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|Ozma of Oz||L. Frank Baum|
The Scarecrow Wins the Fight
|Page 2 of 3||
"But they can bite those who attempt to touch the girl," said the captain.
"I'll fix that," answered the King. "I'll enchant them again, so that they can't open their jaws."
He stepped out of the throne to do this, but just then the Sawhorse ran up behind him and gave the fat monarch a powerful kick with both his wooden hind legs.
"Ow! Murder! Treason!" yelled the King, who had been hurled against several of his warriors and was considerably bruised. "Who did that?"
"I did," growled the Sawhorse, viciously. "You let Dorothy alone, or I'll kick you again."
"We'll see about that," replied the King, and at once he waved his hand toward the Sawhorse and muttered a magical word. "Aha!" he continued; "NOW let us see you move, you wooden mule!"
But in spite of the magic the Sawhorse moved; and he moved so quickly toward the King, that the fat little man could not get out of his way. Thump--BANG! came the wooden heels, right against his round body, and the King flew into the air and fell upon the head of his captain, who let him drop flat upon the ground.
"Well, well!" said the King, sitting up and looking surprised. "Why didn't my magic belt work, I wonder?"
"The creature is made of wood," replied the captain. "Your magic will not work on wood, you know."
"Ah, I'd forgotten that," said the King, getting up and limping to his throne. "Very well, let the girl alone. She can't escape us, anyway."
The warriors, who had been rather confused by these incidents, now formed their ranks again, and the Sawhorse pranced across the room to Dorothy and took a position beside the Hungry Tiger.
At that moment the doors that led to the palace flew open and the people of Ev and the people of Oz were disclosed to view. They paused, astonished, at sight of the warriors and the angry Nome King, seated in their midst.
"Surrender!" cried the King, in a loud voice. "You are my prisoners."
"Go 'long!" answered Billina, from the Scarecrow's shoulder. "You promised me that if I guessed correctly my friends and I might depart in safety. And you always keep your promises."
"I said you might leave the palace in safety," retorted the King; "and so you may, but you cannot leave my dominions. You are my prisoners, and I will hurl you all into my underground dungeons, where the volcanic fires glow and the molten lava flows in every direction, and the air is hotter than blue blazes."
"That will be the end of me, all right," said the Scarecrow, sorrowfully. "One small blaze, blue or green, is enough to reduce me to an ash-heap."
"Do you surrender?" demanded the King.
Billina whispered something in the Scarecrow's ear that made him smile and put his hands in his jacket pockets.
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|Ozma of Oz
L. Frank Baum
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