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The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

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Chapter VI

The Cowardly Lion

All this time Dorothy and her companions had been walking through the thick woods. The road was still paved with yellow brick, but these were much covered by dried branches and dead leaves from the trees, and the walking was not at all good.

There were few birds in this part of the forest, for birds love the open country where there is plenty of sunshine. But now and then there came a deep growl from some wild animal hidden among the trees. These sounds made the little girl’s heart beat fast, for she did not know what made them; but Toto knew, and he walked close to Dorothy’s side, and did not even bark in return.

“How long will it be,” the child asked of the Tin Woodman, “before we are out of the forest?”

“I cannot tell,” was the answer, “for I have never been to the Emerald City. But my father went there once, when I was a boy, and he said it was a long journey through a dangerous country, although nearer to the city where Oz dwells the country is beautiful. But I am not afraid so long as I have my oil-can, and nothing can hurt the Scarecrow, while you bear upon your forehead the mark of the Good Witch’s kiss, and that will protect you from harm.”

“But Toto!” said the girl anxiously. “What will protect him?”

“We must protect him ourselves if he is in danger,” replied the Tin Woodman.

Just as he spoke there came from the forest a terrible roar, and the next moment a great Lion bounded into the road. With one blow of his paw he sent the Scarecrow spinning over and over to the edge of the road, and then he struck at the Tin Woodman with his sharp claws. But, to the Lion’s surprise, he could make no impression on the tin, although the Woodman fell over in the road and lay still.

Little Toto, now that he had an enemy to face, ran barking toward the Lion, and the great beast had opened his mouth to bite the dog, when Dorothy, fearing Toto would be killed, and heedless of danger, rushed forward and slapped the Lion upon his nose as hard as she could, while she cried out:

“Don’t you dare to bite Toto! You ought to be ashamed of yourself, a big beast like you, to bite a poor little dog!”

“I didn’t bite him,” said the Lion, as he rubbed his nose with his paw where Dorothy had hit it.

“No, but you tried to,” she retorted. “You are nothing but a big coward.”

“I know it,” said the Lion, hanging his head in shame. “I’ve always known it. But how can I help it?”

“I don’t know, I’m sure. To think of your striking a stuffed man, like the poor Scarecrow!”

“Is he stuffed?” asked the Lion in surprise, as he watched her pick up the Scarecrow and set him upon his feet, while she patted him into shape again.

“Of course he’s stuffed,” replied Dorothy, who was still angry.

“That’s why he went over so easily,” remarked the Lion. “It astonished me to see him whirl around so. Is the other one stuffed also?”

“No,” said Dorothy, “he’s made of tin.” And she helped the Woodman up again.

“That’s why he nearly blunted my claws,” said the Lion. “When they scratched against the tin it made a cold shiver run down my back. What is that little animal you are so tender of?”

“He is my dog, Toto,” answered Dorothy.

“Is he made of tin, or stuffed?” asked the Lion.

“Neither. He’s a—a—a meat dog,” said the girl.

“Oh! He’s a curious animal and seems remarkably small, now that I look at him. No one would think of biting such a little thing, except a coward like me,” continued the Lion sadly.

“What makes you a coward?” asked Dorothy, looking at the great beast in wonder, for he was as big as a small horse.

“It’s a mystery,” replied the Lion. “I suppose I was born that way. All the other animals in the forest naturally expect me to be brave, for the Lion is everywhere thought to be the King of Beasts. I learned that if I roared very loudly every living thing was frightened and got out of my way. Whenever I’ve met a man I’ve been awfully scared; but I just roared at him, and he has always run away as fast as he could go. If the elephants and the tigers and the bears had ever tried to fight me, I should have run myself—I’m such a coward; but just as soon as they hear me roar they all try to get away from me, and of course I let them go.”

“But that isn’t right. The King of Beasts shouldn’t be a coward,” said the Scarecrow.

“I know it,” returned the Lion, wiping a tear from his eye with the tip of his tail. “It is my great sorrow, and makes my life very unhappy. But whenever there is danger, my heart begins to beat fast.”

“Perhaps you have heart disease,” said the Tin Woodman.

“It may be,” said the Lion.

“If you have,” continued the Tin Woodman, “you ought to be glad, for it proves you have a heart. For my part, I have no heart; so I cannot have heart disease.”

“Perhaps,” said the Lion thoughtfully, “if I had no heart I should not be a coward.”

“Have you brains?” asked the Scarecrow.

“I suppose so. I’ve never looked to see,” replied the Lion.

“I am going to the Great Oz to ask him to give me some,” remarked the Scarecrow, “for my head is stuffed with straw.”

“And I am going to ask him to give me a heart,” said the Woodman.

“And I am going to ask him to send Toto and me back to Kansas,” added Dorothy.

“Do you think Oz could give me courage?” asked the Cowardly Lion.

