Friday, October 5, 2007



To Louis F. Gottschalk,
whose sweet and dainty melodies
breathe the true spirit of fairyland,
this book is affectionately dedicated
To My Readers
The very marked success of my last year's fairy
book, "The Patchwork Girl of Oz," convinces me
that my readers like the Oz stories "best of all," as
one little girl wrote me. So here, my dears, is a
new Oz story in which is introduced Ann Soforth,
the Queen of Oogaboo, whom Tik-Tok assisted
in conquering our old acquaintance, the Nome King.
It also tells of Betsy Bobbin and how, after many
adventures, she finally reached the marvelous
Land of Oz.
There is a play called "The Tik-Tok Man of Oz,"
but it is not like this story of "Tik-Tok of Oz,"
although some of the adventures recorded in this
book, as well as those in several other Oz books,
are included in the play. Those who have seen the
play and those who have read the other Oz books
will find in this story a lot of strange
characters and adventures that they have never
heard of before.
In the letters I receive from children there has
been an urgent appeal for me to write a story that
will take Trot and Cap'n Bill to the Land of Oz,
where they will meet Dorothy and Ozma. Also
they think Button-Bright ought to get acquainted
with Ojo the Lucky. As you know, I am obliged
to talk these matters over with Dorothy by means
of the "wireless," for that is the only way I can
communicate with the Land of Oz. When I asked
her about this idea, she replied: "Why, haven't you
heard?" I said "No." "Well," came the message over
the wireless, "I'll tell you all about it, by and
by, and then you can make a book of that story for
the children to read."
So, if Dorothy keeps her word and I am permitted
to write another Oz book, you will probably
discover how all these characters came together in
the famous Emerald City. Meantime, I want to tell
all my little friends--whose numbers are increasing
by many thousands every year--that I am very
grateful for the favor they have shown my books and
for the delightful little letters I am constantly
receiving. I am almost sure that I have as many friends
among the children of America as any story writer
alive; and this, of course, makes me very proud and
L. Frank Baum.
1 - Ann's Army
2 - Out of Oogaboo
3 - Magic Mystifies the Marchers
4 - Betsy Braves the Bellows
5 - The Roses Repulse the Refugees
6 - Shaggy Seeks His Stray Brother
7 - Polychrome's Pitiful Plight
8 - Tik-Tok Tackles a Tough Task
9 - Ruggedo's Rage is Rash and Reckless
10 - A Terrible Tumble Through a Tube
11 - The Famous Fellowship of Fairies
12 - The Lovely Lady of Light
13 - The Jinjin's Just Judgment
14 - The Long-Eared Hearer Learns by Listening
15 - The Dragon Defies Danger
16 - The Naughty Nome
17 - A Tragic Transformation
18 - A Clever Conquest
19 - King Kaliko
20 - Quox Quietly Quits
21 - A Bashful Brother
22 - Kindly Kisses
23 - Ruggedo Reforms
24 - Dorothy is Delighted
25 - The Land of Love
Chapter One
Ann's Army
"I won't!" cried Ann; "I won't sweep the floor. It
is beneath my dignity."
"Some one must sweep it," replied Ann's younger
sister, Salye; "else we shall soon be wading in
dust. And you are the eldest, and the head of the
"I'm Queen of Oogaboo," said Ann, proudly.
"But," she added with a sigh, "my kingdom is the
smallest and the poorest in all the Land of Oz."
This was quite true. Away up in the mountains,
in a far corner of the beautiful fairyland of Oz,
lies a small valley which is named Oogaboo, and in
this valley lived a few people who were usually
happy and contented and never cared to wander over
the mountain pass into the more settled parts of
the land. They knew that all of Oz, including
their own territory, was ruled by a beautiful
Princess named Ozma, who lived in the splendid
Emerald City; yet the simple folk of Oogaboo
never visited Ozma. They had a royal family of
their own--not especially to rule over them, but
just as a matter of pride. Ozma permitted the
various parts of her country to have their Kings
and Queens and Emperors and the like, but all were
ruled over by the lovely girl Queen of the Emerald
The King of Oogaboo used to be a man named
Jol Jemkiph Soforth, who for many years did
all the drudgery of deciding disputes and telling
his people when to plant cabbages and pickle
onions. But the King's wife had a sharp tongue
and small respect for the King, her husband;
therefore one night King Jol crept over the pass
into the Land of Oz and disappeared from
Oogaboo for good and all. The Queen waited
a few years for him to return and then started
in search of him, leaving her eldest daughter,
Ann Soforth, to act as Queen.
Now, Ann had not forgotten when her birthday
came, for that meant a party and feasting and
dancing, but she had quite forgotten how many
years the birthdays marked. In a land where people
live always, this is not considered a cause for
regret, so we may justly say that Queen Ann of
Oogaboo was old enough to make jelly--and let it go
at that.
But she didn't make jelly, or do any more of the
housework than she could help. She was an
ambitious woman and constantly resented the fact
that her kingdom was so tiny and her people so
stupid and unenterprising. Often she wondered what
had become of her father and mother, out beyond
the pass, in the wonderful Land of Oz, and the
fact that they did not return to Oogaboo led Ann
to suspect that they had found a better place to
live. So, when Salye refused to sweep the floor of
the living room in the palace, and Ann would not
sweep it, either, she said to her sister:
"I'm going away. This absurd Kingdom of Oogaboo
tires me."
"Go, if you want to," answered Salye; "but you
are very foolish to leave this place."
"Why?" asked Ann.
"Because in the Land of Oz, which is Ozma's
country, you will be a nobody, while here you
are a Queen."
"Oh, yes! Queen over eighteen men, twenty-seven
women and forty-four children!" returned Ann
"Well, there are certainly more people than that
in the great Land of Oz," laughed Salye. "Why
don't you raise an army and conquer them, and be
Queen of all Oz?" she asked, trying to taunt Ann
and so to anger her. Then she made a face at her
sister and went into the back yard to swing in the
Her jeering words, however, had given Queen Ann
an idea. She reflected that Oz was reported to be
a peaceful country and Ozma a mere girl who ruled
with gentleness to all and was obeyed because her
people loved her. Even in Oogaboo the story was
told that Ozma's sole army consisted of twentyseven
fine officers, who wore beautiful uniforms
but carried no weapons, because there was no one
to fight. Once there had been a private soldier,
besides the officers, but Ozma had made him a
Captain-General and taken away his gun for fear it
might accidentally hurt some one.
The more Ann thought about the matter the more
she was convinced it would be easy to conquer the
Land of Oz and set herself up as Ruler in Ozma's
place, if she but had an Army to do it with.
Afterward she could go out into the world and
conquer other lands, and then perhaps she could
find a way to the moon, and conquer that. She had
a warlike spirit that preferred trouble to
It all depended on an Army, Ann decided. She
carefully counted in her mind all the men of her
kingdom. Yes; there were exactly eighteen of them,
all told. That would not make a very big Army, but
by surprising Ozma's unarmed officers her men
might easily subdue them. "Gentle people are
always afraid of those that bluster," Ann told
herself. "I don't wish to shed any blood, for that
would shock my nerves and I might faint; but if we
threaten and flash our weapons I am sure the
people of Oz will fall upon their knees before me
and surrender."
This argument, which she repeated to herself
more than once, finally determined the Queen of
Oogaboo to undertake the audacious venture.
"Whatever happens," she reflected, "can make
me no more unhappy than my staying shut up
in this miserable valley and sweeping floors and
quarreling with Sister Salye; so I will venture
all, and win what I may."
That very day she started out to organize her
The first man she came to was Jo Apple, so
called because he had an apple orchard.
"Jo," said Ann, "I am going to conquer the
world, and I want you to join my Army."
"Don't ask me to do such a fool thing, for I
must politely refuse Your Majesty," said Jo
"I have no intention of asking you. I shall
command you, as Queen of Oogaboo, to join," said
"In that case, I suppose I must obey," the man
remarked, in a sad voice. "But I pray you to
consider that I am a very important citizen, and
for that reason am entitled to an office of high
"You shall be a General," promised Ann.
"With gold epaulets and a sword?" he asked.
"Of course," said the Queen.
Then she went to the next man, whose name was Jo
Bunn, as he owned an orchard where graham-buns and
wheat-buns, in great variety, both hot and cold,
grew on the trees.
"Jo," said Ann, "I am going to conquer the
world, and I command you to join my Army."
"Impossible!" he exclaimed. "The bun crop has to
be picked."
"Let your wife and children do the picking,"
said Ann.
"But I'm a man of great importance, Your
Majesty," he protested.
"For that reason you shall be one of my
Generals, and wear a cocked hat with gold
braid, and curl your mustaches and clank a long
sword," she promised.
So he consented, although sorely against his
will, and the Queen walked on to the next
cottage. Here lived Jo Cone, so called because
the trees in his orchard bore crops of excellent
ice-cream cones.
"Jo," said Ann, "I am going to conquer the
world, and you must join my Army."
"Excuse me, please," said Jo Cone. "I am a
bad fighter. My good wife conquered me years
ago, for she can fight better than I. Take her,
Your Majesty, instead of me, and I'll bless you
for the favor."
"This must be an army of men--fierce, ferocious
warriors," declared Ann, looking sternly upon the
mild little man.
"And you will leave my wife here in Oogaboo?" he
"Yes; and make you a General."
"I'll go," said Jo Cone, and Ann went on to
the cottage of Jo Clock, who had an orchard of
clock-trees. This man at first insisted that he
would not join the army, but Queen Ann's
promise to make him a General finally won his
"How many Generals are there in your army?"
he asked.
"Four, so far," replied Ann.
"And how big will the army be?" was his next
"I intend to make every one of the eighteen
men in Oogaboo join it," she said.
"Then four Generals are enough," announced
Jo Clock. "I advise you to make the rest of them
Ann tried to follow his advice. The next four
men she visited--who were Jo Plum, Jo Egg, Jo
Banjo and Jo Cheese, named after the trees in
their orchards--she made Colonels of her Army; but
the fifth one, Jo Nails, said Colonels and
Generals were getting to be altogether too common
in the Army of Oogaboo and he preferred to be a
Major. So Jo Nails, Jo Cake, Jo Ham and Jo
Stockings were all four made Majors, while the
next four--Jo Sandwich, Jo Padlocks, Jo Sundae and
Jo Buttons--were appointed Captains of the Army.
But now Queen Ann was in a quandary. There
remained but two other men in all Oogaboo,
and if she made these two Lieutenants, while
there were four Captains, four Majors, four
Colonels and four Generals, there was likely to
be jealousy in her army, and perhaps mutiny
and desertions.
One of these men, however, was Jo Candy, and he
would not go at all. No promises could tempt him,
nor could threats move him. He said he must remain
at home to harvest his crop of jackson-balls,
lemon-drops, bonbons and chocolate-creams. Also he
had large fields of crackerjack and buttered
pop corn to be mowed and threshed, and he was
determined not to disappoint the children of
Oogaboo by going away to conquer the world and so
let the candy crop spoil.
Finding Jo Candy so obstinate, Queen Ann
let him have his own way and continued her
journey to the house of the eighteenth and last
man in Oogaboo, who was a young fellow
named Jo Files. This Files had twelve trees
which bore steel files of various sorts; but also
he had nine book-trees, on which grew a choice
selection of story-books. In case you have never
seen books growing upon trees, I will explain
that those in Jo Files' orchard were enclosed
in broad green husks which, when fully ripe,
turned to a deep red color. Then the books were
picked and husked and were ready to read. If
they were picked too soon, the stories were found
to be confused and uninteresting and the spelling
bad. However, if allowed to ripen perfectly, the
stories were fine reading and the spelling and
grammar excellent.
Files freely gave his books to all who wanted
them, but the people of Oogaboo cared little for
books and so he had to read most of them himself,
before they spoiled. For, as you probably know, as
soon as the books were read the words disappeared
and the leaves withered and faded--which is the
worst fault of all books which grow upon trees.
When Queen Ann spoke to this young man Files,
who was both intelligent and ambitious, he said he
thought it would be great fun to conquer the
world. But he called her attention to the fact
that he was far superior to the other men of her
army. Therefore, he would not be one of her
Generals or Colonels or Majors or Captains, but
claimed the honor of being sole Private.
Ann did not like this idea at all.
"I hate to have a Private Soldier in my army,"
she said; "they're so common. I am told that
Princess Ozma once had a private soldier, but
she made him her Captain-General, which is
good evidence that the private was unnecessary."
"Ozma's army doesn't fight," returned Files;
"but your army must fight like fury in order to
conquer the world. I have read in my books that it
is always the private soldiers who do the
fighting, for no officer is ever brave enough to
face the foe. Also, it stands to reason that your
officers must have some one to command and to
issue their orders to; therefore I'll be the one.
I long to slash and slay the enemy and become a
hero. Then, when we return to Oogaboo, I'll take
all the marbles away from the children and melt
them up and make a marble statue of myself for all
to look upon and admire."
Ann was much pleased with Private Files. He
seemed indeed to be such a warrior as she needed
in her enterprise, and her hopes of success took
a sudden bound when Files told her he knew
where a gun-tree grew and would go there at
once and pick the ripest and biggest musket the
tree bore.
Chapter Two
Out of Oogaboo
Three days later the Grand Army of Oogaboo
assembled in the square in front of the royal
palace. The sixteen officers were attired in
gorgeous uniforms and carried sharp, glittering
swords. The Private had picked his gun and,
although it was not a very big weapon, Files tried
to look fierce and succeeded so well that all his
commanding officers were secretly afraid of him.
The women were there, protesting that Queen Ann
Soforth had no right to take their husbands and
fathers from them; but Ann commanded them to keep
silent, and that was the hardest order to obey
they had ever received.
The Queen appeared before her Army dressed in an
imposing uniform of green, covered with gold
braid. She wore a green soldier-cap with a purple
plume in it and looked so royal and dignified that
everyone in Oogaboo except the Army was glad she
was going. The Army was sorry she was not going
"Form ranks!" she cried in her shrill voice.
Salye leaned out of the palace window and
"I believe your Army can run better than it can
fight," she observed.
"Of course," replied General Bunn, proudly.
"We're not looking for trouble, you know, but for
plunder. The more plunder and the less fighting we
get, the better we shall like our work."
"For my part," said Files, "I prefer war and
carnage to anything. The only way to become
a hero is to conquer, and the story-books all say
that the easiest way to conquer is to fight."
"That's the idea, my brave man!" agreed Ann. "To
fight is to conquer and to conquer is to secure
plunder and to secure plunder is to become a hero.
With such noble determination to back me, the
world is mine! Good-bye, Salye. When we return we
shall be rich and famous. Come, Generals; let us
At this the Generals straightened up and threw
out their chests. Then they swung their glittering
swords in rapid circles and cried to the Colonels:
"For-ward March!"
Then the Colonels shouted to the Majors:
"For-ward March!" and the Majors yelled to the
Captains: "For-ward March!" and the Captains
screamed to the Private:
"For-ward March!"
So Files shouldered his gun and began to march,
and all the officers followed after him. Queen Ann
came last of all, rejoicing in her noble army and
wondering why she had not decided long ago to
conquer the world.
In this order the procession marched out of
Oogaboo and took the narrow mountain pass
which led into the lovely Fairyland of Oz.
Chapter Three
Magic Mystifies the Marchers
Princess Ozma was all unaware that the Army of
Oogaboo, led by their ambitious Queen, was
determined to conquer her Kingdom. The beautiful
girl Ruler of Oz was busy with the welfare of her
subjects and had no time to think of Ann Soforth
and her disloyal plans. But there was one who
constantly guarded the peace and happiness of the
Land of Oz and this was the Official Sorceress of
the Kingdom, Glinda the Good.
In her magnificent castle, which stands far
north of the Emerald City where Ozma holds her
court, Glinda owns a wonderful magic Record Book,
in which is printed every event that takes place
anywhere, just as soon as it happens.
The smallest things and the biggest things are
all recorded in this book. If a child stamps its
foot in anger, Glinda reads about it; if a city
burns down, Glinda finds the fact noted in her
The Sorceress always reads her Record Book every
day, and so it was she knew that Ann Soforth,
Queen of Oogaboo, had foolishly assembled an army
of sixteen officers and one private soldier, with
which she intended to invade and conquer the Land
of Oz.
There was no danger but that Ozma, supported by
the magic arts of Glinda the Good and the powerful
Wizard of Oz--both her firm friends--could easily
defeat a far more imposing army than Ann's; but it
would be a shame to have the peace of Oz
interrupted by any sort of quarreling or fighting.
So Glinda did not even mention the matter to Ozma,
or to anyone else. She merely went into a great
chamber of her castle, known as the Magic Room,
where she performed a magical ceremony which
caused the mountain pass that led from Oogaboo to
make several turns and twists. The result was that
when Ann and her army came to the end of the pass
they were not in the Land of Oz at all, but in an
adjoining territory that was quite distinct from
Ozma's domain and separated from Oz by an
invisible barrier.
As the Oogaboo people emerged into this country,
the pass they had traversed disappeared behind
them and it was not likely they would ever find
their way back into the valley of Oogaboo. They
were greatly puzzled, indeed, by their
surroundings and did not know which way to go.
None of them had ever visited Oz, so it took them
some time to discover they were not in Oz at all,
but in an unknown country.
"Never mind," said Ann, trying to conceal her
disappointment; "we have started out to conquer
the world, and here is part of it. In time, as we
pursue our victorious journey, we will doubtless
come to Oz; but, until we get there, we may as
well conquer whatever land we find ourselves in."
"Have we conquered this place, Your Majesty?"
anxiously inquired Major Cake.
"Most certainly," said Ann. "We have met no
people, as yet, but when we do, we will inform
them that they are our slaves."
"And afterward we will plunder them of all
their possessions," added General Apple.
"They may not possess anything," objected
Private Files; "but I hope they will fight us,
just the same. A peaceful conquest wouldn't be any
fun at all."
"Don't worry," said the Queen. "We can fight,
whether our foes do or not; and perhaps we would
find it more comfortable to have the enemy
surrender promptly."
It was a barren country and not very pleasant to
travel in. Moreover, there was little for them to
eat, and as the officers became hungry they became
fretful. Many would have deserted had they been
able to find their way home, but as the Oogaboo
people were now hopelessly lost in a strange
country they considered it more safe to keep
together than to separate.
Queen Ann's temper, never very agreeable, became
sharp and irritable as she and her army tramped
over the rocky roads without encountering either
people or plunder. She scolded her officers until
they became surly, and a few of them were disloyal
enough to ask her to hold her tongue. Others began
to reproach her for leading them into difficulties
and in the space of three unhappy days every man
was mourning for his orchard in the pretty valley
of Oogaboo.
Files, however, proved a different sort. The
more difficulties he encountered the more cheerful
he became, and the sighs of the officers were
answered by the merry whistle of the Private. His
pleasant disposition did much to encourage Queen
Ann and before long she consulted the Private
Soldier more often than she did his superiors.
It was on the third day of their pilgrimage
that they encountered their first adventure.
Toward evening the sky was suddenly darkened
and Major Nails exclaimed:
"A fog is coming toward us."
"I do not think it is a fog," replied Files,
looking with interest at the approaching cloud.
"It seems to me more like the breath of a Rak."
"What is a Rak?" asked Ann, looking about
"A terrible beast with a horrible appetite,"
answered the soldier, growing a little paler than
usual. "I have never seen a Rak, to be sure, but I
have read of them in the story-books that grew in
my orchard, and if this is indeed one of those
fearful monsters, we are not likely to conquer the
Hearing this, the officers became quite worried
and gathered closer about their soldier.
"What is the thing like?" asked one.
"The only picture of a Rak that I ever saw in a
book was rather blurred," said Files, "because the
book was not quite ripe when it was picked. But
the creature can fly in the air and run like a
deer and swim like a fish. Inside its body is a
glowing furnace of fire, and the Rak breathes in
air and breathes out smoke, which darkens the sky
for miles around, wherever it goes. It is bigger
than a hundred men and feeds on any living thing."
The officers now began to groan and to tremble,
but Files tried to cheer them, saying:
"It may not be a Rak, after all, that we see
approaching us, and you must not forget that we
people of Oogaboo, which is part of the fairyland
of Oz, cannot be killed."
"Nevertheless," said Captain Buttons, "if the
Rak catches us, and chews us up into small pieces,
and swallows us--what will happen then?"
"Then each small piece will still be alive,"
declared Files.
"I cannot see how that would help us," wailed
Colonel Banjo. "A hamburger steak is a hamburger
steak, whether it is alive or not!"
"I tell you, this may not be a Rak," persisted
Files. "We will know, when the cloud gets nearer,
whether it is the breath of a Rak or not. If it
has no smell at all, it is probably a fog; but if
it has an odor of salt and pepper, it is a Rak and
we must prepare for a desperate fight."
They all eyed the dark cloud fearfully. Before
long it reached the frightened group and began
to envelop them. Every nose sniffed the cloud--
and every one detected in it the odor of salt and
"The Rak!" shouted Private Files, and with a
howl of despair the sixteen officers fell to the
ground, writhing and moaning in anguish.
Queen Ann sat down upon a rock and faced the
cloud more bravely, although her heart was beating
fast. As for Files, he calmly loaded his gun
and stood ready to fight the foe, as a soldier
They were now in absolute darkness, for the
cloud which covered the sky and the setting sun
was black as ink. Then through the gloom appeared
two round, glowing balls of red, and Files at once
decided these must be the monster's eyes.
He raised his gun, took aim and fired.
There were several bullets in the gun, all
gathered from an excellent bullet-tree in Oogaboo,
and they were big and hard. They flew toward the
monster and struck it, and with a wild, weird cry
the Rak came fluttering down and its huge body
fell plump upon the forms of the sixteen officers,
who thereupon screamed louder than before.
"Badness me!" moaned the Rak. "See what
you've done with that dangerous gun of yours!"
"I can't see," replied Files, "for the cloud
formed by your breath darkens my sight!"
"Don't tell me it was an accident," continued
the Rak, reproachfully, as it still flapped its
wings in a helpless manner. "Don't claim you
didn't know the gun was loaded, I beg of you!"
"I don't intend to," replied Files. "Did the
bullets hurt you very badly?"
"One has broken my jaw, so that I can't open
my mouth. You will notice that my voice sounds
rather harsh and husky, because I have to talk
with my teeth set close together. Another bullet
broke my left wing, so that I can't fly; and still
another broke my right leg, so that I can't walk.
It was the most careless shot I ever heard of!"
"Can't you manage to lift your body off from
my commanding officers?" inquired Files. "From
their cries I'm afraid your great weight is
crushing them."
"I hope it is," growled the Rak. "I want to
crush them, if possible, for I have a bad
disposition. If only I could open my mouth, I'd
eat all of you, although my appetite is poorly
this warm weather."
With this the Rak began to roll its immense
body sidewise, so as to crush the officers more
easily; but in doing this it rolled completely off
from them and the entire sixteen scrambled to
their feet and made off as fast as they could run.
Private Files could not see them go but he
knew from the sound of their voices that they had
escaped, so he ceased to worry about them.
"Pardon me if I now bid you good-bye," he
said to the Rak. "The parting is caused by our
desire to continue our journey. If you die, do
not blame me, for I was obliged to shoot you
as a matter of self-protection."
"I shall not die," answered the monster, "for I
bear a charmed life. But I beg you not to leave
"Why not?" asked Files.
"Because my broken jaw will heal in about an
hour, and then I shall be able to eat you. My wing
will heal in a day and my leg will heal in a week,
when I shall be as well as ever. Having shot me,
and so caused me all this annoyance, it is only
fair and just that you remain here and allow me to
eat you as soon as I can open my jaws."
"I beg to differ with you," returned the soldier
firmly. "I have made an engagement with Queen
Ann of Oogaboo to help her conquer the world,
and I cannot break my word for the sake of being
eaten by a Rak."
"Oh; that's different," said the monster. "If
you've an engagement, don't let me detain you."
So Files felt around in the dark and grasped
the hand of the trembling Queen, whom he led
away from the flapping, sighing Rak. They
stumbled over the stones for a way but presently
began to see dimly the path ahead of them, as
they got farther and farther away from the
dreadful spot where the wounded monster lay.
By and by they reached a little hill and could
see the last rays of the sun flooding a pretty
valley beyond, for now they had passed beyond
the cloudy breath of the Rak. Here were huddled
the sixteen officers, still frightened and panting
from their run. They had halted only because
it was impossible for them to run any farther.
Queen Ann gave them a severe scolding for
their cowardice, at the same time praising Files
for his courage.
"We are wiser than he, however," muttered
General Clock, "for by running away we are
now able to assist Your Majesty in conquering
the world; whereas, had Files been eaten by the
Rak, he would have deserted your Army."
After a brief rest they descended into the
valley, and as soon as they were out of sight of
the Rak the spirits of the entire party rose
quickly. Just at dusk they came to a brook, on
the banks of which Queen Ann commanded
them to make camp for the night.
Each officer carried in his pocket a tiny white
tent. This, when placed upon the ground, quickly
grew in size until it was large enough to permit
the owner to enter it and sleep within its canvas
walls. Files was obliged to carry a knapsack, in
which was not only his own tent but an elaborate
pavilion for Queen Ann, besides a bed and chair
and a magic table. This table, when set upon the
ground in Ann's pavilion, became of large size,
and in a drawer of the table was contained the
Queen's supply of extra clothing, her manicure and
toilet articles and other necessary things. The
royal bed was the only one in the camp, the
officers and private sleeping in hammocks attached
to their tent poles.
There was also in the knapsack a flag bearing
the royal emblem of Oogaboo, and this flag Files
flew upon its staff every night, to show that the
country they were in had been conquered by the
Queen of Oogaboo. So far, no one but themselves
had seen the flag, but Ann was pleased to see it
flutter in the breeze and considered herself
already a famous conqueror.
Chapter Four
Betsy Braves the Billows
The waves dashed and the lightning flashed and the
thunder rolled and the ship struck a rock. Betsy
Bobbin was running across the deck and the shock
sent her flying through the air until she fell
with a splash into the dark blue water. The same
shock caught Hank, a thin little, sad-faced mule,
and tumbled him also into the sea, far from the
ship's side.
When Betsy came up, gasping for breath because
the wet plunge had surprised her, she reached out
in the dark and grabbed a bunch of hair. At first
she thought it was the end of a rope, but
presently she heard a dismal "Hee-haw!" and knew
she was holding fast to the end of Hank's tail.
Suddenly the sea was lighted up by a vivid
glare. The ship, now in the far distance, caught
fire, blew up and sank beneath the waves.
Betsy shuddered at the sight, but just then
her eye caught a mass of wreckage floating near
her and she let go the mule's tail and seized the
rude raft, pulling herself up so that she rode
upon it in safety. Hank also saw the raft and
swam to it, but he was so clumsy he never would
have been able to climb upon it had not Betsy
helped him to get aboard.
They had to crowd close together, for their
support was only a hatch-cover torn from the
ship's deck; but it floated them fairly well and
both the girl and the mule knew it would keep
them from drowning.
The storm was not over, by any means, when the
ship went down. Blinding bolts of lightning shot
from cloud to cloud and the clamor of deep
thunderclaps echoed far over the sea. The waves
tossed the little raft here and there as a child
tosses a rubber ball and Betsy had a solemn
feeling that for hundreds of watery miles in every
direction there was no living thing besides
herself and the small donkey.
Perhaps Hank had the same thought, for he gently
rubbed his nose against the frightened girl and
said "Hee-haw!" in his softest voice, as if to
comfort her.
"You'll protect me, Hank dear, won't you?" she
cried helplessly, and the mule said "Hee-haw!"
again, in tones that meant a promise.
On board the ship, during the days that preceded
the wreck, when the sea was calm, Betsy and Hank
had become good friends; so, while the girl might
have preferred a more powerful protector in this
dreadful emergency, she felt that the mule would
do all in a mule's power to guard her safety.
All night they floated, and when the storm had
worn itself out and passed away with a few distant
growls, and the waves had grown smaller and easier
to ride, Betsy stretched herself out on the wet
raft and fell asleep.
