FictionForest

Chapter 22 – The Sunken Island

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

Light off Small Medium Large

As soon as they had breakfasted the next morning,
Glinda and the Wizard and the three Adepts went down to
the shore of the lake and formed a line with their
faces toward the submerged island. All the others came
to watch them, but stood at a respectful distance in
the background.

At the right of the Sorceress stood Audah and Aurah,
while at the left stood the Wizard and Aujah. Together
they stretched their arms over the water’s edge and in
unison the five chanted a rhythmic incantation.

This chant they repeated again and again, swaying
their arms gently from side to side, and in a few
minutes the watchers behind them noticed that the lake
had begun to recede from the shore. Before long the
highest point of the dome appeared above the water.
Gradually the water fell, making the dome appear to
rise. When it was three or four feet above the surface
Glinda gave the signal to stop, for their work had been
accomplished.

The blackened submarine was now entirely out of
water, but Uncle Henry and Cap’n Bill managed to push
it into the lake. Glinda, the Wizard, Ervic and the
Adepts got into the boat, taking with them a coil of
strong rope, and at the command of the Sorceress the
craft cleaved its way through the water toward the part
of the Dome which was now visible.

“There’s still plenty of water for the fish to swim
in,” observed the Wizard as they rode along. “They
might like more but I’m sure they can get along until
we have raised the island and can fill up the lake
again.”

The boat touched gently on the sloping glass of the
Dome, and the Wizard took some tools from his black bag
and quickly removed one large pane of glass, thus
making a hole large enough for their bodies to pass
through. Stout frames of steel supported the glass of
the Dome, and around one of these frames the Wizard
tied the end of a rope.

“I’ll go down first,” said he, “for while I’m not as
spry as Cap’n Bill I’m sure I can manage it easily. Are
you sure the rope is long enough to reach the bottom?”

“Quite sure,” replied the Sorceress.

So the Wizard let down the rope and climbing through
the opening lowered himself down, hand over hand,
clinging to the rope with his legs and feet. Below in
the streets of the village were gathered all the
Skeezers, men, women and children, and you may be sure
that Ozma and Dorothy, with Lady Aurex, were filled
with joy that their friends were at last coming to
their rescue.

The Queen’s palace, now occupied by Ozma, was
directly in the center of the Dome, so that when the
rope was let down the end of it came just in front of
the palace entrance. Several Skeezers held fast to the
rope’s end to steady it and the Wizard reached the
ground in safety. He hugged first Ozma and then
Dorothy, while all the Skeezers cheered as loud as they
could.

The Wizard now discovered that the rope was long
enough to reach from the top of the Dome to the ground
when doubled, so he tied a chair to one end of the rope
and called to Glinda to sit in the chair while he and
some of the Skeezers lowered her to the pavement. In
this way the Sorceress reached the ground quite
comfortably and the three Adepts and Ervic soon
followed her.

The Skeezers quickly recognized the three Adepts at
Magic, whom they had learned to respect before their
wicked Queen betrayed them, and welcomed them as
friends. All the inhabitants of the village had been
greatly frightened by their imprisonment under water,
but now realized that an attempt was to be made to
rescue them.

Glinda, the Wizard and the Adepts followed Ozma and
Dorothy into the palace, and they asked Lady Aurex and
Ervic to join them. After Ozma had told of her
adventures in trying to prevent war between the
Flatheads and the Skeezers, and Glinda had told all
about the Rescue Expedition and the restoration of the
three Adepts by the help of Ervic, a serious
consultation was held as to how the island could be
made to rise.

“I’ve tried every way in my power,” said Ozma, “but
Coo-ee-oh used a very unusual sort of magic which I do
not understand. She seems to have prepared her
witchcraft in such a way that a spoken word is
necessary to accomplish her designs, and these spoken
words are known only to herself.”

“That is a method we taught her,” declared Aurah the
Adept.

“I can do no more, Glinda,” continued Ozma, “so I
wish you would try what your sorcery can accomplish.”

“First, then,” said Glinda, “let us visit the
basement of the island, which I am told is underneath
the village.”

A flight of marble stairs led from one of Coo-ee-oh’s
private rooms down to the basement, but when the party
arrived all were puzzled by what they saw. In the
center of a broad, low room, stood a mass of great cog-
wheels, chains and pulleys, all interlocked and seeming
to form a huge machine; but there was no engine or
other motive power to make the wheels turn.

“This, I suppose, is the means by which the island is
lowered or raised,” said Ozma, “but the magic word
which is needed to move the machinery is unknown to
us.”

The three Adepts were carefully examining the mass of
wheels, and soon the golden-haired one said:

“These wheels do not control the island at all. On
the contrary, one set of them is used to open the doors
of the little rooms where the submarines are kept, as
may be seen from the chains and pulleys used. Each boat
is kept in a little room with two doors, one to the
basement room where we are now and the other letting
into the lake.

“When Coo-ee-oh used the boat in which she attacked
the Flatheads, she first commanded the basement door to
open and with her followers she got into the boat and
made the top close over them. Then the basement door
being closed, the outer door was slowly opened, letting
the water fill the room to float the boat, which then
left the island, keeping under water.”

“But how could she expect to get back again?” asked
the Wizard.

“Why the boat would enter the room filled with water
and after the outer door was closed a word of command
started a pump which pumped all the water from the
room. Then the boat would open and Coo-ee-oh could
enter the basement.”

“I see,” said the Wizard. “It is a clever
contrivance, but won’t work unless one knows the magic
words.”

“Another part of this machinery,” explained the
white-haired Adept, “is used to extend the bridge from
the island to the mainland. The steel bridge is in a
room much like that in which the boats are kept, and at
Coo-ce-oh’s command it would reach out, joint by joint,
until its far end touched the shore of the lake. The
same magic command would make the bridge return to its
former position. Of course the bridge could not be used
unless the island was on the surface of the water.”

“But how do you suppose Coo-ee-oh managed to sink the
island, and make it rise again?” inquired Glinda.

This the Adepts could not yet explain. As nothing
more could be learned from the basement they mounted
the steps to the Queen’s private suite again, and Ozma
showed them to a special room where Coo-ee-oh kept her
magical instruments and performed all her arts of
witchcraft.

 

Leave a Reply