Read Books Online, for Free
|Ozma of Oz||L. Frank Baum|
The Scarecrow Wins the Fight
|Page 3 of 3||
"No!" returned Ozma, boldly answering the King. Then she said to her army:
"Forward, my brave soldiers, and fight for your Ruler and yourselves, unto death!"
"Pardon me, Most Royal Ozma," replied one of her generals; "but I find that I and my brother officers all suffer from heart disease, and the slightest excitement might kill us. If we fight we may get excited. Would it not be well for us to avoid this grave danger?"
"Soldiers should not have heart disease," said Ozma.
"Private soldiers are not, I believe, afflicted that way," declared another general, twirling his moustache thoughtfully. "If your Royal Highness desires, we will order our private to attack yonder warriors."
"Do so," replied Ozma.
"For-ward--march!" cried all the generals, with one voice. "For-ward--march!" yelled the colonels. "For-ward--march!" shouted the majors. "For-ward--march!" commanded the captains.
And at that the private leveled his spear and dashed furiously upon the foe.
The captain of the Nomes was so surprised by this sudden onslaught that he forgot to command his warriors to fight, so that the ten men in the first row, who stood in front of the private's spear, fell over like so many toy soldiers. The spear could not go through their steel armor, however, so the warriors scrambled to their feet again, and by that time the private had knocked over another row of them.
Then the captain brought down his battle-axe with such a strong blow that the private's spear was shattered and knocked from his grasp, and he was helpless to fight any longer.
The Nome King had left his throne and pressed through his warriors to the front ranks, so he could see what was going on; but as he faced Ozma and her friends the Scarecrow, as if aroused to action by the valor of the private, drew one of Billina's eggs from his right jacket pocket and hurled it straight at the little monarch's head.
It struck him squarely in his left eye, where the egg smashed and scattered, as eggs will, and covered his face and hair and beard with its sticky contents.
"Help, help!" screamed the King, clawing with his fingers at the egg, in a struggle to remove it.
"An egg! an egg! Run for your lives!" shouted the captain of the Nomes, in a voice of horror.
And how they DID run! The warriors fairly tumbled over one another in their efforts to escape the fatal poison of that awful egg, and those who could not rush down the winding stair fell off the balcony into the great cavern beneath, knocking over those who stood below them.
Even while the King was still yelling for help his throne room became emptied of every one of his warriors, and before the monarch had managed to clear the egg away from his left eye the Scarecrow threw the second egg against his right eye, where it smashed and blinded him entirely. The King was unable to flee because he could not see which way to run; so he stood still and howled and shouted and screamed in abject fear.
While this was going on, Billina flew over to Dorothy, and perching herself upon the Lion's back the hen whispered eagerly to the girl:
"Get his belt! Get the Nome King's jeweled belt! It unbuckles in the back. Quick, Dorothy--quick!"
|Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
|Ozma of Oz
L. Frank Baum
Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004