Tik-Tok of Oz

       L. Frank Baum / Fantasy
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Tik-Tok of Oz
Produced by Anthony Matonac and Paul Selkirk.



TIK-TOK OF OZ

by

L. FRANK BAUM

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 PatchworkGirl of Oz,” convinces me that my readers like the Oz stories ”best ofall,” as one little girl wrote me. So here, my dears, is a new Oz storyin which is introduced Ann Soforth, the Queen of Oogaboo, whom Tik-Tokassisted in conquering our old acquaintance, the Nome King. It alsotells of Betsy Bobbin and how, after many adventures, she finallyreached the marvelous Land of Oz.

There is a play called ”The Tik-Tok Man of Oz,” but it is not like thisstory of ”Tik-Tok of Oz,” although some of the adventures recorded inthis book, as well as those in several other Oz books, are included inthe play. Those who have seen the play and those who have read theother Oz books will find in this story a lot of strange characters andadventures that they have never heard of before.

In the letters I receive from children there has been an urgent appealfor me to write a story that will take Trot and Cap'n Bill to the Landof Oz, where they will meet Dorothy and Ozma. Also they thinkButton-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 ofOz. When I asked her about this idea, she replied: ”Why, haven't youheard?” I said ”No.” ”Well,” came the message over the wireless, ”I'lltell you all about it, by and by, and then you can make a book of thatstory for the children to read.”

So, if Dorothy keeps her word and I am permitted to write another Ozbook, you will probably discover how all these characters came togetherin the famous Emerald City. Meantime, I want to tell all my littlefriends--whose numbers are increasing by many thousands everyyear--that I am very grateful for the favor they have shown my booksand for the delightful little letters I am constantly receiving. I amalmost sure that I have as many friends among the children of Americaas any story writer alive; and this, of course, makes me very proud andhappy.

L. Frank Baum.

”OZCOT” at HOLLYWOOD in CALIFORNIA, 1914.

LIST OF CHAPTERS

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

TIK-TOK of OZ

Chapter One

Ann's Army

”I won't!” cried Ann; ”I won't sweep the floor. It is beneath mydignity.”

”Some one must sweep it,” replied Ann's younger sister, Salye; ”else weshall soon be wading in dust. And you are the eldest, and the head ofthe family.”

”I'm Queen of Oogaboo,” said Ann, proudly. ”But,” she added with asigh, ”my kingdom is the smallest and the poorest in all the Land ofOz.”

This was quite true. Away up in the mountains, in a far corner of thebeautiful fairyland of Oz, lies a small valley which is named Oogaboo,and in this valley lived a few people who were usually happy andcontented and never cared to wander over the mountain pass into themore settled parts of the land. They knew that all of Oz, includingtheir own territory, was ruled by a beautiful Princess named Ozma, wholived in the splendid Emerald City; yet the simple folk of Oogaboonever visited Ozma. They had a royal family of their own--notespecially to rule over them, but just as a matter of pride. Ozmapermitted the various parts of her country to have their Kings andQueens and Emperors and the like, but all were ruled over by the lovelygirl Queen of the Emerald City.

The King of Oogaboo used to be a man named Jol Jemkiph Soforth, who formany years did all the drudgery of deciding disputes and telling hispeople when to plant cabbages and pickle onions. But the King's wifehad a sharp tongue and small respect for the King, her husband;therefore one night King Jol crept over the pass into the Land of Ozand disappeared from Oogaboo for good and all. The Queen waited a fewyears for him to return and then started in search of him, leaving hereldest daughter, Ann Soforth, to act as Queen.

Now, Ann had not forgotten when her birthday came, for that meant aparty and feasting and dancing, but she had quite forgotten how manyyears the birthdays marked. In a land where people live always, this isnot considered a cause for regret, so we may justly say that Queen Annof 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 shecould help. She was an ambitious woman and constantly resented the factthat her kingdom was so tiny and her people so stupid andunenterprising. Often she wondered what had become of her father andmother, out beyond the pass, in the wonderful Land of Oz, and the factthat they did not return to Oogaboo led Ann to suspect that they hadfound a better place to live. So, when Salye refused to sweep the floorof 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 toleave this place.”

”Why?” asked Ann.

”Because in the Land of Oz, which is Ozma's country, you will be anobody, while here you are a Queen.”

”Oh, yes! Queen over eighteen men, twenty-seven women and forty-fourchildren!” returned Ann bitterly.

”Well, there are certainly more people than that in the great Land ofOz,” laughed Salye. ”Why don't you raise an army and conquer them, andbe Queen of all Oz?” she asked, trying to taunt Ann and so to angerher. Then she made a face at her sister and went into the back yard toswing in the hammock.

Her jeering words, however, had given Queen Ann an idea. She reflectedthat Oz was reported to be a peaceful country and Ozma a mere girl whoruled with gentleness to all and was obeyed because her people lovedher. Even in Oogaboo the story was told that Ozma's sole army consistedof twenty-seven fine officers, who wore beautiful uniforms but carriedno weapons, because there was no one to fight. Once there had been aprivate soldier, besides the officers, but Ozma had made him aCaptain-General and taken away his gun for fear it might accidentallyhurt some one.

The more Ann thought about the matter the more she was convinced itwould be easy to conquer the Land of Oz and set herself up as Ruler inOzma's place, if she but had an Army to do it with. Afterward she couldgo out into the world and conquer other lands, and then perhaps shecould find a way to the moon, and conquer that. She had a warlikespirit that preferred trouble to idleness.