Hank did not sleep a wink. Perhaps he felt it
his duty to guard Betsy. Anyhow, he crouched
on the raft beside the tired sleeping girl and
watched patiently until the first light of dawn
swept over the sea.
The light wakened Betsy Bobbin. She sat up,
rubbed her eyes and stared across the water.
"Oh, Hank; there's land ahead!" she exclaimed.
"Hee-haw!" answered Hank in his plaintive voice.
The raft was floating swiftly toward a very
beautiful country and as they drew near Betsy
could see banks of lovely flowers showing brightly
between leafy trees. But no people were to be seen
at all.
Chapter Five
The Roses Repulse the Refugees
Gently the raft grated on the sandy beach. Then
Betsy easily waded ashore, the mule following
closely behind her. The sun was now shining and
the air was warm and laden with the fragrance of
"I'd like some breakfast, Hank," remarked the
girl, feeling more cheerful now that she was on
dry land; "but we can't eat the flowers, although
they do smell mighty good."
"Hee-haw!" replied Hank and trotted up a little
pathway to the top of the bank.
Betsy followed and from the eminence looked
around her. A little way off stood a splendid big
greenhouse, its thousands of crystal panes
glittering in the sunlight.
"There ought to be people somewhere 'round,"
observed Betsy thoughtfully; "gardeners, or
somebody. Let's go and see, Hank. I'm getting
hungrier ev'ry minute."
So they walked toward the great greenhouse and
came to its entrance without meeting with anyone
at all. A door stood ajar, so Hank went in first,
thinking if there was any danger he could back out
and warn his companion. But Betsy was close at his
heels and the moment she entered was lost in
amazement at the wonderful sight she saw.
The greenhouse was filled with magnificent
rosebushes, all growing in big pots. On the
central stem of each bush bloomed a splendid Rose,
gorgeously colored and deliciously fragrant, and
in the center of each Rose was the face of a
lovely girl.
As Betsy and Hank entered, the heads of the
Roses were drooping and their eyelids were closed
in slumber; but the mule was so amazed that he
uttered a loud "Hee-haw!" and at the sound of his
harsh voice the rose leaves fluttered, the Roses
raised their heads and a hundred startled eyes
were instantly fixed upon the intruders.
"I--I beg your pardon!" stammered Betsy,
blushing and confused.
"O-o-o-h!" cried the Roses, in a sort of sighing
chorus; and one of them added: "What a horrid
"Why, that was only Hank," said Betsy, and as if
to prove the truth of her words the mule uttered
another loud "Hee-haw!"
At this all the Roses turned on their stems as
far as they were able and trembled as if some one
were shaking their bushes. A dainty Moss Rose
gasped: "Dear me! How dreadfully dreadful!"
"It isn't dreadful at all," said Betsy, somewhat
indignant. "When you get used to Hank's voice it
will put you to sleep."
The Roses now looked at the mule less fearfully
and one of them asked:
"Is that savage beast named Hank?"
"Yes; Hank's my comrade, faithful and true,"
answered the girl, twining her arms around the
little mule's neck and hugging him tight. "Aren't
you, Hank?"
Hank could only say in reply: "Hee-haw!" and at
his bray the Roses shivered again.
"Please go away!" begged one. "Can't you see
you're frightening us out of a week's growth?"
"Go away!" echoed Betsy. "Why, we've no place to
go. We've just been wrecked."
"Wrecked?" asked the Roses in a surprised
"Yes; we were on a big ship and the storm came
and wrecked it," explained the girl. "But Hank and
I caught hold of a raft and floated ashore to this
place, and--we're tired and hungry. What country
is this, please?"
"This is the Rose Kingdom," replied the Moss
Rose, haughtily, "and it is devoted to the culture
of the rarest and fairest Roses grown."
"I believe it," said Betsy, admiring the pretty
"But only Roses are allowed here," continued a
delicate Tea Rose, bending her brows in a frown;
"therefore you must go away before the Royal
Gardener finds you and casts you back into the
"Oh! Is there a Royal Gardener, then?" inquired
"To be sure."
"And is he a Rose, also?"
"Of course not; he's a man--a wonderful man,"
was the reply.
"Well, I'm not afraid of a man," declared the
girl, much relieved, and even as she spoke the
Royal Gardener popped into the greenhouse--a
spading fork in one hand and a watering pot in the
He was a funny little man, dressed in a rosecolored
costume, with ribbons at his knees and
elbows, and a bunch of ribbons in his hair. His
eyes were small and twinkling, his nose sharp and
his face puckered and deeply lined.
"O-ho!" he exclaimed, astonished to find
strangers in his greenhouse, and when Hank gave a
loud bray the Gardener threw the watering pot over
the mule's head and danced around with his fork,
in such agitation that presently he fell over the
handle of the implement and sprawled at full
length upon the ground.
Betsy laughed and pulled the watering pot off
from Hank's head. The little mule was angry at the
treatment he had received and backed toward the
Gardener threateningly.
"Look out for his heels!" called Betsy warningly
and the Gardener scrambled to his feet and hastily
hid behind the Roses.
"You are breaking the Law!" he shouted, sticking
out his head to glare at the girl and the mule.
"What Law?" asked Betsy.
"The Law of the Rose Kingdom. No strangers
are allowed in these domains."
"Not when they're shipwrecked?" she inquired.
"The Law doesn't except shipwrecks," replied
the Royal Gardener, and he was about to say
more when suddenly there was a crash of glass
and a man came tumbling through the roof of
the greenhouse and fell plump to the ground.
Chapter Six
Shaggy Seeks his Stray Brother
This sudden arrival was a queer looking man,
dressed all in garments so shaggy that Betsy at
first thought he must be some animal. But the
stranger ended his fall in a sitting position and
then the girl saw it was really a man. He held an
apple in his hand, which he had evidently been
eating when he fell, and so little was he jarred
or flustered by the accident that he continued to
munch this apple as he calmly looked around him.
"Good gracious!" exclaimed Betsy, approaching
him. "Who are you, and where did you come from?"
"Me? Oh, I'm Shaggy Man," said he, taking
another bite of the apple. "Just dropped in for a
short call. Excuse my seeming haste."
"Why, I s'pose you couldn't help the haste,"
said Betsy.
"No. I climbed an apple tree, outside; branch
gave way and--here I am."
As he spoke the Shaggy Man finished his apple,
gave the core to Hank--who ate it greedily --and
then stood up to bow politely to Betsy and the
The Royal Gardener had been frightened nearly
into fits by the crash of glass and the fall of
the shaggy stranger into the bower of Roses, but
now he peeped out from behind a bush and cried in
his squeaky voice:
"You're breaking the Law! You're breaking the
Shaggy stared at him solemnly.
"Is the glass the Law in this country?" he
"Breaking the glass is breaking the Law,"
squeaked the Gardener, angrily. "Also, to intrude
in any part of the Rose Kingdom is breaking the
"How do you know?" asked Shaggy.
"Why, it's printed in a book," said the
Gardener, coming forward and taking a small book
from his pocket. "Page thirteen. Here it is: 'If
any stranger enters the Rose Kingdom he shall at
once be condemned by the Ruler and put to death.'
So you see, strangers," he continued triumphantly,
"it's death for you all and your time has come!"
But just here Hank interposed. He had been
stealthily backing toward the Royal Gardener, whom
he disliked, and now the mule's heels shot out and
struck the little man in the middle. He doubled up
like the letter "U" and flew out of the door so
swiftly--never touching the ground --that he was
gone before Betsy had time to wink.
But the mule's attack frightened the girl.
"Come," she whispered, approaching the Shaggy
Man and taking his hand; "let's go somewhere else.
They'll surely kill us if we stay here!"
"Don't worry, my dear," replied Shaggy, patting
the child's head. "I'm not afraid of anything, so
long as I have the Love Magnet."
"The Love Magnet! Why, what is that?" asked
"It's a charming little enchantment that wins
the heart of everyone who looks upon it," was
the reply. "The Love Magnet used to hang over
the gateway to the Emerald City, in the Land
of Oz; but when I started on this journey our
beloved Ruler, Ozma of Oz, allowed me to take
it with me."
"Oh!" cried Betsy, staring hard at him; "are
you really from the wonderful Land of Oz?"
"Yes. Ever been there, my dear?"
"No; but I've heard about it. And do you know
Princess Ozma?"
"Very well indeed."
"And--and Princess Dorothy?"
"Dorothy's an old chum of mine," declared
"Dear me!" exclaimed Betsy. "And why did
you ever leave such a beautiful land as Oz?"
"On an errand," said Shaggy, looking sad and
solemn. "I'm trying to find my dear little
"Oh! Is he lost?" questioned Betsy, feeling
very sorry for the poor man.
"Been lost these ten years," replied Shaggy,
taking out a handkerchief and wiping a tear from
his eye. "I didn't know it until lately, when I
saw it recorded in the magic Record Book of
the Sorceress Glinda, in the Land of Oz. So
now I'm trying to find him."
"Where was he lost?" asked the girl
"Back in Colorado, where I used to live before I
went to Oz. Brother was a miner, and dug gold out
of a mine. One day he went into his mine and never
came out. They searched for him, but he was not
there. Disappeared entirely," Shaggy ended
"For goodness sake! What do you s'pose became of
him?" she asked.
"There is only one explanation," replied
Shaggy, taking another apple from his pocket
and eating it to relieve his misery. "The Nome
King probably got him."
"The Nome King! Who is he?"
"Why, he's sometimes called the Metal Monarch,
and his name is Ruggedo. Lives in some underground
cavern. Claims to own all the metals hidden in the
earth. Don't ask me why."
"Cause I don't know. But this Ruggedo gets
wild with anger if anyone digs gold out of the
earth, and my private opinion is that he captured
brother and carried him off to his underground
kingdom. No--don't ask me why. I see you're
dying to ask me why. But I don't know."
"But--dear me!--in that case you will never
find your lost brother!" exclaimed the girl.
"Maybe not; but it's my duty to try," answered
Shaggy. "I've wandered so far without finding
him, but that only proves he is not where I've
been looking. What I seek now is the hidden
passage to the underground cavern of the terrible
Metal Monarch."
"Well," said Betsy doubtfully, "it strikes me
that if you ever manage to get there the Metal
Monarch will make you, too, his prisoner."
"Nonsense!" answered Shaggy, carelessly.
"You mustn't forget the Love Magnet."
"What about it?" she asked.
"When the fierce Metal Monarch sees the Love
Magnet, he will love me dearly and do anything I
"It must be wonderful," said Betsy, with awe.
"It is," the man assured her. "Shall I show it
to you?"
"Oh, do!" she cried; so Shaggy searched in his
shaggy pocket and drew out a small silver magnet,
shaped like a horseshoe.
The moment Betsy saw it she began to like the
Shaggy Man better than before. Hank also saw
the Magnet and crept up to Shaggy to rub his
head lovingly against the man's knee.
But they were interrupted by the Royal Gardener,
who stuck his head into the greenhouse and shouted
"You are all condemned to death! Your only
chance to escape is to leave here instantly."
This startled little Betsy, but the Shaggy Man
merely waved the Magnet toward the Gardener, who,
seeing it, rushed forward and threw himself at
Shaggy's feet, murmuring in honeyed words:
"Oh, you lovely, lovely man! How fond I am of
you! Every shag and bobtail that decorates you is
dear to me--all I have is yours! But for goodness'
sake get out of here before you die the death."
"I'm not going to die," declared Shaggy Man.
"You must. It's the Law," exclaimed the
Gardener, beginning to weep real tears. "It breaks
my heart to tell you this bad news, but the Law
says that all strangers must be condemned by the
Ruler to die the death."
"No Ruler has condemned us yet," said Betsy.
"Of course not," added Shaggy. "We haven't
even seen the Ruler of the Rose Kingdom."
"Well, to tell the truth," said the Gardener, in
a perplexed tone of voice, "we haven't any real
Ruler, just now. You see, all our Rulers grow on
bushes in the Royal Gardens, and the last one we
had got mildewed and withered before his time. So
we had to plant him, and at this time there is no
one growing on the Royal Bushes who is ripe enough
to pick."
"How do you know?" asked Betsy.
"Why, I'm the Royal Gardener. Plenty of
royalties are growing, I admit; but just now they
are all green. Until one ripens, I am supposed to
rule the Rose Kingdom myself, and see that its
Laws are obeyed. Therefore, much as I love you,
Shaggy, I must put you to death."
"Wait a minute," pleaded Betsy. "I'd like to
see those Royal Gardens before I die."
"So would I," added Shaggy Man. "Take us there,
"Oh, I can't do that," objected the Gardener.
But Shaggy again showed him the Love Magnet
and after one glance at it the Gardener could
no longer resist.
He led Shaggy, Betsy and Hank to the end
of the great greenhouse and carefully unlocked
a small door. Passing through this they came
into the splendid Royal Garden of the Rose
It was all surrounded by a tall hedge and within
the enclosure grew several enormous rosebushes
having thick green leaves of the texture of
velvet. Upon these bushes grew the members of the
Royal Family of the Rose Kingdom--men, women and
children in all stages of maturity. They all
seemed to have a light green hue, as if unripe or
not fully developed, their flesh and clothing
being alike green. They stood perfectly lifeless
upon their branches, which swayed softly in the
breeze, and their wide open eyes stared straight
ahead, unseeing and unintelligent.
While examining these curious growing people,
Betsy passed behind a big central bush and at once
uttered an exclamation of surprise and pleasure.
For there, blooming in perfect color and shape,
stood a Royal Princess, whose beauty was amazing.
"Why, she's ripe!" cried Betsy, pushing aside
some of the broad leaves to observe her more
"Well, perhaps so," admitted the Gardener,
who had come to the girl's side; "but she's a girl,
and so we can't use her for a Ruler."
"No, indeed!" came a chorus of soft voices,
and looking around Betsy discovered that all the
Roses had followed them from the greenhouse
and were now grouped before the entrance.
"You see," explained the Gardener, "the subjects
of Rose Kingdom don't want a girl Ruler. They want
a King."
"A King! We want a King!" repeated the
chorus of Roses.
"Isn't she Royal?" inquired Shaggy, admiring
the lovely Princess.
"Of course, for she grows on a Royal Bush.
This Princess is named Ozga, as she is a distant
cousin of Ozma of Oz; and, were she but a man,
we would joyfully hail her as our Ruler."
The Gardener then turned away to talk with
his Roses and Betsy whispered to her companion:
"Let's pick her, Shaggy."
"All right," said he. "If she's royal, she has
the right to rule this Kingdom, and if we pick
her she will surely protect us and prevent our
being hurt, or driven away."
So Betsy and Shaggy each took an arm of the
beautiful Rose Princess and a little twist of her
feet set her free of the branch upon which she
grew. Very gracefully she stepped down from
the bush to the ground, where she bowed low
to Betsy and Shaggy and said in a delightfully
sweet voice: "I thank you."
But at the sound of these words the Gardener and
the Roses turned and discovered that the Princess
had been picked, and was now alive. Over every
face flashed an expression of resentment and
anger, and one of the Roses cried aloud.
"Audacious mortals! What have you done?"
"Picked a Princess for you, that's all," replied
Betsy, cheerfully.
"But we won't have her! We want a King!"
exclaimed a Jacque Rose, and another added with a
voice of scorn: "No girl shall rule over us!"
The newly-picked Princess looked from one to
another of her rebellious subjects in
astonishment. A grieved look came over her
exquisite features.
"Have I no welcome here, pretty subjects?" she
asked gently. "Have I not come from my Royal Bush
to be your Ruler?"
"You were picked by mortals, without our
consent," replied the Moss Rose, coldly; "so we
refuse to allow you to rule us."
"Turn her out, Gardener, with the others!" cried
the Tea Rose.
"Just a second, please!" called Shaggy, taking
the Love Magnet from his pocket. "I guess this
will win their love, Princess. Here--take it in
your hand and let the roses see it."
Princess Ozga took the Magnet and held it
poised before the eyes of her subjects; but the
Roses regarded it with calm disdain.
"Why, what's the matter?" demanded Shaggy in
surprise. "The Magnet never failed to work
"I know," said Betsy, nodding her head wisely.
"These Roses have no hearts."
"That's it," agreed the Gardener. "They're
pretty, and sweet, and alive; but still they are
Roses. Their stems have thorns, but no hearts."
The Princess sighed and handed the Magnet
to the Shaggy Man.
"What shall I do?" she asked sorrowfully.
"Turn her out, Gardener, with the others!"
commanded the Roses. "We will have no Ruler until
a man-rose--a King--is ripe enough to pick."
"Very well," said the Gardener meekly. "You must
excuse me, my dear Shaggy, for opposing your
wishes, but you and the others, including Ozga,
must get out of Rose Kingdom immediately, if not
"Don't you love me, Gardy?" asked Shaggy,
carelessly displaying the Magnet.
"I do. I dote on thee!" answered the Gardener
earnestly; "but no true man will neglect his duty
for the sake of love. My duty is to drive you out,
so--out you go!"
With this he seized a garden fork and began
jabbing it at the strangers, in order to force them
to leave. Hank the mule was not afraid of the
fork and when he got his heels near to the
Gardener the man fell back to avoid a kick.
But now the Roses crowded around the outcasts
and it was soon discovered that beneath their
draperies of green leaves were many sharp thorns
which were more dangerous than Hank's heels.
Neither Betsy nor Ozga nor Shaggy nor the mule
cared to brave those thorns and when they pressed
away from them they found themselves slowly
driven through the garden door into the
greenhouse. From there they were forced out at the
entrance and so through the territory of the
flower-strewn Rose Kingdom, which was not of very
great extent.
The Rose Princess was sobbing bitterly; Betsy
was indignant and angry; Hank uttered defiant
"Hee-haws" and the Shaggy Man whistled softly to
The boundary of the Rose Kingdom was a deep
gulf, but there was a drawbridge in one place and
this the Royal Gardener let down until the
outcasts had passed over it. Then he drew it up
again and returned with his Roses to the
greenhouse, leaving the four queerly assorted
comrades to wander into the bleak and unknown
country that lay beyond.
"I don't mind, much," remarked Shaggy, as he led
the way over the stony, barren ground. "I've got
to search for my long-lost little brother, anyhow,
so it won't matter where I go."
"Hank and I will help you find your brother,"
said Betsy in her most cheerful voice. "I'm so far
away from home now that I don't s'pose I'll ever
find my way back; and, to tell the truth, it's
more fun traveling around and having adventures
than sticking at home. Don't you think so, Hank?"
"Hee-haw!" said Hank, and the Shaggy Man thanked
them both.
"For my part," said Princess Ozga of Roseland,
with a gentle sigh, "I must remain forever exiled
from my Kingdom. So I, too, will be glad to help
the Shaggy Man find his lost brother."
"That's very kind of you, ma'am," said Shaggy.
"But unless I can find the underground cavern of
Ruggedo, the Metal Monarch, I shall never find
poor brother."
(This King was formerly named "Roquat," but after he
drank of the "Waters of Oblivion" he forgot his own name
and had to take another.)
"Doesn't anyone know where it is?" inquired
"Some one must know, of course," was Shaggy's
reply. "But we are not the ones. The only way to
succeed is for us to keep going until we find a
person who can direct us to Ruggedo's cavern."
"We may find it ourselves, without any help,"
suggested Betsy. "Who knows?"
"No one knows that, except the person who's
writing this story," said Shaggy. "But we won't
find anything--not even supper--unless we travel
on. Here's a path. Let's take it and see where it
leads to."
Chapter Seven
Polychrome's Pitiful Plight
The Rain King got too much water in his basin and
spilled some over the brim. That made it rain in a
certain part of the country--a real hard shower,
for a time--and sent the Rainbow scampering to the
place to show the gorgeous colors of his glorious
bow as soon as the mist of rain had passed and the
sky was clear.
The coming of the Rainbow is always a joyous
event to earth folk, yet few have ever seen it
close by. Usually the Rainbow is so far distant
that you can observe its splendid hues but dimly,
and that is why we seldom catch sight of the
dancing Daughters of the Rainbow.
In the barren country where the rain had
just fallen there appeared to be no human
beings at all; but the Rainbow appeared, just
the same, and dancing gayly upon its arch were
the Rainbow's Daughters, led by the fairylike
Polychrome, who is so dainty and beautiful that
no girl has ever quite equalled her in loveliness.
Polychrome was in a merry mood and danced down
the arch of the bow to the ground, daring her
sisters to follow her. Laughing and gleeful, they
also touched the ground with their twinkling feet;
but all the Daughters of the Rainbow knew that
this was a dangerous pastime, so they quickly
climbed upon their bow again.
All but Polychrome. Though the sweetest and
merriest of them all, she was likewise the most
reckless. Moreover, it was an unusual sensation to
pat the cold, damp earth with her rosy toes.
Before she realized it the bow had lifted and
disappeared in the billowy blue sky, and here was
Polychrome standing helpless upon a rock, her
gauzy draperies floating about her like brilliant
cobwebs and not a soul--fairy or mortal--to help
her regain her lost bow!
"Dear me!" she exclaimed, a frown passing across
her pretty face, "I'm caught again. This is the
second time my carelessness has left me on earth
while my sisters returned to our Sky Palaces. The
first time I enjoyed some pleasant adventures, but
this is a lonely, forsaken country and I shall be
very unhappy until my Rainbow comes again and I
can climb aboard. Let me think what is best to be
She crouched low upon the flat rock, drew her
draperies about her and bowed her head.
It was in this position that Betsy Bobbin spied
Polychrome as she came along the stony path,
followed by Hank, the Princess and Shaggy. At once
the girl ran up to the radiant Daughter of the
Rainbow and exclaimed:
"Oh, what a lovely, lovely creature!"
Polychrome raised her golden head. There
were tears in her blue eyes.
"I'm the most miserable girl in the whole
world!" she sobbed.
The others gathered around her.
"Tell us your troubles, pretty one," urged the
"I--I've lost my bow!" wailed Polychrome.
"Take me, my dear," said Shaggy Man in a
sympathetic tone, thinking she meant "beau"
instead of "bow."
"I don't want you!" cried Polychrome, stamping
her foot imperiously; "I want my Rainbow."
"Oh; that's different," said Shaggy. "But try to
forget it. When I was young I used to cry for the
Rainbow myself, but I couldn't have it. Looks as
if you couldn't have it, either; so please don't
Polychrome looked at him reproachfully.
"I don't like you," she said.
"No?" replied Shaggy, drawing the Love Magnet
from his pocket; "not a little bit?--just a wee
speck of a like?"
"Yes, yes!" said Polychrome, clasping her
hands in ecstasy as she gazed at the enchanted
talisman; "I love you, Shaggy Man!"
"Of course you do," said he calmly; "but I don't
take any credit for it. It's the Love Magnet's
powerful charm. But you seem quite alone and
friendless, little Rainbow. Don't you want to join
our party until you find your father and sisters
"Where are you going?" she asked.
"We don't just know that," said Betsy, taking
her hand; "but we're trying to find Shaggy's longlost
brother, who has been captured by the
terrible Metal Monarch. Won't you come with us,
and help us?"
Polychrome looked from one to another of the
queer party of travelers and a bewitching smile
suddenly lighted her face.
"A donkey, a mortal maid, a Rose Princess and a
Shaggy Man!" she exclaimed. "Surely you need help,
if you intend to face Ruggedo."
"Do you know him, then?" inquired Betsy.
"No, indeed. Ruggedo's caverns are beneath the
earth's surface, where no Rainbow can ever
penetrate. But I've heard of the Metal Monarch. He
is also called the Nome King, you know, and he has
made trouble for a good many people --mortals and
fairies--in his time," said Polychrome.
"Do you fear him, then?" asked the Princess,
"No one can harm a Daughter of the Rainbow,"
said Polychrome proudly. "I'm a sky fairy."
"Then," said Betsy, quickly, "you will be able
to tell us the way to Ruggedo's cavern."
"No," returned Polychrome, shaking her head,
"that is one thing I cannot do. But I will gladly
go with you and help you search for the place."
This promise delighted all the wanderers and
after the Shaggy Man had found the path again
they began moving along it in a more happy
mood. The Rainbow's Daughter danced lightly
over the rocky trail, no longer sad, but with her
beautiful features wreathed in smiles. Shaggy
came next, walking steadily and now and then
supporting the Rose Princess, who followed him.
Betsy and Hank brought up the rear, and if she
tired with walking the girl got upon Hank's back
and let the stout little donkey carry her for
a while.
At nightfall they came to some trees that grew
beside a tiny brook and here they made camp and
rested until morning. Then away they tramped,
finding berries and fruits here and there which
satisfied the hunger of Betsy, Shaggy and Hank,
so that they were well content with their lot.
It surprised Betsy to see the Rose Princess
partake of their food, for she considered her a
fairy; but when she mentioned this to Polychrome,
the Rainbow's Daughter explained that when Ozga
was driven out of her Rose Kingdom she ceased to
be a fairy and would never again be more than a
mere mortal. Polychrome, however, was a fairy
wherever she happened to be, and if she sipped a
few dewdrops by moonlight for refreshment no one
ever saw her do it.
As they continued their wandering journey,
direction meant very little to them, for they were
hopelessly lost in this strange country. Shaggy
said it would be best to go toward the mountains,
as the natural entrance to Ruggedo's underground
cavern was likely to be hidden in some rocky,
deserted place; but mountains seemed all around
them except in the one direction that they had
come from, which led to the Rose Kingdom and the
sea. Therefore it mattered little which way they
By and by they espied a faint trail that looked
like a path and after following this for some time
they reached a crossroads. Here were many paths,
leading in various directions, and there was a
signpost so old that there were now no words upon
the sign. At one side was an old well, with a
chain windlass for drawing water, yet there was no
house or other building anywhere in sight.
While the party halted, puzzled which way
to proceed, the mule approached the well and
tried to look into it.
"He's thirsty," said Betsy.
"It's a dry well," remarked Shaggy. "Probably
there has been no water in it for many years. But,
come; let us decide which way to travel."
No one seemed able to decide that. They sat
down in a group and tried to consider which
road might be the best to take. Hank, however,
could not keep away from the well and finally
he reared up on his hind legs, got his head over
the edge and uttered a loud "Hee-haw!" Betsy
watched her animal friend curiously.
"I wonder if he sees anything down there?" she
At this, Shaggy rose and went over to the well
to investigate, and Betsy went with him. The
Princess and Polychrome, who had become fast
friends, linked arms and sauntered down one of the
roads, to find an easy path.
"Really," said Shaggy, "there does seem to
be something at the bottom of this old well."
"Can't we pull it up, and see what it is?" asked
the girl.
There was no bucket at the end of the windlass
chain, but there was a big hook that at one time
was used to hold a bucket. Shaggy let down this
hook, dragged it around on the bottom and then
pulled it up. An old hoopskirt came with it, and
Betsy laughed and threw it away. The thing
frightened Hank, who had never seen a hoopskirt
before, and he kept a good distance away from it.
Several other objects the Shaggy Man captured
with the hook and drew up, but none of these was
"This well seems to have been the dump for
all the old rubbish in the country," he said,
letting down the hook once more. "I guess I've
captured everything now. No--the hook has caught
again. Help me, Betsy! Whatever this thing is,
it's heavy."
She ran up and helped him turn the windlass
and after much effort a confused mass of copper
came in sight.
"Good gracious!" exclaimed Shaggy. "Here is
a surprise, indeed!"
"What is it?" inquired Betsy, clinging to the
windlass and panting for breath.
For answer the Shaggy Man grasped the
bundle of copper and dumped it upon the
ground, free of the well. Then he turned it over
with his foot, spread it out, and to Betsy's
astonishment the thing proved to be a copper
"Just as I thought," said Shaggy, looking hard
at the object. "But unless there are two copper
men in the world this is the most astonishing
thing I ever came across."
At this moment the Rainbow's Daughter and the
Rose Princess approached them, and Polychrome
"What have you found, Shaggy One?"
"Either an old friend, or a stranger," he
"Oh, here's a sign on his back!" cried Betsy,
who had knelt down to examine the man. "Dear me;
how funny! Listen to this."