“Just as easily as he could give me brains,” said the Scarecrow.

“Or give me a heart,” said the Tin Woodman.

“Or send me back to Kansas,” said Dorothy.

“Then, if you don’t mind, I’ll go with you,” said the Lion, “for my life is simply unbearable without a bit of courage.”

“You will be very welcome,” answered Dorothy, “for you will help to keep away the other wild beasts. It seems to me they must be more cowardly than you are if they allow you to scare them so easily.”

“They really are,” said the Lion, “but that doesn’t make me any braver, and as long as I know myself to be a coward I shall be unhappy.”

So once more the little company set off upon the journey, the Lion walking with stately strides at Dorothy’s side. Toto did not approve of this new comrade at first, for he could not forget how nearly he had been crushed between the Lion’s great jaws. But after a time he became more at ease, and presently Toto and the Cowardly Lion had grown to be good friends.

During the rest of that day there was no other adventure to mar the peace of their journey. Once, indeed, the Tin Woodman stepped upon a beetle that was crawling along the road, and killed the poor little thing. This made the Tin Woodman very unhappy, for he was always careful not to hurt any living creature; and as he walked along he wept several tears of sorrow and regret. These tears ran slowly down his face and over the hinges of his jaw, and there they rusted. When Dorothy presently asked him a question the Tin Woodman could not open his mouth, for his jaws were tightly rusted together. He became greatly frightened at this and made many motions to Dorothy to relieve him, but she could not understand. The Lion was also puzzled to know what was wrong. But the Scarecrow seized the oil-can from Dorothy’s basket and oiled the Woodman’s jaws, so that after a few moments he could talk as well as before.

“This will serve me a lesson,” said he, “to look where I step. For if I should kill another bug or beetle I should surely cry again, and crying rusts my jaws so that I cannot speak.”

Thereafter he walked very carefully, with his eyes on the road, and when he saw a tiny ant toiling by he would step over it, so as not to harm it. The Tin Woodman knew very well he had no heart, and therefore he took great care never to be cruel or unkind to anything.

“You people with hearts,” he said, “have something to guide you, and need never do wrong; but I have no heart, and so I must be very careful. When Oz gives me a heart of course I needn’t mind so much.”


Chapter VII

The Journey to the Great Oz

They were obliged to camp out that night under a large tree in the forest, for there were no houses near. The tree made a good, thick covering to protect them from the dew, and the Tin Woodman chopped a great pile of wood with his axe and Dorothy built a splendid fire that warmed her and made her feel less lonely. She and Toto ate the last of their bread, and now she did not know what they would do for breakfast.

“If you wish,” said the Lion, “I will go into the forest and kill a deer for you. You can roast it by the fire, since your tastes are so peculiar that you prefer cooked food, and then you will have a very good breakfast.”

“Don’t! Please don’t,” begged the Tin Woodman. “I should certainly weep if you killed a poor deer, and then my jaws would rust again.”

But the Lion went away into the forest and found his own supper, and no one ever knew what it was, for he didn’t mention it. And the Scarecrow found a tree full of nuts and filled Dorothy’s basket with them, so that she would not be hungry for a long time. She thought this was very kind and thoughtful of the Scarecrow, but she laughed heartily at the awkward way in which the poor creature picked up the nuts. His padded hands were so clumsy and the nuts were so small that he dropped almost as many as he put in the basket. But the Scarecrow did not mind how long it took him to fill the basket, for it enabled him to keep away from the fire, as he feared a spark might get into his straw and burn him up. So he kept a good distance away from the flames, and only came near to cover Dorothy with dry leaves when she lay down to sleep. These kept her very snug and warm, and she slept soundly until morning.

When it was daylight, the girl bathed her face in a little rippling brook, and soon after they all started toward the Emerald City.

This was to be an eventful day for the travelers. They had hardly been walking an hour when they saw before them a great ditch that crossed the road and divided the forest as far as they could see on either side. It was a very wide ditch, and when they crept up to the edge and looked into it they could see it was also very deep, and there were many big, jagged rocks at the bottom. The sides were so steep that none of them could climb down, and for a moment it seemed that their journey must end.

“What shall we do?” asked Dorothy despairingly.

“I haven’t the faintest idea,” said the Tin Woodman, and the Lion shook his shaggy mane and looked thoughtful.

But the Scarecrow said, “We cannot fly, that is certain. Neither can we climb down into this great ditch. Therefore, if we cannot jump over it, we must stop where we are.”

“I think I could jump over it,” said the Cowardly Lion, after measuring the distance carefully in his mind.

“Then we are all right,” answered the Scarecrow, “for you can carry us all over on your back, one at a time.”

“Well, I’ll try it,” said the Lion. “Who will go first?”

