marble statue, and told how
he had set out to find the things the Crooked
Magician wanted, in order to make a charm that
would restore his uncle to life. One of the
requirements was three hairs from a Woozy’s tail,
but not being able to pull out the hairs they had
been obliged to take the Woozy with them.

The Scarecrow looked grave as he listened and he
shook his head several times, as if in
disapproval.

“We must see Ozma about this matter,” he
said. “That Crooked Magician is breaking the
Law by practicing magic without a license, and
I’m not sure Ozma will allow him to restore your
uncle to life.”

“Already I have warned the boy of that,”
declared the Shaggy Man.

At this Ojo began to cry. “I want my Unc
Nunkie!” he exclaimed. “I know how he can be
restored to life, and I’m going to do it–Ozma or
no Ozma! What right has this girl Ruler to keep my
Unc Nunkie a statue forever?”

“Don’t worry about that just now,” advised
the Scarecrow. “Go on to the Emerald City,
and when you reach it have the Shaggy Man
take you to see Dorothy. Tell her your story and
I’m sure she will help you. Dorothy is Ozma’s
best friend, and if you can win her to your side
your uncle is pretty safe to live again.” Then he
turned to the Woozy and said: “I’m afraid you
are not important enough to be introduced to
the Sawhorse, after all.”

“I’m a better beast than he is,” retorted the
Woozy, indignantly. “My eyes can flash fire, and
his can’t.”

“Is this true?” inquired the Scarecrow, turning
to the Munchkin boy.

“Yes,” said Ojo, and told how the Woozy had
set fire to the fence.

“Have you any other accomplishments?”
asked the Scarecrow.

“I have a most terrible growl–that is,
sometimes,” said the Woozy, as Scraps laughed
merrily and the Shaggy Man smiled. But the Patch-
work Girl’s laugh made the Scarecrow forget all
about the Woozy. He said to her:

“What an admirable young lady you are, and
what jolly good company! We must be better
acquainted, for never before have I met a girl
with such exquisite coloring or such natural,
artless manners.”

“No wonder they call you the Wise Scarecrow,”
replied Scraps.

“When you arrive at the Emerald City I will see
you again,” continued the Scarecrow. “Just now I
am going to call upon an old friend–an ordinary
young lady named Jinjur–who has Promised to
repaint my left ear for me. You may have noticed
that the paint on my left ear has peeled off and
faded, which affects my hearing on that side.
Jinjur always fixes me up when I get weather-
worn.”

“When do you expect to return to the Emerald
City?” asked the Shaggy Man.

“I’ll be there this evening, for I’m anxious
to have a long talk with Miss Scraps. How is it,
Sawhorse; are you equal to a swift run?”

“Anything that suits you suits me,” returned
the wooden horse.

So the Scarecrow mounted to the jeweled
saddle and waved his hat, when the Sawhorse
darted away so swiftly that they were out of
sight in an instant.

 

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