Then she read the following words, engraved
upon the copper plates of the man's body:
Patent Double-Action, Extra-Responsive,
Thought-Creating, Perfect-Talking
Fitted with our Special Clockwork Attachment.
Thinks, Speaks, Acts, and Does Everything
but Live.
"Isn't he wonderful!" exclaimed the Princess.
"Yes; but here's more," said Betsy, reading
from another engraved plate:
For THINKING:--Wind the Clockwork
Man under his left arm, (marked No. 1).
For SPEAKING:--Wind the Clockwork
Man under his right arm, (marked No. 2).
For WALKING and ACTION:--Wind Clockwork Man
in the middle of his back, (marked No. 3).
N. B.--This Mechanism is guaranteed to
work perfectly for a thousand years.
"If he's guaranteed for a thousand years," said
Polychrome, "he ought to work yet."
"Of course," replied Shaggy. "Let's wind him up."
In order to do this they were obliged to set the
copper man upon his feet, in an upright position,
and this was no easy task. He was inclined to
topple over, and had to be propped again and
again. The girls assisted Shaggy, and at last Tik-
Tok seemed to be balanced and stood alone upon his
broad feet.
"Yes," said Shaggy, looking at the copper man
carefully, "this must be, indeed, my old friend
Tik-Tok, whom I left ticking merrily in the
Land of Oz. But how he came to this lonely
place, and got into that old well, is surely a
"If we wind him, perhaps he will tell us,"
suggested Betsy. "Here's the key, hanging to a
hook on his back. What part of him shall I wind up
"His thoughts, of course," said Polychrome,
"for it requires thought to speak or move
So Betsy wound him under his left arm, and
at once little flashes of light began to show in
the top of his head, which was proof that he had
begun to think.
"Now, then," said Shaggy, "wind up his
"What's that?" she asked.
"Why, his talking-machine. His thoughts may
be interesting, but they don't tell us anything."
So Betsy wound the copper man under his right
arm, and then from the interior of his copper body
came in jerky tones the words: "Ma-ny thanks!"
"Hurrah!" cried Shaggy, joyfully, and he slapped
Tik-Tok upon the back in such a hearty manner that
the copper man lost his balance and tumbled to the
ground in a heap. But the clockwork that enabled
him to speak had been wound up and he kept saying:
"Pick-me-up! Pick-me-up! Pick-me-up!" until they
had again raised him and balanced him upon his
feet, when he added politely: "Ma-ny thanks!"
"He won't be self-supporting until we wind
up his action," remarked Shaggy; so Betsy
wound it, as tight as she could--for the key
turned rather hard--and then Tik-Tok lifted his
feet, marched around in a circle and ended by
stopping before the group and making them all
a low bow.
"How in the world did you happen to be in
that well, when I left you safe in Oz?" inquired
"It is a long sto-ry," replied Tik-Tok, "but
I'll tell it in a few words. Af-ter you had gone
in search of your broth-er, Oz-ma saw you wan-dering
in strange lands when-ev-er she looked in her
mag-ic pic-ture, and she also saw your broth-er in
the Nome King's cavern; so she sent me to tell you
where to find your broth-er and told me to help you
if I could. The Sor-cer-ess, Glin-da the Good,
trans-port-ed me to this place in the wink of an
eye; but here I met the Nome King him-self--old
Rug-ge-do, who is called in these parts the Met-al
Mon-arch. Rug-ge-do knew what I had come for, and
he was so an-gry that he threw me down the well.
Af-ter my works ran down I was help-less un-til you
came a-long and pulled me out a-gain. Ma-ny
"This is, indeed, good news," said Shaggy. "I
suspected that my brother was the prisoner of
Ruggedo; but now I know it. Tell us, Tik-Tok, how
shall we get to the Nome King's underground
"The best way is to walk," said Tik-Tok. "We
might crawl, or jump, or roll o-ver and o-ver
until we get there; but the best way is to walk."
"I know; but which road shall we take?"
"My ma-chin-er-y is-n't made to tell that,"
replied Tik-Tok.
"There is more than one entrance to the
underground cavern," said Polychrome; "but old
Ruggedo has cleverly concealed every opening, so
that earth dwellers can not intrude in his domain.
If we find our way underground at all, it will be
by chance."
"Then," said Betsy, "let us select any road,
haphazard, and see where it leads us."
"That seems sensible," declared the Princess.
"It may require a lot of time for us to find
Ruggedo, but we have more time than anything
"If you keep me wound up," said Tik-Tok, "I
will last a thou-sand years."
"Then the only question to decide is which
way to go," added Shaggy, looking first at one
road and then at another.
But while they stood hesitating, a peculiar
sound reached their ears--a sound like the
tramping of many feet.
"What's coming?" cried Betsy; and then she
ran to the left-hand road and glanced along the
path. "Why, it's an army!" she exclaimed. "What
shall we do, hide or run?"
"Stand still," commanded Shaggy. "I'm not afraid
of an army. If they prove to be friendly, they can
help us; if they are enemies, I'll show them the
Love Magnet."
Chapter Eight
Tik-Tok Tackles a Tough Task
While Shaggy and his companions stood huddled in a
group at one side, the Army of Oogaboo was
approaching along the pathway, the tramp of their
feet being now and then accompanied by a dismal
groan as one of the officers stepped on a sharp
stone or knocked his funnybone against his
neighbor's sword-handle.
Then out from among the trees marched Private
Files, bearing the banner of Oogaboo, which
fluttered from a long pole. This pole he stuck in
the ground just in front of the well and then he
cried in a loud voice:
"I hereby conquer this territory in the name of
Queen Ann Soforth of Oogaboo, and all the
inhabitants of the land I proclaim her slaves!"
Some of the officers now stuck their heads out
of the bushes and asked:
"Is the coast clear, Private Files?"
"There is no coast here," was the reply, "but
all's well."
"I hope there's water in it," said General Cone,
mustering courage to advance to the well; but just
then he caught a glimpse of Tik-Tok and Shaggy and
at once fell upon his knees, trembling and
frightened and cried out:
"Mercy, kind enemies! Mercy! Spare us, and
we will be your slaves forever!"
The other officers, who had now advanced into
the clearing, likewise fell upon their knees and
begged for mercy.
Files turned around and, seeing the strangers
for the first time, examined them with much
curiosity. Then, discovering that three of the
party were girls, he lifted his cap and made a
polite bow.
"What's all this?" demanded a harsh voice, as
Queen Ann reached the place and beheld her
kneeling army.
"Permit us to introduce ourselves," replied
Shaggy, stepping forward. "This is Tik-Tok, the
Clockwork Man--who works better than some meat
people. And here is Princess Ozga of Roseland,
just now unfortunately exiled from her Kingdom of
Roses. I next present Polychrome, a sky fairy, who
lost her Bow by an accident and can't find her way
home. The small girl here is Betsy Bobbin, from
some unknown earthly paradise called Oklahoma,
and with her you see Mr. Hank, a mule with a long
tail and a short temper."
"Puh!" said Ann, scornfully; "a pretty lot of
vagabonds you are, indeed; all lost or strayed,
I suppose, and not worth a Queen's plundering.
I'm sorry I've conquered you."
"But you haven't conquered us yet," called
Betsy indignantly.
"No," agreed Files, "that is a fact. But if my
officers will kindly command me to conquer you,
I will do so at once, after which we can stop
arguing and converse more at our ease."
The officers had by this time risen from their
knees and brushed the dust from their trousers. To
them the enemy did not look very fierce, so the
Generals and Colonels and Majors and Captains
gained courage to face them and began strutting in
their most haughty manner.
"You must understand," said Ann, "that I am the
Queen of Oogaboo, and this is my invincible Army.
We are busy conquering the world, and since you
seem to be a part of the world, and are
obstructing our journey, it is necessary for us to
conquer you--unworthy though you may be of such
high honor."
"That's all right," replied Shaggy. "Conquer us
as often as you like. We don't mind."
"But we won't be anybody's slaves," added Betsy,
"We'll see about that," retorted the Queen,
angrily. "Advance, Private Files, and bind the
enemy hand and foot!"
But Private Files looked at pretty Betsy and
fascinating Polychrome and the beautiful Rose
Princess and shook his head.
"It would be impolite, and I won't do it," he
"You must!" cried Ann. "It is your duty to obey
"I haven't received any orders from my
officers," objected the Private.
But the Generals now shouted: "Forward, and bind
the prisoners!" and the Colonels and Majors and
Captains repeated the command, yelling it as loud
as they could.
All this noise annoyed Hank, who had been eyeing
the Army of Oogaboo with strong disfavor. The mule
now dashed forward and began backing upon the
officers and kicking fierce and dangerous heels at
them. The attack was so sudden that the officers
scattered like dust in a whirlwind, dropping their
swords as they ran and trying to seek refuge
behind the trees and bushes.
Betsy laughed joyously at the comical rout of
the "noble army," and Polychrome danced with glee.
But Ann was furious at this ignoble defeat of her
gallant forces by one small mule.
"Private Files, I command you to do your duty!"
she cried again, and then she herself ducked to
escape the mule's heels--for Hank made no
distinction in favor of a lady who was an open
enemy. Betsy grabbed her champion by the forelock,
however, and so held him fast, and when the
officers saw that the mule was restrained from
further attacks they crept fearfully back and
picked up their discarded swords.
"Private Files, seize and bind these prisoners!"
screamed the Queen.
"No," said Files, throwing down his gun and
removing the knapsack which was strapped to his
back, "I resign my position as the Army of
Oogaboo. I enlisted to fight the enemy and become
a hero, but if you want some one to bind harmless
girls you will have to hire another Private."
Then he walked over to the others and shook
hands with Shaggy and Tik-Tok.
"Treason!" shrieked Ann, and all the officers
echoed her cry.
"Nonsense," said Files. "I've the right to
resign if I want to."
"Indeed you haven't!" retorted the Queen. "If
you resign it will break up my Army, and then I
cannot conquer the world." She now turned to the
officers and said: "I must ask you to do me a
favor. I know it is undignified in officers to
fight, but unless you immediately capture Private
Files and force him to obey my orders there will
be no plunder for any of us. Also it is likely you
will all suffer the pangs of hunger, and when we
meet a powerful foe you are liable to be captured
and made slaves."
The prospect of this awful fate so frightened
the officers that they drew their swords and
rushed upon Files, who stood beside Shaggy, in a
truly ferocious manner. The next instant, however,
they halted and again fell upon their knees; for
there, before them, was the glistening Love
Magnet, held in the hand of the smiling Shaggy
Man, and the sight of this magic talisman at once
won the heart of every Oogabooite. Even Ann saw
the Love Magnet, and forgetting all enmity and
anger threw herself upon Shaggy and embraced him
Quite disconcerted by this unexpected effect of
the Magnet, Shaggy disengaged himself from the
Queen's encircling arms and quickly hid the
talisman in his pocket. The adventurers from
Oogaboo were now his firm friends, and there was
no more talk about conquering and binding any of
his party.
"If you insist on conquering anyone," said
Shaggy, "you may march with me to the underground
Kingdom of Ruggedo. To conquer the world, as you
have set out to do, you must conquer everyone
under its surface as well as those upon its
surface, and no one in all the world needs
conquering so much as Ruggedo."
"Who is he?" asked Ann.
"The Metal Monarch, King of the Nomes."
"Is he rich?" inquired Major Stockings in an
anxious voice.
"Of course," answered Shaggy. "He owns all
the metal that lies underground--gold, silver,
copper, brass and tin. He has an idea he also
owns all the metals above ground, for he says all
metal was once a part of his kingdom. So, by
conquering the Metal Monarch, you will win all
the riches in the world."
"Ah!" exclaimed General Apple, heaving a
deep sigh, "that would be plunder worth our
while. Let's conquer him, Your Majesty."
The Queen looked reproachfully at Files, who was
sitting next to the lovely Princess and whispering
in her ear.
"Alas," said Ann, "I have no longer an Army.
I have plenty of brave officers, indeed, but no
private soldier for them to command. Therefore
I cannot conquer Ruggedo and win all his
"Why don't you make one of your officers the
Private?" asked Shaggy; but at once every officer
began to protest and the Queen of Oogaboo shook
her head as she replied:
"That is impossible. A private soldier must be a
terrible fighter, and my officers are unable to
fight. They are exceptionally brave in commanding
others to fight, but could not themselves meet
the enemy and conquer."
"Very true, Your Majesty," said Colonel Plum,
eagerly. "There are many kinds of bravery and one
cannot be expected to possess them all. I myself
am brave as a lion in all ways until it comes to
fighting, but then my nature revolts. Fighting is
unkind and liable to be injurious to others; so,
being a gentleman, I never fight."
"Nor I!" shouted each of the other officers.
"You see," said Ann, "how helpless I am. Had not
Private Files proved himself a traitor and a
deserter, I would gladly have conquered this
Ruggedo; but an Army without a private soldier is
like a bee without a stinger."
"I am not a traitor, Your Majesty," protested
Files. "I resigned in a proper manner, not liking
the job. But there are plenty of people to take my
place. Why not make Shaggy Man the private
"He might be killed," said Ann, looking tenderly
at Shaggy, "for he is mortal, and able to die. If
anything happened to him, it would break my
"It would hurt me worse than that," declared
Shaggy. "You must admit, Your Majesty, that I am
commander of this expedition, for it is my brother
we are seeking, rather than plunder. But I and my
companions would like the assistance of your Army,
and if you help us to conquer Ruggedo and to
rescue my brother from captivity we will allow you
to keep all the gold and jewels and other
plunder you may find."
This prospect was so tempting that the officers
began whispering together and presently Colonel
Cheese said: "Your Majesty, by combining our
brains we have just evolved a most brilliant idea.
We will make the Clockwork Man the private
"Who? Me?" asked Tik-Tok. "Not for a sin-gle
sec-ond! I can-not fight, and you must not for-get
that it was Rug-ge-do who threw me in the well."
"At that time you had no gun," said Polychrome.
"But if you join the Army of Oogaboo you will
carry the gun that Mr. Files used."
"A sol-dier must be a-ble to run as well as to
fight," protested Tik-Tok, "and if my works run
down, as they of-ten do, I could nei-ther run nor
"I'll keep you wound up, Tik-Tok," promised
"Why, it isn't a bad idea," said Shaggy. "Tik-
Tok will make an ideal soldier, for nothing can
injure him except a sledge hammer. And, since a
private soldier seems to be necessary to this
Army, Tik-Tok is the only one of our party fitted
to undertake the job."
"What must I do?" asked Tik-Tok.
"Obey orders," replied Ann. "When the officers
command you to do anything, you must do
it; that is all."
"And that's enough, too," said Files.
"Do I get a salary?" inquired Tik-Tok.
"You get your share of the plunder," answered
the Queen.
"Yes," remarked Files, "one-half of the plunder
goes to Queen Ann, the other half is divided
among the officers, and the Private gets the
"That will be sat-is-fac-tor-y," said Tik-Tok,
picking up the gun and examining it wonderingly,
for he had never before seen such a weapon.
Then Ann strapped the knapsack to Tik-Tok's
copper back and said: "Now we are ready to march
to Ruggedo's Kingdom and conquer it. Officers,
give the command to march."
"Fall--in!" yelled the Generals, drawing their
"Fall--in!" cried the Colonels, drawing their
"Fall--in!" shouted the Majors, drawing their
"Fall--in!" bawled the Captains, drawing their
Tik-Tok looked at them and then around him in
"Fall in what? The well?" he asked.
"No," said Queen Ann, "you must fall in marching
"Can-not I march without fall-ing in-to it?"
asked the Clockwork Man.
"Shoulder your gun and stand ready to march,"
advised Files; so Tik-Tok held the gun straight
and stood still.
"What next?" he asked.
The Queen turned to Shaggy.
"Which road leads to the Metal Monarch's
"We don't know, Your Majesty," was the reply.
"But this is absurd!" said Ann with a frown.
"If we can't get to Ruggedo, it is certain that we
can't conquer him."
"You are right," admitted Shaggy; "but I did
not say we could not get to him. We have only
to discover the way, and that was the matter we
were considering when you and your magnificent
Army arrived here."
"Well, then, get busy and discover it," snapped
the Queen.
That was no easy task. They all stood looking
from one road to another in perplexity. The paths
radiated from the little clearing like the rays of
the midday sun, and each path seemed like all the
Files and the Rose Princess, who had by this
time become good friends, advanced a little way
along one of the roads and found that it was
bordered by pretty wild flowers.
"Why don't you ask the flowers to tell you the
way?" he said to his companion.
"The flowers?" returned the Princess, surprised
at the question.
"Of course," said Files. "The field-flowers must
be second-cousins to a Rose Princess, and I
believe if you ask them they will tell you."
She looked more closely at the flowers. There
were hundreds of white daisies, golden buttercups,
bluebells and daffodils growing by the roadside,
and each flower-head was firmly set upon its
slender but stout stem. There were even a few wild
roses scattered here and there and perhaps it was
the sight of these that gave the Princess courage
to ask the important question.
She dropped to her knees, facing the flowers,
and extended both her arms pleadingly toward them.
"Tell me, pretty cousins," she said in her
sweet, gentle voice, "which way will lead us to
the Kingdom of Ruggedo, the Nome King?"
At once all the stems bent gracefully to the
right and the flower heads nodded once--twice--
thrice in that direction.
"That's it!" cried Files joyfully. "Now we
know the way."
Ozga rose to her feet and looked wonderingly
at the field-flowers, which had now resumed
their upright position.
"Was it the wind, do you think?" she asked
in a low whisper.
"No, indeed," replied Files. "There is not a
breath of wind stirring. But these lovely blossoms
are indeed your cousins and answered your question
at once, as I knew they would."
Chapter Nine
Ruggedo's Rage is Rash and Reckless
The way taken by the adventurers led up hill and
down dale and wound here and there in a fashion
that seemed aimless. But always it drew nearer to
a range of low mountains and Files said more than
once that he was certain the entrance to
Ruggedo's cavern would be found among these rugged
In this he was quite correct. Far underneath the
nearest mountain was a gorgeous chamber hollowed
from the solid rock, the walls and roof of which
glittered with thousands of magnificent jewels.
Here, on a throne of virgin gold, sat the famous
Nome King, dressed in splendid robes and wearing a
superb crown cut from a single blood-red ruby.
Ruggedo, the Monarch of all the Metals and
Precious Stones of the Underground World,
was a round little man with a flowing white
beard, a red face, bright eyes and a scowl that
covered all his forehead. One would think, to
look at him, that he ought to be jolly; one might
think, considering his enormous wealth, that he
ought to be happy; but this was not the case. The
Metal Monarch was surly and cross because
mortals had dug so much treasure out of the
earth and kept it above ground, where all the
power of Ruggedo and his nomes was unable to
recover it. He hated not only the mortals but
also the fairies who live upon the earth or above
it, and instead of being content with the riches
he still possessed he was unhappy because he did
not own all the gold and jewels in the world.
Ruggedo had been nodding, half asleep, in
his chair when suddenly he sat upright, uttered
a roar of rage and began pounding upon a huge
gong that stood beside him.
The sound filled the vast cavern and penetrated
to many caverns beyond, where countless thousands
of nomes were working at their unending tasks,
hammering out gold and silver and other metals, or
melting ores in great furnaces, or polishing
glittering gems. The nomes trembled at the sound
of the King's gong and whispered fearfully to one
another that something unpleasant was sure to
happen; but none dared pause in his task,
The heavy curtains of cloth-of-gold were pushed
aside and Kaliko, the King's High Chamberlain,
entered the royal presence.
"What's up, Your Majesty?" he asked, with a wide
yawn, for he had just wakened.
"Up?" roared Ruggedo, stamping his foot
viciously. "Those foolish mortals are up, that's
what! And they want to come down."
"Down here?" inquired Kaliko.
"How do you know?" continued the Chamberlain,
yawning again.
"I feel it in my bones," said Ruggedo. "I can
always feel it when those hateful earth-crawlers
draw near to my Kingdom. I am positive, Kaliko,
that mortals are this very minute on their way
here to annoy me--and I hate mortals more than I do
catnip tea!"
"Well, what's to be done?" demanded the nome.
"Look through your spyglass, and see where
the invaders are," commanded the King.
So Kaliko went to a tube in the wall of rock
and put his eye to it. The tube ran from the
cavern up to the side of the mountain and turned
several curves and corners, but as it was a magic
spyglass Kaliko was able to see through it just
as easily as if it had been straight.
"Ho--hum," said he. "I see 'em, Your Majesty."
"What do they look like?" inquired the Monarch.
"That's a hard question to answer, for a queerer
assortment of creatures I never yet beheld,"
replied the nome. "However, such a collection of
curiosities may prove dangerous. There's a copper
man, worked by machinery--"
"Bah! that's only Tik-Tok," said Ruggedo.
"I'm not afraid of him. Why, only the other day
I met the fellow and threw him down a well."
"Then some one must have pulled him out again,"
said Kaliko. "And there's a little girl--"
"Dorothy?" asked Ruggedo, jumping up in fear.
"No; some other girl. In fact, there are several
girls, of various sizes; but Dorothy is not with
them, nor is Ozma."
"That's good!" exclaimed the King, sighing in
Kaliko still had his eye to the spyglass.
"I see," said he, "an army of men from Oogaboo.
They are all officers and carry swords. And there
is a Shaggy Man--who seems very harmless--and a
little donkey with big ears."
"Pooh!" cried Ruggedo, snapping his fingers
in scorn. "I've no fear of such a mob as that. A
dozen of my nomes can destroy them all in a
"I'm not so sure of that," said Kaliko. "The
people of Oogaboo are hard to destroy, and I
believe the Rose Princess is a fairy. As for
Polychrome, you know very well that the Rainbow's
Daughter cannot be injured by a nome."
"Polychrome! Is she among them?" asked the King.
"Yes; I have just recognized her."
"Then these people are coming here on no
peaceful errand," declared Ruggedo, scowling
fiercely. "In fact, no one ever comes here on a
peaceful errand. I hate everybody, and everybody
hates me!"
"Very true," said Kaliko.
"I must in some way prevent these people from
reaching my dominions. Where are they now?"
"Just now they are crossing the Rubber Country,
Your Majesty."
"Good! Are your magnetic rubber wires in working
"I think so," replied Kaliko. "Is it your Royal
Will that we have some fun with these invaders?"
"It is," answered Ruggedo. "I want to teach
them a lesson they will never forget."
Now, Shaggy had no idea that he was in a
Rubber Country, nor had any of his companions.
They noticed that everything around them was
of a dull gray color and that the path upon
which they walked was soft and springy, yet they
had no suspicion that the rocks and trees were
rubber and even the path they trod was made of
Presently they came to a brook where sparkling
water dashed through a deep channel and rushed
away between high rocks far down the mountain-side.
Across the brook were stepping-stones, so placed
that travelers might easily leap from one to
another and in that manner cross the water to the
farther bank.
Tik-Tok was marching ahead, followed by his
officers and Queen Ann. After them came Betsy
Bobbin and Hank, Polychrome and Shaggy, and last
of all the Rose Princess with Files. The Clockwork
Man saw the stream and the stepping stones and,
without making a pause, placed his foot upon the
first stone.
The result was astonishing. First he sank
down in the soft rubber, which then rebounded
and sent Tik-Tok soaring high in the air, where
he turned a succession of flip-flops and alighted
upon a rubber rock far in the rear of the party.
General Apple did not see Tik-Tok bound, so
quickly had he disappeared; therefore he also
stepped upon the stone (which you will guess was
connected with Kaliko's magnetic rubber wire) and
instantly shot upward like an arrow. General Cone
came next and met with a like fate, but the others
now noticed that something was wrong and with one
accord they halted the column and looked back
along the path.
There was Tik-Tok, still bounding from one
rubber rock to another, each time rising a less
distance from the ground. And there was General
Apple, bounding away in another direction, his
three-cornered hat jammed over his eyes and his
long sword thumping him upon the arms and head as
it swung this way and that. And there, also,
appeared General Cone, who had struck a rubber
rock headforemost and was so crumpled up that his
round body looked more like a bouncing-ball than
the form of a man.
Betsy laughed merrily at the strange sight and
Polychrome echoed her laughter. But Ozga was
grave and wondering, while Queen Ann became
angry at seeing the chief officers of the Army of
Oogaboo bounding around in so undignified a
manner. She shouted to them to stop, but they
were unable to obey, even though they would
have been glad to do so. Finally, however, they
all ceased bounding and managed to get upon
their feet and rejoin the Army.
"Why did you do that?" demanded Ann, who seemed
greatly provoked.
"Don't ask them why," said Shaggy earnestly. "I
knew you would ask them why, but you ought not to
do it. The reason is plain. Those stones are
rubber; therefore they are not stones. Those rocks
around us are rubber, and therefore they are not
rocks. Even this path is not a path; it's rubber.
Unless we are very careful, your Majesty, we are
all likely to get the bounce, just as your poor
officers and Tik-Tok did."
"Then let's be careful," remarked Files, who
was full of wisdom; but Polychrome wanted to
test the quality of the rubber, so she began
dancing. Every step sent her higher and higher
into the air, so that she resembled a big butterfly
fluttering lightly. Presently she made a great
bound and bounded way across the stream,
landing lightly and steadily on the other side.
"There is no rubber over here," she called to
them. "Suppose you all try to bound over the
stream, without touching the stepping-stones."
Ann and her officers were reluctant to undertake
such a risky adventure, but Betsy at once grasped
the value of the suggestion and began jumping up
and down until she found herself bounding almost
as high as Polychrome had done. Then she suddenly
leaned forward and the next bound took her easily
across the brook, where she alighted by the side
of the Rainbow's Daughter.
"Come on, Hank!" called the girl, and the
donkey tried to obey. He managed to bound
pretty high but when he tried to bound across
the stream he misjudged the distance and fell
with a splash into the middle of the water.
"Hee-haw!" he wailed, struggling toward the
far bank. Betsy rushed forward to help him out,
but when the mule stood safely beside her she
was amazed to find he was not wet at all.
"It's dry water," said Polychrome, dipping her
hand into the stream and showing how the water
fell from it and left it perfectly dry.
"In that case," returned Betsy, "they can all
walk through the water."
She called to Ozga and Shaggy to wade across,
assuring them the water was shallow and would not
wet them. At once they followed her advice,
avoiding the rubber stepping stones, and made the
crossing with ease. This encouraged the entire
party to wade through the dry water, and in a few
minutes all had assembled on the bank and renewed
their journey along the path that led to the Nome
King's dominions.
When Kaliko again looked through his magic
spyglass he exclaimed:
"Bad luck, Your Majesty! All the invaders have
passed the Rubber Country and now are fast
approaching the entrance to your caverns."
Ruggedo raved and stormed at the news and his
anger was so great that several times, as he
strode up and down his jeweled cavern, he paused
to kick Kaliko upon his shins, which were so
sensitive that the poor nome howled with pain.
Finally the King said:
"There's no help for it; we must drop these
audacious invaders down the Hollow Tube."
Kaliko gave a jump, at this, and looked at his
master wonderingly.
"If you do that, Your Majesty," he said, "you
will make Tititi-Hoochoo very angry."
"Never mind that," retorted Ruggedo. "Tititi-
Hoochoo lives on the other side of the world, so
what do I care for his anger?"
Kaliko shuddered and uttered a little groan.
"Remember his terrible powers," he pleaded, "and
remember that he warned you, the last time you
slid people through the Hollow Tube, that if you
did it again he would take vengeance upon you."
The Metal Monarch walked up and down in silence,
thinking deeply.
"Of two dangers," said he, "it is wise to choose
the least. What do you suppose these invaders
"Let the Long-Eared Hearer listen to them,"
suggested Kaliko.
"Call him here at once!" commanded Ruggedo
So in a few minutes there entered the cavern a
nome with enormous ears, who bowed low before the
"Strangers are approaching," said Ruggedo, "and
I wish to know their errand. Listen carefully to
their talk and tell me why they are coming here,
and what for."
The nome bowed again and spread out his
great ears, swaying them gently up and down
and back and forth. For half an hour he stood
silent, in an attitude of listening, while both the
King and Kaliko grew impatient at the delay. At
last the Long-Eared Hearer spoke:
"Shaggy Man is coming here to rescue his
brother from captivity," said he.
