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|Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz||L. Frank Baum|
The Wizard Performs Another Trick
|Page 2 of 4||
"Are you still seeing with your mind's eye?" enquired the Scarecrow.
"Of course; how else could I see it? And we know the thing is true, because since the time of that interview there is no piglet to be found anywhere."
"I suppose, if the cat had been gone, instead of the piglet, your mind's eye would see the piglet eating the cat," suggested the Scarecrow.
"Very likely," acknowledged the Woggle-Bug. "And now, Fellow Citizens and Creatures of the Jury, I assert that so awful a crime deserves death, and in the case of the ferocious criminal before you--who is now washing her face--the death penalty should be inflicted nine times."
There was great applause when the speaker sat down. Then the Princess spoke in a stern voice:
"Prisoner, what have you to say for yourself? Are you guilty, or not guilty?"
"Why, that's for you to find out," replied Eureka. "If you can prove I'm guilty, I'll be willing to die nine times, but a mind's eye is no proof, because the Woggle-Bug has no mind to see with."
"Never mind, dear," said Dorothy.
Then the Tin Woodman arose and said:
"Respected Jury and dearly beloved Ozma, I pray you not to judge this feline prisoner unfeelingly. I do not think the innocent kitten can be guilty, and surely it is unkind to accuse a luncheon of being a murder. Eureka is the sweet pet of a lovely little girl whom we all admire, and gentleness and innocence are her chief virtues. Look at the kitten's intelligent eyes;" (here Eureka closed her eyes sleepily) "gaze at her smiling countenance!" (here Eureka snarled and showed her teeth) "mark the tender pose of her soft, padded little hands!" (Here Eureka bared her sharp claws and scratched at the bars of the cage.) "Would such a gentle animal be guilty of eating a fellow creature? No; a thousand times, no!"
"Oh, cut it short," said Eureka; "you've talked long enough."
"I'm trying to defend you," remonstrated the Tin Woodman.
"Then say something sensible," retorted the kitten. "Tell them it would be foolish for me to eat the piglet, because I had sense enough to know it would raise a row if I did. But don't try to make out I'm too innocent to eat a fat piglet if I could do it and not be found out. I imagine it would taste mighty good."
"Perhaps it would, to those who eat," remarked the Tin Woodman. "I myself, not being built to eat, have no personal experience in such matters. But I remember that our great poet once said:
"'To eat is sweet
"Take this into consideration, friends of the Jury, and you will readily decide that the kitten is wrongfully accused and should be set at liberty."
When the Tin Woodman sat down no one applauded him, for his arguments had not been very convincing and few believed that he had proved Eureka's innocence. As for the Jury, the members whispered to each other for a few minutes and then they appointed the Hungry Tiger their spokesman. The huge beast slowly arose and said:
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|Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz
L. Frank Baum
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