FictionForest

Chapter 27 – The Tin Woodman Objects

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

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The Tin Woodman was one of the most important
personages in all Oz. Though Emperor of the
Winkies, he owed allegiance to Ozma, who ruled all
the land, and the girl and the tin man were warm
personal friends. He was something of a dandy and
kept his tin body brilliantly polished and his tin
joints well oiled. Also he was very courteous in
manner and so kind and gentle that everyone loved
him. The Emperor greeted Ojo and Scraps with
cordial hospitality and ushered the entire party
into his handsome tin parlor, where all the
furniture and pictures were made of tin. The walls
were paneled with tin and from the tin ceiling
hung tin chandeliers.

The Tin Woodman wanted to know, first of
all, where Dorothy had found the Patchwork
Girl, so between them the visitors told the story
of how Scraps was made, as well as the accident
to Margolotte and Unc Nunkie and how Ojo
had set out upon a journey to procure the things
needed for the Crooked Magician’s magic
charm. Then Dorothy told of their adventures
in the Quadling Country and how at last they
succeeded in getting the water from a dark well.

While the little girl was relating these
adventures the Tin Woodman sat in an easy chair
listening with intense interest, while the others
sat grouped around him. Ojo, however, had kept his
eyes fixed upon the body of the tin Emperor, and
now he noticed that under the joint of his left
knee a tiny drop of oil was forming. He watched
this drop of oil with a fast-beating heart, and
feeling in his pocket brought out a tiny vial of
crystal, which he held secreted in his hand.

Presently the Tin Woodman changed his
position, and at once Ojo, to the astonishment
of all, dropped to the floor and held his crystal
vial under the Emperor’s knee joint. Just then
the drop of oil fell, and they boy caught it in
his bottle and immediately corked it tight. Then,
with a red face and embarrassed manner, he rose
to confront the others.

“What in the world were you doing?” asked
the Tin Woodman.

“I caught a drop of oil that fell from your
knee-joint,” confessed Ojo.

“A drop of oil!” exclaimed the Tin Woodman.
“Dear me, how careless my valet must have
been in oiling me this morning. I’m afraid I
shall have to scold the fellow, for I can’t be
dropping oil wherever I go.”

“Never mind,” said Dorothy. Ojo seems glad
to have the oil, for some reason.”

“Yes,” declared the Munchkin boy, “I am
glad. For one of the things the Crooked Magician
sent me to get was a drop of oil from a live man’s
body. I had no idea, at first, that there was such
a thing; but it’s now safe in the little crystal
vial.”

“You are very welcome to it, indeed,” said
the Tin Woodman. “Have you now secured all
the things you were in search of?”

“Not quite all,” answered Ojo. “There were five
things I had to get, and I have found four of
them. I have the three hairs in the tip of a
Woozy’s tail, a six-leaved clover, a gill of water
from a dark well and a drop of oil from a live
man’s body. The last thing is the easiest of all
to get, and I’m sure that my dear Unc Nunkie–and
good Margolotte, as well–will soon be restored to
life.”

The Munchkin boy said this with much pride and
pleasure.

“Good!” exclaimed the Tin Woodman; “I
congratulate you. But what is the fifth and last
thing you need, in order to complete the magic
charm?”

“The left wing of a yellow butterfly,” said
Ojo. “In this yellow country, and with your
kind assistance, that ought to be very easy to
find.”

The Tin Woodman stared at him in amazement.

“Surely you are joking!” he said.

“No,” replied Ojo, much surprised; “I am in
earnest.”

“But do you think for a moment that I would
permit you, or anyone else, to pull the left wing
from a yellow butterfly?” demanded the Tin Woodman
sternly.

“Why not, sir?”

“Why not? You ask me why not? It would be
cruel–one of the most cruel and heartless deeds
I ever heard of,” asserted the Tin Woodman.
“The butterflies are among the prettiest of all
created things, and they are very sensitive to
pain. To tear a wing from one would cause it
exquisite torture and it would soon die in great
agony. I would not permit such a wicked deed
under any circumstances!”

Ojo was astounded at hearing this. Dorothy, too,
looked grave and disconcerted, but she knew in her
heart that the Tin Woodman was right. The
Scarecrow nodded his head in approval of his
friend’s speech, so it was evident that he agreed
with the Emperor’s decision. Scraps looked from
one to another in perplexity.

“Who cares for a butterfly?” she asked.

“Don’t you?” inquired the Tin Woodman.

“Not the snap of a finger, for I have no heart,”
said the Patchwork Girl. “But I want to help
Ojo, who is my friend, to rescue the uncle whom
he loves, and I’d kill a dozen useless butterflies
to enable him to do that.”

The Tin Woodman sighed regretfully.

“You have kind instincts,” he said, “and with a
heart you would indeed be a fine creature. I
cannot blame you for your heartless remark, as you
cannot understand the feelings of those who
possess hearts. I, for instance, have a very neat
and responsive heart which the wonderful Wizard
of Oz once gave me, and so I shall never–never–
never permit a poor yellow butterfly to be
tortured by anyone.”

“The yellow country of the Winkies,” said Ojo
sadly, “is the only place in Oz where a yellow
butterfly can be found.”

“I’m glad of that,” said the Tin Woodman.
“As I rule the Winkie Country, I can protect
my butterflies.”

Unless I get the wing–just one left wing–”
said Ojo miserably, “I can’t save Unc Nunkie.”

