FictionForest

Chapter 23 – The Pearl Kingdom

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

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It was unfortunate that the famous Scarecrow – the most
popular person in all Oz, next to Ozma — was absent at
the time of the banquet, for he happened just then to
be making one of his trips through the country; but the
Scarecrow had a chance later to meet Rinkitink and Inga
and the King and Queen of Pingaree and Prince Bobo, for
the party remained several weeks at the Emerald City,
where they were royally entertained, and where both the
gentle Queen Garee and the noble King Kitticut
recovered much of their good spirits and composure and
tried to forget their dreadful experiences.

At last, however, the King and Queen desired to
return to their own Pingaree, as they longed to be with
their people again and see how well they had rebuilt
their homes. Inga also was anxious to return, although
he had been very happy in Oz, and King Rinkitink, who
was happy anywhere except at Gilgad, decided to go with
his former friends to Pingaree. As for prince Bobo, he
had become so greatly attached to King Rinkitink that
he was loth to leave him.

On a certain day they all bade good-bye to Ozma and
Dorothy and Glinda and the Wizard and all their good
friends in Oz, and were driven in the Red Wagon to the
edge of the Deadly Desert, which they crossed safely on
the Magic Carpet. They then made their way across the
Nome Kingdom and the Wheeler Country, where no one
molested them, to the shores of the Nonestic Ocean.
There they found the boat with the silver lining still
lying undisturbed on the beach.

There were no important adventures during the trip
and on their arrival at the pearl kingdom they were
amazed at the beautiful appearance of the island they
had left in ruins. All the houses of the people had
been rebuilt and were prettier than before, with green
lawns before them and flower gardens in the back yards.
The marble towers of King Kitticut’s new palace were
very striking and impressive, while the palace itself
proved far more magnificent than it had been before the
warriors from Regos destroyed it.

Nikobob had been very active and skillful in
directing all this work, and he had also built a pretty
cottage for himself, not far from the King’s palace,
and there Inga found Zella, who was living very happy
and contented in her new home. Not only had Nikobob
accomplished all this in a comparatively brief space of
time, but he had started the pearl fisheries again and
when King Kitticut returned to Pingaree he found a
quantity of fine pearls already in the royal treasury.

So pleased was Kitticut with the good judgment,
industry and honesty of the former charcoal-burner of
Regos, that he made Nikobob his Lord High Chamberlain
and put him in charge of the pearl fisheries and all
the business matters of the island kingdom.

They all settled down very comfortably in the new
palace and the Queen gathered her maids about her once
more and set them to work embroidering new draperies
for the royal throne. Inga placed the three Magic
Pearls in their silken bag and again deposited them in
the secret cavity under the tiled flooring of the
banquet hall, where they could be quickly secured if
danger ever threatened the now prosperous island.

King Rinkitink occupied a royal guest chamber built
especially for his use and seemed in no hurry to leave
his friends in Pingaree. The fat little King had to
walk wherever he went and so missed Bilbil more and
more; but he seldom walked far and he was so fond of
Prince BoBo that he never regretted Bilbil’s
disenchantment.

Indeed, the jolly monarch was welcome to remain
forever in Pingaree, if he wished to, for his merry
disposition set smiles on the faces of all his friends
and made everyone near him as jolly as he was himself.
When King Kitticut was not too busy with affairs of
state he loved to join his guest and listen to his
brother monarch’s songs and stories. For he found
Rinkitink to be, with all his careless disposition, a
shrewd philosopher, and in talking over their
adventures one day the King of Gilgad said:

“The beauty of life is its sudden changes. No one
knows what is going to happen next, and so we are
constantly being surprised and entertained. The many
ups and downs should not discourage us, for if we are
down, we know that a change is coming and we will go up
again; while those who are up are almost certain to go
down. My grandfather had a song which well expresses
this and if you will listen I will sing it.”

“Of course I will listen to your song,” returned
Kitticut, “for it would be impolite not to.”

So Rinkitink sang his grandfather’s song:

“A mighty King once ruled the land —
But now he’s baking pies.
A pauper, on the other hand,
Is ruling, strong and wise.

A tiger once in jungles raged —
But now he’s in a zoo;
A lion, captive-born and caged,
Now roams the forest through.

A man once slapped a poor boy’s pate
And made him weep and wail.
The boy became a magistrate
And put the man in jail.

A sunny day succeeds the night;
It’s summer — then it snows!
Right oft goes wrong and wrong comes right,
As ev’ry wise man knows.”

 

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