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|The Road to Oz||L. Frank Baum|
The Way to Butterfield
|Page 4 of 5||
"So I shouldn't make a mistake and go there--"
"And now I'm lost myself and don't know how to get home!"
"Have an apple," suggested the shaggy man, handing her one with pretty red cheeks.
"I'm not hungry," said Dorothy, pushing it away.
"But you may be, to-morrow; then you'll be sorry you didn't eat the apple," said he.
"If I am, I'll eat the apple then," promised Dorothy.
"Perhaps there won't be any apple then," he returned, beginning to eat the red-cheeked one himself. "Dogs sometimes can find their way home better than people," he went on; "perhaps your dog can lead you back to the farm."
"Will you, Toto?" asked Dorothy.
Toto wagged his tail vigorously.
"All right," said the girl; "let's go home."
Toto looked around a minute and dashed up one of the roads.
"Good-bye, Shaggy Man," called Dorothy, and ran after Toto. The little dog pranced briskly along for some distance; when he turned around and looked at his mistress questioningly.
"Oh, don't 'spect ME to tell you anything; I don't know the way," she said. "You'll have to find it yourself."
But Toto couldn't. He wagged his tail, and sneezed, and shook his ears, and trotted back where they had left the shaggy man. From here he started along another road; then came back and tried another; but each time he found the way strange and decided it would not take them to the farm-house. Finally, when Dorothy had begun to tire with chasing after him, Toto sat down panting beside the shaggy man and gave up.
Dorothy sat down, too, very thoughtful. The little girl had encountered some queer adventures since she came to live at the farm; but this was the queerest of them all. To get lost in fifteen minutes, so near to her home and in the unromantic State of Kansas, was an experience that fairly bewildered her.
"Will your folks worry?" asked the shaggy man, his eyes twinkling in a pleasant way.
"I s'pose so," answered Dorothy with a sigh. "Uncle Henry says there's ALWAYS something happening to me; but I've always come home safe at the last. So perhaps he'll take comfort and think I'll come home safe this time."
"I'm sure you will," said the shaggy man, smilingly nodding at her. "Good little girls never come to any harm, you know. For my part, I'm good, too; so nothing ever hurts me."
Dorothy looked at him curiously. His clothes were shaggy, his boots were shaggy and full of holes, and his hair and whiskers were shaggy. But his smile was sweet and his eyes were kind.
"Why didn't you want to go to Butterfield?" she asked.
"Because a man lives there who owes me fifteen cents, and if I went to Butterfield and he saw me he'd want to pay me the money. I don't want money, my dear."
"Why not?" she inquired.
"Money," declared the shaggy man, "makes people proud and haughty. I don't want to be proud and haughty. All I want is to have people love me; and as long as I own the Love Magnet, everyone I meet is sure to love me dearly."
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|The Road to Oz
L. Frank Baum
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