FictionForest

Chapter 24 – Dorothy is Delighted

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

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“Well,” said Queen Ann, when all were again seated
in Kaliko’s royal cavern, “I wonder what we shall
do next. If I could find my way back to Oogaboo
I’d take my army home at once, for I’m sick and
tired of these dreadful hardships.”

“Don’t you want to conquer the world?” asked Betsy.

“No; I’ve changed my mind about that,” admitted
the Queen. “The world is too big for one person to
conquer and I was happier with my own people in
Oogaboo. I wish–Oh, how earnestly I wish–that I
was back there this minute!”

“So do I!” yelled every officer in a fervent
tone.

Now, it is time for the reader to know that in
the far-away Land of Oz the lovely Ruler, Ozma,
had been following the adventures of her Shaggy
Man, and Tik-Tok, and all the others they had met.
Day by day Ozma, with the wonderful Wizard of Oz
seated beside her, had gazed upon a Magic Picture
in a radium frame, which occupied one side of the
Ruler’s cosy boudoir in the palace of the Emerald
City. The singular thing about this Magic Picture
was that it showed whatever scene Ozma wished to
see, with the figures all in motion, just as it
was taking place. So Ozma and the Wizard had
watched every action of the adventurers from the
time Shaggy had met shipwrecked Betsy and Hank in
the Rose Kingdom, at which time the Rose Princess,
a distant cousin of Ozma, had been exiled by her
heartless subjects.

When Ann and her people so earnestly wished to
return to Oogaboo, Ozma was sorry for them and
remembered that Oogaboo was a corner of the Land
of Oz. She turned to her attendant and asked:

“Can not your magic take these unhappy people to
their old home, Wizard?”

“It can, Your Highness,” replied the little
Wizard.

“I think the poor Queen has suffered enough in
her misguided effort to conquer the world,” said
Ozma, smiling at the absurdity of the undertaking,
“so no doubt she will hereafter be contented in
her own little Kingdom. Please send her there,
Wizard, and with her the officers and Files.”

“How about the Rose Princess?” asked the Wizard.

“Send her to Oogaboo with Files,” answered Ozma.
“They have become such good friends that I am sure
it would make them unhappy to separate them.”

“Very well,” said the Wizard, and without any
fuss or mystery whatever he performed a magical
rite that was simple and effective. Therefore
those seated in the Nome King’s cavern were both
startled and amazed when all the people of Oogaboo
suddenly disappeared from the room, and with them
the Rose Princess. At first they could not
understand it at all; but presently Shaggy
suspected the truth, and believing that Ozma was
now taking an interest in the party he drew from
his pocket a tiny instrument which he placed
against his ear.

Ozma, observing this action in her Magic
Picture, at once caught up a similar instrument
from a table beside her and held it to her own
ear. The two instruments recorded the same
delicate vibrations of sound and formed a wireless
telephone, an invention of the Wizard. Those
separated by any distance were thus enabled to
converse together with perfect ease and without
any wire connection.

“Do you hear me, Shaggy Man?” asked Ozma.

“Yes, Your Highness,” he replied.

“I have Sent the people of Oogaboo back to their
own little valley,” announced the Ruler of Oz; “so
do not worry over their disappearance.”

“That was very kind of you,” said Shaggy. “But
Your Highness must permit me to report that my own
mission here is now ended. I have found my lost
brother, and he is now beside me, freed from the
enchantment of ugliness which Ruggedo cast upon
him. Tik-Tok has served me and my comrades
faithfully, as you requested him to do, and I hope
you will now transport the Clockwork Man back to
your fairyland of Oz.”

“I will do that,” replied Ozma. “But how
about yourself, Shaggy?”

“I have been very happy in Oz,” he said, “but my
duty to others forces me to exile myself from that
delightful land. I must take care of my new-found
brother, for one thing, and I have a new comrade
in a dear little girl named Betsy Bobbin, who has
no home to go to, and no other friends but me and
a small donkey named Hank. I have promised Betsy
never to desert her as long as she needs a friend,
and so I must give up the delights of the Land of
Oz forever.”