“I will,” declared the Scarecrow, “for, if you found that you could not jump over the gulf, Dorothy would be killed, or the Tin Woodman badly dented on the rocks below. But if I am on your back it will not matter so much, for the fall would not hurt me at all.”

“I am terribly afraid of falling, myself,” said the Cowardly Lion, “but I suppose there is nothing to do but try it. So get on my back and we will make the attempt.”

The Scarecrow sat upon the Lion’s back, and the big beast walked to the edge of the gulf and crouched down.

“Why don’t you run and jump?” asked the Scarecrow.

“Because that isn’t the way we Lions do these things,” he replied. Then giving a great spring, he shot through the air and landed safely on the other side. They were all greatly pleased to see how easily he did it, and after the Scarecrow had got down from his back the Lion sprang across the ditch again.

Dorothy thought she would go next; so she took Toto in her arms and climbed on the Lion’s back, holding tightly to his mane with one hand. The next moment it seemed as if she were flying through the air; and then, before she had time to think about it, she was safe on the other side. The Lion went back a third time and got the Tin Woodman, and then they all sat down for a few moments to give the beast a chance to rest, for his great leaps had made his breath short, and he panted like a big dog that has been running too long.

They found the forest very thick on this side, and it looked dark and gloomy. After the Lion had rested they started along the road of yellow brick, silently wondering, each in his own mind, if ever they would come to the end of the woods and reach the bright sunshine again. To add to their discomfort, they soon heard strange noises in the depths of the forest, and the Lion whispered to them that it was in this part of the country that the Kalidahs lived.

“What are the Kalidahs?” asked the girl.

“They are monstrous beasts with bodies like bears and heads like tigers,” replied the Lion, “and with claws so long and sharp that they could tear me in two as easily as I could kill Toto. I’m terribly afraid of the Kalidahs.”

“I’m not surprised that you are,” returned Dorothy. “They must be dreadful beasts.”

The Lion was about to reply when suddenly they came to another gulf across the road. But this one was so broad and deep that the Lion knew at once he could not leap across it.

So they sat down to consider what they should do, and after serious thought the Scarecrow said:

“Here is a great tree, standing close to the ditch. If the Tin Woodman can chop it down, so that it will fall to the other side, we can walk across it easily.”

“That is a first-rate idea,” said the Lion. “One would almost suspect you had brains in your head, instead of straw.”

The Woodman set to work at once, and so sharp was his axe that the tree was soon chopped nearly through. Then the Lion put his strong front legs against the tree and pushed with all his might, and slowly the big tree tipped and fell with a crash across the ditch, with its top branches on the other side.

They had just started to cross this queer bridge when a sharp growl made them all look up, and to their horror they saw running toward them two great beasts with bodies like bears and heads like tigers.

“They are the Kalidahs!” said the Cowardly Lion, beginning to tremble.

“Quick!” cried the Scarecrow. “Let us cross over.”

So Dorothy went first, holding Toto in her arms, the Tin Woodman followed, and the Scarecrow came next. The Lion, although he was certainly afraid, turned to face the Kalidahs, and then he gave so loud and terrible a roar that Dorothy screamed and the Scarecrow fell over backward, while even the fierce beasts stopped short and looked at him in surprise.

But, seeing they were bigger than the Lion, and remembering that there were two of them and only one of him, the Kalidahs again rushed forward, and the Lion crossed over the tree and turned to see what they would do next. Without stopping an instant the fierce beasts also began to cross the tree. And the Lion said to Dorothy:

“We are lost, for they will surely tear us to pieces with their sharp claws. But stand close behind me, and I will fight them as long as I am alive.”

“Wait a minute!” called the Scarecrow. He had been thinking what was best to be done, and now he asked the Woodman to chop away the end of the tree that rested on their side of the ditch. The Tin Woodman began to use his axe at once, and, just as the two Kalidahs were nearly across, the tree fell with a crash into the gulf, carrying the ugly, snarling brutes with it, and both were dashed to pieces on the sharp rocks at the bottom.

“Well,” said the Cowardly Lion, drawing a long breath of relief, “I see we are going to live a little while longer, and I am glad of it, for it must be a very uncomfortable thing not to be alive. Those creatures frightened me so badly that my heart is beating yet.”

“Ah,” said the Tin Woodman sadly, “I wish I had a heart to beat.”

This adventure made the travelers more anxious than ever to get out of the forest, and they walked so fast that Dorothy became tired, and had to ride on the Lion’s back. To their great joy the trees became thinner the farther they advanced, and in the afternoon they suddenly came upon a broad river, flowing swiftly just before them. On the other side of the water they could see the road of yellow brick running through a beautiful country, with green meadows dotted with bright flowers and all the road bordered with trees hanging full of delicious fruits. They were greatly pleased to see this delightful country before them.

“How shall we cross the river?” asked Dorothy.

