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|The Magic of Oz||L. Frank Baum|
3. Two Bad Ones
|Page 2 of 5||
The landlord was very polite to the strangers after that. He served them an excellent supper, and while they ate it, the Hyup boy asked his companion:
"Where did you get so many jewels?"
"Well, I'll tell you," answered the Nome. "When those Oz people took my kingdom away from me--just because it was my kingdom and I wanted to run it to suit myself-- they said I could take as many precious stones as I could carry. So I had a lot of pockets made in my clothes and loaded them all up. Jewels are fine things to have with you when you travel; you can trade them for anything."
"Are they better than gold pieces?" asked Kiki.
"The smallest of these jewels is worth a hundred gold pieces such as you stole from the old man."
"Don't talk so loud," begged Kiki, uneasily. "Some one else might hear what you are saying."
After supper they took a walk together, and the former Nome King said:
"Do you know the Shaggy Man, and the Scarecrow, and the Tin Woodman, and Dorothy, and Ozma and all the other Oz people?"
"No," replied the boy, "I have never been away from Mount Munch until I flew over the Deadly Desert the other day in the shape of a hawk."
"Then you've never seen the Emerald City of Oz?"
"Well," said the Nome, "I knew all the Oz people, and you can guess I do not love them. All during my wanderings I have brooded on how I can be revenged on them. Now that I've met you I can see a way to conquer the Land of Oz and be King there myself, which is better than being King of the Nomes."
"How can you do that?" inquired Kiki Aru, wonderingly.
"Never mind how. In the first place, I'll make a bargain with you. Tell me the secret of how to perform transformations and I will give you a pocketful of jewels, the biggest and finest that I possess."
"No," said Kiki, who realized that to share his power with another would be dangerous to himself.
"I'll give you TWO pocketsful of jewels," said the Nome.
"No," answered Kiki.
"I'll give you every jewel I possess."
"No, no, no!" said Kiki, who was beginning to be frightened.
"Then," said the Nome, with a wicked look at the boy, "I'll tell the inn-keeper that you stole that gold piece and he will have you put in prison."
Kiki laughed at the threat.
"Before he can do that," said he, "I will transform myself into a lion and tear him to pieces, or into a bear and eat him up, or into a fly and fly away where he could not find me."
"Can you really do such wonderful transformations?" asked the old Nome, looking at him curiously.
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|The Magic of Oz
L. Frank Baum
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