FictionForest

Chapter 16 – Princess Dorothy

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

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Dorothy Gale was sitting in one of her rooms in
the royal palace, while curled up at her feet was
a little black dog with a shaggy coat and very
bright eyes. She wore a plain white frock, without
any jewels or other ornaments except an emerald-
green hair-ribbon, for Dorothy was a simple
little girl and had not been in the least spoiled
by the magnificence surrounding her. Once the
child had lived on the Kansas prairies, but she
seemed marked for adventure for she had made
seven trips to the Land of Oz before she came to
live there for good. Her very best friend was the
beautiful Ozma of Oz, who loved Dorothy so well
that she kept her in her own palace, so as to be
near her. The girl’s Uncle Henry and Aunt Em–the
only relatives she had in the world–had also been
brought here by Ozma and given a pleasant home.
Dorothy knew almost everybody in Oz, and it was
she who had discovered the Scarecrow, the Tin
Woodman and the Cowardly Lion, as well as Tik-tok
the Clockwork Man. Her life was very pleasant now,
and although she had been made a Princess of Oz by
her friend Ozma she did not care much to be a
Princess and remained as sweet as when she had
been plain Dorothy Gale of Kansas.

Dorothy was reading in a book this evening
when Jellia Jamb, the favorite servant-maid of
the palace, came to say that the Shaggy Man
wanted to see her.

“All right,” said Dorothy; “tell him to come
right up.”

“But he has some queer creatures with him–some
of the queerest I’ve ever laid eyes on,” reported
Jellia.

“Never mind; let ’em all come up,” replied
Dorothy.

But when the door opened to admit not only the
Shaggy Man, but Scraps, the Woozy and the Glass
Cat, Dorothy jumped up and looked at her strange
visitors in amazement. The Patchwork Girl was the
most curious of all and Dorothy was uncertain at
first whether Scraps was really alive or only a
dream or a nightmare. Toto, her dog, slowly
uncurled himself and going to the Patchwork Girl
sniffed at her inquiringly; but soon he lay down
again, as if to say he had no interest in such an
irregular creation.

“You’re a new one to me,” Dorothy said
reflectively, addressing the Patchwork Girl. “I
can’t imagine where you’ve come from.”

“Who, me?” asked Scraps, looking around the
pretty room instead of at the girl. “Oh, I came
from a bed-quilt, I guess. That’s what they say,
anyhow. Some call it a crazy-quilt and some a
patchwork quilt. But my name is Scraps–and now
you know all about me.”

“Not quite all,” returned Dorothy with a smile.
“I wish you’d tell me how you came to be alive.”

“That’s an easy job,” said Scraps, sitting upon
a big upholstered chair and making the springs
bounce her up and down. “Margolotte wanted a
slave, so she made me out of an old bed-quilt she
didn’t use. Cotton stuffing, suspender-button
eyes, red velvet tongue, pearl beads for teeth.
The Crooked Magician made a Powder of Life,
sprinkled me with it and–here I am. Perhaps
you’ve noticed my different colors. A very refined
and educated gentleman named the Scarecrow, whom I
met, told me I am the most beautiful creature in
all Oz, and I believe it.”

“Oh! Have you met our Scarecrow, then?” asked
Dorothy, a little puzzled to understand the brief
history related.

“Yes; isn’t he jolly?”

“The Scarecrow has many good qualities,” replied
Dorothy. “But I’m sorry to hear all this ’bout the
Crooked Magician. Ozma’ll be mad as hops when she
hears he’s been doing magic again. She told him
not to.”

“He only practices magic for the benefit of his
own family,” explained Bungle, who was keeping at
a respectful distance from the little black dog.

“Dear me,” said Dorothy; “I hadn’t noticed
you before. Are you glass, or what?”

“I’m glass, and transparent, too, which is more
than can be said of some folks,” answered the
cat. “Also I have some lovely pink brains; you
can see ’em work.”

“Oh; is that so? Come over here and let me see.”

The Class Cat hesitated, eyeing the dog.

“Send that beast away and I will,” she said.

“Beast! Why, that’s my dog Toto, an’ he’s the
kindest dog in all the world. Toto knows a good
many things, too; ‘most as much as I do, I
guess.”

“Why doesn’t he say anything?” asked Bungle.

“He can’t talk, not being a fairy dog,”
explained Dorothy. “He’s just a common United
States dog; but that’s a good deal; and I
understand him, and he understands me, just as
well as if he could talk.”

Toto, at this, got up and rubbed his head
softly against Dorothy’s hand, which she held
out to him, and he looked up into her face as if
he had understood every word she had said.

“This cat, Toto,” she said to him, “is made
of glass, so you mustn’t bother it, or chase it,
any more than you do my Pink Kitten. It’s
prob’ly brittle and might break if it bumped
against anything.”

“Woof!” said Toto, and that meant he understood.

The Glass Cat was so proud of her pink brains
that she ventured to come close to Dorothy, in
order that the girl might “see ’em work.” This was
really interesting, but when Dorothy patted the
cat she found the glass cold and hard and
unresponsive, so she decided at once that Bungle
would never do for a pet.

“What do you know about the Crooked Magician who
lives on the mountain?” asked Dorothy.

“He made me,” replied the cat; “so I know all
about him. The Patchwork Girl is new–three or
four days old–but I’ve lived with Dr. Pipt for
years; and, though I don’t much care for him, I
will say that he has always refused to work magic
for any of the people who come to his house. He
thinks there’s no harm in doing magic things for
his own family, and he made me out of glass
because the meat cats drink too much milk. He also
made Scraps come to life so she could do the
housework for his wife Margolotte.”