“Then he must remain a marble statue forever,”
declared the Tin Emperor, firmly.

Ojo wiped his eyes, for he could not hold back
the tears.

“I’ll tell you what to do,” said Scraps. “We’ll
take a whole yellow butterfly, alive and well, to
the Crooked Magician, and let him pull the left
wing off.”

“No, you won’t,” said the Tin Woodman.
“You can’t have one of my dear little butterflies
to treat in that way.

“Then what in the world shall we do?” asked
Dorothy.

They all became silent and thoughtful. No
one spoke for a long time. Then the Tin Woodman
suddenly roused himself and said:

“We must all go back to the Emerald City
and ask Ozma’s advice. She’s a wise little girl,
our Ruler, and she may find a way to help Ojo
save his Unc Nunkie.”

So the following morning the party started
on the journey to the Emerald City, which they
reached in due time without any important
adventure. It was a sad journey for Ojo, for
without the wing of the yellow butterfly he saw
no way to save Unc Nunkie–unless he waited
six years for the Crooked Magician to make a
new lot of the Powder of Life. The boy was
utterly discouraged, and as he walked along he
groaned aloud.

“Is anything hurting you?” inquired the Tin
Woodman in a kindly tone, for the Emperor
was with the party.

“I’m Ojo the Unlucky,” replied the boy. “I
might have known I would fail in anything
I tried to do.”

“Why are you Ojo the Unlucky?” asked the tin
man.

“Because I was born on a Friday.”

“Friday is not unlucky,” declared the Emperor.
“It’s just one of seven days. Do you suppose all
the world becomes unlucky one-seventh of the
time?”

“It was the thirteenth day of the month,” said
Ojo.

“Thirteen! Ah, that is indeed a lucky number,”
replied the Tin Woodman. “All my good luck seems
to happen on the thirteenth. I suppose most
people never notice the good luck that comes to
them with the number 13, and yet if the least bit
of bad luck falls on that day, they blame it to
the number, and not to the proper cause.”

“Thirteen’s my lucky number, too,” remarked the
Scarecrow

“And mine,” said Scraps. “I’ve just thirteen
patches on my head.”

“But,” continued Ojo, “I’m left-handed.”

“Many of our greatest men are that way,”
asserted the Emperor. “To be left-handed is
usually to be two-handed; the right-handed people
are usually one-handed.”

“And I’ve a wart under my right arm,” said Ojo.

“How lucky!” cried the Tin Woodman. “If
it were on the end of your nose it might be
unlucky, but under your arm it is luckily out
of the way.”

“For all those reasons,” said the Munchkin
boy, “I have been called Ojo the Unlucky.”

“Then we must turn over a new leaf and call you
henceforth Ojo the Lucky,” declared the tin man.
“Every reason you have given is absurd. But I have
noticed that those who continually dread ill luck
and fear it will overtake them, have no time to
take advantage of any good fortune that comes
their way. Make up your mind to be Ojo the
Lucky.”

“How can I?” asked the boy, “when all my
attempts to save my dear uncle have failed?”

“Never give up, Ojo,” advised Dorothy. “No
one ever knows what’s going to happen next.”

Ojo did not reply, but he was so dejected that
even their arrival at the Emerald City failed to
interest him.

The people joyfully cheered the appearance of
the Tin Woodman, the Scarecrow and Dorothy, who
were all three general favorites, and on entering
the royal palace word came to them from Ozma that
she would at once grant them an audience.

Dorothy told the girl Ruler how successful
they had been in their quest until they came to
the item of the yellow butterfly, which the Tin
Woodman positively refused to sacrifice to the
magic potion.

“He is quite right,” said Ozma, who did not seem
a bit surprised. “Had Ojo told me that one of the
things he sought was the wing of a yellow
butterfly I would have informed him, before he
started out, that he could never secure it. Then
you would have been saved the troubles and
annoyances of your long journey.”

“I didn’t mind the journey at all,” said
Dorothy; “it was fun.”

“As it has turned out,” remarked Ojo, “I can
never get the things the Crooked Magician sent
me for; and so, unless I wait the six years for
him to make the Powder of Life, Unc Nunkie
cannot be saved.”

Ozma smiled.

“Dr. Pipt will make no more Powder of Life,
I promise you,” said she. “I have sent for him
and had him brought to this palace, where he
now is, and his four kettles have been destroyed
and his book of recipes burned up. I have also
had brought here the marble statues of your
uncle and of Margolotte, which are standing in
the next room.

They were all greatly astonished at this
announcement.

“Oh, let me see Unc Nunkie! Let me see him
at once, please!” cried Ojo eagerly.

“Wait a moment,” replied Ozma, “for I have
something more to say. Nothing that happens
in the Land of Oz escapes the notice of our wise
Sorceress, Glinda the Good. She knew all about
the magic-making of Dr. Pipt, and how he had
brought the Glass Cat and the Patchwork Girl
to life, and the accident to Unc Nunkie and
Margolotte, and of Ojo’s quest and his journey
with Dorothy. Glinda also knew that Ojo would
fail to find all the things he sought, so she sent
for our Wizard and instructed him what to do.
Something is going to happen in this palace,
presently, and that ‘something’ will, I am sure,
please you all. And now,” continued the girl
Ruler, rising from her chair, “you may follow
me into the next room.”

 

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