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|The Tin Woodman of Oz||L. Frank Baum|
The Invisible Country
|Page 2 of 7||
While Woot stood, wondering, a crash of metal sounded in his ears and he heard two heavy bodies tumble to the earth just beside him.
"Good gracious!" exclaimed the voice of the Tin Woodman.
"Mercy me!" cried the voice of the Tin Soldier.
"Why didn't you look where you were going?" asked the Tin Woodman reproachfully.
"I did, but I couldn't see you," said the Tin Soldier. "Something has happened to my tin eyes. I can't see you, even now, nor can I see anyone else!"
"It's the same way with me," admitted the Tin Woodman.
Woot couldn't see either of them, although he heard them plainly, and just then something smashed against him unexpectedly and knocked him over; but it was only the straw-stuffed body of the Scarecrow that fell upon him and while he could not see the Scarecrow he managed to push him off and rose to his feet just as Polychrome whirled against him and made him tumble again.
Sitting upon the ground, the boy asked:
"Can you see us, Poly?"
"No, indeed," answered the Rainbow's Daughter; "we've all become invisible."
"How did it happen, do you suppose?" inquired the Scarecrow, lying where he had fallen.
"We have met with no enemy," answered Poly-chrome, "so it must be that this part of the country has the magic quality of making people invisible --even fairies falling under the charm. We can see the grass, and the flowers, and the stretch of plain before us, and we can still see Mount Munch in the distance; but we cannot see ourselves or one another."
"Well, what are we to do about it?" demanded Woot.
"I think this magic affects only a small part of the plain," replied Polychrome; "perhaps there is only a streak of the country where an enchantment makes people become invisible. So, if we get together and hold hands, we can travel toward Mount Munch until the enchanted streak is passed."
"All right," said Woot, jumping up, "give me your hand, Polychrome. Where are you?"
"Here," she answered. "Whistle, Woot, and keep whistling until I come to you."
So Woot whistled, and presently Polychrome found him and grasped his hand.
"Someone must help me up," said the Scarecrow, lying near them; so they found the straw man and sat him upon his feet, after which he held fast to Polychrome's other hand.
Nick Chopper and the Tin Soldier had managed to scramble up without assistance, but it was awkward for them and the Tin Woodman said:
"I don't seem to stand straight, somehow. But my joints all work, so I guess I can walk."
Guided by his voice, they reached his side, where Woot grasped his tin fingers so they might keep together.
The Tin Soldier was standing near by and the Scarecrow soon touched him and took hold of his arm.
"I hope you're not wobbly," said the straw man, "for if two of us walk unsteadily we will be sure to fall."
"I'm not wobbly," the Tin Soldier assured him, "but I'm certain that one of my legs is shorter than the other. I can't see it, to tell what's gone wrong, but I'll limp on with the rest of you until we are out of this enchanted territory."
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|The Tin Woodman of Oz
L. Frank Baum
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