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|The Patchwork Girl of Oz||L. Frank Baum|
Ojo Breaks the Law
|Page 1 of 4||
"What a queer man," remarked the Munchkin boy, when the party had resumed its journey.
"And so nice and polite," added Scraps, bobbing her Lead. "I think he is the handsomest man I've seen since I came to life."
"Handsome is as handsome does," quoted the Shaggy Man; "but we must admit that no living scarecrow is handsomer. The chief merit of my friend is that he is a great thinker, and in Oz it is considered good policy to follow his advice."
"I didn't notice any brains in his head," observed the Glass Cat.
"You can't see 'em work, but they're there, all right," declared the Shaggy Man. "I hadn't much confidence in his brains myself, when first I came to Oz, for a humbug Wizard gave them to him; but I was soon convinced that the Scarecrow is really wise; and, unless his brains make him so, such wisdom is unaccountable."
"Is the Wizard of Oz a humbug?" asked Ojo.
"Not now. He was once, but he has reformed and now assists Glinda the Good, who is the Royal Sorceress of Oz and the only one licensed to practice magic or sorcery. Glinda has taught our old Wizard a good many clever things, so he is no longer a humbug."
They walked a little while in silence and then Ojo said:
"If Ozma forbids the Crooked Magician to restore Unc Nunkie to life, what shall I do?"
The Shaggy Man shook his head.
"In that case you can't do anything," he said. "But don't be discouraged yet. We will go to Princess Dorothy and tell her your troubles, and then we will let her talk to Ozma. Dorothy has the kindest little heart in the world, and she has been through so many troubles herself that she is sure to sympathize with you."
"Is Dorothy the little girl who came here from Kansas?" asked the boy.
"Yes. In Kansas she was Dorothy Gale. I used to know her there, and she brought me to the Land of Oz. But now Ozma has made her a Princess, and Dorothy's Aunt Em and Uncle Henry are here, too." Here the Shaggy Man uttered a long sigh, and then he continued: "It's a queer country, this Land of Oz; but I like it, nevertheless."
"What is queer about it?" asked Scraps.
"You, for instance," said he.
"Did you see no girls as beautiful as I am in your own country?" she inquired.
"None with the same gorgeous, variegated beauty," he confessed. "In America a girl stuffed with cotton wouldn't be alive, nor would anyone think of making a girl out of a patchwork quilt."
"What a queer country America must be!" she exclaimed in great surprise. "The Scarecrow, whom you say is wise, told me I am the most beautiful creature he has ever seen."
"I know; and perhaps you are-from a scarecrow point of view," replied the Shaggy Man; but why he smiled as he said it Scraps could not imagine.
As they drew nearer to the Emerald City the travelers were filled with admiration for the splendid scenery they beheld. Handsome houses stood on both sides of the road and each had a green lawn before it as well as a pretty flower garden.
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|The Patchwork Girl of Oz
L. Frank Baum
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