Ozma of Oz

       L. Frank Baum / Fantasy
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Ozma of Oz
Produced by John N. White and Dennis Amundson.



Ozma of Oz

A Record of Her Adventures with Dorothy Gale of Kansas, the Yellow Hen, the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, Tiktok, the Cowardly Lion and the Hungry Tiger; Besides Other Good People too Numerous to Mention Faithfully Recorded Herein

by

L. Frank Baum

The Author of The Wizard of Oz, The Land of Oz, etc.

Contents

--Author's Note-- 1. The Girl in the Chicken Coop 2. The Yellow Hen 3. Letters in the Sand 4. Tiktok, the Machine Man 5. Dorothy Opens the Dinner Pail 6. The Heads of Langwidere 7. Ozma of Oz to the Rescue 8. The Hungry Tiger 9. The Royal Family of Ev 10. The Giant with the Hammer 11. The Nome King 12. The Eleven Guesses 13. The Nome King Laughs 14. Dorothy Tries to be Brave 15. Billina Frightens the Nome King 16. Purple, Green and Gold 17. The Scarecrow Wins the Fight 18. The Fate of the Tin Woodman 19. The King of Ev 20. The Emerald City 21. Dorothy's Magic Belt

Author's Note

My friends the children are responsible for this new ”Oz Book,” as theywere for the last one, which was called The Land of Oz. Their sweetlittle letters plead to know ”more about Dorothy”; and they ask: ”Whatbecame of the Cowardly Lion?” and ”What did Ozma doafterward?”--meaning, of course, after she became the Ruler of Oz. Andsome of them suggest plots to me, saying: ”Please have Dorothy go tothe Land of Oz again”; or, ”Why don't you make Ozma and Dorothy meet,and have a good time together?” Indeed, could I do all that my littlefriends ask, I would be obliged to write dozens of books to satisfytheir demands. And I wish I could, for I enjoy writing these storiesjust as much as the children say they enjoy reading them.

Well, here is ”more about Dorothy,” and about our old friends theScarecrow and the Tin Woodman, and about the Cowardly Lion, and Ozma,and all the rest of them; and here, likewise, is a good deal about somenew folks that are queer and unusual. One little friend, who read thisstory before it was printed, said to me: ”Billina is REAL OZZY, Mr.Baum, and so are Tiktok and the Hungry Tiger.”

If this judgment is unbiased and correct, and the little folks findthis new story ”real Ozzy,” I shall be very glad indeed that I wroteit. But perhaps I shall get some more of those very welcome lettersfrom my readers, telling me just how they like ”Ozma of Oz.” I hopeso, anyway.

L. FRANK BAUM.

MACATAWA, 1907.

1. The Girl in the Chicken Coop

The wind blew hard and joggled the water of the ocean, sending ripplesacross its surface. Then the wind pushed the edges of the ripplesuntil they became waves, and shoved the waves around until they becamebillows. The billows rolled dreadfully high: higher even than the topsof houses. Some of them, indeed, rolled as high as the tops of talltrees, and seemed like mountains; and the gulfs between the greatbillows were like deep valleys.

All this mad dashing and splashing of the waters of the big ocean,which the mischievous wind caused without any good reason whatever,resulted in a terrible storm, and a storm on the ocean is liable to cutmany queer pranks and do a lot of damage.

At the time the wind began to blow, a ship was sailing far out upon thewaters. When the waves began to tumble and toss and to grow bigger andbigger the ship rolled up and down, and tipped sidewise--first one wayand then the other--and was jostled around so roughly that even thesailor-men had to hold fast to the ropes and railings to keepthemselves from being swept away by the wind or pitched headlong intothe sea.

And the clouds were so thick in the sky that the sunlight couldn't getthrough them; so that the day grew dark as night, which added to theterrors of the storm.

The Captain of the ship was not afraid, because he had seen stormsbefore, and had sailed his ship through them in safety; but he knewthat his passengers would be in danger if they tried to stay on deck,so he put them all into the cabin and told them to stay there untilafter the storm was over, and to keep brave hearts and not be scared,and all would be well with them.

Now, among these passengers was a little Kansas girl named DorothyGale, who was going with her Uncle Henry to Australia, to visit somerelatives they had never before seen. Uncle Henry, you must know, wasnot very well, because he had been working so hard on his Kansas farmthat his health had given way and left him weak and nervous. So heleft Aunt Em at home to watch after the hired men and to take care ofthe farm, while he traveled far away to Australia to visit his cousinsand have a good rest.

Dorothy was eager to go with him on this journey, and Uncle Henrythought she would be good company and help cheer him up; so he decidedto take her along. The little girl was quite an experienced traveller,for she had once been carried by a cyclone as far away from home as themarvelous Land of Oz, and she had met with a good many adventures inthat strange country before she managed to get back to Kansas again.So she wasn't easily frightened, whatever happened, and when the windbegan to howl and whistle, and the waves began to tumble and toss, ourlittle girl didn't mind the uproar the least bit.

”Of course we'll have to stay in the cabin,” she said to Uncle Henryand the other passengers, ”and keep as quiet as possible until thestorm is over. For the Captain says if we go on deck we may be blownoverboard.”

