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|The Emerald City of Oz||L. Frank Baum|
17. How They Came to Bunbury
|Page 2 of 5||
There was something of a commotion in Bunbury when the strangers suddenly appeared among them. Women caught up their children and hurried into their houses, shutting the cracker doors carefully behind them. Some men ran so hastily that they tumbled over one another, while others, more brave, assembled in a group and faced the intruders defiantly.
Dorothy at once realized that she must act with caution in order not to frighten these shy people, who were evidently unused to the presence of strangers. There was a delightful fragrant odor of fresh bread in the town, and this made the little girl more hungry than ever. She told Toto and Billina to stay back while she slowly advanced toward the group that stood silently awaiting her.
"You must 'scuse me for coming unexpected," she said, softly, "but I really didn't know I was coming here until I arrived. I was lost in the woods, you know, and I'm as hungry as anything."
"Hungry!" they murmured, in a horrified chorus.
"Yes; I haven't had anything to eat since last night's supper," she exclaimed. "Are there any eatables in Bunbury?"
They looked at one another undecidedly, and then one portly bun man, who seemed a person of consequence, stepped forward and said:
"Little girl, to be frank with you, we are all eatables. Everything in Bunbury is eatable to ravenous human creatures like you. But it is to escape being eaten and destroyed that we have secluded ourselves in this out-of-the-way place, and there is neither right nor justice in your coming here to feed upon us."
Dorothy looked at him longingly.
"You're bread, aren't you?" she asked.
"Yes; bread and butter. The butter is inside me, so it won't melt and run. I do the running myself."
At this joke all the others burst into a chorus of laughter, and Dorothy thought they couldn't be much afraid if they could laugh like that.
"Couldn't I eat something besides people?" she asked. "Couldn't I eat just one house, or a side-walk or something? I wouldn't mind much what it was, you know."
"This is not a public bakery, child," replied the man, sternly. "It's private property."
"I know Mr.--Mr.--"
"My name is C. Bunn, Esquire," said the man. "'C' stands for Cinnamon, and this place is called after my family, which is the most aristocratic in the town."
"Oh, I don't know about that," objected another of the queer people. "The Grahams and the Browns and Whites are all excellent families, and there is none better of their kind. I'm a Boston Brown, myself."
"I admit you are all desirable citizens," said Mr. Bunn rather stiffly; "but the fact remains that our town is called Bunbury."
"'Scuse me," interrupted Dorothy; "but I'm getting hungrier every minute. Now, if you're polite and kind, as I'm sure you ought to be, you'll let me eat SOMETHING. There's so much to eat here that you will never miss it."
Then a big, puffed-up man, of a delicate brown color, stepped forward and said:
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|The Emerald City of Oz
L. Frank Baum
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