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|The Marvelous Land of Oz||L. Frank Baum|
His Majesty the Scarecrow
|Page 3 of 3||
"What a fine thing it is to understand two different languages," he said, with a perplexed sigh. "Ask him, my dear, if he has any objection to being put in jail for insulting the ruler of the Emerald City."
"I didn't insult you!" protested Jack, indignantly.
"Tut -- tut!" cautioned the Scarecrow "wait, until Jellia translates my speech. What have we got an interpreter for, if you break out in this rash way?"
"All right, I'll wait," replied the Pumpkinhead, in a surly tone -- although his face smiled as genially as ever. "Translate the speech, young woman."
"His Majesty inquires if you are hungry, said Jellia.
"Oh, not at all!" answered Jack, more pleasantly, "for it is impossible for me to eat."
"It's the same way with me," remarked the Scarecrow. "What did he say, Jellia, my dear?"
"He asked if you were aware that one of your eyes is painted larger than the other," said the girl, mischievously.
"Don't you believe her, your Majesty, cried Jack.
"Oh, I don't," answered the Scarecrow, calmly. Then, casting a sharp look at the girl, he asked:
"Are you quite certain you understand the languages of both the Gillikins and the Munchkins?"
"Quite certain, your Majesty," said Jellia Jamb, trying hard not to laugh in the face of royalty.
"Then how is it that I seem to understand them myself?" inquired the Scarecrow.
"Because they are one and the same!" declared the girl, now laughing merrily. "Does not your Majesty know that in all the land of Oz but one language is spoken?"
"Is it indeed so?" cried the Scarecrow, much relieved to hear this; "then I might easily have been my own interpreter!"
"It was all my fault, your Majesty," said Jack, looking rather foolish," I thought we must surely speak different languages, since we came from different countries."
"This should be a warning to you never to think," returned the Scarecrow, severely. "For unless one can think wisely it is better to remain a dummy -- which you most certainly are."
"I am! -- I surely am!" agreed the Pumpkinhead.
"It seems to me," continued the Scarecrow, more mildly, "that your manufacturer spoiled some good pies to create an indifferent man."
"I assure your Majesty that I did not ask to be created," answered Jack.
"Ah! It was the same in my case," said the King, pleasantly. And so, as we differ from all ordinary people, let us become friends."
"With all my heart!" exclaimed Jack.
"What! Have you a heart?" asked the Scarecrow, surprised.
"No; that was only imaginative -- I might say, a figure of speech," said the other.
"Well, your most prominent figure seems to be a figure of wood; so I must beg you to restrain an imagination which, having no brains, you have no right to exercise," suggested the Scarecrow, warningly.
"To be sure!" said Jack, without in the least comprehending.
His Majesty then dismissed Jellia Jamb and the Soldier with the Green Whiskers, and when they were gone he took his new friend by the arm and led him into the courtyard to play a game of quoits.
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|The Marvelous Land of Oz
L. Frank Baum
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