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|The Lost Princess of Oz||L. Frank Baum|
Ozma's Friends Are Perplexed
|Page 1 of 4||
"Really," said Dorothy, looking solemn, "this is very s'prising. We can't even find a shadow of Ozma anywhere in the Em'rald City, and wherever she's gone, she's taken her Magic Picture with her." She was standing in the courtyard of the palace with Betsy and Trot, while Scraps, the Patchwork Girl, danced around the group, her hair flying in the wind.
"P'raps," said Scraps, still dancing, "someone has stolen Ozma."
"Oh, they'd never dare do that!" exclaimed tiny Trot.
"And stolen the Magic Picture, too, so the thing can't tell where she is," added the Patchwork Girl.
"That's nonsense," said Dorothy. "Why, ev'ryone loves Ozma. There isn't a person in the Land of Oz who would steal a single thing she owns."
"Huh!" replied the Patchwork Girl. "You don't know ev'ry person in the Land of Oz."
"Why don't I?"
"It's a big country," said Scraps. "There are cracks and corners in it that even Ozma doesn't know of."
"The Patchwork Girl's just daffy," declared Betsy.
"No, she's right about that," replied Dorothy thoughtfully. "There are lots of queer people in this fairyland who never come near Ozma or the Em'rald City. I've seen some of 'em myself, girls. But I haven't seen all, of course, and there MIGHT be some wicked persons left in Oz yet, though I think the wicked witches have all been destroyed."
Just then the Wooden Sawhorse dashed into the courtyard with the Wizard of Oz on his back. "Have you found Ozma?"cried the Wizard when the Sawhorse stopped beside them.
"Not yet," said Dorothy. "Doesn't Glinda the Good know where she is?"
"No. Glinda's Book of Records and all her magic instruments are gone. Someone must have stolen them."
"Goodness me!"exclaimed Dorothy in alarm. "This is the biggest steal I ever heard of. Who do you think did it, Wizard?"
"I've no idea," he answered.
"But I have come to get my own bag of magic tools and carry them to Glinda. She is so much more powerful than I that she may be able to discover the truth by means of my magic quicker and better than I could myself."
"Hurry, then," said Dorothy, "for we've all gotten terr'bly worried."
The Wizard rushed away to his rooms but presently came back with a long, sad face. "It's gone!" he said.
"What's gone?" asked Scraps.
"My black bag of magic tools. Someone must have stolen it!"
They looked at one another in amazement.
"This thing is getting desperate," continued the Wizard. "All the magic that belongs to Ozma or to Glinda or to me has been stolen."
"Do you suppose Ozma could have taken them, herself, for some purpose?" asked Betsy.
"No indeed," declared the Wizard. "I suspect some enemy has stolen Ozma and for fear we would follow and recapture her has taken all our magic away from us."
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|The Lost Princess of Oz
L. Frank Baum
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