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|The Lost Princess of Oz||L. Frank Baum|
|Page 2 of 4||
"Yes. No one else would steal our dear Ozma," sighed tiny Trot.
"I wonder if Ozma is there?" said Betsy, indicating the castle with a nod of her head.
"Where else could she be?" asked Scraps.
"Suppose we ask the Pink Bear," suggested Dorothy.
That seemed a good idea, so they halted the procession, and the Bear King held the little Pink Bear on his lap and turned the crank in its side and asked, "Where is Ozma of Oz?"
And the little Pink Bear answered, "She is in a hole in the ground a half mile away at your left."
"Good gracious!" cried Dorothy.
"Then she is not in Ugu's castle at all."
"It is lucky we asked that question," said the Wizard, "for if we can find Ozma and rescue her, there will be no need for us to fight that wicked and dangerous magician."
"Indeed!" said Cayke. "Then what about my dishpan?"
The Wizard looked puzzled at her tone of remonstrance, so she added, "Didn't you people from the Emerald City promise that we would all stick together, and that you would help me to get my dishpan if I would help you to get your Ozma? And didn't I bring to you the little Pink Bear, which has told you where Ozma is hidden?"
"She's right," said Dorothy to the Wizard.
"We must do as we agreed."
"Well, first of all, let us go and rescue Ozma," proposed the Wizard. "Then our beloved Ruler may be able to advise us how to conquer Ugu the Shoemaker." So they turned to the left and marched for half a mile until they came to a small but deep hole in the ground. At once, all rushed to the brim to peer into the hole, but instead of finding there Princess Ozma of Oz, all that they saw was Button-Bright, who was lying asleep on the bottom.
Their cries soon wakened the boy, who sat up and rubbed his eyes. When he recognized his friends, he smiled sweetly, saying, "Found again!"
"Where is Ozma?" inquired Dorothy anxiously.
"I don't know," answered Button-Bright from the depths of the hole. "I got lost yesterday, as you may remember, and in the night while I was wandering around in the moonlight trying to find my way back to you, I suddenly fell into this hole."
"And wasn't Ozma in it then?"
"There was no one in it but me, and I was sorry it wasn't entirely empty. The sides are so steep I can't climb out, so there was nothing to be done but sleep until someone found me. Thank you for coming. If you'll please let down a rope, I'll empty this hole in a hurry."
"How strange!" said Dorothy, greatly disappointed.
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|The Lost Princess of Oz
L. Frank Baum
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