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|The Magic of Oz||L. Frank Baum|
9. The Isle of the Magic Flower
|Page 4 of 4||
"I suppose you think you're clever, to pin me to the ground in this manner. But when my friends, the other Kalidahs, come here, they'll tear you to pieces for treating me this way."
"P'raps," remarked Cap'n Bill, coolly, as he chopped at the logs, "an' p'raps not. When are your folks comin' here?"
"I don't know," admitted the Kalidah. "But when they DO come, you can't escape them."
"If they hold off long enough, I'll have my raft ready," said Cap'n Bill.
"What are you going to do with a raft?" inquired the beast.
"We're goin' over to that island, to get the Magic Flower."
The huge beast looked at him in surprise a moment, and then it began to laugh. The laugh was a good deal like a roar, and it had a cruel and derisive sound, but it was a laugh nevertheless.
"Good!" said the Kalidah. "Good! Very good! I'm glad you're going to get the Magic Flower. But what will you do with it?"
"We're going to take it to Ozma, as a present on her birthday."
The Kalidah laughed again; then it became sober. "If you get to the land on your raft before my people can catch you," it said, "you will be safe from us. We can swim like ducks, so the girl couldn't have escaped me by getting into the water; but Kalidahs don't go to that island over there."
"Why not?" asked Trot.
The beast was silent.
"Tell us the reason," urged Cap'n Bill.
"Well, it's the Isle of the Magic Flower," answered the Kalidah, "and we don't care much for magic. If you hadn't had a magic leg, instead of a meat one, you couldn't have knocked me over so easily and stuck this wooden pin through me."
"I've been to the Magic Isle," said the Glass Cat, "and I've watched the Magic Flower bloom, and I'm sure it's too pretty to be left in that lonely place where only beasts prowl around it and no else sees it. So we're going to take it away to the Emerald City."
"I don't care," the beast replied in a surly tone. "We Kalidahs would be just as contented if there wasn't a flower in our forest. What good are the things anyhow?"
"Don't you like pretty things?" asked Trot.
"You ought to admire my pink brains, anyhow," declared the Glass Cat. "They're beautiful and you can see 'em work."
The beast only growled in reply, and Cap'n Bill, having now cut all his logs to a proper size, began to roll them to the water's edge and fasten them together.
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|The Magic of Oz
L. Frank Baum
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