"Ha, the Ugly One!" exclaimed Ruggedo. "Well,
Shaggy Man may have his ugly brother, for all I
care. He's too lazy to work and is always getting
in my way. Where is the Ugly One now, Kaliko?"
"The last time Your Majesty stumbled over
the prisoner you commanded me to send him to
the Metal Forest, which I did. I suppose he is
still there."
"Very good. The invaders will have a hard
time finding the Metal Forest," said the King,
with a grin of malicious delight, "for half the
time I can't find it myself. Yet I created the
forest and made every tree, out of gold and
silver, so as to keep the precious metals in a
safe place and out of the reach of mortals. But
tell me, Hearer, do the strangers want anything
"Yes, indeed they do!" returned the nome. "The
Army of Oogaboo is determined to capture all the
rich metals and rare jewels in your kingdom, and
the officers and their Queen have arranged to
divide the spoils and carry them away."
When he heard this Ruggedo uttered a bellow of
rage and began dancing up and down, rolling his
eyes, clicking his teeth together and swinging his
arms furiously. Then, in an ecstasy of anger he
seized the long ears of the Hearer and pulled and
twisted them cruelly; but Kaliko grabbed up the
King's sceptre and rapped him over the knuckles
with it, so that Ruggedo let go the ears and began
to chase his Royal Chamberlain around the throne.
The Hearer took advantage of this opportunity to
slip away from the cavern and escape, and after
the King had tired himself out chasing Kaliko he
threw himself into his throne and panted for
breath, while he glared wickedly at his defiant
"You'd better save your strength to fight the
enemy," suggested Kaliko. "There will be a
terrible battle when the Army of Oogaboo gets
"The Army won't get here," said the King,
still coughing and panting. "I'll drop 'em down
the Hollow Tube--every man Jack and every
girl Jill of 'em!"
"And defy Tititi-Hoochoo?" asked Kaliko.
"Yes. Go at once to my Chief Magician and
order him to turn the path toward the Hollow
Tube, and to make the tip of the Tube invisible,
so they'll all fall into it."
Kaliko went away shaking his head, for he
thought Ruggedo was making a great mistake. He
found the Magician and had the path twisted so
that it led directly to the opening of the Hollow
Tube, and this opening he made invisible.
Having obeyed the orders of his master, the
Royal Chamberlain went to his private room and
began to write letters of recommendation of
himself, stating that he was an honest man, a good
servant and a small eater.
"Pretty soon," he said to himself, "I shall have
to look for another job, for it is certain that
Ruggedo has ruined himself by this reckless
defiance of the mighty Tititi-Hoochoo. And in
seeking a job nothing is so effective as a letter
of recommendation."
Chapter Ten
A Terrible Tumble Through a Tube
I suppose that Polychrome, and perhaps Queen Ann
and her Army, might have been able to dispel the
enchantment of Ruggedo's Chief Magician had they
known that danger lay in their pathway; for the
Rainbow's Daughter was a fairy and as Oogaboo is
a part of the Land of Oz its inhabitants cannot
easily be deceived by such common magic as the
Nome King could command. But no one suspected any
especial danger until after they had entered
Ruggedo's cavern, and so they were journeying
along in quite a contented manner when Tik-Tok,
who marched ahead, suddenly disappeared.
The officers thought he must have turned a
corner, so they kept on their way and all of them
likewise disappeared--one after another. Queen Ann
was rather surprised at this, and in hastening
forward to learn the reason she also vanished from
Betsy Bobbin had tired her feet by walking, so
she was now riding upon the back of the stout
little mule, facing backward and talking to Shaggy
and Polychrome, who were just behind. Suddenly
Hank pitched forward and began falling and Betsy
would have tumbled over his head had she not
grabbed the mule's shaggy neck with both arms and
held on for dear life.
All around was darkness, and they were not
falling directly downward but seemed to be sliding
along a steep incline. Hank's hoofs were resting
upon some smooth substance over which he slid with
the swiftness of the wind. Once Betsy's heels flew
up and struck a similar substance overhead. They
were, indeed, descending the "Hollow Tube" that
led to the other side of the world.
"Stop, Hank--stop!" cried the girl; but Hank
only uttered a plaintive "Hee-haw!" for it was
impossible for him to obey.
After several minutes had passed and no harm had
befallen them, Betsy gained courage. She could see
nothing at all, nor could she hear anything except
the rush of air past her ears as they plunged
downward along the Tube. Whether she and Hank were
alone, or the others were with them, she could not
tell. But had some one been able to take a
flash-light photograph of the Tube at that time a
most curious picture would have resulted. There
was Tik-Tok, flat upon his back and sliding
headforemost down the incline. And there were the
Officers of the Army of Oogaboo, all tangled up in
a confused crowd, flapping their arms and trying
to shield their faces from the clanking swords,
which swung back and forth during the swift
journey and pommeled everyone within their reach.
Now followed Queen Ann, who had struck the Tube in
a sitting position and went flying along with a
dash and abandon that thoroughly bewildered the
poor lady, who had no idea what had happened to
her. Then, a little distance away, but unseen by
the others in the inky darkness, slid Betsy and
Hank, while behind them were Shaggy and Polychrome
and finally Files and the Princess.
When first they tumbled into the Tube all were
too dazed to think clearly, but the trip was a
long one, because the cavity led straight through
the earth to a place just opposite the Nome King's
dominions, and long before the adventurers got to
the end they had begun to recover their wits.
"This is awful, Hank!" cried Betsy in a loud
voice, and Queen Ann heard her and called out:
"Are you safe, Betsy?"
"Mercy, no!" answered the little girl. "How
could anyone be safe when she's going about
sixty miles a minute?" Then, after a pause, she
added: "But where do you s'pose we're going
to, Your Maj'sty?"
"Don't ask her that, please don't!" said
Shaggy, who was not too far away to overhear
them. "And please don't ask me why, either."
"Why?" said Betsy.
"No one can tell where we are going until
we get there," replied Shaggy, and then he
yelled "Ouch!" for Polychrome had overtaken
him and was now sitting on his head.
The Rainbow's Daughter laughed merrily,
and so infectious was this joyous laugh that
Betsy echoed it and Hank said "Hee haw!" in a
mild and sympathetic tone of voice.
"I'd like to know where and when we'll arrive,
just the same," exclaimed the little girl.
"Be patient and you'll find out, my dear," said
Polychrome. "But isn't this an odd experience?
Here am I, whose home is in the skies, making
a journey through the center of the earth--where
I never expected to be!"
"How do you know we're in the center of the
earth?" asked Betsy, her voice trembling a little
through nervousness.
"Why, we can t be anywhere else," replied
Polychrome. "I have often heard of this passage,
which was once built by a Magician who was a
great traveler. He thought it would save him the
bother of going around the earth's surface, but
he tumbled through the Tube so fast that he
shot out at the other end and hit a star in the sky,
which at once exploded."
"The star exploded?" asked Betsy wonderingly.
"Yes; the Magician hit it so hard."
"And what became of the Magician?" inquired the
"No one knows that," answered Polychrome. "But I
don't think it matters much."
"It matters a good deal, if we also hit the
stars when we come out," said Queen Ann, with a
"Don't worry," advised Polychrome. "I believe
the Magician was going the other way, and probably
he went much faster than we are going."
"It's fast enough to suit me," remarked
Shaggy, gently removing Polychrome's heel
from his left eye. "Couldn't you manage to fall
all by yourself, my dear?"
"I'll try," laughed the Rainbow's Daughter.
All this time they were swiftly falling through
the Tube, and it was not so easy for them to talk
as you may imagine when you read their words. But
although they were so helpless and altogether in
the dark as to their fate, the fact that they were
able to converse at all cheered them,
Files and Ozga were also conversing as they
clung tightly to one another, and the young
fellow bravely strove to reassure the Princess,
although he was terribly frightened, both on her
account and on his own.
An hour, under such trying circumstances, is
a very long time, and for more than an hour they
continued their fearful journey. Then, just as
they began to fear the Tube would never end,
Tik-Tok popped out into broad daylight and,
after making a graceful circle in the air, fell
with a splash into a great marble fountain.
Out came the officers, in quick succession,
tumbling heels over head and striking the
ground in many undignified attitudes.
"For the love of sassafras!" exclaimed a
Peculiar Person who was hoeing pink violets in a
garden. "What can all this mean?"
For answer, Queen Ann sailed up from the
Tube, took a ride through the air as high as the
treetops, and alighted squarely on top of the
Peculiar Person's head, smashing a jeweled
crown over his eyes and tumbling him to the
The mule was heavier and had Betsy clinging to
his back, so he did not go so high up. Fortunately
for his little rider he struck the ground upon his
four feet. Betsy was jarred a trifle but not hurt
and when she looked around her she saw the Queen
and the Peculiar Person struggling together upon
the ground, where the man was trying to choke Ann
and she had both hands in his bushy hair and was
pulling with all her might. Some of the officers,
when they got upon their feet, hastened to
separate the combatants and sought to restrain the
Peculiar Person so that he could not attack their
Queen again.
By this time, Shaggy, Polychrome, Ozga and Files
had all arrived and were curiously examining the
strange country in which they found themselves and
which they knew to be exactly on the opposite side
of the world from the place where they had fallen
into the Tube. It was a lovely place, indeed, and
seemed to be the garden of some great Prince, for
through the vistas of trees and shrubbery could be
seen the towers of an immense castle. But as yet
the only inhabitant to greet them was the Peculiar
Person just mentioned, who had shaken off the
grasp of the officers without effort and was now
trying to pull the battered crown from off his
Shaggy, who was always polite, helped him to
do this and when the man was free and could
see again he looked at his visitors with evident
"Well, well, well!" he exclaimed. "Where did
you come from and how did you get here?"
Betsy tried to answer him, for Queen Ann was
surly and silent.
"I can't say, exac'ly where we came from,
cause I don't know the name of the place," said
the girl, "but the way we got here was through
the Hollow Tube."
"Don't call it a 'hollow' Tube, please,"
exclaimed the Peculiar Person in an irritated tone
of voice. "If it's a tube, it's sure to be
"Why?" asked Betsy.
"Because all tubes are made that way. But this
Tube is private property and everyone is forbidden
to fall into it."
"We didn't do it on purpose," explained Betsy,
and Polychrome added: "I am quite sure that
Ruggedo, the Nome King, pushed us down that Tube."
"Ha! Ruggedo! Did you say Ruggedo?" cried the
man, becoming much excited.
"That is what she said," replied Shaggy, "and I
believe she is right. We were on our way to
conquer the Nome King when suddenly we fell into
the Tube."
"Then you are enemies of Ruggedo?" inquired the
peculiar Person.
"Not exac'ly enemies," said Betsy, a little
puzzled by the question, "'cause we don't know him
at all; but we started out to conquer him, which
isn't as friendly as it might be."
"True," agreed the man. He looked thoughtfully
from one to another of them for a while and then
he turned his head over his shoulder and said:
"Never mind the fire and pincers, my good
brothers. It will be best to take these strangers
to the Private Citizen."
"Very well, Tubekins," responded a Voice,
deep and powerful, that seemed to come out of
the air, for the speaker was invisible.
All our friends gave a jump, at this. Even
Polychrome was so startled that her gauze
draperies fluttered like a banner in a breeze.
Shaggy shook his head and sighed; Queen Ann looked
very unhappy; the officers clung to each other,
trembling violently.
But soon they gained courage to look more
closely at the Peculiar Person. As he was a type
of all the inhabitants of this extraordinary land
whom they afterward met, I will try to tell you
what he looked like.
His face was beautiful, but lacked expression.
His eyes were large and blue in color and his
teeth finely formed and white as snow. His hair
was black and bushy and seemed inclined to curl at
the ends. So far no one could find any fault with
his appearance. He wore a robe of scarlet, which
did not cover his arms and extended no lower than
his bare knees. On the bosom of the robe was
embroidered a terrible dragon's head, as horrible
to look at as the man was beautiful. His arms and
legs were left bare and the skin of one arm was
bright yellow and the skin of the other arm a
vivid green. He had one blue leg and one pink one,
while both his feet--which showed through the open
sandals he wore--were jet black.
Betsy could not decide whether these gorgeous
colors were dyes or the natural tints of the skin,
but while she was thinking it over the man who
had been called "Tubekins" said:
"Follow me to the Residence--all of you!"
But just then a Voice exclaimed: "Here's another
of them, Tubekins, lying in the water of the
"Gracious!" cried Betsy; "it must be Tik-Tok,
and he'll drown."
"Water is a bad thing for his clockworks,
anyway," agreed Shaggy, as with one accord they
all started for the fountain. But before they
could reach it, invisible hands raised Tik-Tok
from the marble basin and set him upon his feet
beside it, water dripping from every joint of his
copper body.
"Ma--ny tha--tha--tha--thanks!" he said; and
then his copper jaws clicked together and he
could say no more. He next made an attempt to
walk but after several awkward trials found he
could not move his joints.
Peals of jeering laughter from persons unseen
greeted Tik-Tok's failure, and the new arrivals in
this strange land found it very uncomfortable to
realize that there were many creatures around them
who were invisible, yet could be heard plainly.
"Shall I wind him up?" asked Betsy, feeling very
sorry for Tik-Tok.
"I think his machinery is wound; but he needs
oiling," replied Shaggy.
At once an oil-can appeared before him, held
on a level with his eyes by some unseen hand.
Shaggy took the can and tried to oil Tik-Tok's
joints. As if to assist him, a strong current of
warm air was directed against the copper man
which quickly dried him. Soon he was able to
say "Ma-ny thanks!" quite smoothly and his
joints worked fairly well.
"Come!" commanded Tubekins, and turning his back
upon them he walked up the path toward the castle.
"Shall we go?" asked Queen Ann, uncertainly; but
just then she received a shove that almost pitched
her forward on her head; so she decided to go. The
officers who hesitated received several energetic
kicks, but could not see who delivered them;
therefore they also decided--very wisely--to go.
The others followed willingly enough, for unless
they ventured upon another terrible journey
through the Tube they must make the best of the
unknown country they were in, and the best seemed
to be to obey orders.
Chapter Eleven
The Famous Fellowship of Fairies
After a short walk through very beautiful gardens
they came to the castle and followed Tubekins
through the entrance and into a great domed
chamber, where he commanded them to be seated.
From the crown which he wore, Betsy had thought
this man must be the King of the country they were
in, yet after he had seated all the strangers upon
benches that were ranged in a semicircle before a
high throne, Tubekins bowed humbly before the
vacant throne and in a flash became invisible and
The hall was an immense place, but there seemed
to be no one in it beside themselves. Presently,
however, they heard a low cough near them, and
here and there was the faint rustling of a robe
and a slight patter as of footsteps. Then suddenly
there rang out the clear tone of a bell and at the
sound all was changed.
Gazing around the hall in bewilderment they saw
that it was filled with hundreds of men and women,
all with beautiful faces and staring blue eyes and
all wearing scarlet robes and jeweled crowns upon
their heads. In fact, these people seemed exact
duplicates of Tubekins and it was difficult to
find any mark by which to tell them apart.
"My! what a lot of Kings and Queens!" whispered
Betsy to Polychrome, who sat beside her and
appeared much interested in the scene but not a
bit worried.
"It is certainly a strange sight," was
Polychrome's reply; "but I cannot see how there
can be more than one King, or Queen, in any one
country, for were these all rulers, no one could
tell who was Master."
One of the Kings who stood near and overheard
this remark turned to her and said: "One who is
Master of himself is always a King, if only to
himself. In this favored land all Kings and Queens
are equal, and it is our privilege to bow before
one supreme Ruler--the Private Citizen."
"Who's he?" inquired Betsy.
As if to answer her, the clear tones of the bell
again rang out and instantly there appeared
seated in the throne the man who was lord and
master of all these royal ones. This fact was
evident when with one accord they fell upon their
knees and touched their foreheads to the floor.
The Private Citizen was not unlike the others,
except that his eyes were black instead of blue
and in the centers of the black irises glowed red
sparks that seemed like coals of fire. But his
features were very beautiful and dignified and
his manner composed and stately. Instead of the
prevalent scarlet robe, he wore one of white,
and the same dragon's head that decorated the
others was embroidered upon its bosom.
"What charge lies against these people,
Tubekins?" he asked in quiet, even tones.
"They came through the forbidden Tube, O Mighty
Citizen," was the reply.
"You see, it was this way," said Betsy. "We
were marching to the Nome King, to conquer him and
set Shaggy's brother free, when on a sudden--"
"Who are you?" demanded the Private Citizen
"Me? Oh, I'm Betsy Bobbin, and--"
"Who is the leader of this party?" asked the
"Sir, I am Queen Ann of Oogaboo, and--"
"Then keep quiet," said the Citizen. "Who is the
No one answered for a moment. Then General Bunn
stood up.
"Sit down!" commanded the Citizen. "I can see
that sixteen of you are merely officers, and of no
"But we have an Army," said General Clock,
blusteringly, for he didn't like to be told he was
of no account.
"Where is your Army?" asked the Citizen.
"It's me," said Tik-Tok, his voice sounding a
little rusty. "I'm the on-ly Pri-vate Sol-dier in
the par-ty."
Hearing this, the Citizen rose and bowed
respectfully to the Clockwork Man.
"Pardon me for not realizing your importance
before," said he. "Will you oblige me by taking
a seat beside me on my throne?"
Tik-Tok rose and walked over to the throne, all
the Kings and Queens making way for him. Then with
clanking steps he mounted the platform and sat on
the broad seat beside the Citizen.
Ann was greatly provoked at this mark of favor
shown to the humble Clockwork Man, but Shaggy
seemed much pleased that his old friend's
importance had been recognized by the ruler of
this remarkable country. The Citizen now began to
question Tik-Tok, who told in his mechanical voice
about Shaggy's quest of his lost brother, and how
Ozma of Oz had sent the Clockwork Man to assist
him, and how they had fallen in with Queen Ann and
her people from Oogaboo. Also he told how Betsy
and Hank and Polychrome and the Rose Princess had
happened to join their party.
"And you intended to conquer Ruggedo, the Metal
Monarch and King of the Nomes?" asked the Citizen.
"Yes. That seemed the on-ly thing for us to do,"
was Tik-Tok's reply. "But he was too cle-ver for
us. When we got close to his cav-ern he made our
path lead to the Tube, and made the op-en-ing invis-
i-ble, so that we all fell in-to it be-fore we
knew it was there. It was an eas-y way to get rid
of us and now Rug-gedo is safe and we are far away
in a strange land."
The Citizen was silent a moment and seemed to be
thinking. Then he said:
"Most noble Private Soldier, I must inform you
that by the laws of our country anyone who comes
through the Forbidden Tube must be tortured for
nine days and ten nights and then thrown back into
the Tube. But it is wise to disregard laws when
they conflict with justice, and it seems that you
and your followers did not disobey our laws
willingly, being forced into the Tube by Ruggedo.
Therefore the Nome King is alone to blame, and he
alone must be punished."
"That suits me," said Tik-Tok. "But Rug-ge-do
is on the o-ther side of the world where he is
a-way out of your reach."
The Citizen drew himself up proudly.
"Do you imagine anything in the world or upon it
can be out of the reach of the Great Jinjin?" he
"Oh! Are you, then, the Great Jinjin?" inquired
"I am."
"Then your name is Ti-ti-ti-Hoo-choo?"
"It is."
Queen Ann gave a scream and began to tremble.
Shaggy was so disturbed that he took out a
handkerchief and wiped the perspiration from his
brow. Polychrome looked sober and uneasy for the
first time, while Files put his arms around the
Rose Princess as if to protect her. As for the
officers, the name of the great Jinjin set them
moaning and weeping at a great rate and every one
fell upon his knees before the throne, begging for
mercy. Betsy was worried at seeing her companions
so disturbed, but did not know what it was all
about. Only Tik-Tok was unmoved at the discovery.
"Then," said he, "if you are Ti-ti-ti-Hoo-choo,
and think Rug-ge-do is to blame, I am sure that
some-thing queer will hap-pen to the King of the
"I wonder what 'twill be," said Betsy.
The Private Citizen--otherwise known as Tititi-
Hoochoo, the Great Jinjin--looked at the little
girl steadily.
"I will presently decide what is to happen to
Ruggedo," said he in a hard, stern voice. Then,
turning to the throng of Kings and Queens, he
continued: "Tik-Tok has spoken truly, for his
machinery will not allow him to lie, nor will it
allow his thoughts to think falsely. Therefore
these people are not our enemies and must be
treated with consideration and justice. Take them
to your palaces and entertain them as guests until
to-morrow, when I command that they be brought
again to my Residence. By then I shall have formed
my plans."
No sooner had Tititi-Hoochoo spoken than he
disappeared from sight. Immediately after, most of
the Kings and Queens likewise disappeared. But
several of them remained visible and approached
the strangers with great respect. One of the
lovely Queens said to Betsy:
"I trust you will honor me by being my guest. I
am Erma, Queen of Light."
"May Hank come with me?" asked the girl.
"The King of Animals will care for your mule,"
was the reply. "But do not fear for him, for he
will be treated royally. All of your party will be
reunited on the morrow."
"I--I'd like to have some one with me," said
Betsy, pleadingly.
Queen Erma looked around and smiled upon
"Will the Rainbow's Daughter be an agreeable
companion?" she asked.
"Oh, yes!" exclaimed the girl.
So Polychrome and Betsy became guests of the
Queen of Light, while other beautiful Kings and
Queens took charge of the others of the party.
The two girls followed Erma out of the hall
and through the gardens of the Residence to a
village of pretty dwellings. None of these was so
large or imposing as the castle of the Private
Citizen, but all were handsome enough to be
called palaces--as, in fact, they really were.
Chapter Twelve
The Lovely Lady of Light
The palace of the Queen of Light stood on a little
eminence and was a mass of crystal windows,
surmounted by a vast crystal dome. When they
entered the portals Erma was greeted by six lovely
maidens, evidently of high degree, who at once
aroused Betsy's admiration. Each bore a wand in
her hand, tipped with an emblem of light, and
their costumes were also emblematic of the lights
they represented. Erma introduced them to her
guests and each made a graceful and courteous
First was Sunlight, radiantly beautiful and very
fair; the second was Moonlight, a soft, dreamy
damsel with nut-brown hair; next came Starlight,
equally lovely but inclined to be retiring and
shy. These three were dressed in shimmering robes
of silvery white. The fourth was Daylight, a
brilliant damsel with laughing eyes and frank
manners, who wore a variety of colors. Then came
Firelight, clothed in a fleecy flame-colored robe
that wavered around her shapely form in a very
attractive manner. The sixth maiden, Electra, was
the most beautiful of all, and Betsy thought from
the first that both Sunlight and Daylight regarded
Electra with envy and were a little jealous of
But all were cordial in their greetings to the
strangers and seemed to regard the Queen of Light
with much affection, for they fluttered around her
in a flashing, radiant group as she led the way to
her regal drawing-room.
This apartment was richly and cosily furnished,
the upholstery being of many tints, and both Betsy
and Polychrome enjoyed resting themselves upon the
downy divans after their strenuous adventures of
the day.
The Queen sat down to chat with her guests, who
noticed that Daylight was the only maiden now
seated beside Erma. The others had retired to
another part of the room, where they sat modestly
with entwined arms and did not intrude themselves
at all.
The Queen told the strangers all about this
beautiful land, which is one of the chief
residences of fairies who minister to the needs of
mankind. So many important fairies lived there
that, to avoid rivalry, they had elected as their
Ruler the only important personage in the country
who had no duties to mankind to perform and was,
in effect, a Private Citizen. This Ruler, or
Jinjin, as was his title, bore the name of Tititi-
Hoochoo, and the most singular thing about him was
that he had no heart. But instead of this he
possessed a high degree of Reason and Justice and
while he showed no mercy in his judgments he never
punished unjustly or without reason. To wrongdoers
Tititi-Hoochoo was as terrible as he was
heartless, but those who were innocent of evil had
nothing to fear from him.
All the Kings and Queens of this fairyland paid
reverence to Jinjin, for as they expected to be
obeyed by others they were willing to obey the one
in authority over them.
The inhabitants of the Land of Oz had heard many
tales of this fearfully just Jinjin, whose
punishments were always equal to the faults
committed. Polychrome also knew of him, although
this was the first time she had ever seen him face
to face. But to Betsy the story was all new, and
she was greatly interested in Tititi-Hoochoo, whom
she no longer feared.
Time sped swiftly during their talk and suddenly
Betsy noticed that Moonlight was sitting beside
the Queen of Light, instead of Daylight.
"But tell me, please," she pleaded, "why do you
all wear a dragon's head embroidered on your
Erma's pleasant face became grave as she
"The Dragon, as you must know, was the first
living creature ever made; therefore the Dragon is
the oldest and wisest of living things. By good
fortune the Original Dragon, who still lives, is a
resident of this land and supplies us with wisdom
whenever we are in need of it. He is old as the
world and remembers everything that has happened
since the world was created."
"Did he ever have any children?" inquired the
"Yes, many of them. Some wandered into other
lands, where men, not understanding them, made war
upon them; but many still reside in this country.
None, however, is as wise as the Original Dragon,
for whom we have great respect. As he was the
first resident here, we wear the emblem of the
dragon's head to show that we are the favored
people who alone have the right to inhabit this
fairyland, which in beauty almost equals the
Fairyland of Oz, and in power quite surpasses it."
"I understand about the dragon, now," said
Polychrome, nodding her lovely head. Betsy did not
quite understand, but she was at present
interested in observing the changing lights. As
Daylight had given way to Moonlight, so now
Starlight sat at the right hand of Erma the Queen,
and with her coming a spirit of peace and content
seemed to fill the room. Polychrome, being
herself a fairy, had many questions to ask about
the various Kings and Queens who lived in this
far-away, secluded place, and before Erma had
finished answering them a rosy glow filled the
room and Firelight took her place beside the
Betsy liked Firelight, but to gaze upon her warm
and glowing features made the little girl sleepy,
and presently she began to nod. Thereupon Erma
rose and took Betsy's hand gently in her own.
"Come," said she; "the feast time has arrived
and the feast is spread."
"That's nice," exclaimed the small mortal.
"Now that I think of it, I'm awful hungry. But
p'raps I can't eat your fairy food."
The Queen smiled and led her to a doorway. As
she pushed aside a heavy drapery a flood of
silvery light greeted them, and Betsy saw before
her a splendid banquet hall, with a table spread
with snowy linen and crystal and silver. At one
side was a broad, throne-like seat for Erma and
beside her now sat the brilliant maid Electra.
Polychrome was placed on the Queen's right hand
and Betsy upon her left. The other five messengers
of light now waited upon them, and each person was
supplied with just the food she liked best.
Polychrome found her dish of dewdrops, all fresh
and sparkling, while Betsy was so lavishly served
that she decided she had never in her life eaten a
dinner half so good.
"I s'pose," she said to the Queen, "that Miss
Electra is the youngest of all these girls."
"Why do you suppose that?" inquired Erma, with a
"'Cause electric'ty is the newest light we
know of. Didn't Mr. Edison discover it?"
"Perhaps he was the first mortal to discover
it," replied the Queen. "But electricity was a
part of the world from its creation, and therefore
my Electra is as old as Daylight or Moonlight,
and equally beneficent to mortals and fairies
Betsy was thoughtful for a time. Then she
remarked, as she looked at the six messengers of
"We couldn't very well do without any of
'em; could we?"
Erma laughed softly. "I couldn't, I'm sure," she
replied, "and I think mortals would miss any one
of my maidens, as well. Daylight cannot take the
place of Sunlight, which gives us strength and
energy. Moonlight is of value when Daylight, worn
out with her long watch, retires to rest. If the
moon in its course is hidden behind the earth's
rim, and my sweet Moonlight cannot cheer us,
Starlight takes her place, for the skies always
lend her power. Without Firelight we should miss
much of our warmth and comfort, as well as much
cheer when the walls of houses encompass us. But
always, when other lights forsake us, our glorious
Electra is ready to flood us with bright rays. As
Queen of Light, I love all my maidens, for I know
them to be faithful and true."
