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|Ozma of Oz||L. Frank Baum|
The Fate of the Tin Woodman
|Page 2 of 4||
But the others went with Dorothy, and when she came to the middle of the first room the girl waved her hand, as she had seen the King do, and commanded the Tin Woodman, whatever form he might then have, to resume his proper shape. No result followed this attempt, so Dorothy went into another room and repeated it, and so through all the rooms of the palace. Yet the Tin Woodman did not appear to them, nor could they imagine which among the thousands of ornaments was their transformed friend.
Sadly they returned to the throne room, where the King, seeing that they had met with failure, jeered at Dorothy, saying:
"You do not know how to use my belt, so it is of no use to you. Give it back to me and I will let you go free--you and all the people who came with you. As for the royal family of Ev, they are my slaves, and shall remain here."
"I shall keep the belt," said Dorothy.
"But how can you escape, without my consent?" asked the King.
"Easily enough," answered the girl. "All we need to do is to walk out the way that we came in."
"Oh, that's all, is it?" sneered the King. "Well, where is the passage through which you entered this room?"
They all looked around, but could not discover the place, for it had long since been closed. Dorothy, however, would not be dismayed. She waved her hand toward the seemingly solid wall of the cavern and said:
"I command the passage to open!"
Instantly the order was obeyed; the opening appeared and the passage lay plainly before them.
The King was amazed, and all the others overjoyed.
"Why, then, if the belt obeys you, were we unable to discover the Tin Woodman?" asked Ozma.
"I can't imagine," said Dorothy.
"See here, girl," proposed the King, eagerly; "give me the belt, and I will tell you what shape the Tin Woodman was changed into, and then you can easily find him."
Dorothy hesitated, but Billina cried out:
"Don't you do it! If the Nome King gets the belt again he will make every one of us prisoners, for we will be in his power. Only by keeping the belt, Dorothy, will you ever be able to leave this place in safety."
"I think that is true," said the Scarecrow. "But I have another idea, due to my excellent brains. Let Dorothy transform the King into a goose-egg unless he agrees to go into the palace and bring out to us the ornament which is our friend Nick Chopper, the Tin Woodman."
"A goose-egg!" echoed the horrified King. "How dreadful!"
"Well, a goose-egg you will be unless you go and fetch us the ornament we want," declared Billina, with a joyful chuckle.
"You can see for yourself that Dorothy is able to use the magic belt all right," added the Scarecrow.
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|Ozma of Oz
L. Frank Baum
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