“That is easily done,” replied the Scarecrow. “The Tin Woodman must build us a raft, so we can float to the other side.”

So the Woodman took his axe and began to chop down small trees to make a raft, and while he was busy at this the Scarecrow found on the riverbank a tree full of fine fruit. This pleased Dorothy, who had eaten nothing but nuts all day, and she made a hearty meal of the ripe fruit.

But it takes time to make a raft, even when one is as industrious and untiring as the Tin Woodman, and when night came the work was not done. So they found a cozy place under the trees where they slept well until the morning; and Dorothy dreamed of the Emerald City, and of the good Wizard Oz, who would soon send her back to her own home again.


Chapter VIII

The Deadly Poppy Field

Our little party of travelers awakened the next morning refreshed and full of hope, and Dorothy breakfasted like a princess off peaches and plums from the trees beside the river. Behind them was the dark forest they had passed safely through, although they had suffered many discouragements; but before them was a lovely, sunny country that seemed to beckon them on to the Emerald City.

To be sure, the broad river now cut them off from this beautiful land. But the raft was nearly done, and after the Tin Woodman had cut a few more logs and fastened them together with wooden pins, they were ready to start. Dorothy sat down in the middle of the raft and held Toto in her arms. When the Cowardly Lion stepped upon the raft it tipped badly, for he was big and heavy; but the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman stood upon the other end to steady it, and they had long poles in their hands to push the raft through the water.

They got along quite well at first, but when they reached the middle of the river the swift current swept the raft downstream, farther and farther away from the road of yellow brick. And the water grew so deep that the long poles would not touch the bottom.

“This is bad,” said the Tin Woodman, “for if we cannot get to the land we shall be carried into the country of the Wicked Witch of the West, and she will enchant us and make us her slaves.”

“And then I should get no brains,” said the Scarecrow.

“And I should get no courage,” said the Cowardly Lion.

“And I should get no heart,” said the Tin Woodman.

“And I should never get back to Kansas,” said Dorothy.

“We must certainly get to the Emerald City if we can,” the Scarecrow continued, and he pushed so hard on his long pole that it stuck fast in the mud at the bottom of the river. Then, before he could pull it out again—or let go—the raft was swept away, and the poor Scarecrow was left clinging to the pole in the middle of the river.

“Good-bye!” he called after them, and they were very sorry to leave him. Indeed, the Tin Woodman began to cry, but fortunately remembered that he might rust, and so dried his tears on Dorothy’s apron.

Of course this was a bad thing for the Scarecrow.

“I am now worse off than when I first met Dorothy,” he thought. “Then, I was stuck on a pole in a cornfield, where I could make-believe scare the crows, at any rate. But surely there is no use for a Scarecrow stuck on a pole in the middle of a river. I am afraid I shall never have any brains, after all!”

Down the stream the raft floated, and the poor Scarecrow was left far behind. Then the Lion said:

“Something must be done to save us. I think I can swim to the shore and pull the raft after me, if you will only hold fast to the tip of my tail.”

So he sprang into the water, and the Tin Woodman caught fast hold of his tail. Then the Lion began to swim with all his might toward the shore. It was hard work, although he was so big; but by and by they were drawn out of the current, and then Dorothy took the Tin Woodman’s long pole and helped push the raft to the land.

They were all tired out when they reached the shore at last and stepped off upon the pretty green grass, and they also knew that the stream had carried them a long way past the road of yellow brick that led to the Emerald City.

“What shall we do now?” asked the Tin Woodman, as the Lion lay down on the grass to let the sun dry him.

“We must get back to the road, in some way,” said Dorothy.

“The best plan will be to walk along the riverbank until we come to the road again,” remarked the Lion.

So, when they were rested, Dorothy picked up her basket and they started along the grassy bank, to the road from which the river had carried them. It was a lovely country, with plenty of flowers and fruit trees and sunshine to cheer them, and had they not felt so sorry for the poor Scarecrow, they could have been very happy.

They walked along as fast as they could, Dorothy only stopping once to pick a beautiful flower; and after a time the Tin Woodman cried out: “Look!”

Then they all looked at the river and saw the Scarecrow perched upon his pole in the middle of the water, looking very lonely and sad.

“What can we do to save him?” asked Dorothy.

The Lion and the Woodman both shook their heads, for they did not know. So they sat down upon the bank and gazed wistfully at the Scarecrow until a Stork flew by, who, upon seeing them, stopped to rest at the water’s edge.

“Who are you and where are you going?” asked the Stork.

“I am Dorothy,” answered the girl, “and these are my friends, the Tin Woodman and the Cowardly Lion; and we are going to the Emerald City.”

“This isn’t the road,” said the Stork, as she twisted her long neck and looked sharply at the queer party.

“I know it,” returned Dorothy, “but we have lost the Scarecrow, and are wondering how we shall get him again.”

