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|Glinda of Oz||L. Frank Baum|
The Magic Stairway
|Page 1 of 3||
The flat mountain looked much nearer in the clear light of the morning sun, but Dorothy and Ozma knew there was a long tramp before them, even yet. They finished dressing only to find a warm, delicious breakfast awaiting them, and having eaten they left the tent and started toward the mountain which was their first goal. After going a little way Dorothy looked back and found that the fairy tent had entirely disappeared. She was not surprised, for she knew this would happen.
"Can't your magic give us a horse an' wagon, or an automobile?" inquired Dorothy.
"No, dear; I'm sorry that such magic is beyond my power," confessed her fairy friend.
"Perhaps Glinda could," said Dorothy thoughtfully.
"Glinda has a stork chariot that carries her through the air," said Ozma, "but even our great Sorceress cannot conjure up other modes of travel. Don't forget what I told you last night, that no one is powerful enough to do everything."
"Well, I s'pose I ought to know that, having lived so long in the Land of Oz," replied Dorothy; "but I can't do any magic at all, an' so I can't figure out e'zactly how you an' Glinda an' the Wizard do it."
"Don't try," laughed Ozma. "But you have at least one magical art, Dorothy: you know the trick of winning all hearts."
"No, I don't," said Dorothy earnestly. "If I really can do it, Ozma, I am sure I don't know how I do it."
It took them a good two hours to reach the foot of the round, flat mountain, and then they found the sides so steep that they were like the wall of a house.
"Even my purple kitten couldn't climb 'em," remarked Dorothy, gazing upward.
"But there is some way for the Flatheads to get down and up again," declared Ozma; "otherwise they couldn't make war with the Skeezers, or even meet them and quarrel with them."
"That's so, Ozma. Let's walk around a ways; perhaps we'll find a ladder or something."
They walked quite a distance, for it was a big mountain, and as they circled around it and came to the side that faced the palm trees, they suddenly discovered an entrance way cut out of the rock wall. This entrance was arched overhead and not very deep because it merely led to a short flight of stone stairs.
"Oh, we've found a way to the top at last," announced Ozma, and the two girls turned and walked straight toward the entrance. Suddenly they bumped against something and stood still, unable to proceed farther.
"Dear me!" exclaimed Dorothy, rubbing her nose, which had struck something hard, although she could not see what it was; "this isn't as easy as it looks. What has stopped us, Ozma? Is it magic of some sort?"
Ozma was feeling around, her bands outstretched before her.
"Yes, dear, it is magic," she replied. "The Flatheads had to have a way from their mountain top from the plain below, but to prevent enemies from rushing up the stairs to conquer them, they have built, at a small distance before the entrance a wall of solid stone, the stones being held in place by cement, and then they made the wall invisible."
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|Glinda of Oz
L. Frank Baum
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