"I love 'em too!" declared Betsy. "But
sometimes, when I'm real sleepy, I can get along
without any light at all."
"Are you sleepy now?" inquired Erma, for the
feast had ended.
"A little," admitted the girl.
So Electra showed her to a pretty chamber where
there was a soft, white bed, and waited patiently
until Betsy had undressed and put on a shimmery
silken nightrobe that lay beside her pillow. Then
the light-maid bade her good night and opened the
When she closed it after her Betsy was in
darkness. In six winks the little girl was fast
Chapter Thirteen
The Jinjin's Just Judgment
All the adventurers were reunited next morning
when they were brought from various palaces to the
Residence of Tititi-Hoochoo and ushered into the
great Hall of State.
As before, no one was visible except our friends
and their escorts until the first bell sounded.
Then in a flash the room was seen to be filled
with the beautiful Kings and Queens of the land.
The second bell marked the appearance in the
throne of the mighty Jinjin, whose handsome
countenance was as composed and expressionless as
All bowed low to the Ruler. Their voices softly
murmured: "We greet the Private Citizen, mightiest
of Rulers, whose word is Law and whose Law is
Tititi-Hoochoo bowed in acknowledgment.
Then, looking around the brilliant assemblage,
and at the little group of adventurers before him,
he said:
"An unusual thing has happened. Inhabitants of
other lands than ours, who are different from
ourselves in many ways, have been thrust upon us
through the Forbidden Tube, which one of our
people foolishly made years ago and was properly
punished for his folly. But these strangers had no
desire to come here and were wickedly thrust into
the Tube by a cruel King on the other side of the
world, named Ruggedo. This King is an immortal,
but he is not good. His magic powers hurt mankind
more than they benefit them. Because he had
unjustly kept the Shaggy Man's brother a prisoner,
this little band of honest people, consisting of
both mortals and immortals, determined to conquer
Ruggedo and to punish him. Fearing they might
succeed in this, the Nome King misled them so that
they fell into the Tube.
"Now, this same Ruggedo has been warned by me,
many times, that if ever he used this Forbidden
Tube in any way he would be severely punished. I
find, by referring to the Fairy Records, that this
King's servant, a nome named Kaliko, begged his
master not to do such a wrong act as to drop these
people into the Tube and send them tumbling into
our country. But Ruggedo defied me and my orders.
"Therefore these strangers are innocent of any
wrong. It is only Ruggedo who deserves punishment,
and I will punish him." He paused a moment and
then continued in the same cold, merciless voice:
"These strangers must return through the Tube to
their own side of the world; but I will make their
fall more easy and pleasant than it was before.
Also I shall send with them an Instrument of
Vengeance, who in my name will drive Ruggedo from
his underground caverns, take away his magic
powers and make him a homeless wanderer on the
face of the earth--a place he detests."
There was a little murmur of horror from the
Kings and Queens at the severity of this
punishment, but no one uttered a protest, for all
realized that the sentence was just.
"In selecting my Instrument of Vengeance," went
on Tititi-Hoochoo, "I have realized that this will
be an unpleasant mission. Therefore no one of us
who is blameless should be forced to undertake it.
In this wonderful land it is seldom one is guilty
of wrong, even in the slightest degree, and on
examining the Records I found no King or Queen had
erred. Nor had any among their followers or
servants done any wrong. But finally I came to the
Dragon Family, which we highly respect, and then
it was that I discovered the error of Quox.
"Quox, as you well know, is a young dragon who
has not yet acquired the wisdom of his race.
Because of this lack, he has been disrespectful
toward his most ancient ancestor, the Original
Dragon, telling him once to mind his own business
and again saying that the Ancient One had grown
foolish with age. We are aware that dragons are
not the same as fairies and cannot be altogether
guided by our laws, yet such disrespect as Quox
has shown should not be unnoticed by us. Therefore
I have selected Quox as my royal Instrument of
Vengeance and he shall go through the Tube with
these people and inflict upon Ruggedo the
punishment I have decreed."
All had listened quietly to this speech and now
the Kings and Queens bowed gravely to signify
their approval of the Jinjin's judgment.
Tititi-Hoochoo turned to Tubekins.
"I command you," said he, "to escort these
strangers to the Tube and see that they all enter
The King of the Tube, who had first discovered
our friends and brought them to the Private
Citizen, stepped forward and bowed. As he did so,
the Jinjin and all the Kings and Queens suddenly
disappeared and only Tubekins remained visible.
"All right," said Betsy, with a sigh; "I don't
mind going back so very much, 'cause the Jinjin
promised to make it easy for us."
Indeed, Queen Ann and her officers were the only
ones who looked solemn and seemed to fear the
return journey. One thing that bothered Ann was
her failure to conquer this land of Tititi-
Hoochoo. As they followed their guide through the
gardens to the mouth of the Tube she said to
"How can I conquer the world, if I go away
and leave this rich country unconquered?"
"You can't," he replied. "Don't ask me why,
please, for if you don't know I can't inform
"Why not?" said Ann; but Shaggy paid no
attention to the question.
This end of the Tube had a silver rim and around
it was a gold railing to which was attached a sign
that read.
On a little silver plate just inside the Tube
was engraved the words:
"Burrowed and built by
Hiergargo the Magician,
In the Year of the World
1 9 6 2 5 4 7 8
For his own exclusive uses."
"He was some builder, I must say," remarked
Betsy, when she had read the inscription; "but
if he had known about that star I guess he'd
have spent his time playing solitaire."
"Well, what are we waiting for?" inquired
Shaggy, who was impatient to start.
"Quox," replied Tubekins. "But I think I hear
him coming."
"Is the young dragon invisible?" asked Ann,
who had never seen a live dragon and was a little
fearful of meeting one.
"No, indeed," replied the King of the Tube.
"You'll see him in a minute; but before you part
company I'm sure you'll wish he was invisible."
"Is he dangerous, then?" questioned Files.
"Not at all. But Quox tires me dreadfully," said
Tubekins, "and I prefer his room to his company.
At that instant a scraping sound was heard,
drawing nearer and nearer until from between
two big bushes appeared a huge dragon, who
approached the party, nodded his head and said:
"Good morning."
Had Quox been at all bashful I am sure he would
have felt uncomfortable at the astonished stare of
every eye in the group--except Tubekins, of
course, who was not astonished because he had seen
Quox so often.
Betsy had thought a "young" dragon must be a
small dragon, yet here was one so enormous that
the girl decided he must be full grown, if not
overgrown. His body was a lovely sky-blue in color
and it was thickly set with glittering silver
scales, each one as big as a serving-tray. Around
his neck was a pink ribbon with a bow just under
his left ear, and below the ribbon appeared a
chain of pearls to which was attached a golden
locket about as large around as the end of a bass
drum. This locket was set with many large and
beautiful jewels.
The head and face of Quox were not especially
ugly, when you consider that he was a dragon; but
his eyes were so large that it took him a long
time to wink and his teeth seemed very sharp and
terrible when they showed, which they did whenever
the beast smiled. Also his nostrils were quite
large and wide, and those who stood near him were
liable to smell brimstone--especially when he
breathed out fire, as it is the nature of dragons
to do. To the end of his long tail was attached a
big electric light.
Perhaps the most singular thing about the
dragon's appearance at this time was the fact that
he had a row of seats attached to his back, one
seat for each member of the party. These seats
were double, with curved backs, so that two
could sit in them, and there were twelve of these
double seats, all strapped firmly around the
dragon's thick body and placed one behind the
other, in a row that extended from his shoulders
nearly to his tail.
"Aha!" exclaimed Tubekins; "I see that Tititi-
Hoochoo has transformed Quox into a carryall."
"I'm glad of that," said Betsy. "I hope, Mr.
Dragon, you won't mind our riding on your back."
"Not a bit," replied Quox. "I'm in disgrace just
now, you know, and the only way to redeem my good
name is to obey the orders of the Jinjin. If he
makes me a beast of burden, it is only a part of
my punishment, and I must bear it like a dragon. I
don't blame you people at all, and I hope you'll
enjoy the ride. Hop on, please. All aboard for the
other side of the world!"
Silently they took their places. Hank sat in the
front seat with Betsy, so that he could rest his
front hoofs upon the dragon's head. Behind them
were Shaggy and Polychrome, then Files and the
Princess, and Queen Ann and Tik-Tok. The officers
rode in the rear seats. When all had mounted to
their places the dragon looked very like one of
those sightseeing wagons so common in big cities--
only he had legs instead of wheels.
"All ready?" asked Quox, and when they said they
were he crawled to the mouth of the Tube and put
his head in.
"Good-bye, and good luck to you!" called
Tubekins; but no one thought to reply, because
just then the dragon slid his great body into the
Tube and the journey to the other side of the
world had begun.
At first they went so fast that they could
scarcely catch their breaths, but presently Quox
slowed up and said with a sort of cackling laugh:
"My scales! but that is some tumble. I think I
shall take it easy and fall slower, or I'm likely to
get dizzy. Is it very far to the other side of the
"Haven't you ever been through this Tube
before?" inquired Shaggy.
"Never. Nor has anyone else in our country;
at least, not since I was born."
"How long ago was that?" asked Betsy.
"That I was born? Oh, not very long ago.
I'm only a mere child. If I had not been sent on
this journey, I would have celebrated my three
thousand and fifty-sixth birthday next Thursday.
Mother was going to make me a birthday cake
with three thousand and fifty-six candles on it;
but now, of course, there will be no celebration,
for I fear I shall not get home in time for it."
"Three thousand and fifty-six years!" cried
Betsy. "Why, I had no idea anything could live
that long!"
"My respected Ancestor, whom I would call a
stupid old humbug if I had not reformed, is so old
that I am a mere baby compared with him," said
Quox. "He dates from the beginning of the world,
and insists on telling us stories of things that
happened fifty thousand years ago, which are of no
interest at all to youngsters like me. In fact,
Grandpa isn't up to date. He lives altogether in
the past, so I can't see any good reason for his
being alive to-day.... Are you people able to see
your way, or shall I turn on more light?"
"Oh, we can see very nicely, thank you; only
there's nothing to see but ourselves," answered
This was true. The dragon's big eyes were like
headlights on an automobile and illuminated the
Tube far ahead of them. Also he curled his tail
upward so that the electric light on the end of it
enabled them to see one another quite clearly. But
the Tube itself was only dark metal, smooth as
glass but exactly the same from one of its ends to
the other. Therefore there was no scenery of
interest to beguile the journey.
They were now falling so gently that the trip
was proving entirely comfortable, as the Jinjin
had promised it would be; but this meant a
longer journey and the only way they could
make time pass was to engage in conversation.
The dragon seemed a willing and persistent
talker and he was of so much interest to them
that they encouraged him to chatter. His voice
was a little gruff but not unpleasant when one
became used to it.
"My only fear," said he presently, "is that this
constant sliding over the surface of the Tube will
dull my claws. You see, this hole isn't straight
down, but on a steep slant, and so instead of
tumbling freely through the air I must skate along
the Tube. Fortunately, there is a file in my toolkit,
and if my claws get dull they can be
sharpened again."
"Why do you want sharp claws?" asked Betsy.
"They are my natural weapons, and you must not
forget that I have been sent to conquer Ruggedo."
"Oh, you needn't mind about that," remarked
Queen Ann, in her most haughty manner; "for when
we get to Ruggedo I and my invincible Army can
conquer him without your assistance."
"Very good," returned the dragon, cheerfully.
"That will save me a lot of bother--if you
succeed. But I think I shall file my claws, just
the same."
He gave a long sigh, as he said this, and a
sheet of flame, several feet in length, shot from
his mouth. Betsy shuddered and Hank said
"Hee-haw!" while some of the officers screamed
in terror. But the dragon did not notice that he
had done anything unusual.
"Is there fire inside of you?" asked Shaggy.
"Of course," answered Quox. "What sort of a
dragon would I be if my fire went out?"
"What keeps it going?" Betsy inquired.
"I've no idea. I only know it's there," said
Quox. "The fire keeps me alive and enables me
to move; also to think and speak."
"Ah! You are ver-y much like my-self," said
Tik-Tok. "The on-ly dif-fer-ence is that I move
by clock-work, while you move by fire."
"I don't see a particle of likeness between us,
I must confess," retorted Quox, gruffly. "You are
not a live thing; you're a dummy."
"But I can do things, you must ad-mit," said
"Yes, when you are wound up," sneered the
dragon. "But if you run down, you are helpless."
"What would happen to you, Quox, if you ran
out of gasoline?" inquired Shaggy, who did not
like this attack upon his friend.
"I don't use gasoline."
"Well, suppose you ran out of fire."
"What's the use of supposing that?" asked
Quox. "My great-great-great-grandfather has
lived since the world began, and he has never
once run out of fire to keep him going. But I
will confide to you that as he gets older he shows
more smoke and less fire. As for Tik-Tok, he's
well enough in his way, but he's merely copper.
And the Metal Monarch knows copper through
and through. I wouldn't be surprised if Ruggedo
melted Tik-Tok in one of his furnaces and made
copper pennies of him."
"In that case, I would still keep going,"
remarked Tik-Tok, calmly.
"Pennies do," said Betsy regretfully.
"This is all nonsense," said the Queen, with
irritation. "Tik-Tok is my great Army--all but the
officers--and I believe he will be able to conquer
Ruggedo with ease. What do you think, Polychrome?"
"You might let him try," answered the Rainbow's
Daughter, with her sweet ringing laugh, that
sounded like the tinkling of tiny bells. "And if
Tik-Tok fails, you have still the big firebreathing
dragon to fall back on."
"Ah!" said the dragon, another sheet of flame
gushing from his mouth and nostrils; "it's a wise
little girl, this Polychrome. Anyone would know
she is a fairy."
Chapter Fourteen
The Long-Eared Hearer Learns by Listening
During this time Ruggedo, the Metal Monarch and
King of the Nomes, was trying to amuse himself in
his splendid jeweled cavern. It was hard work for
Ruggedo to find amusement to-day, for all the
nomes were behaving well and there was no one to
scold or to punish. The King had thrown his
sceptre at Kaliko six times, without hitting him
once. Not that Kaliko had done anything wrong. On
the contrary, he had obeyed the King in every way
but one: he would not stand still, when commanded
to do so, and let the heavy sceptre strike him.
We can hardly blame Kaliko for this, and even
the cruel Ruggedo forgave him; for he knew very
well that if he mashed his Royal Chamberlain he
could never find another so intelligent and
obedient. Kaliko could make the nomes work when
their King could not, for the nomes hated Ruggedo
and there were so many thousands of the quaint
little underground people that they could easily
have rebelled and defied the King had they dared
to do so. Sometimes, when Ruggedo abused them
worse than usual, they grew sullen and threw down
their hammers and picks. Then, however hard the
King scolded or whipped them, they would not work
until Kaliko came and begged them to. For Kaliko
was one of themselves and was as much abused by
the King as any nome in the vast series of
But to-day all the little people were working
industriously at their tasks and Ruggedo, having
nothing to do, was greatly bored. He sent for the
Long-Eared Hearer and asked him to listen
carefully and report what was going on in the big
"It seems," said the Hearer, after listening for
awhile, "that the women in America have clubs."
"Are there spikes in them?" asked Ruggedo,
"I cannot hear any spikes, Your Majesty," was
the reply.
"Then their clubs are not as good as my
sceptre. What else do you hear?'
"There's a war.
"Bah! there's always a war. What else?"
For a time the Hearer was silent, bending
forward and spreading out his big ears to catch
the slightest sound. Then suddenly he said:
"Here is an interesting thing, Your Majesty.
These people are arguing as to who shall conquer
the Metal Monarch, seize his treasure and drive
him from his dominions."
"What people?" demanded Ruggedo, sitting
up straight in his throne.
"The ones you threw down the Hollow Tube."
"Where are they now?"
"In the same Tube, and coming back this way,"
said the Hearer.
Ruggedo got out of his throne and began to
pace up and down the cavern.
"I wonder what can be done to stop them,"
he mused.
"Well," said the Hearer, "if you could turn
the Tube upside down, they would be falling
the other way, Your Majesty."
Ruggedo glared at him wickedly, for it was
impossible to turn the Tube upside down and
he believed the Hearer was slyly poking fun
at him. Presently he asked:
"How far away are those people now?"
"About nine thousand three hundred and six
miles, seventeen furlongs, eight feet and four
inches--as nearly as I can judge from the sound
of their voices," replied the Hearer.
"Aha! Then it will be some time before they
arrive," said Ruggedo, "and when they get here
I shall be ready to receive them."
He rushed to his gong and pounded upon it so
fiercely that Kaliko came bounding into the cavern
with one shoe off and one shoe on, for he was just
dressing himself after a swim in the hot bubbling
lake of the Underground Kingdom.
"Kaliko, those invaders whom we threw down
the Tube are coming back again!" he exclaimed.
"I thought they would," said the Royal
Chamberlain, pulling on the other shoe. "Tititi-
Hoochoo would not allow them to remain in his
kingdom, of course, and so I've been expecting
them back for some time. That was a very foolish
action of yours, Rug."
"What, to throw them down the Tube?"
"Yes. Tititi-Hoochoo has forbidden us to throw
even rubbish into the Tube."
"Pooh! what do I care for the Jinjin?" asked
Ruggedo scornfully. "He never leaves his own
kingdom, which is on the other side of the world."
"True; but he might send some one through
the Tube to punish you," suggested Kaliko.
"I'd like to see him do it! Who could conquer my
thousands of nomes?"
"Why, they've been conquered before, if I
remember aright," answered Kaliko with a grin.
"Once I saw you running from a little girl named
Dorothy, and her friends, as if you were really
"Well, I was afraid, that time," admitted the
Nome King, with a deep sigh, "for Dorothy had a
Yellow Hen that laid eggs!"
The King shuddered as he said "eggs," and Kaliko
also shuddered, and so did the Long-Eared Hearer;
for eggs are the only things that the nomes
greatly dread. The reason for this is that eggs
belong on the earth's surface, where birds and
fowl of all sorts live, and there is something
about a hen's egg, especially, that fills a nome
with horror. If by chance the inside of an egg
touches one of these underground people, he
withers up and blows away and that is the end of
him--unless he manages quickly to speak a magical
word which only a few of the nomes know. Therefore
Ruggedo and his followers had very good cause to
shudder at the mere mention of eggs.
"But Dorothy," said the King, "is not with this
band of invaders; nor is the Yellow Hen. As for
Tititi-Hoochoo, he has no means of knowing that we
are afraid of eggs."
"You mustn't be too sure of that," Kaliko warned
him. "Tititi-Hoochoo knows a great many things,
being a fairy, and his powers are far superior to
any we can boast."
Ruggedo shrugged impatiently and turned to the
"Listen," said he, "and tell me if you hear any
eggs coming through the Tube."
The Long-Eared one listened and then shook
his head. But Kaliko laughed at the King.
"No one can hear an egg, Your Majesty,"
said he. "The only way to discover the truth is to
look through the Magic Spyglass."
"That's it!" cried the King. "Why didn't I
think of it before? Look at once, Kaliko!"
So Kaliko went to the Spyglass and by uttering a
mumbled charm he caused the other end of it to
twist around, so that it pointed down the opening
of the Tube. Then he put his eye to the glass and
was able to gaze along all the turns and windings
of the Magic Spyglass and then deep into the Tube,
to where our friends were at that time falling.
"Dear me!" he exclaimed. "Here comes a dragon."
"A big one?" asked Ruggedo.
"A monster. He has an electric light on the end
of his tail, so I can see him very plainly. And
the other people are all riding upon his back."
"How about the eggs?" inquired the King.
Kaliko looked again.
"I can see no eggs at all," said he; "but I
imagine that the dragon is as dangerous as eggs.
Probably Tititi-Hoochoo has sent him here to
punish you for dropping those strangers into the
Forbidden Tube. I warned you not to do it, Your
This news made the Nome King anxious. For a few
minutes he paced up and down, stroking his long
beard and thinking with all his might. After this
he turned to Kaliko and said:
"All the harm a dragon can do is to scratch with
his claws and bite with his teeth."
"That is not all, but it's quite enough,"
returned Kaliko earnestly. "On the other hand, no
one can hurt a dragon, because he's the toughest
creature alive. One flop of his huge tail could
smash a hundred nomes to pancakes, and with teeth
and claws he could tear even you or me into small
bits, so that it would be almost impossible to put
us together again. Once, a few hundred years ago,
while wandering through some deserted caverns, I
came upon a small piece of a nome lying on the
rocky floor. I asked the piece of nome what had
happened to it. Fortunately the mouth was a part
of this piece--the mouth and the left eye--so it
was able to tell me that a fierce dragon was the
cause. It had attacked the poor nome and scattered
him in every direction, and as there was no friend
near to collect his pieces and put him together,
they had been separated for a great many years. So
you see, Your Majesty, it is not in good taste to
sneer at a dragon."
The King had listened attentively to Kaliko.
Said he:
"It will only be necessary to chain this dragon
which Tititi-Hoochoo has sent here, in order to
prevent his reaching us with his claws and teeth."
"He also breathes flames," Kaliko reminded him.
"My nomes are not afraid of fire, nor am I,"
said Ruggedo.
"Well, how about the Army of Oogaboo?"
"Sixteen cowardly officers and Tik-Tok! Why, I
could defeat them single-handed; but I won't try
to. I'll summon my army of nomes to drive the
invaders out of my territory, and if we catch any
of them I intend to stick needles into them until
they hop with pain."
"I hope you won't hurt any of the girls," said
"I'll hurt 'em all!" roared the angry Metal
Monarch. "And that braying Mule I'll make into
hoof-soup, and feed it to my nomes, that it may
add to their strength."
"Why not be good to the strangers and release
your prisoner, the Shaggy Man's brother?"
suggested Kaliko.
"It may save you a lot of annoyance. And you
don't want the Ugly One."
"I don't want him; that's true. But I won't
allow anybody to order me around. I'm King of the
Nomes and I'm the Metal Monarch, and I shall do as
I please and what I please and when I please!"
With this speech Ruggedo threw his sceptre at
Kaliko's head, aiming it so well that the Royal
Chamberlain had to fall flat upon the floor in
order to escape it. But the Hearer did not see the
sceptre coming and it swept past his head so
closely that it broke off the tip of one of his
long ears. He gave a dreadful yell that quite
startled Ruggedo, and the King was sorry for the
accident because those long ears of the Hearer
were really valuable to him.
So the Nome King forgot to be angry with Kaliko
and ordered his Chamberlain to summon General Guph
and the army of nomes and have them properly
armed. They were then to march to the mouth of the
Tube, where they could seize the travelers as soon
as they appeared.
Chapter Fifteen
The Dragon Defies Danger
Although the journey through the Tube was longer,
this time, than before, it was so much more
comfortable that none of our friends minded it at
all. They talked together most of the time and as
they found the dragon good-natured and fond of the
sound of his own voice they soon became well
acquainted with him and accepted him as a
"You see," said Shaggy, in his frank way, "Quox
is on our side, and therefore the dragon is a good
fellow. If he happened to be an enemy, instead of
a friend, I am sure I should dislike him very
much, for his breath smells of brimstone, he is
very conceited and he is so strong and fierce that
he would prove a dangerous foe."
"Yes, indeed," returned Quox, who had listened
to this speech with pleasure; "I suppose I am
about as terrible as any living thing. I am glad
you find me conceited, for that proves I know my
good qualities. As for my breath smelling of
brimstone, I really can't help it, and I once met
a man whose breath smelled of onions, which I
consider far worse."
"I don't," said Betsy; "I love onions.
"And I love brimstone," declared the dragon, "so
don't let us quarrel over one another's
Saying this, he breathed a long breath and shot
a flame fifty feet from his mouth. The brimstone
made Betsy cough, but she remembered about the
onions and said nothing.
They had no idea how far they had gone through
the center of the earth, nor when to expect the
trip to end. At one time the little girl remarked:
"I wonder when we'll reach the bottom of this
hole. And isn't it funny, Shaggy Man, that what is
the bottom to us now, was the top when we fell the
other way?"
"What puzzles me," said Files, "is that we are
able to fall both ways."
"That," announced Tik-Tok, "is be-cause the world
is round."
"Exactly," responded Shaggy. "The machinery in
your head is in fine working order, Tik-Tok. You
know, Betsy, that there is such a thing as the
Attraction of Gravitation, which draws everything
toward the center of the earth. That is why we
fall out of bed, and why everything clings to the
surface of the earth."
"Then why doesn't everyone go on down to
the center of the earth?" inquired the little girl.
"I was afraid you were going to ask me that,"
replied Shaggy in a sad tone. "The reason, my
dear, is that the earth is so solid that other solid
things can't get through it. But when there's a
hole, as there is in this case, we drop right down
to the center of the world."
"Why don't we stop there?" asked Betsy.
"Because we go so fast that we acquire speed
enough to carry us right up to the other end."
"I don't understand that, and it makes my
head ache to try to figure it out," she said after
some thought. "One thing draws us to the center
and another thing pushes us away from it.
"Don't ask me why, please," interrupted the
Shaggy Man. "If you can't understand it, let it go
at that."
"Do you understand it?" she inquired.
"All the magic isn't in fairyland," he said
gravely. "There's lots of magic in all Nature,
and you may see it as well in the United States,
where you and I once lived, as you can here."
"I never did," she replied.
"Because you were so used to it all that you
didn't realize it was magic. Is anything more
wonderful than to see a flower grow and blossom,
or to get light out of the electricity in the air?
The cows that manufacture milk for us must have
machinery fully as remarkable as that in Tik-Tok's
copper body, and perhaps you've noticed that--"
And then, before Shaggy could finish his speech,
the strong light of day suddenly broke upon them,
grew brighter, and completely enveloped them. The
dragon's claws no longer scraped against the metal
Tube, for he shot into the open air a hundred feet
or more and sailed so far away from the slanting
hole that when he landed it was on the peak of a
mountain and just over the entrance to the many
underground caverns of the Nome King.
Some of the officers tumbled off their seats
when Quox struck the ground, but most of the
dragon's passengers only felt a slight jar. All
were glad to be on solid earth again and they at
once dismounted and began to look about them.
Queerly enough, as soon as they had left the
dragon, the seats that were strapped to the
monster's back disappeared, and this probably
happened because there was no further use for them
and because Quox looked far more dignified in just
his silver scales. Of course he still wore the
forty yards of ribbon around his neck, as well as
the great locket, but these only made him look
"dressed up," as Betsy remarked.
Now the army of nomes had gathered thickly
around the mouth of the Tube, in order to be ready
to capture the band of invaders as soon as they
popped out. There were, indeed, hundreds of nomes
assembled, and they were led by Guph, their most
famous General. But they did not expect the dragon
to fly so high, and he shot out of the Tube so
suddenly that it took them by surprise. When the
nomes had rubbed the astonishment out of their
eyes and regained their wits, they discovered the
dragon quietly seated on the mountainside far
above their heads, while the other strangers were
standing in a group and calmly looking down upon
General Guph was very angry at the escape, which
was no one's fault but his own.
"Come down here and be captured!" he shouted,
waving his sword at them.
"Come up here and capture us--if you dare!"
replied Queen Ann, who was winding up the
clockwork of her Private Soldier, so he could
fight more briskly.
Guph's first answer was a roar of rage at the
defiance; then he turned and issued a command to
his nomes. These were all armed with sharp spears
and with one accord they raised these spears and
threw them straight at their foes, so that they
rushed through the air in a perfect cloud of
flying weapons.
Some damage might have been done had not the
dragon quickly crawled before the others, his body
being so big that it shielded every one of them,
including Hank. The spears rattled against the
silver scales of Quox and then fell harmlessly to
the ground. They were magic spears, of course, and
all straightway bounded back into the hands of
those who had thrown them, but even Guph could see
that it was useless to repeat the attack.
It was now Queen Ann's turn to attack, so the
Generals yelled "For--ward march!" and the
Colonels and Majors and Captains repeated the
command and the valiant Army of Oogaboo,
which seemed to be composed mainly of Tik-
Tok, marched forward in single column toward
the nomes, while Betsy and Polychrome cheered
and Hank gave a loud "Hee-haw!" and Shaggy
shouted "Hooray!" and Queen Ann screamed:
"At 'em, Tik-Tok--at 'em!"