No one wanted to risk such an accident as that, you may be sure; so allthe passengers stayed huddled up in the dark cabin, listening to theshrieking of the storm and the creaking of the masts and rigging andtrying to keep from bumping into one another when the ship tippedsidewise.

Dorothy had almost fallen asleep when she was aroused with a start tofind that Uncle Henry was missing. She couldn't imagine where he hadgone, and as he was not very strong she began to worry about him, andto fear he might have been careless enough to go on deck. In that casehe would be in great danger unless he instantly came down again.

The fact was that Uncle Henry had gone to lie down in his littlesleeping-berth, but Dorothy did not know that. She only rememberedthat Aunt Em had cautioned her to take good care of her uncle, so atonce she decided to go on deck and find him, in spite of the fact thatthe tempest was now worse than ever, and the ship was plunging in areally dreadful manner. Indeed, the little girl found it was as muchas she could do to mount the stairs to the deck, and as soon as she gotthere the wind struck her so fiercely that it almost tore away theskirts of her dress. Yet Dorothy felt a sort of joyous excitement indefying the storm, and while she held fast to the railing she peeredaround through the gloom and thought she saw the dim form of a manclinging to a mast not far away from her. This might be her uncle, soshe called as loudly as she could:

”Uncle Henry! Uncle Henry!”

But the wind screeched and howled so madly that she scarce heard herown voice, and the man certainly failed to hear her, for he did notmove.

Dorothy decided she must go to him; so she made a dash forward, duringa lull in the storm, to where a big square chicken-coop had been lashedto the deck with ropes. She reached this place in safety, but nosooner had she seized fast hold of the slats of the big box in whichthe chickens were kept than the wind, as if enraged because the littlegirl dared to resist its power, suddenly redoubled its fury. With ascream like that of an angry giant it tore away the ropes that held thecoop and lifted it high into the air, with Dorothy still clinging tothe slats. Around and over it whirled, this way and that, and a fewmoments later the chicken-coop dropped far away into the sea, where thebig waves caught it and slid it up-hill to a foaming crest and thendown-hill into a deep valley, as if it were nothing more than aplaything to keep them amused.

Dorothy had a good ducking, you may be sure, but she didn't lose herpresence of mind even for a second. She kept tight hold of the stoutslats and as soon as she could get the water out of her eyes she sawthat the wind had ripped the cover from the coop, and the poor chickenswere fluttering away in every direction, being blown by the wind untilthey looked like feather dusters without handles. The bottom of thecoop was made of thick boards, so Dorothy found she was clinging to asort of raft, with sides of slats, which readily bore up her weight.After coughing the water out of her throat and getting her breathagain, she managed to climb over the slats and stand upon the firmwooden bottom of the coop, which supported her easily enough.

”Why, I've got a ship of my own!” she thought, more amused thanfrightened at her sudden change of condition; and then, as the coopclimbed up to the top of a big wave, she looked eagerly around for theship from which she had been blown.

It was far, far away, by this time. Perhaps no one on board had yetmissed her, or knew of her strange adventure. Down into a valleybetween the waves the coop swept her, and when she climbed anothercrest the ship looked like a toy boat, it was such a long way off.Soon it had entirely disappeared in the gloom, and then Dorothy gave asigh of regret at parting with Uncle Henry and began to wonder what wasgoing to happen to her next.

Just now she was tossing on the bosom of a big ocean, with nothing tokeep her afloat but a miserable wooden hen-coop that had a plank bottomand slatted sides, through which the water constantly splashed andwetted her through to the skin! And there was nothing to eat when shebecame hungry--as she was sure to do before long--and no fresh water todrink and no dry clothes to put on.

”Well, I declare!” she exclaimed, with a laugh. ”You're in a prettyfix, Dorothy Gale, I can tell you! and I haven't the least idea howyou're going to get out of it!”

As if to add to her troubles the night was now creeping on, and thegray clouds overhead changed to inky blackness. But the wind, as ifsatisfied at last with its mischievous pranks, stopped blowing thisocean and hurried away to another part of the world to blow somethingelse; so that the waves, not being joggled any more, began to quietdown and behave themselves.

It was lucky for Dorothy, I think, that the storm subsided; otherwise,brave though she was, I fear she might have perished. Many children,in her place, would have wept and given way to despair; but becauseDorothy had encountered so many adventures and come safely through themit did not occur to her at this time to be especially afraid. She waswet and uncomfortable, it is true; but, after sighing that one sigh Itold you of, she managed to recall some of her customary cheerfulnessand decided to patiently await whatever her fate might be.

By and by the black clouds rolled away and showed a blue sky overhead,with a silver moon shining sweetly in the middle of it and little starswinking merrily at Dorothy when she looked their way. The coop did nottoss around any more, but rode the waves more gently--almost like acradle rocking--so that the floor upon which Dorothy stood was nolonger swept by water coming through the slats. Seeing this, and beingquite exhausted by the excitement of the past few hours, the littlegirl decided that sleep would be the best thing to restore her strengthand the easiest way in which she could pass the time. The floor wasdamp and she was herself wringing wet, but fortunately this was a warmclimate and she did not feel at all cold.

So she sat down in a corner of the coop, leaned her back against theslats, nodded at the friendly stars before she closed her eyes, and wasasleep in half a minute.


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