The Road to Oz

       L. Frank Baum / Fantasy
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The Road to Oz
Produced by Warren Baldwin and Dennis Amundson.



The Road to Oz

In which is related how Dorothy Gale of Kansas, The Shaggy Man, Button Bright, and Polychrome the Rainbow's Daughter met on an Enchanted Road and followed it all the way to the Marvelous Land of Oz.

by

L. Frank Baum

”Royal Historian of Oz”

Contents

--To My Readers-- 1. The Way to Butterfield 2. Dorothy Meets Button-Bright 3. A Queer Village 4. King Dox 5. The Rainbow's Daughter 6. The City of Beasts 7. The Shaggy Man's Transformation 8. The Musicker 9. Facing the Scoodlers 10. Escaping the Soup-Kettle 11. Johnny Dooit Does It 12. The Deadly Desert Crossed 13. The Truth Pond 14. Tik-Tok and Billina 15. The Emperor's Tin Castle 16. Visiting the Pumpkin-Field 17. The Royal Chariot Arrives 18. The Emerald City 19. The Shaggy Man's Welcome 20. Princess Ozma of Oz 21. Dorothy Receives the Guests 22. Important Arrivals 23. The Grand Banquet 24. The Birthday Celebration

To My Readers

Well, my dears, here is what you have asked for: another ”Oz Book”about Dorothy's strange adventures. Toto is in this story, because youwanted him to be there, and many other characters which you willrecognize are in the story, too. Indeed, the wishes of my littlecorrespondents have been considered as carefully as possible, and ifthe story is not exactly as you would have written it yourselves, youmust remember that a story has to be a story before it can be writtendown, and the writer cannot change it much without spoiling it.

In the preface to ”Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz” I said I would like towrite some stories that were not ”Oz” stories, because I thought I hadwritten about Oz long enough; but since that volume was published Ihave been fairly deluged with letters from children imploring me to”write more about Dorothy,” and ”more about Oz,” and since I write onlyto please the children I shall try to respect their wishes.

There are some new characters in this book that ought to win your love.I'm very fond of the shaggy man myself, and I think you will like him,too. As for Polychrome--the Rainbow's Daughter--and stupid littleButton-Bright, they seem to have brought a new element of fun intothese Oz stories, and I am glad I discovered them. Yet I am anxious tohave you write and tell me how you like them.

Since this book was written I have received some very remarkable Newsfrom The Land of Oz, which has greatly astonished me. I believe itwill astonish you, too, my dears, when you hear it. But it is such along and exciting story that it must be saved for another book--andperhaps that book will be the last story that will ever be told aboutthe Land of Oz.

L. FRANK BAUM

Coronado, 1909.

1. The Way to Butterfield

”Please, miss,” said the shaggy man, ”can you tell me the road toButterfield?”

Dorothy looked him over. Yes, he was shaggy, all right, but there wasa twinkle in his eye that seemed pleasant.

”Oh yes,” she replied; ”I can tell you. But it isn't this road at all.”

”No?”

”You cross the ten-acre lot, follow the lane to the highway, go northto the five branches, and take--let me see--”

”To be sure, miss; see as far as Butterfield, if you like,” said theshaggy man.

”You take the branch next the willow stump, I b'lieve; or else thebranch by the gopher holes; or else--”

”Won't any of 'em do, miss?”

”'Course not, Shaggy Man. You must take the right road to get toButterfield.”

”And is that the one by the gopher stump, or--”

”Dear me!” cried Dorothy. ”I shall have to show you the way, you're sostupid. Wait a minute till I run in the house and get my sunbonnet.”

The shaggy man waited. He had an oat-straw in his mouth, which hechewed slowly as if it tasted good; but it didn't. There was anapple-tree beside the house, and some apples had fallen to the ground.The shaggy man thought they would taste better than the oat-straw, sohe walked over to get some. A little black dog with bright brown eyesdashed out of the farm-house and ran madly toward the shaggy man, whohad already picked up three apples and put them in one of the big widepockets of his shaggy coat. The little dog barked and made a dive forthe shaggy man's leg; but he grabbed the dog by the neck and put it inhis big pocket along with the apples. He took more apples, afterward,for many were on the ground; and each one that he tossed into hispocket hit the little dog somewhere upon the head or back, and made himgrowl. The little dog's name was Toto, and he was sorry he had beenput in the shaggy man's pocket.

Pretty soon Dorothy came out of the house with her sunbonnet, and shecalled out:

”Come on, Shaggy Man, if you want me to show you the road toButterfield.” She climbed the fence into the ten-acre lot and hefollowed her, walking slowly and stumbling over the little hillocks inthe pasture as if he was thinking of something else and did not noticethem.

”My, but you're clumsy!” said the little girl. ”Are your feet tired?”

”No, miss; it's my whiskers; they tire very easily in this warmweather,” said he. ”I wish it would snow, don't you?”

