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|The Scarecrow of Oz||L. Frank Baum|
Glinda the Good and the Scarecrow of Oz
|Page 2 of 3||
It was on one of his wandering journeys that the Scarecrow had arrived at Glinda's palace, and the Sorceress at once made him welcome. As he sat beside her, talking of his adventures, he asked:
"What's new in the way of news?"
Glinda opened her Great Book of Records and read some of the last pages.
"Here is an item quite curious and interesting," she announced, an accent of surprise in her voice. "Three people from the big Outside World have arrived in Jinxland."
"Where is Jinxland?" inquired the Scarecrow.
"Very near here, a little to the east of us," she said. "In fact, Jinxland is a little slice taken off the Quadling Country, but separated from it by a range of high mountains, at the foot of which lies a wide, deep gulf that is supposed to be impassable."
"Then Jinxland is really a part of the Land of Oz," said he.
"Yes," returned Glinda, "but Oz people know nothing of it, except what is recorded here in my book."
"What does the Book say about it?" asked the Scarecrow.
"It is ruled by a wicked man called King Krewl, although he has no right to the title. Most of the people are good, but they are very timid and live in constant fear of their fierce ruler. There are also several Wicked Witches who keep the inhabitants of Jinxland in a state of terror."
"Do those witches have any magical powers?" inquired the Scarecrow.
"Yes, they seem to understand witchcraft in its most evil form, for one of them has just transformed a respectable and honest old sailor -- one of the strangers who arrived there -- into a grasshopper. This same witch, Blinkie by name, is also planning to freeze the heart of a beautiful Jinxland girl named Princess Gloria."
"Why, that's a dreadful thing to do!" exclaimed the Scarecrow.
Glinda's face was very grave. She read in her book how Trot and Button-Bright were turned out of the King's castle, and how they found refuge in the hut of Pon, the gardener's boy
"I'm afraid those helpless earth people will endure much suffering in Jinxland, even if the wicked King and the witches permit them to live," said the good Sorceress, thoughtfully. "I wish I might help them."
"Can I do anything?" asked the Scarecrow, anxiously. "If so, tell me what to do, and I'll do it."
For a few moments Glinda did not reply, but sat musing over the records. Then she said: "I am going to send you to Jinxland, to protect Trot and Button-Bright and Cap'n Bill."
"All right," answered the Scarecrow in a cheerful voice. "I know Button-Bright already, for he has been in the Land of Oz before. You remember he went away from the Land of Oz in one of our Wizard's big bubbles."
"Yes," said Glinda, "I remember that." Then she carefully instructed the Scarecrow what to do and gave him certain magical things which he placed in the pockets of his ragged Munchkin coat.
"As you have no need to sleep," said she, "you may as well start at once."
"The night is the same as day to me," he replied, "except that I cannot see my way so well in the dark."
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|The Scarecrow of Oz
L. Frank Baum
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