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|The Tin Woodman of Oz||L. Frank Baum|
|Page 2 of 3||
"Seems to me," said Captain Fyter, in a voice that sounded harsh and indignant, "that you, sir, are a vile impostor!"
"Gently -- gently!" cautioned the Scarecrow; "don't be rude to strangers, Captain."
"Rude?" shouted the Tin Soldier, now very much provoked; "why, he's a scoundrel -- a thief! The villain is wearing my own head!"
"Yes," added the Tin Woodman, "and he's wearing my right arm! I can recognize it by the two warts on the little finger."
"Good gracious!" exclaimed Woot. "Then this must be the man whom old Ku-Klip patched together and named Chopfyt."
The man now turned toward them, still scowling.
"Yes, that is my name," he said in a voice like a growl, "and it is absurd for you tin creatures, or for anyone else, to claim my head, or arm, or any part of me, for they are my personal property."
"You? You're a Nobody!" shouted Captain Fyter.
"You're just a mix-up," declared the Emperor.
"Now, now, gentlemen," interrupted Nimmie Amee, "I must ask you to be more respectful to poor Chopfyt. For, being my guests, it is not polite for you to insult my husband."
"Your husband!" the tin twins exclaimed in dismay.
"Yes," said she. "I married Chopfyt a long time ago, because my other two sweethearts had deserted me."
This reproof embarrassed both Nick Chopper and Captain Fyter. They looked down, shamefaced, for a moment, and then the Tin Woodman explained in an earnest voice:
"So did I," said the Tin Soldier.
"I could not know that, of course," asserted Nimmie Amee. "All I knew was that neither of you came to marry me, as you had promised to do. But men are not scarce in the Land of Oz. After I came here to live, I met Mr. Chopfyt, and he was the more interesting because he reminded me strongly of both of you, as you were before you became tin. He even had a tin arm, and that reminded me of you the more.
"No wonder!" remarked the Scarecrow.
"But, listen, Nimmie Amee!" said the astonished Woot; "he really is both of them, for he is made of their cast-off parts."
"Oh, you're quite wrong," declared Polychrome, laughing, for she was greatly enjoying the confusion of the others. "The tin men are still themselves, as they will tell you, and so Chopfyt must be someone else."
They looked at her bewildered, for the facts in the case were too puzzling to be grasped at once.
"It is all the fault of old Ku-Klip," muttered the Tin Woodman. "He had no right to use our castoff parts to make another man with."
"It seems he did it, however," said Nimmie Amee calmly, "and I married him because he resembled you both. I won't say he is a husband to be proud of, because he has a mixed nature and isn't always an agreeable companion. There are times when I have to chide him gently, both with my tongue and with my broomstick. But he is my husband, and I must make the best of him."
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|The Tin Woodman of Oz
L. Frank Baum
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