“Where is he?” asked the Stork.

“Over there in the river,” answered the little girl.

“If he wasn’t so big and heavy I would get him for you,” remarked the Stork.

“He isn’t heavy a bit,” said Dorothy eagerly, “for he is stuffed with straw; and if you will bring him back to us, we shall thank you ever and ever so much.”

“Well, I’ll try,” said the Stork, “but if I find he is too heavy to carry I shall have to drop him in the river again.”

So the big bird flew into the air and over the water till she came to where the Scarecrow was perched upon his pole. Then the Stork with her great claws grabbed the Scarecrow by the arm and carried him up into the air and back to the bank, where Dorothy and the Lion and the Tin Woodman and Toto were sitting.

When the Scarecrow found himself among his friends again, he was so happy that he hugged them all, even the Lion and Toto; and as they walked along he sang “Tol-de-ri-de-oh!” at every step, he felt so gay.

“I was afraid I should have to stay in the river forever,” he said, “but the kind Stork saved me, and if I ever get any brains I shall find the Stork again and do her some kindness in return.”

“That’s all right,” said the Stork, who was flying along beside them. “I always like to help anyone in trouble. But I must go now, for my babies are waiting in the nest for me. I hope you will find the Emerald City and that Oz will help you.”

“Thank you,” replied Dorothy, and then the kind Stork flew into the air and was soon out of sight.

They walked along listening to the singing of the brightly colored birds and looking at the lovely flowers which now became so thick that the ground was carpeted with them. There were big yellow and white and blue and purple blossoms, besides great clusters of scarlet poppies, which were so brilliant in color they almost dazzled Dorothy’s eyes.

“Aren’t they beautiful?” the girl asked, as she breathed in the spicy scent of the bright flowers.

“I suppose so,” answered the Scarecrow. “When I have brains, I shall probably like them better.”

“If I only had a heart, I should love them,” added the Tin Woodman.

“I always did like flowers,” said the Lion. “They seem so helpless and frail. But there are none in the forest so bright as these.”

They now came upon more and more of the big scarlet poppies, and fewer and fewer of the other flowers; and soon they found themselves in the midst of a great meadow of poppies. Now it is well known that when there are many of these flowers together their odor is so powerful that anyone who breathes it falls asleep, and if the sleeper is not carried away from the scent of the flowers, he sleeps on and on forever. But Dorothy did not know this, nor could she get away from the bright red flowers that were everywhere about; so presently her eyes grew heavy and she felt she must sit down to rest and to sleep.

But the Tin Woodman would not let her do this.

“We must hurry and get back to the road of yellow brick before dark,” he said; and the Scarecrow agreed with him. So they kept walking until Dorothy could stand no longer. Her eyes closed in spite of herself and she forgot where she was and fell among the poppies, fast asleep.

“What shall we do?” asked the Tin Woodman.

“If we leave her here she will die,” said the Lion. “The smell of the flowers is killing us all. I myself can scarcely keep my eyes open, and the dog is asleep already.”

It was true; Toto had fallen down beside his little mistress. But the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman, not being made of flesh, were not troubled by the scent of the flowers.

“Run fast,” said the Scarecrow to the Lion, “and get out of this deadly flower bed as soon as you can. We will bring the little girl with us, but if you should fall asleep you are too big to be carried.”

So the Lion aroused himself and bounded forward as fast as he could go. In a moment he was out of sight.

“Let us make a chair with our hands and carry her,” said the Scarecrow. So they picked up Toto and put the dog in Dorothy’s lap, and then they made a chair with their hands for the seat and their arms for the arms and carried the sleeping girl between them through the flowers.

On and on they walked, and it seemed that the great carpet of deadly flowers that surrounded them would never end. They followed the bend of the river, and at last came upon their friend the Lion, lying fast asleep among the poppies. The flowers had been too strong for the huge beast and he had given up at last, and fallen only a short distance from the end of the poppy bed, where the sweet grass spread in beautiful green fields before them.

“We can do nothing for him,” said the Tin Woodman, sadly; “for he is much too heavy to lift. We must leave him here to sleep on forever, and perhaps he will dream that he has found courage at last.”

“I’m sorry,” said the Scarecrow. “The Lion was a very good comrade for one so cowardly. But let us go on.”

They carried the sleeping girl to a pretty spot beside the river, far enough from the poppy field to prevent her breathing any more of the poison of the flowers, and here they laid her gently on the soft grass and waited for the fresh breeze to waken her.


Chapter IX

The Queen of the Field Mice

“We cannot be far from the road of yellow brick, now,” remarked the Scarecrow, as he stood beside the girl, “for we have come nearly as far as the river carried us away.”

