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|Ozma of Oz||L. Frank Baum|
Tiktok, the Machine Man
|Page 3 of 4||
"I don't know," answered Dorothy, who had more to read. "Listen to this, Billina:"
+--------------------------------------------------+ | | | DIRECTIONS FOR USING: | | For THINKING:--Wind the Clock-work Man under his | | left arm, (marked No. 1.) | | For SPEAKING:--Wind the Clock-work Man under his | | right arm, (marked No. 2.) | | For WALKING and ACTION:--Wind Clock-work in the | | middle of his back, (marked No. 3.) | | N. B.--This Mechanism is guaranteed to work | | perfectly for a thousand years. | | | +--------------------------------------------------+
"Well, I declare!" gasped the yellow hen, in amazement; "if the copper man can do half of these things he is a very wonderful machine. But I suppose it is all humbug, like so many other patented articles."
"We might wind him up," suggested Dorothy, "and see what he'll do."
"Where is the key to the clock-work?" asked Billina.
"Hanging on the peg where I found the card."
"Then," said the hen, "let us try him, and find out if he will go. He is warranted for a thousand years, it seems; but we do not know how long he has been standing inside this rock."
Dorothy had already taken the clock key from the peg.
"Which shall I wind up first?" she asked, looking again at the directions on the card.
"Number One, I should think," returned Billina. "That makes him think, doesn't it?"
"Yes," said Dorothy, and wound up Number One, under the left arm.
"He doesn't seem any different," remarked the hen, critically.
"Why, of course not; he is only thinking, now," said Dorothy.
"I wonder what he is thinking about."
"I'll wind up his talk, and then perhaps he can tell us," said the girl.
So she wound up Number Two, and immediately the clock-work man said, without moving any part of his body except his lips:
"Good morn-ing, lit-tle girl. Good morn-ing, Mrs. Hen."
The words sounded a little hoarse and creaky, and they were uttered all in the same tone, without any change of expression whatever; but both Dorothy and Billina understood them perfectly.
"Good morning, sir," they answered, politely.
"Thank you for res-cu-ing me," continued the machine, in the same monotonous voice, which seemed to be worked by a bellows inside of him, like the little toy lambs and cats the children squeeze so that they will make a noise.
"Don't mention it," answered Dorothy. And then, being very curious, she asked: "How did you come to be locked up in this place?"
"It is a long sto-ry," replied the copper man; "but I will tell it to you brief-ly. I was pur-chased from Smith & Tin-ker, my man-u-fac-tur-ers, by a cru-el King of Ev, named Ev-ol-do, who used to beat all his serv-ants un-til they died. How-ev-er, he was not a-ble to kill me, be-cause I was not a-live, and one must first live in or-der to die. So that all his beat-ing did me no harm, and mere-ly kept my cop-per bod-y well pol-ished.
"This cru-el king had a love-ly wife and ten beau-ti-ful chil-dren--five boys and five girls--but in a fit of an-ger he sold them all to the Nome King, who by means of his mag-ic arts changed them all in-to oth-er forms and put them in his un-der-ground pal-ace to or-na-ment the rooms.
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|Ozma of Oz
L. Frank Baum
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