He said this with a sigh of regret, and Ozma
made no reply but laid the tiny instrument on her
table, thus cutting off all further communication
with the Shaggy Man. But the lovely Ruler of Oz
still watched her magic picture, with a thoughtful
expression upon her face, and the little Wizard of
Oz watched Ozma and smiled softly to himself.

In the cavern of the Nome King Shaggy replaced
the wireless telephone in his pocket and turning
to Betsy said in as cheerful a voice as he could
muster:

“Well, little comrade, what shall we do next?”

“I don’t know, I’m sure,” she answered with a
puzzled face. “I’m kind of sorry our adventures
are over, for I enjoyed them, and now that Queen
Ann and her people are gone, and Polychrome is
gone, and–dear me!–where’s Tik-Tok, Shaggy?”

“He also has disappeared,” said Shaggy, looking
around the cavern and nodding wisely. “By this
time he is in Ozma’s palace in the Land of Oz,
which is his home.”

“Isn’t it your home, too?” asked Betsy.

“It used to be, my dear; but now my home is
wherever you and my brother are. We are wanderers,
you know, but if we stick together I am sure we
shall have a good time.”

“Then,” said the girl, “let us get out of this
stuffy, underground cavern and go in search of
new adventures. I’m sure it has stopped raining.”

“I’m ready,” said Shaggy, and then they bade
good-bye to King Kaliko, and thanked him for
his assistance, and went out to the mouth of
the passage.

The sky was now clear and a brilliant blue in
color; the sun shone brightly and even this
rugged, rocky country seemed delightful after
their confinement underground. There were but four
of them now–Betsy and Hank, and Shaggy and his
brother–and the little party made their way down
the mountain and followed a faint path that led
toward the southwest.

During this time Ozma had been holding a
conference with the Wizard, and later with Tik-
Tok, whom the magic of the Wizard had quickly
transported to Ozma’s palace. Tik-Tok had only
words of praise for Betsy Bobbin, “who,” he said,
“is al-most as nice as Dor-o-thy her-self.”

“Let us send for Dorothy,” said Ozma, and
summoning her favorite maid, who was named Jellia
Jamb, she asked her to request Princess Dorothy to
attend her at once. So a few moments later Dorothy
entered Ozma’s room and greeted her and the Wizard
and Tik-Tok with the same gentle smile and simple
manner that had won for the little girl the love
of everyone she met.

“Did you want to see me, Ozma?” she asked.

“Yes, dear. I am puzzled how to act, and I want
your advice.”

“I don’t b’lieve it’s worth much,” replied
Dorothy, “but I’ll do the best I can. What is it
all about, Ozma?”

“You all know,” said the girl Ruler, addressing
her three friends, “what a serious thing it is to
admit any mortals into this fairyland of Oz. It is
true I have invited several mortals to make their
home here, and all of them have proved true and
loyal subjects. Indeed, no one of you three was a
native of Oz. Dorothy and the Wizard came here
from the United States, and Tik-Tok came from the
Land of Ev. But of course he is not a mortal.
Shaggy is another American, and he is the cause of
all my worry, for our dear Shaggy will not return
here and desert the new friends he has found in
his recent adventures, because he believes they
need his services.”

“Shaggy Man was always kind-hearted,” remarked
Dorothy. “But who are these new friends he has
found?”

“One is his brother, who for many years has been
a prisoner of the Nome King, our old enemy
Ruggedo. This brother seems a kindly, honest
fellow, but he has done nothing to entitle him to
a home in the Land of Oz.”

“Who else?” asked Dorothy.

“I have told you about Betsy Bobbin, the little
girl who was shipwrecked–in much the same way you
once were–and has since been following the Shaggy
Man in his search for his lost brother. You
remember her, do you not?”

“Oh, yes!” exclaimed Dorothy. “I’ve often
watched her and Hank in the Magic Picture, you
know. She’s a dear little girl, and old Hank is a
darling! Where are they now?”

“Look and see,” replied Ozma with a smile at
her friend’s enthusiasm.

Dorothy turned to the Picture, which showed
Betsy and Hank, with Shaggy and his brother,
trudging along the rocky paths of a barren
country.