The Tin Woodman was about to reply when he heard a low growl, and turning his head (which worked beautifully on hinges) he saw a strange beast come bounding over the grass toward them. It was, indeed, a great yellow Wildcat, and the Woodman thought it must be chasing something, for its ears were lying close to its head and its mouth was wide open, showing two rows of ugly teeth, while its red eyes glowed like balls of fire. As it came nearer the Tin Woodman saw that running before the beast was a little gray field mouse, and although he had no heart he knew it was wrong for the Wildcat to try to kill such a pretty, harmless creature.

So the Woodman raised his axe, and as the Wildcat ran by he gave it a quick blow that cut the beast’s head clean off from its body, and it rolled over at his feet in two pieces.

The field mouse, now that it was freed from its enemy, stopped short; and coming slowly up to the Woodman it said, in a squeaky little voice:

“Oh, thank you! Thank you ever so much for saving my life.”

“Don’t speak of it, I beg of you,” replied the Woodman. “I have no heart, you know, so I am careful to help all those who may need a friend, even if it happens to be only a mouse.”

“Only a mouse!” cried the little animal, indignantly. “Why, I am a Queen—the Queen of all the Field Mice!”

“Oh, indeed,” said the Woodman, making a bow.

“Therefore you have done a great deed, as well as a brave one, in saving my life,” added the Queen.

At that moment several mice were seen running up as fast as their little legs could carry them, and when they saw their Queen they exclaimed:

“Oh, your Majesty, we thought you would be killed! How did you manage to escape the great Wildcat?” They all bowed so low to the little Queen that they almost stood upon their heads.

“This funny tin man,” she answered, “killed the Wildcat and saved my life. So hereafter you must all serve him, and obey his slightest wish.”

“We will!” cried all the mice, in a shrill chorus. And then they scampered in all directions, for Toto had awakened from his sleep, and seeing all these mice around him he gave one bark of delight and jumped right into the middle of the group. Toto had always loved to chase mice when he lived in Kansas, and he saw no harm in it.

But the Tin Woodman caught the dog in his arms and held him tight, while he called to the mice, “Come back! Come back! Toto shall not hurt you.”

At this the Queen of the Mice stuck her head out from underneath a clump of grass and asked, in a timid voice, “Are you sure he will not bite us?”

“I will not let him,” said the Woodman; “so do not be afraid.”

One by one the mice came creeping back, and Toto did not bark again, although he tried to get out of the Woodman’s arms, and would have bitten him had he not known very well he was made of tin. Finally one of the biggest mice spoke.

“Is there anything we can do,” it asked, “to repay you for saving the life of our Queen?”

“Nothing that I know of,” answered the Woodman; but the Scarecrow, who had been trying to think, but could not because his head was stuffed with straw, said, quickly, “Oh, yes; you can save our friend, the Cowardly Lion, who is asleep in the poppy bed.”

“A Lion!” cried the little Queen. “Why, he would eat us all up.”

“Oh, no,” declared the Scarecrow; “this Lion is a coward.”

“Really?” asked the Mouse.

“He says so himself,” answered the Scarecrow, “and he would never hurt anyone who is our friend. If you will help us to save him I promise that he shall treat you all with kindness.”

“Very well,” said the Queen, “we trust you. But what shall we do?”

“Are there many of these mice which call you Queen and are willing to obey you?”

“Oh, yes; there are thousands,” she replied.

“Then send for them all to come here as soon as possible, and let each one bring a long piece of string.”

The Queen turned to the mice that attended her and told them to go at once and get all her people. As soon as they heard her orders they ran away in every direction as fast as possible.

“Now,” said the Scarecrow to the Tin Woodman, “you must go to those trees by the riverside and make a truck that will carry the Lion.”

So the Woodman went at once to the trees and began to work; and he soon made a truck out of the limbs of trees, from which he chopped away all the leaves and branches. He fastened it together with wooden pegs and made the four wheels out of short pieces of a big tree trunk. So fast and so well did he work that by the time the mice began to arrive the truck was all ready for them.

They came from all directions, and there were thousands of them: big mice and little mice and middle-sized mice; and each one brought a piece of string in his mouth. It was about this time that Dorothy woke from her long sleep and opened her eyes. She was greatly astonished to find herself lying upon the grass, with thousands of mice standing around and looking at her timidly. But the Scarecrow told her about everything, and turning to the dignified little Mouse, he said:

“Permit me to introduce to you her Majesty, the Queen.”

Dorothy nodded gravely and the Queen made a curtsy, after which she became quite friendly with the little girl.

The Scarecrow and the Woodman now began to fasten the mice to the truck, using the strings they had brought. One end of a string was tied around the neck of each mouse and the other end to the truck. Of course the truck was a thousand times bigger than any of the mice who were to draw it; but when all the mice had been harnessed, they were able to pull it quite easily. Even the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman could sit on it, and were drawn swiftly by their queer little horses to the place where the Lion lay asleep.