”'Course not, Shaggy Man,” replied Dorothy, giving him a severe look.”If it snowed in August it would spoil the corn and the oats and thewheat; and then Uncle Henry wouldn't have any crops; and that wouldmake him poor; and--”

”Never mind,” said the shaggy man. ”It won't snow, I guess. Is thisthe lane?”

”Yes,” replied Dorothy, climbing another fence; ”I'll go as far as thehighway with you.”

”Thankee, miss; you're very kind for your size, I'm sure,” said hegratefully.

”It isn't everyone who knows the road to Butterfield,” Dorothy remarkedas she tripped along the lane; ”but I've driven there many a time withUncle Henry, and so I b'lieve I could find it blindfolded.”

”Don't do that, miss,” said the shaggy man earnestly; ”you might make amistake.”

”I won't,” she answered, laughing. ”Here's the highway. Now it's thesecond--no, the third turn to the left--or else it's the fourth. Let'ssee. The first one is by the elm tree, and the second is by the gopherholes; and then--”

”Then what?” he inquired, putting his hands in his coat pockets. Totograbbed a finger and bit it; the shaggy man took his hand out of thatpocket quickly, and said ”Oh!”

Dorothy did not notice. She was shading her eyes from the sun with herarm, looking anxiously down the road.

”Come on,” she commanded. ”It's only a little way farther, so I may aswell show you.”

After a while, they came to the place where five roads branched indifferent directions; Dorothy pointed to one, and said:

”That's it, Shaggy Man.”

”I'm much obliged, miss,” he said, and started along another road.

”Not that one!” she cried; ”you're going wrong.”

He stopped.

”I thought you said that other was the road to Butterfield,” said he,running his fingers through his shaggy whiskers in a puzzled way.

”So it is.”

”But I don't want to go to Butterfield, miss.”

”You don't?”

”Of course not. I wanted you to show me the road, so I shouldn't gothere by mistake.”

”Oh! Where DO you want to go, then?”

”I'm not particular, miss.”

This answer astonished the little girl; and it made her provoked, too,to think she had taken all this trouble for nothing.

”There are a good many roads here,” observed the shaggy man, turningslowly around, like a human windmill. ”Seems to me a person could go'most anywhere, from this place.”

Dorothy turned around too, and gazed in surprise. There WERE a goodmany roads; more than she had ever seen before. She tried to countthem, knowing there ought to be five, but when she had countedseventeen she grew bewildered and stopped, for the roads were as manyas the spokes of a wheel and ran in every direction from the placewhere they stood; so if she kept on counting she was likely to countsome of the roads twice.

”Dear me!” she exclaimed. ”There used to be only five roads, highwayand all. And now--why, where's the highway, Shaggy Man?”

”Can't say, miss,” he responded, sitting down upon the ground as iftired with standing. ”Wasn't it here a minute ago?”

”I thought so,” she answered, greatly perplexed. ”And I saw the gopherholes, too, and the dead stump; but they're not here now. These roadsare all strange--and what a lot of them there are! Where do yousuppose they all go to?”

”Roads,” observed the shaggy man, ”don't go anywhere. They stay in oneplace, so folks can walk on them.”

He put his hand in his side-pocket and drew out an apple--quick, beforeToto could bite him again. The little dog got his head out this timeand said ”Bow-wow!” so loudly that it made Dorothy jump.

”O, Toto!” she cried; ”where did you come from?”

”I brought him along,” said the shaggy man.

”What for?” she asked.

”To guard these apples in my pocket, miss, so no one would steal them.”

With one hand the shaggy man held the apple, which he began eating,while with the other hand he pulled Toto out of his pocket and droppedhim to the ground. Of course Toto made for Dorothy at once, barkingjoyfully at his release from the dark pocket. When the child hadpatted his head lovingly, he sat down before her, his red tonguehanging out one side of his mouth, and looked up into her face with hisbright brown eyes, as if asking her what they should do next.

Dorothy didn't know. She looked around her anxiously for some familiarlandmark; but everything was strange. Between the branches of the manyroads were green meadows and a few shrubs and trees, but she couldn'tsee anywhere the farm-house from which she had just come, or anythingshe had ever seen before--except the shaggy man and Toto. Besidesthis, she had turned around and around so many times trying to find outwhere she was, that now she couldn't even tell which direction thefarm-house ought to be in; and this began to worry her and make herfeel anxious.

”I'm 'fraid, Shaggy Man,” she said, with a sigh, ”that we're lost!”

”That's nothing to be afraid of,” he replied, throwing away the core ofhis apple and beginning to eat another one. ”Each of these roads mustlead somewhere, or it wouldn't be here. So what does it matter?”

”I want to go home again,” she said.

”Well, why don't you?” said he.

”I don't know which road to take.”

”That is too bad,” he said, shaking his shaggy head gravely. ”I wish Icould help you; but I can't. I'm a stranger in these parts.”

”Seems as if I were, too,” she said, sitting down beside him. ”It'sfunny. A few minutes ago I was home, and I just came to show you theway to Butterfield--”

”So I shouldn't make a mistake and go there--”

”And now I'm lost myself and don't know how to get home!”