The nomes did not await the Clockwork Man's
attack but in a twinkling disappeared into the
underground caverns. They made a great mistake in
being so hasty, for Tik-Tok had not taken a dozen
steps before he stubbed his copper toe on a rock
and fell flat to the ground, where he cried: "Pick
me up! Pick me up! Pick me up!" until Shaggy and
Files ran forward and raised him to his feet
The dragon chuckled softly to himself as he
scratched his left ear with his hind claw, but no
one was paying much attention to Quox just then.
It was evident to Ann and her officers that
there could be no fighting unless the enemy was
present, and in order to find the enemy they must
boldly enter the underground Kingdom of the nomes.
So bold a step demanded a council of war.
"Don't you think I'd better drop in on Ruggedo
and obey the orders of the Jinjin?" asked Quox.
"By no means!" returned Queen Ann. "We have
already put the army of nomes to flight and all
that yet remains is to force our way into those
caverns, and conquer the Nome King and all his
"That seems to me something of a job," said
the dragon, closing his eyes sleepily. "But go
ahead, if you like, and I'll wait here for you.
Don't be in any hurry on my account. To one
who lives thousands of years the delay of a few
days means nothing at all, and I shall probably
sleep until the time comes for me to act."
Ann was provoked at this speech.
"You may as well go back to Tititi-Hoochoo now,"
she said, "for the Nome King is as good as
conquered already."
But Quox shook his head. "No," said he; "I'll wait."
Chapter Sixteen
The Naughty Nome
Shaggy Man had said nothing during the
conversation between Queen Ann and Quox, for the
simple reason that he did not consider the matter
worth an argument. Safe within his pocket reposed
the Love Magnet, which had never failed to win
every heart. The nomes, he knew, were not like the
heartless Roses and therefore could be won to his
side as soon as he exhibited the magic talisman.
Shaggy's chief anxiety had been to reach
Ruggedo's Kingdom and now that the entrance lay
before him he was confident he would be able to
rescue his lost brother. Let Ann and the dragon
quarrel as to who should conquer the nomes, if
they liked; Shaggy would let them try, and if they
failed he had the means of conquest in his own
But Ann was positive she could not fail, for she
thought her Army could do anything. So she called
the officers together and told them how to act,
and she also instructed Tik-Tok what to do and
what to say.
"Please do not shoot your gun except as a last
resort," she added, "for I do not wish to be cruel
or to shed any blood--unless it is absolutely
"All right," replied Tik-Tok; "but I do not
think Rug-ge-do would bleed if I filled him full
of holes and put him in a ci-der press."
Then the officers fell in line, the four
Generals abreast and then the four Colonels and
the four Majors and the four Captains. They drew
their glittering swords and commanded Tik-Tok to
march, which he did. Twice he fell down, being
tripped by the rough rocks, but when he struck the
smooth path he got along better. Into the gloomy
mouth of the cavern entrance he stepped without
hesitation, and after him proudly pranced the
officers and Queen Ann. The others held back a
little, waiting to see what would happen.
Of course the Nome King knew they were coming
and was prepared to receive them. Just within the
rocky passage that led to the jeweled throne-room
was a deep pit, which was usually covered. Ruggedo
had ordered the cover removed and it now stood
open, scarcely visible in the gloom.
The pit was so large around that it nearly
filled the passage and there was barely room for
one to walk around it by pressing close to the
rock walls. This Tik-Tok did, for his copper eyes
saw the pit clearly and he avoided it; but the
officers marched straight into the hole and
tumbled in a heap on the bottom. An instant later
Queen Ann also walked into the pit, for she had
her chin in the air and was careless where she
placed her feet. Then one of the nomes pulled a
lever which replaced the cover on the pit and made
the officers of Oogaboo and their Queen fast
As for Tik-Tok, he kept straight on to the
cavern where Ruggedo sat in his throne and there
he faced the Nome King and said:
"I here-by con-quer you in the name of Queen Ann
So-forth of Oo-ga-boo, whose Ar-my I am, and I
de-clare that you are her pris-on-er!"
Ruggedo laughed at him.
"Where is this famous Queen?" he asked.
"She'll be here in a min-ute," said Tik-Tok.
"Per-haps she stopped to tie her shoe-string."
"Now, see here, Tik-Tok," began the Nome King,
in a stern voice, "I've had enough of this
nonsense. Your Queen and her officers are all
prisoners, having fallen into my power, so perhaps
you'll tell me what you mean to do."
"My or-ders were to con-quer you," replied Tik-
Tok, "and my ma-chin-er-y has done the best it
knows how to car-ry out those or-ders."
Ruggedo pounded on his gong and Kaliko appeared,
followed closely by General Guph.
"Take this copper man into the shops and set him
to work hammering gold," commanded the King.
"Being run by machinery he ought to be a steady
worker. He ought never to have been made, but
since he exists I shall hereafter put him to good
"If you try to cap-ture me," said Tik-Tok, "I
shall fight."
"Don't do that!" exclaimed General Guph,
earnestly, "for it will be useless to resist and
you might hurt some one."
But Tik-Tok raised his gun and took aim and not
knowing what damage the gun might do the nomes
were afraid to face it.
While he was thus defying the Nome King and his
high officials, Betsy Bobbin rode calmly into the
royal cavern, seated upon the back of Hank the
mule. The little girl had grown tired of waiting
for "something to happen" and so had come to see
if Ruggedo had been conquered.
"Nails and nuggets!" roared the King; "how
dare you bring that beast here and enter my
presence unannounced?"
"There wasn't anybody to announce me," replied
Betsy. "I guess your folks were all busy. Are you
conquered yet?"
"No!" shouted the King, almost beside himself
with rage.
"Then please give me something to eat, for I'm
awful hungry," said the girl. "You see, this
conquering business is a good deal like waiting
for a circus parade; it takes a long time to get
around and don't amount to much anyhow."
The nomes were so much astonished at this speech
that for a time they could only glare at her
silently, not finding words to reply. The King
finally recovered the use of his tongue and said:
"Earth-crawler! this insolence to my majesty
shall be your death-warrant. You are an ordinary
mortal, and to stop a mortal from living is so
easy a thing to do that I will not keep you
waiting half so long as you did for my conquest."
"I'd rather you wouldn't stop me from living,"
remarked Betsy, getting off Hank's back and
standing beside him. "And it would be a pretty
cheap King who killed a visitor while she was
hungry. If you'll give me something to eat, I'll
talk this killing business over with you
afterward; only, I warn you now that I don't
approve of it, and never will."
Her coolness and lack of fear impressed the Nome
King, although he bore an intense hatred toward
all mortals.
"What do you wish to eat?" he asked gruffly.
"Oh, a ham-sandwich would do, or perhaps a
couple of hard-boiled eggs--"
"Eggs!" shrieked the three nomes who were
present, shuddering till their teeth chattered.
"What's the matter?" asked Betsy wonderingly.
"Are eggs as high here as they are at home?"
"Guph," said the King in an agitated voice,
turning to his General, "let us destroy this rash
mortal at once! Seize her and take her to the
Slimy Cave and lock her in."
Guph glanced at Tik-Tok, whose gun was still
pointed, but just then Kaliko stole softly behind
the copper man and kicked his knee-joints so that
they suddenly bent forward and tumbled Tik-Tok to
the floor, his gun falling from his grasp.
Then Guph, seeing Tik-Tok helpless, made a grab
at Betsy. At the same time Hank's heels shot out
and caught the General just where his belt was
buckled. He rose into the air swift as a cannonball,
struck the Nome King fairly and flattened
his Majesty against the wall of rock on the
opposite side of the cavern. Together they fell to
the floor in a dazed and crumpled condition,
seeing which Kaliko whispered to Betsy:
"Come with me--quick!--and I will save you."
She looked into Kaliko's face inquiringly and
thought he seemed honest and good-natured, so
she decided to follow him. He led her and the
mule through several passages and into a small
cavern very nicely and comfortably furnished.
"This is my own room," said he, "but you are
quite welcome to use it. Wait here a minute and
I'll get you something to eat."
When Kaliko returned he brought a tray
containing some broiled mushrooms, a loaf of
mineral bread and some petroleum-butter. The
butter Betsy could not eat, but the bread was good
and the mushrooms delicious.
"Here's the door key," said Kaliko, "and you'd
better lock yourself in."
"Won't you let Polychrome and the Rose Princess
come here, too?" she asked.
"I'll see. Where are they?"
"I don't know. I left them outside," said Betsy.
"Well, if you hear three raps on the door, open
it," said Kaliko; "but don't let anyone in unless
they give the three raps."
"All right," promised Betsy, and when Kaliko
left the cosy cavern she closed and locked the
In the meantime Ann and her officers, finding
themselves prisoners in the pit, had shouted and
screamed until they were tired out, but no one had
come to their assistance. It was very dark and
damp in the pit and they could not climb out
because the walls were higher than their heads and
the cover was on. The Queen was first angry and
then annoyed and then discouraged; but the
officers were only afraid. Every one of the poor
fellows heartily wished he was back in Oogaboo
caring for his orchard, and some were so unhappy
that they began to reproach Ann for causing them
all this trouble and danger.
Finally the Queen sat down on the bottom of the
pit and leaned her back against the wall. By good
luck her sharp elbow touched a secret spring in
the wall and a big flat rock swung inward. Ann
fell over backward, but the next instant she
jumped up and cried to the others:
"A passage! A passage! Follow me, my brave men,
and we may yet escape."
Then she began to crawl through the passage,
which was as dark and dank as the pit, and the
officers followed her in single file. They
crawled, and they crawled, and they kept on
crawling, for the passage was not big enough to
allow them to stand upright. It turned this way
and twisted that, sometimes like a corkscrew and
sometimes zigzag, but seldom ran for long in a
straight line.
"It will never end--never!" moaned the officers,
who were rubbing all the skin off their knees on
the rough rocks.
"It must end," retorted Ann courageously, "or
it never would have been made. We don't know
where it will lead us to, but any place is better
than that loathsome pit."
So she crawled on, and the officers crawled on,
and while they were crawling through this awful
underground passage Polychrome and Shaggy and
Files and the Rose Princess, who were standing
outside the entrance to Ruggedo's domains, were
wondering what had become of them.
Chapter Seventeen
A Tragic Transformation
"Don't let us worry," said Shaggy to his
companions, "for it may take the Queen some time
to conquer the Metal Monarch, as Tik-Tok has to do
everything in his slow, mechanical way."
"Do you suppose they are likely to fail?" asked
the Rose Princess.
"I do, indeed," replied Shaggy. "This Nome King
is really a powerful fellow and has a legion of
nomes to assist him, whereas our bold Queen
commands a Clockwork Man and a band of fainthearted
"She ought to have let Quox do the conquering,"
said Polychrome, dancing lightly upon a point of
rock and fluttering her beautiful draperies. "But
perhaps the dragon was wise to let her go first,
for when she fails to conquer Ruggedo she may
become more modest in her ambitions."
"Where is the dragon now?" inquired Ozga.
"Up there on the rocks," replied Files. "Look,
my dear; you may see him from here. He said he
would take a little nap while we were mixing up
with Ruggedo, and he added that after we had
gotten into trouble he would wake up and conquer
the Nome King in a jiffy, as his master the Jinjin
has ordered him to do."
"Quox means well," said Shaggy, "but I do not
think we shall need his services; for just as soon
as I am satisfied that Queen Ann and her army have
failed to conquer Ruggedo, I shall enter the
caverns and show the King my Love Magnet. That he
cannot resist; therefore the conquest will be made
with ease."
This speech of Shaggy Man's was overheard by the
Long-Eared Hearer, who was at that moment standing
by Ruggedo's side. For when the King and Guph had
recovered from Hank's kick and had picked
themselves up, their first act was to turn Tik-Tok
on his back and put a heavy diamond on top of him,
so that he could not get up again. Then they
carefully put his gun in a corner of the cavern
and the King sent Guph to fetch the Long-Eared
The Hearer was still angry at Ruggedo for
breaking his ear, but he acknowledged the Nome
King to be his master and was ready to obey his
commands. Therefore he repeated Shaggy's speech to
the King, who at once realized that his Kingdom
was in grave danger. For Ruggedo knew of the Love
Magnet and its powers and was horrified at the
thought that Shaggy might show him the magic
talisman and turn all the hatred in his heart into
love. Ruggedo was proud of his hatred and abhorred
love of any sort.
"Really," said he, "I'd rather he conquered and
lose my wealth and my Kingdom than gaze at that
awful Love Magnet. What can I do to prevent the
Shaggy Man from taking it out of his pocket?"
Kaliko returned to the cavern in time to
overhear this question, and being a loyal nome and
eager to serve his King, he answered by saying:
"If we can manage to bind the Shaggy Man's arms,
tight to his body, he could not get the Love
Magnet out of his pocket."
"True!" cried the King in delight at this easy
solution of the problem. "Get at once a dozen
nomes, with ropes, and place them in the passage
where they can seize and bind Shaggy as soon as he
This Kaliko did, and meanwhile the watchers
outside the entrance were growing more and more
uneasy about their friends.
"I don't worry so much about the Oogaboo
people," said Polychrome, who had grown sober with
waiting, and perhaps a little nervous, "for they
could not be killed, even though Ruggedo might
cause them much suffering and perhaps destroy them
utterly. But we should not have allowed Betsy and
Hank to go alone into the caverns. The little girl
is mortal and possesses no magic powers whatever,
so if Ruggedo captures her she will be wholly at
his mercy."
"That is indeed true," replied Shaggy. "I
wouldn't like to have anything happen to dear
little Betsy, so I believe I'll go in right away
and put an end to all this worry."
"We may as well go with you," asserted Files,
"for by means of the Love Magnet, you can soon
bring the Nome King to reason."
So it was decided to wait no longer. Shaggy
walked through the entrance first, and after him
came the others. They had no thought of danger to
themselves, and Shaggy, who was going along with
his hands thrust into his pockets, was much
surprised when a rope shot out from the darkness
and twined around his body, pinning down his arms
so securely that he could not even withdraw his
hands from the pockets. Then appeared several
grinning nomes, who speedily tied knots in the
ropes and then led the prisoner along the passage
to the cavern. No attention was paid to the
others, but Files and the Princess followed on
after Shaggy, determined not to desert their
friend and hoping that an opportunity might arise
to rescue him.
As for Polychrome, as soon as she saw that
trouble had overtaken Shaggy she turned and ran
lightly back through the passage and out of the
entrance. Then she easily leaped from rock to rock
until she paused beside the great dragon, who lay
fast asleep.
"Wake up, Quox!" she cried. "It is time for you
to act."
But Quox did not wake up. He lay as one in a
trance, absolutely motionless, with his enormous
eyes tight closed. The eyelids had big silver
scales on them, like all the rest of his body.
Polychrome might have thought Quox was dead had
she not known that dragons do not die easily or
had she not observed his huge body swelling as he
breathed. She picked up a piece of rock and
pounded against his eyelids with it, saying:
"Wake up, Quox--wake up!" But he would not waken.
"Dear me, how unfortunate!" sighed the
lovely Rainbow's Daughter. "I wonder what is
the best and surest way to waken a dragon. All
our friends may be captured and destroyed
while this great beast lies asleep."
She walked around Quox two or three times,
trying to discover some tender place on his body
where a thump or a punch might he felt; but he lay
extended along the rocks with his chin flat upon
the ground and his legs drawn underneath his body,
and all that one could see was his thick sky-blue
skin--thicker than that of a rhinoceros--and his
silver scales.
Then, despairing at last of wakening the beast,
and worried over the fate of her friends,
Polychrome again ran down to the entrance and
hurried along the passage into the Nome King's
Here she found Ruggedo lolling in his throne and
smoking a long pipe. Beside him stood General Guph
and Kaliko, and ranged before the King were the
Rose Princess, Files and the Shaggy Man. Tik-Tok
still lay upon the floor, weighted down by the big
Ruggedo was now in a more contented frame of
mind. One by one he had met the invaders and
easily captured them. The dreaded Love Magnet was
indeed in Shaggy's pocket, only a few feet away
from the King, but Shaggy was powerless to show it
and unless Ruggedo's eyes beheld the talisman it
could not affect him. As for Betsy Bobbin and her
mule, he believed Kaliko had placed them in the
Slimy Cave, while Ann and her officers he thought
safely imprisoned in the pit. Ruggedo had no fear
of Files or Ozga, but to be on the safe side he
had ordered golden handcuffs placed upon their
wrists. These did not cause them any great
annoyance but prevented them from making an
attack, had they been inclined to do so.
The Nome King, thinking himself wholly master of
the situation, was laughing and jeering at his
prisoners when Polychrome, exquisitely beautiful
and dancing like a ray of light, entered the
"Oho!" cried the King; "a Rainbow under ground,
eh?" and then he stared hard at Polychrome, and
still harder, and then he sat up and pulled the
wrinkles out of his robe and arranged his
whiskers. "On my word," said he, "you are a very
captivating creature; moreover, I perceive you
are a fairy."
"I am Polychrome, the Rainbow's Daughter," she
said proudly.
"Well," replied Ruggedo, "I like you. The others
I hate. I hate everybody--but you! Wouldn't you
like to live always in this beautiful cavern,
Polychrome? See! the jewels that stud the walls
have every tint and color of your Rainbow--and
they are not so elusive. I'll have fresh dewdrops
gathered for your feasting every day and you shall
be Queen of all my nomes and pull Kaliko's nose
whenever you like."
"No, thank you," laughed Polychrome. "My home is
in the sky, and I'm only on a visit to this solid,
sordid earth. But tell me, Ruggedo, why my friends
have been wound with cords and bound with chains?"
"They threatened me," answered Ruggedo. "The
fools did not know how powerful I am."
"Then, since they are now helpless, why not
release them and send them back to the earth's
"Because I hate 'em and mean to make 'em suffer
for their invasion. But I'll make a bargain with
you, sweet Polly. Remain here and live with me and
I'll set all these people free. You shall be my
daughter or my wife or my aunt or grandmother--
whichever you like--only stay here to brighten my
gloomy kingdom and make me happy!"
Polychrome looked at him wonderingly. Then she
turned to Shaggy and asked:
"Are you sure he hasn't seen the Love Magnet?"
"I'm positive," answered Shaggy. "But you seem
to be something of a Love Magnet yourself,
She laughed again and said to Ruggedo: "Not even
to rescue my friends would I live in your kingdom.
Nor could I endure for long the society of such a
wicked monster as you."
"You forget," retorted the King, scowling
darkly, "that you also are in my power."
"Not so, Ruggedo. The Rainbow's Daughter is
beyond the reach of your spite or malice."
"Seize her!" suddenly shouted the King, and
General Guph sprang forward to obey. Polychrome
stood quite still, yet when Guph attempted to
clutch her his hands met in air, and now the
Rainbow's Daughter was in another part of the
room, as smiling and composed as before.
Several times Guph endeavored to capture her and
Ruggedo even came down from his throne to assist
his General; but never could they lay hands upon
the lovely sky fairy, who flitted here and there
with the swiftness of light and constantly defied
them with her merry laughter as she evaded their
So after a time they abandoned the chase and
Ruggedo returned to his throne and wiped the
perspiration from his face with a finely-woven
handkerchief of cloth-of-gold.
"Well," said Polychrome, "what do you intend to
do now?"
"I'm going to have some fun, to repay me for all
my bother," replied the Nome King. Then he said to
Kaliko: "Summon the executioners."
Kaliko at once withdrew and presently returned
with a score of nomes, all of whom were nearly as
evil looking as their hated master. They bore
great golden pincers, and prods of silver, and
clamps and chains and various wicked-looking
instruments, all made of precious metals and set
with diamonds and rubies.
"Now, Pang," said Ruggedo, addressing the leader
of the executioners, "fetch the Army of Oogaboo
and their Queen from the pit and torture them here
in my presence--as well as in the presence of
their friends. It will be great sport."
"I hear Your Majesty, and I obey Your Majesty,"
answered Pang, and went with his nomes into the
passage. In a few minutes he returned and bowed to
"They're all gone," said he.
"Gone!" exclaimed the Nome King. "Gone where?"
"They left no address, Your Majesty; but they
are not in the pit."
"Picks and puddles!" roared the King; "who took
the cover off?"
"No one," said Pang. "The cover was there, but
the prisoners were not under it."
"In that case," snarled the King, trying to
control his disappointment, "go to the Slimy Cave
and fetch hither the girl and the donkey. And
while we are torturing them Kaliko must take a
hundred nomes and search for the escaped
prisoners--the Queen of Oogaboo and her officers.
If he does not find them, I will torture Kaliko."
Kaliko went away looking sad and disturbed, for
he knew the King was cruel and unjust enough to
carry out this threat. Pang and the executioners
also went away, in another direction, but when
they came back Betsy Bobbin was not with them, nor
was Hank.
"There is no one in the Slimy Cave, Your
Majesty," reported Pang.
"Jumping jellycakes!" screamed the King.
"Another escape? Are you sure you found the right
"There is but one Slimy Cave, and there is no
one in it," returned Pang positively.
Ruggedo was beginning to be alarmed as well as
angry. However, these disappointments but made him
the more vindictive and he cast an evil look at
the other prisoners and said:
"Never mind the girl and the donkey. Here are
four, at least, who cannot escape my vengeance.
Let me see; I believe I'll change my mind about
Tik-Tok. Have the gold crucible heated to a white,
seething heat, and then we'll dump the copper man
into it and melt him up."
"But, Your Majesty," protested Kaliko, who had
returned to the room after sending a hundred nomes
to search for the Oogaboo people, "you must
remember that Tik-Tok is a very curious and
interesting machine. It would be a shame to
deprive the world of such a clever contrivance."
"Say another word, and you'll go into the
furnace with him!" roared the King. "I'm getting
tired of you, Kaliko, and the first thing you know
I'll turn you into a potato and make Saratogachips
of you! The next to consider," he added more
mildly, "is the Shaggy Man. As he owns the Love
Magnet, I think I'll transform him into a dove,
and then we can practice shooting at him with Tik-
Tok's gun. Now, this is a very interesting
ceremony and I beg you all to watch me closely and
see that I've nothing up my sleeve."
He came out of his throne to stand before the
Shaggy Man, and then he waved his hands, palms
downward, in seven semicircles over his victim's
head, saying in a low but clear tone of voice the
magic wugwa:
"Adi, edi, idi, odi, udi, oo-i-oo!
Idu, ido, idi, ide, ida, woo!"
The effect of this well-known sorcery was
instantaneous. Instead of the Shaggy Man, a pretty
dove lay fluttering upon the floor, its wings
confined by tiny cords wound around them. Ruggedo
gave an order to Pang, who cut the cords with a
pair of scissors. Being freed, the dove quickly
flew upward and alighted on the shoulder of the
Rose Princess, who stroked it tenderly.
"Very good! Very good!" cried Ruggedo, rubbing
his hands gleefully together. "One enemy is out of
my way, and now for the others."
(Perhaps my readers should be warned not to
attempt the above transformation; for, although
the exact magical formula has been described, it
is unlawful in all civilized countries for anyone
to transform a person into a dove by muttering the
words Ruggedo used. There were no laws to prevent
the Nome King from performing this transformation,
but if it should be attempted in any other
country, and the magic worked, the magician would
be severely punished.)
When Polychrome saw Shaggy Man transformed into
a dove and realized that Ruggedo was about do
something as dreadful to the Princess and Files,
and that Tik-Tok would soon be melted in a
crucible, she turned and ran from the cavern,
through the passage and back to the place where
Quox lay asleep.
Chapter Eighteen
A Clever Conquest
The great dragon still had his eyes closed and was
even snoring in a manner that resembled distant
thunder; but Polychrome was now desperate, because
any further delay meant the destruction of her
friends. She seized the pearl necklace, to which
was attached the great locket, and jerked it with
all her strength.
The result was encouraging. Quox stopped
snoring and his eyelids flickered. So Polychrome
jerked again--and again--till slowly the great
lids raised and the dragon looked at her steadily.
Said he, in a sleepy tone:
"What's the matter, little Rainbow?"
"Come quick!" exclaimed Polychrome. "Ruggedo has
captured all our friends and is about to destroy
"Well, well," said Quox, "I suspected that would
happen. Step a little out of my path, my dear, and
I'll make a rush for the Nome King's cavern."
She fell back a few steps and Quox raised
himself on his stout legs, whisked his long tail
and in an instant had slid down the rocks and made
a dive through the entrance.
Along the passage he swept, nearly filling it
with his immense body, and now he poked his head
into the jeweled cavern of Ruggedo.
But the King had long since made arrangements to
capture the dragon, whenever he might appear. No
sooner did Quox stick his head into the room than
a thick chain fell from above and encircled his
neck. Then the ends of the chain were drawn tight--
for in an adjoining cavern a thousand nomes were
pulling on them--and so the dragon could advance
no further toward the King. He could not use his
teeth or his claws and as his body was still in
the passage he had not even room to strike his
foes with his terrible tail.
Ruggedo was delighted with the success of his
stratagem. He had just transformed the Rose
Princess into a fiddle and was about to transform
Files into a fiddle bow, when the dragon appeared
to interrupt him. So he called out:
"Welcome, my dear Quox, to my royal
entertainment. Since you are here, you shall
witness some very neat magic, and after I have
finished with Files and Tik-Tok I mean to
transform you into a tiny lizard--one of the
chameleon sort--and you shall live in my cavern
and amuse me."
"Pardon me for contradicting Your Majesty,"
returned Quox in a quiet voice, "but I don't
believe you'll perform any more magic."
"Eh? Why not?" asked the King in surprise.
"There's a reason," said Quox. "Do you see this
ribbon around my neck?"
"Yes; and I'm astonished that a dignified dragon
should wear such a silly thing."
"Do you see it plainly?" persisted the dragon,
with a little chuckle of amusement.
"I do," declared Ruggedo.
"Then you no longer possess any magical powers,
and are as helpless as a clam," asserted Quox. "My
great master, Tititi-Hoochoo, the Jinjin,
enchanted this ribbon in such a way that whenever
Your Majesty looked upon it all knowledge of magic
would desert you instantly, nor will any magical
formula you can remember ever perform your
"Pooh! I don't believe a word of it!" cried
Ruggedo, half frightened, nevertheless. Then he
turned toward Files and tried to transform him
into a fiddle bow. But he could not remember the
right words or the right pass of the hands and
after several trials he finally gave up the
By this time the Nome King was so alarmed that
he was secretly shaking in his shoes.
"I told you not to anger Tititi-Hoochoo,"
grumbled Kaliko, "and now you see the result of
your disobedience."
Ruggedo promptly threw his sceptre at his Royal
Chamberlain, who dodged it with his usual
cleverness, and then he said with an attempt to
"Never mind; I don't need magic to enable me to
destroy these invaders; fire and the sword will do
the business and I am still King of the Nomes and
lord and master of my Underground Kingdom!"
"Again I beg to differ with Your Majesty," said
Quox. "The Great Jinjin commands you to depart
instantly from this Kingdom and seek the earth's
surface, where you will wander for all time to
come, without a home or country, without a friend
or follower, and without any more riches than you
can carry with you in your pockets. The Great
Jinjin is so generous that he will allow you to
fill your pockets with jewels or gold, but you
must take nothing more."
Ruggedo now stared at the dragon in amazement.
"Does Tititi-Hoochoo condemn me to such a fate?"
he asked in a hoarse voice.
"He does," said Quox.
"And just for throwing a few strangers down the
Forbidden Tube?"
"Just for that," repeated Quox in a stern, gruff
"Well, I won't do it. And your crazy old Jinjin
can't make me do it, either!" declared Ruggedo. "I
intend to remain here, King of the Nomes, until
the end of the world, and I defy your Tititi-
Hoochoo and all his fairies--as well as his clumsy
messenger, whom I have been obliged to chain up!"
The dragon smiled again, but it was not the sort
of smile that made Ruggedo feel very happy.