After a great deal of hard work, for the Lion was heavy, they managed to get him up on the truck. Then the Queen hurriedly gave her people the order to start, for she feared if the mice stayed among the poppies too long they also would fall asleep.

At first the little creatures, many though they were, could hardly stir the heavily loaded truck; but the Woodman and the Scarecrow both pushed from behind, and they got along better. Soon they rolled the Lion out of the poppy bed to the green fields, where he could breathe the sweet, fresh air again, instead of the poisonous scent of the flowers.

Dorothy came to meet them and thanked the little mice warmly for saving her companion from death. She had grown so fond of the big Lion she was glad he had been rescued.

Then the mice were unharnessed from the truck and scampered away through the grass to their homes. The Queen of the Mice was the last to leave.

“If ever you need us again,” she said, “come out into the field and call, and we shall hear you and come to your assistance. Good-bye!”

“Good-bye!” they all answered, and away the Queen ran, while Dorothy held Toto tightly lest he should run after her and frighten her.

After this they sat down beside the Lion until he should awaken; and the Scarecrow brought Dorothy some fruit from a tree near by, which she ate for her dinner.


Chapter X

The Guardian of the Gate

It was some time before the Cowardly Lion awakened, for he had lain among the poppies a long while, breathing in their deadly fragrance; but when he did open his eyes and roll off the truck he was very glad to find himself still alive.

“I ran as fast as I could,” he said, sitting down and yawning, “but the flowers were too strong for me. How did you get me out?”

Then they told him of the field mice, and how they had generously saved him from death; and the Cowardly Lion laughed, and said:

“I have always thought myself very big and terrible; yet such little things as flowers came near to killing me, and such small animals as mice have saved my life. How strange it all is! But, comrades, what shall we do now?”

“We must journey on until we find the road of yellow brick again,” said Dorothy, “and then we can keep on to the Emerald City.”

So, the Lion being fully refreshed, and feeling quite himself again, they all started upon the journey, greatly enjoying the walk through the soft, fresh grass; and it was not long before they reached the road of yellow brick and turned again toward the Emerald City where the Great Oz dwelt.

The road was smooth and well paved, now, and the country about was beautiful, so that the travelers rejoiced in leaving the forest far behind, and with it the many dangers they had met in its gloomy shades. Once more they could see fences built beside the road; but these were painted green, and when they came to a small house, in which a farmer evidently lived, that also was painted green. They passed by several of these houses during the afternoon, and sometimes people came to the doors and looked at them as if they would like to ask questions; but no one came near them nor spoke to them because of the great Lion, of which they were very much afraid. The people were all dressed in clothing of a lovely emerald-green color and wore peaked hats like those of the Munchkins.

“This must be the Land of Oz,” said Dorothy, “and we are surely getting near the Emerald City.”

“Yes,” answered the Scarecrow. “Everything is green here, while in the country of the Munchkins blue was the favorite color. But the people do not seem to be as friendly as the Munchkins, and I’m afraid we shall be unable to find a place to pass the night.”

“I should like something to eat besides fruit,” said the girl, “and I’m sure Toto is nearly starved. Let us stop at the next house and talk to the people.”

So, when they came to a good-sized farmhouse, Dorothy walked boldly up to the door and knocked.

A woman opened it just far enough to look out, and said, “What do you want, child, and why is that great Lion with you?”

“We wish to pass the night with you, if you will allow us,” answered Dorothy; “and the Lion is my friend and comrade, and would not hurt you for the world.”

“Is he tame?” asked the woman, opening the door a little wider.

“Oh, yes,” said the girl, “and he is a great coward, too. He will be more afraid of you than you are of him.”

“Well,” said the woman, after thinking it over and taking another peep at the Lion, “if that is the case you may come in, and I will give you some supper and a place to sleep.”

So they all entered the house, where there were, besides the woman, two children and a man. The man had hurt his leg, and was lying on the couch in a corner. They seemed greatly surprised to see so strange a company, and while the woman was busy laying the table the man asked:

“Where are you all going?”

“To the Emerald City,” said Dorothy, “to see the Great Oz.”

“Oh, indeed!” exclaimed the man. “Are you sure that Oz will see you?”

“Why not?” she replied.

“Why, it is said that he never lets anyone come into his presence. I have been to the Emerald City many times, and it is a beautiful and wonderful place; but I have never been permitted to see the Great Oz, nor do I know of any living person who has seen him.”

“Does he never go out?” asked the Scarecrow.

“Never. He sits day after day in the great Throne Room of his Palace, and even those who wait upon him do not see him face to face.”

“What is he like?” asked the girl.

“That is hard to tell,” said the man thoughtfully. “You see, Oz is a Great Wizard, and can take on any form he wishes. So that some say he looks like a bird; and some say he looks like an elephant; and some say he looks like a cat. To others he appears as a beautiful fairy, or a brownie, or in any other form that pleases him. But who the real Oz is, when he is in his own form, no living person can tell.”

