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|The Marvelous Land of Oz||L. Frank Baum|
The Marvelous Powder of Life
|Page 2 of 4||
So she set down her basket and began fumbling in it for one of the precious powders she had obtained.
While Mombi was thus occupied Tip strolled back, with his pockets full of nuts, and discovered the old woman standing beside his man and apparently not the least bit frightened by it.
At first he was generally disappointed; but the next moment he became curious to know what Mombi was going to do. So he hid behind a hedge, where he could see without being seen, and prepared to watch.
After some search the woman drew from her basket an old pepper-box, upon the faded label of which the wizard had written with a lead-pencil:
"Powder of Life."
"Ah -- here it is!" she cried, joyfully. "And now let us see if it is potent. The stingy wizard didn't give me much of it, but I guess there's enough for two or three doses."
Tip was much surprised when he overheard this speech. Then he saw old Mombi raise her arm and sprinkle the powder from the box over the pumpkin head of his man Jack. She did this in the same way one would pepper a baked potato, and the powder sifted down from Jack's head and scattered over the red shirt and pink waistcoat and purple trousers Tip had dressed him in, and a portion even fell upon the patched and worn shoes.
Then, putting the pepper-box back into the basket, Mombi lifted her left hand, with its little finger pointed upward, and said:
Then she lifted her right hand, with the thumb pointed upward, and said:
Then she lifted both hands, with all the fingers and thumbs spread out, and cried:
Jack Pumpkinhead stepped back a pace, at this, and said in a reproachful voice:
"Don't yell like that! Do you think I'm deaf?"
Old Mombi danced around him, frantic with delight.
"He lives!" she screamed: "He lives! he lives!"
Then she threw her stick into the air and caught it as it came down; and she hugged herself with both arms, and tried to do a step of a jig; and all the time she repeated, rapturously:
"He lives! -- he lives! -- he lives!"
Now you may well suppose that Tip observed all this with amazement.
At first he was so frightened and horrified that he wanted to run away, but his legs trembled and shook so badly that he couldn't. Then it struck him as a very funny thing for Jack to come to life, especially as the expression on his pumpkin face was so droll and comical it excited laughter on the instant. So, recovering from his first fear, Tip began to laugh; and the merry peals reached old Mombi's ears and made her hobble quickly to the hedge, where she seized Tip's collar and dragged him back to where she had left her basket and the pumpkinheaded man.
"You naughty, sneaking, wicked boy!" she exclaimed, furiously:" I'll teach you to spy out my secrets and to make fun of me!"
"I wasn't making fun of you," protested Tip. "I was laughing at old Pumpkinhead! Look at him! Isn't he a picture, though?"
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|The Marvelous Land of Oz
L. Frank Baum
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