“Then why did you both leave him?” asked
Dorothy.

“I think you’d better let me explain that,”
interrupted the Shaggy Man, and then he told
Dorothy all of Ojo’s story and how Unc Nunkie and
Margolotte had accidentally been turned to marble
by the Liquid of Petrifaction. Then he related how
the boy had started out in search of the things
needed to make the magic charm, which would
restore the unfortunates to life, and how he had
found the Woozy and taken him along because he
could not pull the three hairs out of its tail.
Dorothy listened to all this with much interest,
and thought that so far Ojo had acted very well.
But when the Shaggy Man told her of the Munchkin
boy’s arrest by the Soldier with the Green
Whiskers, because he was accused of wilfully
breaking a Law of Oz, the little girl was greatly
shocked.

“What do you s’pose he’s done?” she asked.

“I fear he has picked a six-leaved clover,”
answered the Shaggy Man, sadly. “I did not see him
do it, and I warned him that to do so was against
the Law; but perhaps that is what he did,
nevertheless.”

“I’m sorry ’bout that,” said Dorothy gravely,
“for now there will be no one to help his poor
uncle and Margolotte ‘cept this Patchwork Girl,
the Woozy and the Glass Cat.”

“Don’t mention it,” said Scraps. “That’s no
affair of mine. Margolotte and Unc Nunkie are
perfect strangers to me, for the moment I came
to life they came to marble.”

“I see,” remarked Dorothy with a sigh of
regret; “the woman forgot to give you a heart.”

“I’m glad she did,” retorted the Patchwork Girl.
“A heart must be a great annoyance to one. It
makes a person feel sad or sorry or devoted or
sympathetic–all of which sensations interfere with
one’s happiness.”

“I have a heart,” murmured the Glass Cat.
“It’s made of a ruby; but I don’t imagine I shall
let it bother me about helping Unc Nunkie and
Margolotte.”

“That’s a pretty hard heart of yours,” said
Dorothy. “And the Woozy, of course–”

“Why, as for me,” observed the Woozy, who was
reclining on the floor with his legs doubled under
him, so that he looked much like a square box, “I
have never seen those unfortunate people you are
speaking of, and yet I am sorry for them, having
at times been unfortunate myself. When I was shut
up in that forest I longed for some one to help
me, and by and by Ojo came and did help me. So I’m
willing to help his uncle. I’m only a stupid
beast, Dorothy, but I can’t help that, and if
you’ll tell me what to do to help Ojo and his
uncle, I’ll gladly do it.”

Dorothy walked over and patted the Woozy on his
square head.

“You’re not pretty,” she said, “but I like you.
What are you able to do; anything ‘special?”

“I can make my eyes flash fire–real fire–when
I’m angry. When anyone says: ‘Krizzle-Kroo’ to me
I get angry, and then my eyes flash fire.”

“I don’t see as fireworks could help Ojo’s
uncle,” remarked Dorothy. “Can you do anything
else?”

“I–I thought I bad a very terrifying growl,”
said the Woozy, with hesitation; “but perhaps
I was mistaken.”

“Yes,” said the Shaggy Man, “you were certainly
wrong about that.” Then he turned to Dorothy and
added: “What will become of the Munchkin boy?”

“I don’t know,” she said, shaking her head
thoughtfully. “Ozma will see him ’bout it, of
course, and then she’ll punish him. But how,
I don’t know, ’cause no one ever has been
punished in Oz since I knew anything about
the place. Too bad, Shaggy Man, isn’t it?”

While they were talking Scraps had been
roaming around the room and looking at all
the pretty things it contained. She had carried
Ojo’s basket in her hand, until now, when she
decided to see what was inside it. She found
the bread and cheese, which she had no use for,
and the bundle of charms, which were curious
but quite a mystery to her. Then, turning these
over, she came upon the six-leaved clover which
the boy had plucked.

Scraps was quick-witted, and although she had no
heart she recognized the fact that Ojo was her
first friend. She knew at once that because the
boy had taken the clover he bad been imprisoned,
and she understood that Ojo had given her the
basket so they would not find the clover in his
possession and have proof of his crime. So,
turning her head to see that no one noticed her,
she took the clover from the basket and dropped it
into a golden vase that stood on Dorothy’s table.
Then she came forward and said to Dorothy:

“I wouldn’t care to help Ojo’s uncle, but I
will help Ojo. He did not break the Law–no
one can prove he did–and that green-whiskered
soldier had no right to arrest him.”

“Ozma ordered the boy’s arrest,” said Dorothy,
“and of course she knew what she was doing. But if
you can prove Ojo is innocent they will set him
free at once.

“They’ll have to prove him guilty, won’t
they?” asked Scraps.

“I s’pose so.”

“Well, they can’t do that,” declared the
Patchwork Girl.

As it was nearly time for Dorothy to dine with
Ozma, which she did every evening, she rang for a
servant and ordered the Woozy taken to a nice room
and given plenty of such food as he liked best.

“That’s honey-bees,” said the Woozy.

“You can’t eat honey-bees, but you’ll be given
something just as nice,” Dorothy told him. Then
she had the Glass Cat taken to another room for
the night and the Patchwork Girl she kept in one
of her own rooms, for she was much interested in
the strange creature and wanted to talk with her
again and try to understand her better.

 

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