“That is very strange,” said Dorothy, “but we must try, in some way, to see him, or we shall have made our journey for nothing.”

“Why do you wish to see the terrible Oz?” asked the man.

“I want him to give me some brains,” said the Scarecrow eagerly.

“Oh, Oz could do that easily enough,” declared the man. “He has more brains than he needs.”

“And I want him to give me a heart,” said the Tin Woodman.

“That will not trouble him,” continued the man, “for Oz has a large collection of hearts, of all sizes and shapes.”

“And I want him to give me courage,” said the Cowardly Lion.

“Oz keeps a great pot of courage in his Throne Room,” said the man, “which he has covered with a golden plate, to keep it from running over. He will be glad to give you some.”

“And I want him to send me back to Kansas,” said Dorothy.

“Where is Kansas?” asked the man, with surprise.

“I don’t know,” replied Dorothy sorrowfully, “but it is my home, and I’m sure it’s somewhere.”

“Very likely. Well, Oz can do anything; so I suppose he will find Kansas for you. But first you must get to see him, and that will be a hard task; for the Great Wizard does not like to see anyone, and he usually has his own way. But what do YOU want?” he continued, speaking to Toto. Toto only wagged his tail; for, strange to say, he could not speak.

The woman now called to them that supper was ready, so they gathered around the table and Dorothy ate some delicious porridge and a dish of scrambled eggs and a plate of nice white bread, and enjoyed her meal. The Lion ate some of the porridge, but did not care for it, saying it was made from oats and oats were food for horses, not for lions. The Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman ate nothing at all. Toto ate a little of everything, and was glad to get a good supper again.

The woman now gave Dorothy a bed to sleep in, and Toto lay down beside her, while the Lion guarded the door of her room so she might not be disturbed. The Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman stood up in a corner and kept quiet all night, although of course they could not sleep.

The next morning, as soon as the sun was up, they started on their way, and soon saw a beautiful green glow in the sky just before them.

“That must be the Emerald City,” said Dorothy.

As they walked on, the green glow became brighter and brighter, and it seemed that at last they were nearing the end of their travels. Yet it was afternoon before they came to the great wall that surrounded the City. It was high and thick and of a bright green color.

In front of them, and at the end of the road of yellow brick, was a big gate, all studded with emeralds that glittered so in the sun that even the painted eyes of the Scarecrow were dazzled by their brilliancy.

There was a bell beside the gate, and Dorothy pushed the button and heard a silvery tinkle sound within. Then the big gate swung slowly open, and they all passed through and found themselves in a high arched room, the walls of which glistened with countless emeralds.

Before them stood a little man about the same size as the Munchkins. He was clothed all in green, from his head to his feet, and even his skin was of a greenish tint. At his side was a large green box.

When he saw Dorothy and her companions the man asked, “What do you wish in the Emerald City?”

“We came here to see the Great Oz,” said Dorothy.

The man was so surprised at this answer that he sat down to think it over.

“It has been many years since anyone asked me to see Oz,” he said, shaking his head in perplexity. “He is powerful and terrible, and if you come on an idle or foolish errand to bother the wise reflections of the Great Wizard, he might be angry and destroy you all in an instant.”

“But it is not a foolish errand, nor an idle one,” replied the Scarecrow; “it is important. And we have been told that Oz is a good Wizard.”

“So he is,” said the green man, “and he rules the Emerald City wisely and well. But to those who are not honest, or who approach him from curiosity, he is most terrible, and few have ever dared ask to see his face. I am the Guardian of the Gates, and since you demand to see the Great Oz I must take you to his Palace. But first you must put on the spectacles.”

“Why?” asked Dorothy.

“Because if you did not wear spectacles the brightness and glory of the Emerald City would blind you. Even those who live in the City must wear spectacles night and day. They are all locked on, for Oz so ordered it when the City was first built, and I have the only key that will unlock them.”

He opened the big box, and Dorothy saw that it was filled with spectacles of every size and shape. All of them had green glasses in them. The Guardian of the Gates found a pair that would just fit Dorothy and put them over her eyes. There were two golden bands fastened to them that passed around the back of her head, where they were locked together by a little key that was at the end of a chain the Guardian of the Gates wore around his neck. When they were on, Dorothy could not take them off had she wished, but of course she did not wish to be blinded by the glare of the Emerald City, so she said nothing.

Then the green man fitted spectacles for the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman and the Lion, and even on little Toto; and all were locked fast with the key.

Then the Guardian of the Gates put on his own glasses and told them he was ready to show them to the Palace. Taking a big golden key from a peg on the wall, he opened another gate, and they all followed him through the portal into the streets of the Emerald City.