FictionForest

Chapter 23 – The Defiance of Ugu the Shoemaker

L. Frank BaumOct 05, 2016'Command+D' Bookmark this page

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The delay caused by Scraps had prevented anyone from running to the
shelves to secure the magic instruments so badly needed. Even Cayke
neglected to get her diamond-studded dishpan because she was watching
the Patchwork Girl. And now the magician had opened his trap door and
appeared in his golden cage again, frowning angrily because his
prisoners had been able to turn their upside-down prison right side
up. “Which of you has dared defy my magic?” he shouted in a terrible
voice.

“It was I,” answered Dorothy calmly.

“Then I shall destroy you, for you are only an Earth girl and no
fairy,” he said, and began to mumble some magic words.

Dorothy now realized that Ugu must be treated as an enemy, so she
advanced toward the corner in which he sat, saying as she went, “I am
not afraid of you, Mr. Shoemaker, and I think you’ll be sorry, pretty
soon, that you’re such a bad man. You can’t destroy me, and I won’t
destroy you, but I’m going to punish you for your wickedness.”

Ugu laughed, a laugh that was not nice to hear, and then he waved his
hand. Dorothy was halfway across the room when suddenly a wall of
glass rose before her and stopped her progress. Through the glass she
could see the magician sneering at her because she was a weak little
girl, and this provoked her. Although the glass wall obliged her to
halt, she instantly pressed both hands to her Magic Belt and cried in
a loud voice, “Ugu the Shoemaker, by the magic virtues of the Magic
Belt, I command you to become a dove!”

The magician instantly realized he was being enchanted, for he could
feel his form changing. He struggled desperately against the
enchantment, mumbling magic words and making magic passes with his
hands. And in one way he succeeded in defeating Dorothy’s purpose,
for while his form soon changed to that of a gray dove, the dove was
of an enormous size, bigger even than Ugu had been as a man, and this
feat he had been able to accomplish before his powers of magic wholly
deserted him.

And the dove was not gentle, as doves usually are, for
Ugu was terribly enraged at the little girl’s success. His books had
told him nothing of the Nome King’s Magic Belt, the Country of the
Nomes being outside the Land of Oz. He knew, however, that he was
likely to be conquered unless he made a fierce fight, so he spread his
wings and rose in the air and flew directly toward Dorothy. The Wall
of Glass had disappeared the instant Ugu became transformed.

Dorothy had meant to command the Belt to transform the magician into a
Dove of Peace, but in her excitement she forgot to say more than
“dove,” and now Ugu was not a Dove of Peace by any means, but rather a
spiteful Dove of War. His size made his sharp beak and claws very
dangerous, but Dorothy was not afraid when he came darting toward her
with his talons outstretched and his sword-like beak open. She knew
the Magic Belt would protect its wearer from harm.

But the Frogman did not know that fact and became alarmed at the
little girl’s seeming danger. So he gave a sudden leap and leaped
full upon the back of the great dove. Then began a desperate
struggle. The dove was as strong as Ugu had been, and in size it was
considerably bigger than the Frogman. But the Frogman had eaten the
zosozo, and it had made him fully as strong as Ugu the Dove. At the
first leap he bore the dove to the floor, but the giant bird got free
and began to bite and claw the Frogman, beating him down with its
great wings whenever he attempted to rise. The thick, tough skin of
the big frog was not easily damaged, but Dorothy feared for her
champion, and by again using the transformation power of the Magic
Belt, she made the dove grow small until it was no larger than a
canary bird. Ugu had not lost his knowledge of magic when he lost his
shape as a man, and he now realized it was hopeless to oppose the
power of the Magic Belt and knew that his only hope of escape lay in
instant action. So he quickly flew into the golden jeweled dishpan he
had stolen from Cayke the Cookie Cook, and as birds can talk as well
as beasts or men in the Fairyland of Oz, he muttered the magic word
that was required and wished himself in the Country of the Quadlings,
which was as far away from the wicker castle as he believed he could
get.

Our friends did not know, of course, what Ugu was about to do. They
saw the dishpan tremble an instant and then disappear, the dove
disappearing with it, and although they waited expectantly for some
minutes for the magician’s return, Ugu did not come back again.
“Seems to me,” said the Wizard in a cheerful voice, “that we have
conquered the wicked magician more quickly than we expected to.”

“Don’t say ‘we.’ Dorothy did it!” cried the Patchwork Girl, turning
three somersaults in succession and then walking around on her hands.
“Hurrah for Dorothy!”

“I thought you said you did not know how to use the magic of the Nome
King’s Belt,” said the Wizard to Dorothy.

“I didn’t know at that time,” she replied, “but afterward I remembered
how the Nome King once used the Magic Belt to enchant people and
transform ’em into ornaments and all sorts of things, so I tried some
enchantments in secret, and after a while I transformed the Sawhorse
into a potato masher and back again, and the Cowardly Lion into a
pussycat and back again, and then I knew the thing would work all
right.”

“When did you perform those enchantments?” asked the Wizard, much
surprised.

“One night when all the rest of you were asleep but Scraps, and she
had gone chasing moonbeams.”

“Well,” remarked the Wizard, “your discovery has certainly saved us a
lot of trouble, and we must all thank the Frogman, too, for making
such a good fight. The dove’s shape had Ugu’s evil disposition inside
it, and that made the monster bird dangerous.”

The Frogman was looking sad because the bird’s talons had torn his
pretty clothes, but he bowed with much dignity at this well-deserved
praise. Cayke, however, had squatted on the floor and was sobbing
bitterly. “My precious dishpan is gone!” she wailed. “Gone, just as
I had found it again!”

“Never mind,” said Trot, trying to comfort her, “it’s sure to be
SOMEWHERE, so we’ll cert’nly run across it some day.”

“Yes indeed,” added Betsy, “now that we have Ozma’s Magic Picture, we
can tell just where the Dove went with your dishpan. They all
approached the Magic Picture, and Dorothy wished it to show the
enchanted form of Ugu the Shoemaker, wherever it might be. At once
there appeared in the frame of the Picture a scene in the far Quadling
Country, where the Dove was perched disconsolately on the limb of a
tree and the jeweled dishpan lay on the ground just underneath the
limb.

“But where is the place? How far or how near?” asked Cayke anxiously.

“The Book of Records will tell us that,” answered the Wizard. So they
looked in the Great Book and read the following:

“Ugu the Magician, being transformed into a dove by Princess Dorothy
of Oz, has used the magic of the golden dishpan to carry him instantly
to the northeast corner of the Quadling Country.”

“Don’t worry, Cayke, for the
Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman are in that part of the country looking
for Ozma, and they’ll surely find your dishpan.”

“Good gracious!” exclaimed Button-Bright. “We’ve forgot all about
Ozma. Let’s find out where the magician hid her.”

Back to the Magic Picture they trooped, but when they wished to see
Ozma wherever she might be hidden, only a round black spot appeared in
the center of the canvas. “I don’t see how THAT can be Ozma!” said
Dorothy, much puzzled.

“It seems to be the best the Magic Picture can do, however,” said the
Wizard, no less surprised. “If it’s an enchantment, looks as if the
magician had transformed Ozma into a chunk of pitch.”

 

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