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|Rinkitink In Oz||L. Frank Baum|
Rinkitink Makes a Great Mistake
|Page 4 of 5||
To all this Inga had no answer. He sat on the side of his bed, with hanging head, utterly disconsolate, and seeing this, Rinkitink had pity for his sorrow.
"Come!" cried the King; "let us go out at once and look for the shoe which I threw at the cat. It must even now be lying in the yard of the palace."
This suggestion roused the boy to action. He at once threw open the door and in his stocking feet rushed down the staircase, closely followed by Rinkitink. But although they looked on both sides of the palace wall and in every possible crack and corner where a shoe might lodge, they failed to find it.
After a half hour's careful search the boy said sorrowfully:
"Someone must have passed by, as we slept, and taken the precious shoe, not knowing its value. To us, King Rinkitink, this will be a dreadful misfortune, for we are surrounded by dangers from which we have now no protection. Luckily I have the other shoe left, within which is the magic power that gives me strength; so all is not lost."
Then he told Rinkitink, in a few words, the secret of the wonderful pearls, and how he had recovered them from the ruins and hidden them in his shoes, and how they had enabled him to drive King Gos and his men from Regos and to capture the city. The King was much astonished, and when the story was concluded he said to Inga:
"What did you do with the other shoe?"
"Why, I left it in our bedroom," replied the boy.
"Then I advise you to get it at once," continued Rinkitink, "for we can ill afford to lose the second shoe, as well as the one I threw at the cat."
"You are right!" cried Inga, and they hastened back to their bedchamber.
On entering the room they found an old woman sweeping and raising a great deal of dust.
"Where is my shoe?" asked the Prince, anxiously.
The old woman stopped sweeping and looked at him in a stupid way, for she was not very intelligent.
"Do you mean the one odd shoe that was lying on the floor when I came in?" she finally asked.
"Yes -- yes!" answered the boy. "Where is it? Tell me where it is!"
"Why, I threw it on the dust-heap, outside the back gate," said she, "for, it being but a single shoe, with no mate, it can be of no use to anyone."
"Show us the way to the dust-heap -- at once!" commanded the boy, sternly, for he was greatly frightened by this new misfortune which threatened him.
The old woman hobbled away and they followed her, constantly urging her to hasten; but when they reached the dust-heap no shoe was to be seen.
"This is terrible!" wailed the young Prince, ready to weep at his loss. "We are now absolutely ruined, and at the mercy of our enemies. Nor shall I be able to liberate my dear father and mother."
"Well," replied Rinkitink, leaning against an old barrel and looking quite solemn, "the thing is certainly unlucky, any way we look at it. I suppose someone has passed along here and, seeing the shoe upon the dust-heap, has carried it away. But no one could know the magic power the shoe contains and so will not use it against us. I believe, Inga, we must now depend upon our wits to get us out of the scrape we are in.
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|Rinkitink In Oz
L. Frank Baum
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