“Seems to me,” she said, musingly, “that
they’re a good way from any place to sleep, or
any nice things to eat.”

“You are right,” said Tik-Tok. “I have been in
that coun-try, and it is a wilder-ness.”

“It is the country of the nomes,” explained the
Wizard, “who are so mischievous that no one cares
to live near them. I’m afraid Shaggy and his
friends will endure many hardships before they get
out of that rocky place, unless–”

He turned to Ozma and smiled.

“Unless I ask you to transport them all here?”
she asked.

“Yes, your Highness.”

“Could your magic do that?” inquired Dorothy.

“I think so,” said the Wizard.

“Well,” said Dorothy, “as far as Betsy and Hank
are concerned, I’d like to have them here in Oz.
It would be such fun to have a girl playmate of my
own age, you see. And Hank is such a dear little
mule!”

Ozma laughed at the wistful expression in the
girl’s eyes, and then she drew Dorothy to her and
kissed her.

“Am I not your friend and playmate?” she asked.

Dorothy flushed.

“You know how dearly I love you, Ozma!” she
cried. “But you’re so busy ruling all this Land of
Oz that we can’t always be together.”

“I know, dear. My first duty is to my subjects,
and I think it would be a delight to us all to
have Betsy with us. There’s a pretty suite of
rooms just opposite your own where she can live,
and I’ll build a golden stall for Hank in the
stable where the Sawhorse lives. Then we’ll
introduce the mule to the Cowardly Lion and the
Hungry Tiger, and I’m sure they will soon become
firm friends. But I cannot very well admit Betsy
and Hank into Oz unless I also admit Shaggy’s
brother.”

“And, unless you admit Shaggy’s brother, you
will keep out poor Shaggy, whom we are all very
fond of,” said the Wizard.

“Well, why not ad-mit him?” demanded Tik-Tok.

“The Land of Oz is not a refuge for all mortals
in distress,” explained Ozma. “I do not wish to be
unkind to Shaggy Man, but his brother has no claim
on me.”

“The Land of Oz isn’t crowded,” suggested
Dorothy.

“Then you advise me to admit Shaggy’s brother?”
inquired Ozma.

“Well, we can’t afford to lose our Shaggy Man,
can we?”

“No, indeed!” returned Ozma. “What do you say,
Wizard?”

“I’m getting my magic ready to transport them
all.”

“And you, Tik-Tok?”

“Shag-gy’s broth-er is a good fel-low, and we
can’t spare Shag-gy.”

“So, then; the question is settled,” decided
Ozma. “Perform your magic, Wizard!”

He did so, placing a silver plate upon a small
standard and pouring upon the plate a small
quantity of pink powder which was contained in a
crystal vial. Then he muttered a rather difficult
incantation which the sorceress Glinda the Good
had taught him, and it all ended in a puff of
perfumed smoke from the silver plate. This smoke
was so pungent that it made both Ozma and Dorothy
rub their eyes for a moment.

“You must pardon these disagreeable fumes,” said
the Wizard. “I assure you the smoke is a very
necessary part of my wizardry.”

“Look!” cried Dorothy, pointing to the Magic
Picture; “they’re gone! All of them are gone.”

Indeed, the picture now showed the same rocky
landscape as before, but the three people and the
mule had disappeared from it.

“They are gone,” said the Wizard, polishing the
silver plate and wrapping it in a fine cloth,
“because they are here.”

At that moment Jellia Jamb entered the room.

“Your Highness,” she said to Ozma, “the Shaggy
Man and another man are in the waiting room and
ask to pay their respects to you. Shaggy is crying
like a baby, but he says they are tears of joy.”

“Send them here at once, Jellia!” commanded Ozma
“Also,” continued the maid, “a girl and a small-
sized mule have mysteriously arrived, but they
don’t seem to know where they are or how they came
here. Shall I send them here, too?”

“Oh, no!” exclaimed Dorothy, eagerly jumping up
from her chair; “I’ll go to meet Betsy myself,
for she’ll feel awful strange in this big palace.”

And she ran down the stairs two at a time to
greet her new friend, Betsy Bobbin.

 

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