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|The Emerald City of Oz||L. Frank Baum|
9. How the Wogglebug Taught Athletics
|Page 3 of 5||
"That," said the Shaggy Man, impressively, "is the wonderful Love Magnet. I brought it to the Emerald City myself, and all who pass beneath this gateway are both loving and beloved."
"It's a fine thing," declared Aunt Em, admiringly. "If we'd had it in Kansas I guess the man who held a mortgage on the farm wouldn't have turned us out."
"Then I'm glad we didn't have it," returned Uncle Henry. "I like Oz better than Kansas, even; an' this little wood Sawhorse beats all the critters I ever saw. He don't have to be curried, or fed, or watered, an' he's strong as an ox. Can he talk, Dorothy?"
"Yes, Uncle," replied the child. "But the Sawhorse never says much. He told me once that he can't talk and think at the same time, so he prefers to think."
"Which is very sensible," declared the Wizard, nodding approvingly. "Which way do we go, Dorothy?"
"Straight ahead into the Quadling Country," she answered. "I've got a letter of interduction to Miss Cuttenclip."
"Oh!" exclaimed the Wizard, much interested. "Are we going there? Then I'm glad I came, for I've always wanted to meet the Cuttenclips."
"Who are they?" inquired Aunt Em.
"Wait till we get there," replied Dorothy, with a laugh; "then you'll see for yourself. I've never seen the Cuttenclips, you know, so I can't 'zactly 'splain 'em to you."
Once free of the Emerald City the Sawhorse dashed away at tremendous speed. Indeed, he went so fast that Aunt Em had hard work to catch her breath, and Uncle Henry held fast to the seat of the red wagon.
"Gently--gently, my boy!" called the Wizard, and at this the Sawhorse slackened his speed.
"What's wrong?" asked the animal, slightly turning his wooden head to look at the party with one eye, which was a knot of wood.
"Why, we wish to admire the scenery, that's all," answered the Wizard.
"Some of your passengers," added the Shaggy Man, "have never been out of the Emerald City before, and the country is all new to them."
"If you go too fast you'll spoil all the fun," said Dorothy. "There's no hurry."
"Very well; it is all the same to me," observed the Sawhorse; and after that he went at a more moderate pace.
Uncle Henry was astonished.
"How can a wooden thing be so intelligent?" he asked.
"Why, I gave him some sawdust brains the last time I fitted his head with new ears," explained the Wizard. "The sawdust was made from hard knots, and now the Sawhorse is able to think out any knotty problem he meets with."
"I see," said Uncle Henry.
"I don't," remarked Aunt Em; but no one paid any attention to this statement.
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|The Emerald City of Oz
L. Frank Baum
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