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|The Road to Oz||L. Frank Baum|
The Way to Butterfield
|Page 2 of 5||
"Never mind," said the shaggy man. "It won't snow, I guess. Is this the lane?"
"Yes," replied Dorothy, climbing another fence; "I'll go as far as the highway with you."
"Thankee, miss; you're very kind for your size, I'm sure," said he gratefully.
"It isn't everyone who knows the road to Butterfield," Dorothy remarked as she tripped along the lane; "but I've driven there many a time with Uncle Henry, and so I b'lieve I could find it blindfolded."
"Don't do that, miss," said the shaggy man earnestly; "you might make a mistake."
"I won't," she answered, laughing. "Here's the highway. Now it's the second--no, the third turn to the left--or else it's the fourth. Let's see. The first one is by the elm tree, and the second is by the gopher holes; and then--"
"Then what?" he inquired, putting his hands in his coat pockets. Toto grabbed a finger and bit it; the shaggy man took his hand out of that pocket quickly, and said "Oh!"
Dorothy did not notice. She was shading her eyes from the sun with her arm, looking anxiously down the road.
"Come on," she commanded. "It's only a little way farther, so I may as well show you."
After a while, they came to the place where five roads branched in different directions; Dorothy pointed to one, and said:
"That's it, Shaggy Man."
"I'm much obliged, miss," he said, and started along another road.
"Not that one!" she cried; "you're going wrong."
"I thought you said that other was the road to Butterfield," said he, running his fingers through his shaggy whiskers in a puzzled way.
"So it is."
"But I don't want to go to Butterfield, miss."
"Of course not. I wanted you to show me the road, so I shouldn't go there by mistake."
"Oh! Where DO you want to go, then?"
"I'm not particular, miss."
This answer astonished the little girl; and it made her provoked, too, to think she had taken all this trouble for nothing.
"There are a good many roads here," observed the shaggy man, turning slowly around, like a human windmill. "Seems to me a person could go 'most anywhere, from this place."
Dorothy turned around too, and gazed in surprise. There WERE a good many roads; more than she had ever seen before. She tried to count them, knowing there ought to be five, but when she had counted seventeen she grew bewildered and stopped, for the roads were as many as the spokes of a wheel and ran in every direction from the place where they stood; so if she kept on counting she was likely to count some of the roads twice.
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|The Road to Oz
L. Frank Baum
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