”Have an apple,” suggested the shaggy man, handing her one with prettyred cheeks.

”I'm not hungry,” said Dorothy, pushing it away.

”But you may be, to-morrow; then you'll be sorry you didn't eat theapple,” said he.

”If I am, I'll eat the apple then,” promised Dorothy.

”Perhaps there won't be any apple then,” he returned, beginning to eatthe red-cheeked one himself. ”Dogs sometimes can find their way homebetter than people,” he went on; ”perhaps your dog can lead you back tothe farm.”

”Will you, Toto?” asked Dorothy.

Toto wagged his tail vigorously.

”All right,” said the girl; ”let's go home.”

Toto looked around a minute and dashed up one of the roads.

”Good-bye, Shaggy Man,” called Dorothy, and ran after Toto. The littledog pranced briskly along for some distance; when he turned around andlooked at his mistress questioningly.

”Oh, don't 'spect ME to tell you anything; I don't know the way,” shesaid. ”You'll have to find it yourself.”

But Toto couldn't. He wagged his tail, and sneezed, and shook hisears, and trotted back where they had left the shaggy man. From herehe started along another road; then came back and tried another; buteach time he found the way strange and decided it would not take themto the farm-house. Finally, when Dorothy had begun to tire withchasing after him, Toto sat down panting beside the shaggy man and gaveup.

Dorothy sat down, too, very thoughtful. The little girl hadencountered some queer adventures since she came to live at the farm;but this was the queerest of them all. To get lost in fifteen minutes,so near to her home and in the unromantic State of Kansas, was anexperience that fairly bewildered her.

”Will your folks worry?” asked the shaggy man, his eyes twinkling in apleasant way.

”I s'pose so,” answered Dorothy with a sigh. ”Uncle Henry says there'sALWAYS something happening to me; but I've always come home safe at thelast. So perhaps he'll take comfort and think I'll come home safe thistime.”

”I'm sure you will,” said the shaggy man, smilingly nodding at her.”Good little girls never come to any harm, you know. For my part, I'mgood, too; so nothing ever hurts me.”

Dorothy looked at him curiously. His clothes were shaggy, his bootswere shaggy and full of holes, and his hair and whiskers were shaggy.But his smile was sweet and his eyes were kind.

”Why didn't you want to go to Butterfield?” she asked.

”Because a man lives there who owes me fifteen cents, and if I went toButterfield and he saw me he'd want to pay me the money. I don't wantmoney, my dear.”

”Why not?” she inquired.

”Money,” declared the shaggy man, ”makes people proud and haughty. Idon't want to be proud and haughty. All I want is to have people loveme; and as long as I own the Love Magnet, everyone I meet is sure tolove me dearly.”

”The Love Magnet! Why, what's that?”

”I'll show you, if you won't tell any one,” he answered, in a low,mysterious voice.

”There isn't any one to tell, 'cept Toto,” said the girl.

The shaggy man searched in one pocket, carefully; and in anotherpocket; and in a third. At last he drew out a small parcel wrapped incrumpled paper and tied with a cotton string. He unwound the string,opened the parcel, and took out a bit of metal shaped like a horseshoe.It was dull and brown, and not very pretty.

”This, my dear,” said he, impressively, ”is the wonderful Love Magnet.It was given me by an Eskimo in the Sandwich Islands--where there areno sandwiches at all--and as long as I carry it every living thing Imeet will love me dearly.”

”Why didn't the Eskimo keep it?” she asked, looking at the Magnet withinterest.

”He got tired of being loved and longed for some one to hate him. Sohe gave me the Magnet and the very next day a grizzly bear ate him.”

”Wasn't he sorry then?” she inquired.

”He didn't say,” replied the shaggy man, wrapping and tying the LoveMagnet with great care and putting it away in another pocket. ”But thebear didn't seem sorry a bit,” he added.

”Did you know the bear?” asked Dorothy.

”Yes; we used to play ball together in the Caviar Islands. The bearloved me because I had the Love Magnet. I couldn't blame him foreating the Eskimo, because it was his nature to do so.”

”Once,” said Dorothy, ”I knew a Hungry Tiger who longed to eat fatbabies, because it was his nature to; but he never ate any because hehad a Conscience.”

”This bear,” replied the shaggy man, with a sigh, ”had no Conscience,you see.”

The shaggy man sat silent for several minutes, apparently consideringthe cases of the bear and the tiger, while Toto watched him with an airof great interest. The little dog was doubtless thinking of his ridein the shaggy man's pocket and planning to keep out of reach in thefuture.

At last the shaggy man turned and inquired, ”What's your name, littlegirl?”

”My name's Dorothy,” said she, jumping up again, ”but what are we goingto do? We can't stay here forever, you know.”

”Let's take the seventh road,” he suggested. ”Seven is a lucky numberfor little girls named Dorothy.”

”The seventh from where?”

”From where you begin to count.”

So she counted seven roads, and the seventh looked just like all theothers; but the shaggy man got up from the ground where he had beensitting and started down this road as if sure it was the best way togo; and Dorothy and Toto followed him.


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