Instead, there was something so cold and merciless
in the dragon's expression that the condemned Nome
King trembled and was sick at heart.
There was little comfort for Ruggedo in the fact
that the dragon was now chained, although he had
boasted of it. He glared at the immense head of
Quox as if fascinated and there was fear in the
old King's eyes as he watched his enemy's
For the dragon was now moving; not abruptly, but
as if he had something to do and was about to do
it. Very deliberately he raised one claw, touched
the catch of the great jeweled locket that was
suspended around his neck, and at once it opened
Nothing much happened at first; half a dozen
hen's eggs rolled out upon the floor and then the
locket closed with a sharp click. But the effect
upon the nomes of this simple thing was
astounding. General Guph, Kaliko, Pang and his
band of executioners were all standing close to
the door that led to the vast series of
underground caverns which constituted the
dominions of the nomes, and as soon as they saw
the eggs they raised a chorus of frantic screams
and rushed through the door, slamming it in
Ruggedo's face and placing a heavy bronze bar
across it.
Ruggedo, dancing with terror and uttering
loud cries, now leaped upon the seat of his
throne to escape the eggs, which had rolled
steadily toward him. Perhaps these eggs, sent
by the wise and crafty Tititi-Hoochoo, were in
some way enchanted, for they all rolled directly
after Ruggedo and when they reached the
throne where he had taken refuge they began
rolling up the legs to the seat.
This was too much for the King to bear. His
horror of eggs was real and absolute and he made a
leap from the throne to the center of the room and
then ran to a far corner.
The eggs followed, rolling slowly but steadily
in his direction. Ruggedo threw his sceptre at
them, and then his ruby crown, and then he drew
off his heavy golden sandals and hurled these at
the advancing eggs. But the eggs dodged every
missile and continued to draw nearer. The King
stood trembling, his eyes staring in terror, until
they were but half a yard distant; then with an
agile leap he jumped clear over them and made a
rush for the passage that led to the outer
Of course the dragon was in his way, being
chained in the passage with his head in the
cavern, but when he saw the King making toward him
he crouched as low as he could and dropped his
chin to the floor, leaving a small space between
his body and the roof of the passage.
Ruggedo did not hesitate an instant. Impelled
by fear, he leaped to the dragon's nose and then
scrambled to his back, where he succeeded in
squeezing himself through the opening. After
the head was passed there was more room and
he slid along the dragon's scales to his tail and
then ran as fast as his legs would carry him to
the entrance. Not pausing here, so great was his
fright, the King dashed on down the mountain
path, but before he had gone very far he
stumbled and fell.
When he picked himself up he observed that no
one was following him, and while he recovered his
breath he happened to think of the decree of the
Jinjin--that he should be driven from his Kingdom
and made a wanderer on the face of the earth.
Well, here he was, driven from his cavern in
truth; driven by those dreadful eggs; but he would
go back and defy them; he would not submit to
losing his precious Kingdom and his tyrannical
powers, all because Tititi-Hoochoo had said he
So, although still afraid, Ruggedo nerved
himself to creep back along the path to the
entrance, and when he arrived there he saw the six
eggs lying in a row just before the arched
At first he paused a safe distance away to
consider the case, for the eggs were now
motionless. While he was wondering what could be
done, he remembered there was a magical charm
which would destroy eggs and render them harmless
to nomes. There were nine passes to be made and
six verses of incantation to be recited; but
Ruggedo knew them all. Now that he had ample time
to be exact, he carefully went through the entire
But nothing happened. The eggs did not
disappear, as he had expected; so he repeated the
charm a second time. When that also failed, he
remembered, with a moan of despair, that his magic
power had been taken away from him and in the
future he could do no more than any common mortal.
And there were the eggs, forever barring him
from the Kingdom which he had ruled so long with
absolute sway! He threw rocks at them, but could
not hit a single egg. He raved and scolded and
tore his hair and beard, and danced in helpless
passion, but that did nothing to avert the just
judgment of the Jinjin, which Ruggedo's own evil
deeds had brought upon him.
From this time on he was an outcast--a wanderer
upon the face of the earth--and he had even
forgotten to fill his pockets with gold and jewels
before he fled from his former Kingdom!
Chapter Nineteen
King Kaliko
After the King had made good his escape Files said
to the dragon, in a sad voice:
"Alas! why did you not come before? Because you
were sleeping instead of conquering, the lovely
Rose Princess has become a fiddle without a bow,
while poor Shaggy sits there a cooing dove!"
"Don't worry," replied Quox. "Tititi-Hoochoo
knows his business, and I have my orders from the
Great Jinjin himself. Bring the fiddle here and
touch it lightly to my pink ribbon."
Files obeyed and at the moment of contact with
the ribbon the Nome King's charm was broken and
the Rose Princess herself stood before them as
sweet and smiling as ever.
The dove, perched on the back of the throne, had
seen and heard all this, so without being told
what to do it flew straight to the dragon and
alighted on the ribbon. Next instant Shaggy was
himself again and Quox said to him grumblingly:
"Please get off my left toe, Shaggy Man, and be
more particular where you step."
"I beg your pardon!" replied Shaggy, very
glad to resume his natural form. Then he ran
to lift the heavy diamond off Tik-Tok's chest
and to assist the Clockwork Man to his feet.
"Ma-ny thanks!" said Tik-Tok. "Where is the
wicked King who want-ed to melt me in a cru-cible?"
"He has gone, and gone for good," answered
Polychrome, who had managed to squeeze into the
room beside the dragon and had witnessed the
occurrences with much interest. "But I wonder
where Betsy Bobbin and Hank can be, and if any
harm has befallen them."
"We must search the cavern until we find them,"
declared Shaggy; but when he went to the door
leading to the other caverns he found it shut and
"I've a pretty strong push in my forehead," said
Quox, "and I believe I can break down that door,
even though it's made of solid gold."
"But you are a prisoner, and the chains that
hold you are fastened in some other room, so that
we cannot release you," Files said anxiously.
"Oh, never mind that," returned the dragon. "I
have remained a prisoner only because I wished to
be one," and with this he stepped forward and
burst the stout chains as easily as if they had
been threads.
But when he tried to push in the heavy metal
door, even his mighty strength failed, and after
several attempts he gave it up and squatted
himself in a corner to think of a better way.
"I'll o-pen the door," asserted Tik-Tok, and
going to the King's big gong he pounded upon it
until the noise was almost deafening.
Kaliko, in the next cavern, was wondering what
had happened to Ruggedo and if he had escaped the
eggs and outwitted the dragon. But when he heard
the sound of the gong, which had so often called
him into the King's presence, he decided that
Ruggedo had been victorious; so he took away the
bar, threw open the door and entered the royal
Great was his astonishment to find the King gone
and the enchantments removed from the Princess and
Shaggy. But the eggs were also gone and so Kaliko
advanced to the dragon, whom he knew to be
Tititi-Hoochoo's messenger, and bowed humbly
before the beast.
"What is your will?" he inquired.
"Where is Betsy?" demanded the dragon.
"Safe in my own private room," said Kaliko.
"Go and get her!" commanded Quox.
So Kaliko went to Betsy's room and gave three
raps upon the door. The little girl had been
asleep, but she heard the raps and opened the
"You may come out now," said Kaliko. "The King
has fled in disgrace and your friends are asking
for you."
So Betsy and Hank returned with the Royal
Chamberlain to the throne cavern, where she was
received with great joy by her friends. They told
her what had happened to Ruggedo and she told them
how kind Kaliko had been to her. Quox did not have
much to say until the conversation was ended, but
then he turned to Kaliko and asked:
"Do you suppose you could rule your nomes better
than Ruggedo has done?"
"Me?" stammered the Chamberlain, greatly
surprised by the question. "Well, I couldn't be a
worse King, I'm sure."
"Would the nomes obey you?" inquired the dragon.
"Of course," said Kaliko. "They like me better
than ever they did Ruggedo."
"Then hereafter you shall be the Metal Monarch,
King of the Nomes, and Tititi-Hoochoo expects you
to rule your Kingdom wisely and well," said Quox.
"Hooray!" cried Betsy; "I'm glad of that. King
Kaliko, I salute Your Majesty and wish you joy in
your gloomy old Kingdom!"
"We all wish him joy," said Polychrome; and then
the others made haste to congratulate the new
"Will you release my dear brother?" asked
"The Ugly One? Very willingly," replied Kaliko.
"I begged Ruggedo long ago to send him away, but
he would not do so. I also offered to help your
brother to escape, but he would not go."
"He's so conscientious!" said Shaggy, highly
pleased. "All of our family have noble natures.
But is my dear brother well?" he added anxiously.
"He eats and sleeps very steadily," replied the
new King.
"I hope he doesn't work too hard," said Shaggy.
"He doesn't work at all. In fact, there is
nothing he can do in these dominions as well as
our nomes, whose numbers are so great that it
worries us to keep them all busy. So your brother
has only to amuse himself."
"Why, it's more like visiting, than being a
prisoner," asserted Betsy.
"Not exactly," returned Kaliko. "A prisoner
cannot go where or when he pleases, and is not
his own master."
"Where is my brother now?" inquired Shaggy.
"In the Metal Forest."
"Where is that?"
"The Metal Forest is in the Great Domed Cavern,
the largest in all our dominions," replied Kaliko.
"It is almost like being out of doors, it is so
big, and Ruggedo made the wonderful forest to
amuse himself, as well as to tire out his hardworking
nomes. All the trees are gold and silver
and the ground is strewn with precious stones, so
it is a sort of treasury."
"Let us go there at once and rescue my dear
brother," pleaded Shaggy earnestly.
Kaliko hesitated.
"I don't believe I can find the way," said he.
"Ruggedo made three secret passages to the Metal
Forest, but he changes the location of these
passages every week, so that no one can get to the
Metal Forest without his permission. However, if
we look sharp, we may be able to discover one of
these secret ways."
"That reminds me to ask what has become of Queen
Ann and the Officers of Oogaboo," said Files.
"I'm sure I can't say," replied Kaliko.
"Do you suppose Ruggedo destroyed them?"
"Oh, no; I'm quite sure he didn't. They fell
into the big pit in the passage, and we put the
cover on to keep them there; but when the
executioners went to look for them they had all
disappeared from the pit and we could find no
trace of them."
"That's funny," remarked Betsy thoughtfully. "I
don't believe Ann knew any magic, or she'd have
worked it before. But to disappear like that seems
like magic; now, doesn't it?"
They agreed that it did, but no one could
explain the mystery.
"However," said Shaggy, "they are gone, that is
certain, so we cannot help them or be helped by
them. And the important thing just now is to
rescue my dear brother from captivity."
"Why do they call him the Ugly One?" asked
"I do not know," confessed Shaggy. "I can not
remember his looks very well, it is so long since
I have seen him; but all of our family are noted
for their handsome faces."
Betsy laughed and Shaggy seemed rather hurt; but
Polychrome relieved his embarrassment by saying
softly: "One can be ugly in looks, but lovely in
"Our first task," said Shaggy, a little
comforted by this remark, "is to find one of those
secret passages to the Metal Forest."
"True," agreed Kaliko. "So I think I will
assemble the chief nomes of my kingdom in this
throne room and tell them that I am their new
King. Then I can ask them to assist us in
searching for the secret passages.
"That's a good idea," said the dragon, who
seemed to be getting sleepy again.
Kaliko went to the big gong and pounded on it
just as Ruggedo used to do; but no one answered
the summons.
"Of course not," said he, jumping up from the
throne, where he had seated himself. "That is my
call, and I am still the Royal Chamberlain, and
will be until I appoint another in my place."
So he ran out of the room and found Guph and
told him to answer the summons of the King's gong.
Having returned to the royal cavern, Kaliko first
pounded the gong and then sat in the throne,
wearing Ruggedo's discarded ruby crown and holding
in his hand the sceptre which Ruggedo had so often
thrown at his head.
When Guph entered he was amazed.
"Better get out of that throne before old
Ruggedo comes back," he said warningly.
"He isn't coming back, and I am now the King of
the Nomes, in his stead," announced Kaliko.
"All of which is quite true," asserted the
dragon, and all of those who stood around the
throne bowed respectfully to the new King.
Seeing this, Guph also bowed, for he was glad to
be rid of such a hard master as Ruggedo. Then
Kaliko, in quite a kingly way, informed Guph that
he was appointed the Royal Chamberlain, and
promised not to throw the sceptre at his head
unless he deserved it.
All this being pleasantly arranged, the new
Chamberlain went away to tell the news to all the
nomes of the underground Kingdom, every one of
whom would be delighted with the change in Kings.
Chapter Twenty
Quox Quietly Quits
When the chief nomes assembled before their new
King they joyfully saluted him and promised to
obey his commands. But, when Kaliko questioned
them, none knew the way to the Metal Forest,
although all had assisted in its making. So the
King instructed them to search carefully for one
of the passages and to bring him the news as soon
as they had found it.
Meantime Quox had managed to back out of the
rocky corridor and so regain the open air and his
old station on the mountain-side, and there he lay
upon the rocks, sound asleep, until the next day.
The others of the party were all given as good
rooms as the caverns of the nomes afforded, for
King Kaliko felt that he was indebted to them for
his promotion and was anxious to be as hospitable
as he could.
Much wonderment had been caused by the absolute
disappearance of the sixteen officers of Oogaboo
and their Queen. Not a nome had seen them, nor
were they discovered during the search for the
passages leading to the Metal Forest. Perhaps no
one was unhappy over their loss, but all were
curious to know what had become of them.
On the next day, when our friends went to visit
the dragon, Quox said to them: "I must now bid you
good-bye, for my mission here is finished and I
must depart for the other side of the world,
where I belong."
"Will you go through the Tube again?" asked
"To be sure. But it will be a lonely trip this
time, with no one to talk to, and I cannot invite
any of you to go with me. Therefore, as soon as I
slide into the hole I shall go to sleep, and when
I pop out at the other end I will wake up at
They thanked the dragon for befriending them and
wished him a pleasant journey. Also they sent
their thanks to the great Jinjin, whose just
condemnation of Ruggedo had served their interests
so well. Then Quox yawned and stretched himself
and ambled over to the Tube, into which he slid
headforemost and disappeared.
They really felt as if they had lost a friend,
for the dragon had been both kind and sociable
during their brief acquaintance with him; but they
knew it was his duty to return to his own country.
So they went back to the caverns to renew the
search for the hidden passages that led to the
forest, but for three days all efforts to find
them proved in vain.
It was Polychrome's custom to go every day to
the mountain and watch for her father, the
Rainbow, for she was growing tired with wandering
upon the earth and longed to rejoin her sisters in
their sky palaces. And on the third day, while she
sat motionless upon a point of rock, whom should
she see slyly creeping up the mountain but
The former King looked very forlorn. His clothes
were soiled and torn and he had no sandals upon
his feet or hat upon his head. Having left his
crown and sceptre behind when he fled, the old
nome no longer seemed kingly, but more like a
Several times had Ruggedo crept up to the
mouth of the caverns, only to find the six eggs
still on guard. He knew quite well that he must
accept his fate and become a homeless wanderer,
but his chief regret now was that he had neglected
to fill his pockets with gold and jewels. He was
aware that a wanderer with wealth at his command
would fare much better than one who was a pauper,
so he still loitered around the caverns wherein he
knew so much treasure was stored, hoping for a
chance to fill his pockets.
That was how he came to recollect the Metal
"Aha!" said he to himself, "I alone know the way
to that Forest, and once there I can fill my
pockets with the finest jewels in all the world."
He glanced at his pockets and was grieved to
find them so small. Perhaps they might be
enlarged, so that they would hold more. He knew of
a poor woman who lived in a cottage at the foot of
the mountain, so he went to her and begged her to
sew pockets all over his robe, paying her with the
gift of a diamond ring which he had worn upon his
finger. The woman was delighted to possess so
valuable a ring and she sewed as many pockets on
Ruggedo's robe as she possibly could.
Then he returned up the mountain and, after
gazing cautiously around to make sure he was
not observed, he touched a spring in a rock and
it swung slowly backward, disclosing a broad
passageway. This he entered, swinging the rock
in place behind him.
However, Ruggedo had failed to look as carefully
as he might have done, for Polychrome was seated
only a little distance off and her clear eyes
marked exactly the manner in which Ruggedo had
released the hidden spring. So she rose and
hurried into the cavern, where she told Kaliko and
her friends of her discovery.
"I've no doubt that that is a way to the Metal
Forest," exclaimed Shaggy. "Come, let us follow
Ruggedo at once and rescue my poor brother!"
They agreed to this and King Kaliko called
together a band of nomes to assist them by
carrying torches to light their way.
"The Metal Forest has a brilliant light of its
own," said he, "but the passage across the valley
is likely to be dark."
Polychrome easily found the rock and touched the
spring, so in less than an hour after Ruggedo had
entered they were all in the passage and following
swiftly after the former King.
"He means to rob the Forest, I'm sure," said
Kaliko; "but he will find he is no longer of any
account in this Kingdom and I will have my nomes
throw him out."
"Then please throw him as hard as you can," said
Betsy, "for he deserves it. I don't mind an
honest, out-an'-out enemy, who fights square; but
changing girls into fiddles and ordering 'em put
into Slimy Caves is mean and tricky, and Ruggedo
doesn't deserve any sympathy. But you'll have to
let him take as much treasure as he can get in his
pockets, Kaliko."
"Yes, the Jinjin said so; but we won't miss it
much. There is more treasure in the Metal Forest
than a million nomes could carry in their
It was not difficult to walk through this
passage, especially when the torches lighted the
way, so they made good progress. But it proved to
be a long distance and Betsy had tired herself
with walking and was seated upon the back of the
mule when the passage made a sharp turn and a
wonderful and glorious light burst upon them. The
next moment they were all standing upon the edge
of the marvelous Metal Forest.
It lay under another mountain and occupied a
great domed cavern, the roof of which was higher
than a church steeple. In this space the
industrious nomes had built, during many years of
labor, the most beautiful forest in the world. The
trees--trunks, branches and leaves--were all of
solid gold, while the bushes and underbrush were
formed of filigree silver, virgin pure. The trees
towered as high as natural live oaks do and were
of exquisite workmanship.
On the ground were thickly strewn precious gems
of every hue and size, while here and there among
the trees were paths pebbled with cut diamonds of
the clearest water. Taken all together, more
treasure was gathered in this Metal Forest than is
contained in all the rest of the world--if we
except the land of Oz, where perhaps its value is
equalled in the famous Emerald City.
Our friends were so amazed at the sight that for
a while they stood gazing in silent wonder. Then
Shaggy exclaimed.
"My brother! My dear lost brother! Is he indeed
a prisoner in this place?"
"Yes," replied Kaliko. "The Ugly One has been
here for two or three years, to my positive
"But what could he find to eat?" inquired
Betsy. "It's an awfully swell place to live in, but
one can't breakfast on rubies and di'monds, or
even gold."
"One doesn't need to, my dear," Kaliko assured
her. "The Metal Forest does not fill all of this
great cavern, by any means. Beyond these gold and
silver trees are other trees of the real sort,
which bear foods very nice to eat. Let us walk in
that direction, for I am quite sure we will find
Shaggy's brother in that part of the cavern,
rather than in this."
So they began to tramp over the diamond-pebbled
paths, and at every step they were more and more
bewildered by the wondrous beauty of the golden
trees with their glittering foliage.
Suddenly they heard a scream. Jewels scattered
in every direction as some one hidden among the
bushes scampered away before them. Then a loud
voice cried: "Halt!" and there was the sound of a
Chapter Twenty-One
A Bashful Brother
With fast beating hearts they all rushed forward
and, beyond a group of stately metal trees, came
full upon a most astonishing scene.
There was Ruggedo in the hands of the officers
of Oogaboo, a dozen of whom were clinging to the
old nome and holding him fast in spite of his
efforts to escape. There also was Queen Ann,
looking grimly upon the scene of strife; but when
she observed her former companions approaching she
turned away in a shamefaced manner.
For Ann and her officers were indeed a sight to
behold. Her Majesty's clothing, once so rich and
gorgeous, was now worn and torn into shreds by her
long crawl through the tunnel, which, by the way,
had led her directly into the Metal Forest. It
was, indeed, one of the three secret passages, and
by far the most difficult of the three. Ann had
not only torn her pretty skirt and jacket, but her
crown had become bent and battered and even her
shoes were so cut and slashed that they were ready
to fall from her feet.
The officers had fared somewhat worse than their
leader, for holes were worn in the knees of their
trousers, while sharp points of rock in the roof
and sides of the tunnel had made rags of every
inch of their once brilliant uniforms. A more
tattered and woeful army never came out of a
battle, than these harmless victims of the rocky
passage. But it had seemed their only means of
escape from the cruel Nome King; so they had
crawled on, regardless of their sufferings.
When they reached the Metal Forest their eyes
beheld more plunder than they had ever dreamed of;
yet they were prisoners in this huge dome and
could not escape with the riches heaped about
them. Perhaps a more unhappy and homesick lot of
"conquerors" never existed than this band from
After several days of wandering in their
marvelous prison they were frightened by the
discovery that Ruggedo had come among them.
Rendered desperate by their sad condition, the
officers exhibited courage for the first time
since they left home and, ignorant of the fact
that Ruggedo was no longer King of the nomes, they
threw themselves upon him and had just succeeded
in capturing him when their fellow adventurers
reached the spot.
"Goodness gracious!" cried Betsy. "What has
happened to you all?"
Ann came forward to greet them, sorrowful and
"We were obliged to escape from the pit through
a small tunnel, which was lined with sharp and
jagged rocks," said she, "and not only was our
clothing torn to rags but our flesh is so bruised
and sore that we are stiff and lame in every
joint. To add to our troubles we find we are still
prisoners; but now that we have succeeded in
capturing the wicked Metal Monarch we shall force
him to grant us our liberty."
"Ruggedo is no longer Metal Monarch, or King of
the nomes," Files informed her. "He has been
deposed and cast out of his kingdom by Quox; but
here is the new King, whose name is Kaliko, and I
am pleased to assure Your Majesty that he is our
"Glad to meet Your Majesty, I'm sure," said
Kaliko, bowing as courteously as if the Queen
still wore splendid raiment.
The officers, having heard this explanation, now
set Ruggedo free; but, as he had no place to go,
he stood by and faced his former servant, who was
now King in his place, in a humble and pleading
"What are you doing here?" asked Kaliko sternly.
"Why, I was promised as much treasure as I
could carry in my pockets," replied Ruggedo;
"so I came here to get it, not wishing to disturb
Your Majesty."
"You were commanded to leave the country of the
nomes forever!" declared Kaliko.
"I know; and I'll go as soon as I have filled my
pockets," said Ruggedo, meekly.
"Then fill them, and be gone," returned the new
Ruggedo obeyed. Stooping down, he began
gathering up jewels by the handful and stuffing
them into his many pockets. They were heavy
things, these diamonds and rubies and emeralds and
amethysts and the like, so before long Ruggedo was
staggering with the weight he bore, while the
pockets were not yet filled. When he could no
longer stoop over without falling, Betsy and
Polychrome and the Rose Princess came to his
assistance, picking up the finest gems and tucking
them into his pockets.
At last these were all filled and Ruggedo
presented a comical sight, for surely no man ever
before had so many pockets, or any at all filled
with such a choice collection of precious stones.
He neglected to thank the young ladies for their
kindness, but gave them a surly nod of farewell
and staggered down the path by the way he had
come. They let him depart in silence, for with all
he had taken, the masses of jewels upon the ground
seemed scarcely to have been disturbed, so
numerous were they. Also they hoped they had seen
the last of the degraded King.
"I'm awful glad he's gone," said Betsy, sighing
deeply. "If he doesn't get reckless and spend his
wealth foolishly, he's got enough to start a bank
when he gets to Oklahoma."
"But my brother--my dear brother! Where is he?"
inquired Shaggy anxiously. "Have you seen him,
Queen Ann?"
"What does your brother look like?" asked the
Shaggy hesitated to reply, but Betsy said: "He's
called the Ugly One. Perhaps you'll know him by
"The only person we have seen in this cavern,"
said Ann, "has run away from us whenever we
approached him. He hides over yonder, among the
trees that are not gold, and we have never been
able to catch sight of his face. So I can not tell
whether he is ugly or not."
"That must be my dear brother!" exclaimed
"Yes, it must be," assented Kaliko. "No one else
inhabits this splendid dome, so there can be no
"But why does he hide among those green trees,
instead of enjoying all these glittery golden
ones?" asked Betsy.
"Because he finds food among the natural trees,"
replied Kaliko, "and I remember that he has built
a little house there, to sleep in. As for these
glittery golden trees, I will admit they are very
pretty at first sight. One cannot fail to admire
them, as well as the rich jewels scattered beneath
them; but if one has to look at them always, they
become pretty tame."
"I believe that is true," declared Shaggy. "My
dear brother is very wise to prefer real trees to
the imitation ones. But come; let us go there and
find him."
Shaggy started for the green grove at once, and
the others followed him, being curious to witness
the final rescue of his long-sought, long-lost
Not far from the edge of the grove they came
upon a small hut, cleverly made of twigs and
golden branches woven together. As they approached
the place they caught a glimpse of a form that
darted into the hut and slammed the door tight
shut after him.
Shaggy Man ran to the door and cried aloud:
"Brother! Brother!"
"Who calls," demanded a sad, hollow voice
from within.
"It is Shaggy--your own loving brother--who has
been searching for you a long time and has now
come to rescue you."
"Too late!" replied the gloomy voice. "No one
can rescue me now."
"Oh, but you are mistaken about that," said
Shaggy. "There is a new King of the nomes, named
Kaliko, in Ruggedo's place, and he has promised
you shall go free."
"Free! I dare not go free!" said the Ugly One,
in a voice of despair.
"Why not, Brother?" asked Shaggy, anxiously.
"Do you know what they have done to me?" came
the answer through the closed door.
"No. Tell me, Brother, what have they done?"
"When Ruggedo first captured me I was very
handsome. Don't you remember, Shaggy?"
"Not very well, Brother; you were so young when
I left home. But I remember that mother thought
you were beautiful."
"She was right! I am sure she was right," wailed
the prisoner. "But Ruggedo wanted to injure me--to
make me ugly in the eyes of all the world--so he
performed a wicked enchantment. I went to bed
beautiful--or you might say handsome--to be very
modest I will merely claim that I was goodlooking--
and I wakened the next morning the
homeliest man in all the world! I am so repulsive
that when I look in a mirror I frighten myself."
"Poor Brother!" said Shaggy softly, and all the
others were silent from sympathy.
"I was so ashamed of my looks," continued the
voice of Shaggy's brother, "that I tried to hide;
but the cruel King Ruggedo forced me to appear
before all the legion of nomes, to whom he said:
'Behold the Ugly One!' But when the nomes saw my
face they all fell to laughing and jeering, which
prevented them from working at their tasks. Seeing
this, Ruggedo became angry and pushed me into a
tunnel, closing the rock entrance so that I could
not get out. I followed the length of the tunnel
until I reached this huge dome, where the
marvelous Metal Forest stands, and here I have
remained ever since."
"Poor Brother!" repeated Shaggy. "But I beg you
now to come forth and face us, who are your
friends. None here will laugh or jeer, however
unhandsome you may be."
"No, indeed," they all added pleadingly.
But the Ugly One refused the invitation.
"I cannot," said he; "indeed, I cannot face
strangers, ugly as I am."
Shaggy Man turned to the group surrounding him.
"What shall I do?" he asked in sorrowful tones.
"I cannot leave my dear brother here, and he
refuses to come out of that house and face us."
"I'll tell you," replied Betsy. "Let him put on
a mask."
"The very idea I was seeking!" exclaimed Shaggy
joyfully; and then he called out: "Brother, put a
mask over your face, and then none of us can see
what your features are like."
"I have no mask," answered the Ugly One.
"Look here," said Betsy; "he can use my
Shaggy looked at the little square of cloth and
shook his head.
"It isn't big enough," he objected; "I'm sure it
isn't big enough to hide a man's face. But he can
use mine."
Saying this he took from his pocket his own
handkerchief and went to the door of the hut.
