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|The Patchwork Girl of Oz||L. Frank Baum|
Trouble with the Tottenhots
|Page 5 of 6||
The adventurers now found themselves alone, and Dorothy asked anxiously:
"Is anybody hurt?"
"Not me," answered the Scarecrow. "They have given my straw a good shaking up and taken all the lumps out of it. I am now in splendid condition and am really obliged to the Tottenhots for their kind treatment."
"I feel much the same way," said Scraps. "My cotton stuffing had sagged a good deal with the day's walking and they've loosened it up until I feel as plump as a sausage. But the play was a little rough and I'd had quite enough of it when you interfered."
"Six of them sat on me," said Ojo, "but as they are so little they didn't hurt me much."
Just then the roof of the house in front of them opened and a Tottenhot stuck his head out, very cautiously, and looked at the strangers.
"Can't you, take a joke?" he asked, reproachfully; "haven t you any fun in you at all?"
"If I had such a quality," replied the Scarecrow, "your people would have knocked it out of me. But I don't bear grudges. I forgive you."
"So do I," added Scraps. "That is, if you behave yourselves after this."
"It was just a little rough-house, that's all," said the Tottenhot. "But the question is not if we will behave, but if you will behave? We can't be shut up here all night, because this is our time to play; nor do we care to come out and be chewed up by a savage beast or slapped by an angry girl. That slapping hurts like sixty; some of my folks are crying about it. So here's the proposition: you let us alone and we'll let you alone."
"You began it," declared Dorothy.
"Well, you ended it, so we won't argue the matter. May we come out again? Or are you still cruel and slappy?"
"Tell you what we'll do," said Dorothy. "We're all tired and want to sleep until morning. If you'll let us get into your house, and stay there until daylight, you can play outside all you want to."
"That's a bargain!" cried the Tottenhot eagerly, and he gave a queer whistle that brought his people popping out of their houses on all sides. When the house before them was vacant, Dorothy and Ojo leaned over the hole and looked in, but could see nothing because it was so dark. But if the Tottenhots slept there all day the children thought they could sleep there at night, so Ojo lowered himself down and found it was not very deep."
"There's a soft cushion all over," said he. "Come on in."
Dorothy handed Toto to the boy and then climbed in herself. After her came Scraps and the Scarecrow, who did not wish to sleep but preferred to keep out of the way of the mischievous Tottenhots.
There seemed no furniture in the round den, but soft cushions were strewn about the floor and these they found made very comfortable beds. They did not close the hole in the roof but left it open to admit air. It also admitted the shouts and ceaseless laughter of the impish Tottenhots as they played outside, but Dorothy and Ojo, being weary from their journey, were soon fast asleep.
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|The Patchwork Girl of Oz
L. Frank Baum
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