It all depended on an Army, Ann decided. She carefully counted in hermind all the men of her kingdom. Yes; there were exactly eighteen ofthem, all told. That would not make a very big Army, but by surprisingOzma's unarmed officers her men might easily subdue them. ”Gentlepeople are always afraid of those that bluster,” Ann told herself. ”Idon't wish to shed any blood, for that would shock my nerves and Imight faint; but if we threaten and flash our weapons I am sure thepeople of Oz will fall upon their knees before me and surrender.”

This argument, which she repeated to herself more than once, finallydetermined the Queen of Oogaboo to undertake the audacious venture.

”Whatever happens,” she reflected, ”can make me no more unhappy than mystaying shut up in this miserable valley and sweeping floors andquarreling with Sister Salye; so I will venture all, and win what Imay.”

That very day she started out to organize her Army.

The first man she came to was Jo Apple, so called because he had anapple orchard.

”Jo,” said Ann, ”I am going to conquer the world, and I want you tojoin my Army.”

”Don't ask me to do such a fool thing, for I must politely refuse YourMajesty,” said Jo Apple.

”I have no intention of asking you. I shall command you, as Queen ofOogaboo, to join,” said Ann.

”In that case, I suppose I must obey,” the man remarked, in a sadvoice. ”But I pray you to consider that I am a very important citizen,and for that reason am entitled to an office of high rank.”

”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 anorchard where graham-buns and wheat-buns, in great variety, both hotand cold, grew on the trees.

”Jo,” said Ann, ”I am going to conquer the world, and I command you tojoin 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 hatwith gold braid, and curl your mustaches and clank a long sword,” shepromised.

So he consented, although sorely against his will, and the Queen walkedon to the next cottage. Here lived Jo Cone, so called because the treesin his orchard bore crops of excellent ice-cream cones.

”Jo,” said Ann, ”I am going to conquer the world, and you must join myArmy.”

”Excuse me, please,” said Jo Cone. ”I am a bad fighter. My good wifeconquered me years ago, for she can fight better than I. Take her, YourMajesty, instead of me, and I'll bless you for the favor.”

”This must be an army of men--fierce, ferocious warriors,” declaredAnn, looking sternly upon the mild little man.

”And you will leave my wife here in Oogaboo?” he asked.

”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 hewould not join the army, but Queen Ann's promise to make him a Generalfinally won his consent.

”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 question.

”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 tomake the rest of them Colonels.”

Ann tried to follow his advice. The next four men she visited--who wereJo Plum, Jo Egg, Jo Banjo and Jo Cheese, named after the trees in theirorchards--she made Colonels of her Army; but the fifth one, Jo Nails,said Colonels and Generals were getting to be altogether too common inthe Army of Oogaboo and he preferred to be a Major. So Jo Nails, JoCake, Jo Ham and Jo Stockings were all four made Majors, while the nextfour--Jo Sandwich, Jo Padlocks, Jo Sundae and Jo Buttons--wereappointed Captains of the Army.

But now Queen Ann was in a quandary. There remained but two other menin all Oogaboo, and if she made these two Lieutenants, while there werefour Captains, four Majors, four Colonels and four Generals, there waslikely 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. Nopromises could tempt him, nor could threats move him. He said he mustremain at home to harvest his crop of jackson-balls, lemon-drops,bonbons and chocolate-creams. Also he had large fields of crackerjackand buttered pop corn to be mowed and threshed, and he was determinednot to disappoint the children of Oogaboo by going away to conquer theworld and so let the candy crop spoil.

Finding Jo Candy so obstinate, Queen Ann let him have his own way andcontinued her journey to the house of the eighteenth and last man inOogaboo, who was a young fellow named Jo Files. This Files had twelvetrees which bore steel files of various sorts; but also he had ninebook-trees, on which grew a choice selection of story-books. In caseyou have never seen books growing upon trees, I will explain that thosein Jo Files' orchard were enclosed in broad green husks which, whenfully ripe, turned to a deep red color. Then the books were picked andhusked and were ready to read. If they were picked too soon, thestories were found to be confused and uninteresting and the spellingbad. However, if allowed to ripen perfectly, the stories were finereading and the spelling and grammar excellent.

Files freely gave his books to all who wanted them, but the people ofOogaboo cared little for books and so he had to read most of themhimself, before they spoiled. For, as you probably know, as soon as thebooks were read the words disappeared and the leaves withered andfaded--which is the worst fault of all books which grow upon trees.

When Queen Ann spoke to this young man Files, who was both intelligentand ambitious, he said he thought it would be great fun to conquer theworld. But he called her attention to the fact that he was far superiorto the other men of her army. Therefore, he would not be one of herGenerals or Colonels or Majors or Captains, but claimed the honor ofbeing sole Private.

Ann did not like this idea at all.

”I hate to have a Private Soldier in my army,” she said; ”they're socommon. I am told that Princess Ozma once had a private soldier, butshe made him her Captain-General, which is good evidence that theprivate was unnecessary.”

”Ozma's army doesn't fight,” returned Files; ”but your army must fightlike fury in order to conquer the world. I have read in my books thatit is always the private soldiers who do the fighting, for no officeris ever brave enough to face the foe. Also, it stands to reason thatyour officers must have some one to command and to issue their ordersto; therefore I'll be the one. I long to slash and slay the enemy andbecome a hero. Then, when we return to Oogaboo, I'll take all themarbles away from the children and melt them up and make a marblestatue of myself for all to look upon and admire.”

Ann was much pleased with Private Files. He seemed indeed to be such awarrior as she needed in her enterprise, and her hopes of success tooka sudden bound when Files told her he knew where a gun-tree grew andwould go there at once and pick the ripest and biggest musket the treebore.


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