"Here, my Brother," he called, "take this
handkerchief and make a mask of it. I will also
pass you my knife, so that you may cut holes for
the eyes, and then you must tie it over your
The door slowly opened, just far enough for the
Ugly One to thrust out his hand and take the
handkerchief and the knife. Then it closed again.
"Don't forget a hole for your nose," cried
Betsy. "You must breathe, you know."
For a time there was silence. Queen Ann and her
army sat down upon the ground to rest. Betsy sat
on Hank's back. Polychrome danced lightly up and
down the jeweled paths while Files and the
Princess wandered through the groves arm in arm.
Tik-Tok, who never tired, stood motionless.
By and by a noise sounded from within the hut.
"Are you ready?" asked Shaggy.
"Yes, Brother," came the reply and the door was
thrown open to allow the Ugly One to step forth.
Betsy might have laughed aloud had she not
remembered how sensitive to ridicule Shaggy's
brother was, for the handkerchief with which he
had masked his features was a red one covered with
big white polka dots. In this two holes had been
cut--in front of the eyes--while two smaller ones
before the nostrils allowed the man to breathe
freely. The cloth was then tightly drawn over the
Ugly One's face and knotted at the back of his
He was dressed in clothes that had once been
good, but now were sadly worn and frayed. His silk
stockings had holes in them, and his shoes were
stub-toed and needed blackening. "But what can you
expect," whispered Betsy, "when the poor man has
been a prisoner for so many years?"
Shaggy had darted forward, and embraced his
newly found brother with both his arms. The
brother also embraced Shaggy, who then led him
forward and introduced him to all the assembled
"This is the new Nome King," he said when he
came to Kaliko. "He is our friend, and has granted
you your freedom."
"That is a kindly deed," replied Ugly in a sad
voice, "but I dread to go back to the world in
this direful condition. Unless I remain forever
masked, my dreadful face would curdle all the milk
and stop all the clocks."
"Can't the enchantment be broken in some way?"
inquired Betsy.
Shaggy looked anxiously at Kaliko, who shook his
"I am sure I can't break the enchantment," he
said. "Ruggedo was fond of magic, and learned a
good many enchantments that we nomes know
nothing of."
"Perhaps Ruggedo himself might break his own
enchantment," suggested Ann; "but unfortunately we
have allowed the old King to escape."
"Never mind, my dear Brother," said Shaggy
consolingly; "I am very happy to have found you
again, although I may never see your face. So let
us make the most of this joyful reunion."
The Ugly One was affected to tears by this
tender speech, and the tears began to wet the red
handkerchief; so Shaggy gently wiped them away
with his coat sleeve.
Chapter Twenty-Two
Kindly Kisses
"Won't you be dreadful sorry to leave this lovely
place?" Betsy asked the Ugly One.
"No, indeed," said he. "Jewels and gold are cold
and heartless things, and I am sure I would
presently have died of loneliness had I not found
the natural forest at the edge of the artificial
one. Anyhow, without these real trees I should
soon have starved to death."
Betsy looked around at the quaint trees.
"I don't just understand that," she admitted.
"What could you find to eat here."
"The best food in the world," Ugly answered. "Do
you see that grove at your left?" he added,
pointing it out; "well, such trees as those do not
grow in your country, or in any other place but
this cavern. I have named them 'Hotel Trees,'
because they bear a certain kind of table d'hote
fruit called 'Three-Course Nuts.' "
"That's funny!" said Betsy. "What are the
'Three-Course Nuts' like?"
"Something like cocoanuts, to look at,"
explained the Ugly One. "All you have to do is to
pick one of them and then sit down and eat your
dinner. You first unscrew the top part and find a
cupfull of good soup. After you've eaten that, you
unscrew the middle part and find a hollow filled
with meat and potatoes, vegetables and a fine
salad. Eat that, and unscrew the next section, and
you come to the dessert in the bottom of the nut.
That is, pie and cake, cheese and crackers, and
nuts and raisins. The Three-Course Nuts are not
all exactly alike in flavor or in contents, but
they are all good and in each one may be found a
complete three-course dinner."
"But how about breakfasts?" inquired Betsy.
"Why, there are Breakfast Trees for that, which
grow over there at the right. They bear nuts, like
the others, only the nuts contain coffee or
chocolate, instead of soup; oatmeal instead of
meat-and-potatoes, and fruits instead of dessert.
Sad as has been my life in this wonderful prison,
I must admit that no one could live more
luxuriously in the best hotel in the world than I
have lived here; but I will be glad to get into
the open air again and see the good old sun and
the silvery moon and the soft green grass and the
flowers that are kissed by the morning dew. Ah,
how much more lovely are those blessed things than
the glitter of gems or the cold gleam of gold!"
"Of course," said Betsy. "I once knew a little
boy who wanted to catch the measles, because all
the little boys in his neighborhood but him had
'em, and he was really unhappy 'cause he couldn't
catch 'em, try as he would. So I'm pretty certain
that the things we want, and can't have, are not
good for us. Isn't that true, Shaggy?"
"Not always, my dear," he gravely replied. "If
we didn't want anything, we would never get
anything, good or bad. I think our longings are
natural, and if we act as nature prompts us we
can't go far wrong."
"For my part," said Queen Ann, "I think the
world would be a dreary place without the gold and
"All things are good in their way," said Shaggy;
"but we may have too much of any good thing. And I
have noticed that the value of anything depends
upon how scarce it is, and how difficult it is to
"Pardon me for interrupting you," said King
Kaliko, coming to their side, "but now that we
have rescued Shaggy's brother I would like to
return to my royal cavern. Being the King of the
Nomes, it is my duty to look after my restless
subjects and see that they behave themselves."
So they all turned and began walking through the
Metal Forest to the other side of the great domed
cave, where they had first entered it. Shaggy and
his brother walked side by side and both seemed
rejoiced that they were together after their long
separation. Betsy didn't dare look at the polka
dot handkerchief, for fear she would laugh aloud;
so she walked behind the two brothers and led Hank
by holding fast to his left ear.
When at last they reached the place where the
passage led to the outer world, Queen Ann said, in
a hesitating way that was unusual with her:
"I have not conquered this Nome Country, nor do
I expect to do so; but I would like to gather a
few of these pretty jewels before I leave this
"Help yourself, ma'am," said King Kaliko, and at
once the officers of the Army took advantage of
his royal permission and began filling their
pockets, while Ann tied a lot of diamonds in a big
This accomplished, they all entered the passage,
the nomes going first to light the way with their
torches. They had not proceeded far when Betsy
"Why, there are jewels here, too!"
All eyes were turned upon the ground and they
found a regular trail of jewels strewn along the
rock floor.
"This is queer!" said Kaliko, much surprised. "I
must send some of my nomes to gather up these gems
and replace them in the Metal Forest, where they
belong. I wonder how they came to be here?"
All the way along the passage they found this
trail of jewels, but when they neared the end the
mystery was explained. For there, squatted upon
the floor with his back to the rock wall, sat old
Ruggedo, puffing and blowing as if he was all
tired out. Then they realized it was he who had
scattered the jewels, from his many pockets, which
one by one had burst with the weight of their
contents as he had stumbled along the passage.
"But I don't mind," said Ruggedo, with a deep
sigh. "I now realize that I could not have carried
such a weighty load very far, even had I managed
to escape from this passage with it. The woman who
sewed the pockets on my robe used poor thread, for
which I shall thank her."
"Have you any jewels left?" inquired Betsy.
He glanced into some of the remaining
"A few," said he, "but they will be sufficient
to supply my wants, and I no longer have any
desire to be rich. If some of you will kindly help
me to rise, I'll get out of here and leave you,
for I know you all despise me and prefer my room
to my company."
Shaggy and Kaliko raised the old King to his
feet, when he was confronted by Shaggy's brother,
whom he now noticed for the first time. The queer
and unexpected appearance of the Ugly One so
startled Ruggedo that he gave a wild cry and began
to tremble, as if he had seen a ghost.
"Wh--wh--who is this?" he faltered.
"I am that helpless prisoner whom your cruel
magic transformed from a handsome man into an ugly
one!" answered Shaggy's brother, in a voice of
stern reproach.
"Really, Ruggedo," said Betsy, "you ought to be
ashamed of that mean trick."
"I am, my dear," admitted Ruggedo, who was now
as meek and humble as formerly he had been cruel
and vindictive.
"Then," returned the girl, "you'd better do some
more magic and give the poor man his own face
"I wish I could," answered the old King; "but
you must remember that Tititi-Hoochoo has deprived
me of all my magic powers. However, I never took
the trouble to learn just how to break the charm I
cast over Shaggy's brother, for I intended he
should always remain ugly."
"Every charm," remarked pretty Polychrome, "has
its antidote; and, if you knew this charm of
ugliness, Ruggedo, you must have known how to
dispel it."
He shook his head.
"If I did, I--I've forgotten," he stammered
"Try to think!" pleaded Shaggy, anxiously.
"Please try to think!"
Ruggedo ruffled his hair with both hands,
sighed, slapped his chest, rubbed his ear, and
stared stupidly around the group.
"I've a faint recollection that there was one
thing that would break the charm," said he; "but
misfortune has so addled my brain that I can't
remember what it was."
"See here, Ruggedo," said Betsy, sharply, "we've
treated you pretty well, so far, but we won't
stand for any nonsense, and if you know what's
good for yourself you'll think of that charm!"
"Why?" he demanded, turning to look wonderingly
at the little girl.
"Because it means so much to Shaggy's brother.
He's dreadfully ashamed of himself, the way he is
now, and you're to blame for it. Fact is, Ruggedo,
you've done so much wickedness in your life that
it won't hurt you to do a kind act now."
Ruggedo blinked at her, and sighed again, and
then tried very hard to think.
"I seem to remember, dimly," said he, "that a
certain kind of a kiss will break the charm of
"What kind of a kiss?"
"What kind? Why, it was--it was--it was either
the kiss of a Mortal Maid; or--or--the kiss of a
Mortal Maid who had once been a Fairy; or--or the
kiss of one who is still a Fairy. I can't remember
which. But of course no maid, mortal or fairy,
would ever consent to kiss a person so ugly--so
dreadfully, fearfully, terribly ugly--as Shaggy's
"I'm not so sure of that," said Betsy, with
admirable courage; "I'm a Mortal Maid, and if it
is my kiss that will break this awful charm, I--
I'll do it!"
"Oh, you really couldn't," protested Ugly. "I
would be obliged to remove my mask, and when you
saw my face, nothing could induce you to kiss me,
generous as you are."
"Well, as for that," said the little girl, "I
needn't see your face at all. Here's my plan: You
stay in this dark passage, and we'll send away the
nomes with their torches. Then you'll take off the
handkerchief, and I--I'll kiss you."
"This is awfully kind of you, Betsy!" said
Shaggy, gratefully.
"Well, it surely won't kill me," she replied;
"and, if it makes you and your brother happy, I'm
willing to take some chances."
So Kaliko ordered the torch-bearers to leave the
passage, which they did by going through the rock
opening. Queen Ann and her army also went out; but
the others were so interested in Betsy's
experiment that they remained grouped at the mouth
of the passageway. When the big rock swung into
place, closing tight the opening, they were left
in total darkness.
"Now, then," called Betsy in a cheerful voice,
"have you got that handkerchief off your face,
"Yes," he replied.
"Well, where are you, then?" she asked, reaching
out her arms.
"Here," said he.
"You'll have to stoop down, you know."
He found her hands and clasping them in his own
stooped until his face was near to that of the
little girl. The others heard a clear, smacking
kiss, and then Betsy exclaimed:
"There! I've done it, and it didn't hurt a bit!"
"Tell me, dear brother; is the charm broken?"
asked Shaggy.
"I do not know," was the reply. "It may be, or
it may not be. I cannot tell."
"Has anyone a match?" inquired Betsy.
"I have several," said Shaggy.
"Then let Ruggedo strike one of them and look at
your brother's face, while we all turn our backs.
Ruggedo made your brother ugly, so I guess he can
stand the horror of looking at him, if the charm
isn't broken."
Agreeing to this, Ruggedo took the match and
lighted it. He gave one look and then blew out
the match.
"Ugly as ever!" he said with a shudder. "So it
wasn't the kiss of a Mortal Maid, after all."
"Let me try," proposed the Rose Princess, in her
sweet voice. "I am a Mortal Maid who was once a
Fairy. Perhaps my kiss will break the charm."
Files did not wholly approve of this, but he was
too generous to interfere. So the Rose Princess
felt her way through the darkness to Shaggy's
brother and kissed him.
Ruggedo struck another match, while they all
turned away.
"No," announced the former King; "that didn't
break the charm, either. It must be the kiss of a
Fairy that is required--or else my memory has
failed me altogether."
"Polly," said Betsy, pleadingly, "won't you
"Of course I will!" answered Polychrome, with a
merry laugh. "I've never kissed a mortal man in
all the thousands of years I have existed, but
I'll do it to please our faithful Shaggy Man,
whose unselfish affection for his ugly brother
deserves to be rewarded."
Even as Polychrome was speaking she tripped
lightly to the side of the Ugly One and quickly
touched his cheek with her lips.
"Oh, thank you--thank you!" he fervently cried.
"I've changed, this time, I know. I can feel it!
I'm different. Shaggy--dear Shaggy--I am myself
Files, who was near the opening, touched the
spring that released the big rock and it suddenly
swung backward and let in a flood of daylight.
Everyone stood motionless, staring hard at
Shaggy's brother, who, no longer masked by the
polka-dot handkerchief, met their gaze with a
glad smile.
"Well," said Shaggy Man, breaking the silence at
last and drawing a long, deep breath of
satisfaction, "you are no longer the Ugly One, my
dear brother; but, to be entirely frank with you,
the face that belongs to you is no more handsome
than it ought to be."
"I think he's rather good looking," remarked
Betsy, gazing at the man critically.
"In comparison with what he was," said King
Kaliko, "he is really beautiful. You, who never
beheld his ugliness, may not understand that; but
it was my misfortune to look at the Ugly One many
times, and I say again that, in comparison with
what he was, the man is now beautiful."
"All right," returned Betsy, briskly, "we'll
take your word for it, Kaliko. And now let us get
out of this tunnel and into the world again."
Chapter Twenty-Three
Ruggedo Reforms
It did not take them long to regain the royal
cavern of the Nome King, where Kaliko ordered
served to them the nicest refreshments the place
Ruggedo had come trailing along after the rest
of the party and while no one paid any attention
to the old King they did not offer any objection
to his presence or command him to leave them. He
looked fearfully to see if the eggs were still
guarding the entrance, but they had now
disappeared; so he crept into the cavern after the
others and humbly squatted down in a corner of the
There Betsy discovered him. All of the little
girl's companions were now so happy at the success
of Shaggy's quest for his brother, and the
laughter and merriment seemed so general, that
Betsy's heart softened toward the friendless old
man who had once been their bitter enemy, and she
carried to him some of the food and drink.
Ruggedo's eyes filled with tears at this
unexpected kindness. He took the child's hand in
his own and pressed it gratefully.
"Look here, Kaliko," said Betsy, addressing the
new King, "what's the use of being hard on
Ruggedo? All his magic power is gone, so he can't
do any more harm, and I'm sure he's sorry he acted
so badly to everybody."
"Are you?" asked Kaliko, looking down at his
former master.
"I am," said Ruggedo. "The girl speaks truly.
I'm sorry and I'm harmless. I don't want to wander
through the wide world, on top of the ground, for
I'm a nome. No nome can ever be happy any place
but underground."
"That being the case," said Kaliko, "I will let
you stay here as long as you behave yourself;
but, if you try to act badly again, I shall drive
you out, as Tititi-Hoochoo has commanded, and
you'll have to wander."
"Never fear. I'll behave," promised Ruggedo. "It
is hard work being a King, and harder still to be
a good King. But now that I am a common nome I am
sure I can lead a blameless life."
They were all pleased to hear this and to know
that Ruggedo had really reformed.
"I hope he'll keep his word," whispered Betsy to
Shaggy; "but if he gets bad again we will be far
away from the Nome Kingdom and Kaliko will have to
'tend to the old nome himself."
Polychrome had been a little restless during the
last hour or two. The lovely Daughter of the Rainbow
knew that she had now done all in her power to
assist her earth friends, and so she began to long
for her sky home.
"I think," she said, after listening intently,
"that it is beginning to rain. The Rain King is my
uncle, you know, and perhaps he has read my
thoughts and is going to help me. Anyway I must
take a look at the sky and make sure."
So she jumped up and ran through the passage to
the outer entrance, and they all followed after
her and grouped themselves on a ledge of the
mountain-side. Sure enough, dark clouds had filled
the sky and a slow, drizzling rain had set in.
"It can't last for long," said Shaggy, looking
upward, "and when it stops we shall lose the sweet
little fairy we have learned to love. Alas," he
continued, after a moment, "the clouds are already
breaking in the west, and--see!--isn't that the
Rainbow coming?"
Betsy didn't look at the sky; she looked at
Polychrome, whose happy, smiling face surely
foretold the coming of her father to take her to
the Cloud Palaces. A moment later a gleam of
sunshine flooded the mountain and a gorgeous
Rainbow appeared.
With a cry of gladness Polychrome sprang upon a
point of rock and held out her arms. Straightway
the Rainbow descended until its end was at her
very feet, when with a graceful leap she sprang
upon it and was at once clasped in
the arms of her radiant sisters, the Daughters of
the Rainbow. But Polychrome released herself
to lean over the edge of the glowing arch and
nod, and smile and throw a dozen kisses to her
late comrades.
"Good-bye!" she called, and they all shouted
"Good-bye!" in return and waved their hands to
their pretty friend.
Slowly the magnificent bow lifted and melted
into the sky, until the eyes of the earnest
watchers saw only fleecy clouds flitting across
the blue.
"I'm dreadful sorry to see Polychrome go,"
said Betsy, who felt like crying; "but I s'pose
she'll be a good deal happier with her sisters in
the sky palaces."
"To be sure," returned Shaggy, nodding
gravely. "It's her home, you know, and those
poor wanderers who, like ourselves, have no
home, can realize what that means to her."
"Once," said Betsy, "I, too, had a home. Now,
I've only--only--dear old Hank!"
She twined her arms around her shaggy friend who
was not human, and he said: "Hee-haw!" in a tone
that showed he understood her mood. And the shaggy
friend who was human stroked the child's head
tenderly and said: "You're wrong about that,
Betsy, dear. I will never desert you."
"Nor I!" exclaimed Shaggy's brother, in earnest
The little girl looked up at them gratefully,
and her eyes smiled through their tears.
"All right," she said. "It's raining again, so
let's go back into the cavern."
Rather soberly, for all loved Polychrome and
would miss her, they reentered the dominions of
the Nome King.
Chapter Twenty-Four
Dorothy is Delighted
"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
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
"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
"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
"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
"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 wil-der-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
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
"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
"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,
"I'm getting my magic ready to transport them
"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 smallsized
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.
Chapter Twenty-Five
The Land of Love
"Well, is 'hee-haw' all you are able to say?"
inquired the Sawhorse, as he examined Hank with
his knot eyes and slowly wagged the branch that
served him for a tail.
They were in a beautiful stable in the rear of
Ozma's palace, where the wooden Sawhorse--very
much alive--lived in a gold-paneled stall, and
where there were rooms for the Cowardly Lion and
the Hungry Tiger, which were filled with soft
cushions for them to lie upon and golden troughs
for them to eat from.
Beside the stall of the Sawhorse had been placed
another for Hank, the mule. This was not quite so
beautiful as the other, for the Sawhorse was
Ozma's favorite steed; but Hank had a supply of
cushions for a bed (which the Sawhorse did not
need because he never slept) and all this luxury
was so strange to the little mule that he could
only stand still and regard his surroundings and
his queer companions with wonder and amazement.
The Cowardly Lion, looking very dignified, was
stretched out upon the marble floor of the stable,
eyeing Hank with a calm and critical gaze, while
near by crouched the huge Hungry Tiger, who seemed
equally interested in the new animal that had just
arrived. The Sawhorse, standing stiffly before
Hank, repeated his question:
"Is 'hee-haw' all you are able to say?"
Hank moved his ears in an embarrassed manner.
"I have never said anything else, until now," he
replied; and then he began to tremble with fright
to hear himself talk.
"I can well understand that," remarked the Lion,
wagging his great head with a swaying motion.
"Strange things happen in this Land of Oz, as they
do everywhere else. I believe you came here from
the cold, civilized, outside world, did you not?"
"I did," replied Hank. "One minute I was outside
of Oz--and the next minute I was inside! That was
enough to give me a nervous shock, as you may
guess; but to find myself able to talk, as Betsy
does, is a marvel that staggers me."
"That is because you are in the Land of Oz,"
said the Sawhorse. "All animals talk, in this
favored country, and you must admit it is more
sociable than to bray your dreadful 'hee-haw,'
which nobody can understand."
"Mules understand it very well," declared Hank.
"Oh, indeed! Then there must be other mules in
your outside world," said the Tiger, yawning
"There are a great many in America," said Hank.
"Are you the only Tiger in Oz?"
"No," acknowledged the Tiger, "I have many
relatives living in the Jungle Country; but I am
the only Tiger living in the Emerald City."
"There are other Lions, too," said the Sawhorse;
"but I am the only horse, of any description, in
this favored Land."
"That is why this Land is favored," said the
Tiger. "You must understand, friend Hank, that the
Sawhorse puts on airs because he is shod with
plates of gold, and because our beloved Ruler,
Ozma of Oz, likes to ride upon his back."
"Betsy rides upon my back," declared Hank
"Who is Betsy?"
"The dearest, sweetest girl in all the world!"
The Sawhorse gave an angry snort and stamped his
golden feet. The Tiger crouched and growled.
Slowly the great Lion rose to his feet, his mane
"Friend Hank," said he, "either you are mistaken
in judgment or you are willfully trying to deceive
us. The dearest, sweetest girl in the world is our
Dorothy, and I will fight anyone--animal or human--
who dares to deny it!"
"So will I!" snarled the Tiger, showing two
rows of enormous white teeth.
"You are all wrong!" asserted the Sawhorse in a
voice of scorn. "No girl living can compare with
my mistress, Ozma of Oz!"
Hank slowly turned around until his heels were
toward the others. Then he said stubbornly:
"I am not mistaken in my statement, nor will I
admit there can be a sweeter girl alive than Betsy
Bobbin. If you want to fight, come on--I'm ready
for you!"
While they hesitated, eyeing Hank's heels
doubtfully, a merry peal of laughter startled the
animals and turning their heads they beheld three
lovely girls standing just within the richly
carved entrance to the stable. In the center was
Ozma, her arms encircling the waists of Dorothy
and Betsy, who stood on either side of her. Ozma
was nearly half a head taller than the two other
girls, who were almost of one size. Unobserved,
they had listened to the talk of the animals,
which was a very strange experience indeed to
little Betsy Bobbin.
"You foolish beasts!" exclaimed the Ruler of Oz,
in a gentle but chiding voice. "Why should you
fight to defend us, who are all three loving
friends and in no sense rivals? Answer me!" she
continued, as they bowed their heads sheepishly.
"I have the right to express my opinion, your
Highness," pleaded the Lion.
"And so have the others," replied Ozma. "I am
glad you and the Hungry Tiger love Dorothy best,
for she was your first friend and companion. Also
I am pleased that my Sawhorse loves me best, for
together we have endured both joy and sorrow. Hank
has proved his faith and loyalty by defending his
own little mistress; and so you are all right in
one way, but wrong in another. Our Land of Oz is a
Land of Love, and here friendship outranks every
other quality. Unless you can all be friends, you
cannot retain our love."
They accepted this rebuke very meekly.
"All right," said the Sawhorse, quite
cheerfully; "shake hoofs, friend Mule."
Hank touched his hoof to that of the wooden
"Let us be friends and rub noses," said the
Tiger. So Hank modestly rubbed noses with the big
The Lion merely nodded and said, as he crouched
before the mule:
"Any friend of a friend of our beloved Ruler is
a friend of the Cowardly Lion. That seems to cover
your case. If ever you need help or advice, friend
Hank, call on me."
"Why, this is as it should be," said Ozma,
highly pleased to see them so fully reconciled.
Then she turned to her companions: "Come, my
dears, let us resume our walk."
As they turned away Betsy said wonderingly:
"Do all the animals in Oz talk as we do?"
"Almost all," answered Dorothy. "There's a
Yellow Hen here, and she can talk, and so can her
chickens; and there's a Pink Kitten upstairs in my
room who talks very nicely; but I've a little
fuzzy black dog, named Toto, who has been with me
in Oz a long time, and he's never said a single
word but 'Bow-wow!'"
"Do you know why?" asked Ozma.
"Why, he's a Kansas dog; so I s'pose he's
different from these fairy animals," replied
"Hank isn't a fairy animal, any more than Toto,"
said Ozma, "yet as soon as he came under the spell
of our fairyland he found he could talk. It was
the same way with Billina, the Yellow Hen whom you
brought here at one time. The same spell has
affected Toto, I assure you; but he's a wise
little dog and while he knows everything that is
said to him he prefers not to talk."
"Goodness me!" exclaimed Dorothy. "I never
s'pected Toto was fooling me all this time." Then
she drew a small silver whistle from her pocket
and blew a shrill note upon it. A moment later
there was a sound of scurrying footsteps, and a
shaggy black dog came running up the path.
Dorothy knelt down before him and shaking her
finger just above his nose she said:
"Toto, haven't I always been good to you?"
Toto looked up at her with his bright black eyes
and wagged his tail.
"Bow-wow!" he said, and Betsy knew at once that
meant yes, as well as Dorothy and Ozma knew it,
for there was no mistaking the tone of Toto's
"That's a dog answer," said Dorothy. "How would
you like it, Toto, if I said nothing to you but
Toto's tail was wagging furiously now, but
otherwise he was silent.
"Really, Dorothy," said Betsy, "he can talk with
his bark and his tail just as well as we can.
Don't you understand such dog language?"
"Of course I do," replied Dorothy. "But Toto's
got to be more sociable. See here, sir!" she
continued, addressing the dog, "I've just learned,
for the first time, that you can say words--if you
want to. Don't you want to, Toto?"
"Woof!" said Toto, and that meant "no."
"Not just one word, Toto, to prove you're as
any other animal in Oz?"
"Just one word, Toto--and then you may run
He looked at her steadily a moment.
"All right. Here I go!" he said, and darted away
as swift as an arrow.
Dorothy clapped her hands in delight, while
Betsy and Ozma both laughed heartily at her
pleasure and the success of her experiment. Arm in
arm they sauntered away through the beautiful
gardens of the palace, where magnificent flowers
bloomed in abundance and fountains shot their
silvery sprays far into the air. And by and by, as
they turned a corner, they came upon Shaggy Man
and his brother, who were seated together upon a
golden bench.
The two arose to bow respectfully as the Ruler
of Oz approached them.
"How are you enjoying our Land of Oz?" Ozma
asked the stranger.
"I am very happy here, Your Highness," replied
Shaggy's brother. "Also I am very grateful to you
for permitting me to live in this delightful
"You must thank Shaggy for that," said Ozma.
"Being his brother, I have made you welcome here."
"When you know Brother better," said Shaggy
earnestly, "you will be glad he has become one of
your loyal subjects. I am just getting acquainted
with him myself and I find much in his character
to admire."
Leaving the brothers, Ozma and the girls
continued their walk. Presently Betsy exclaimed:
"Shaggy's brother can't ever be as happy in Oz
as I am. Do you know, Dorothy, I didn't believe
any girl could ever have such a good time--
anywhere--as I'm having now?"
"I know," answered Dorothy. "I've felt that way
myself, lots of times."
"I wish," continued Betsy, dreamily, "that every
little girl in the world could live in the Land of
Oz; and every little boy, too!"
Ozma laughed at this.
"It is quite fortunate for us, Betsy, that your
wish cannot be granted," said she, "for all that
army of girls and boys would crowd us so that we
would have to move away."
"Yes," agreed Betsy, after a little thought, "I
guess that's true."

The Wonderful Oz Books by L. Frank Baum

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