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|The Marvelous Land of Oz||L. Frank Baum|
Dr. Nikidik's Famous Wishing Pills
|Page 2 of 7||
By this time it had become quite dark, and the voyagers found above them a cloudy sky, through which the rays of the moon could not penetrate.
The Gump flew steadily on, and for some reason the huge sofa-body rocked more and more dizzily every hour.
The Woggle-Bug declared he was sea-sick; and Tip was also pale and somewhat distressed. But the others clung to the backs of the sofas and did not seem to mind the motion as long as they were not tipped out.
Darker and darker grew the night, and on and on sped the Gump through the black heavens. The travelers could not even see one another, and an oppressive silence settled down upon them.
After a long time Tip, who had been thinking deeply, spoke.
"How are we to know when we come to the pallace of Glinda the Good?" he asked.
"It's a long way to Glinda's palace," answered the Woodman; "I've traveled it."
"But how are we to know how fast the Gump is flying?" persisted the boy. "We cannot see a single thing down on the earth, and before morning we may be far beyond the place we want to reach."
"That is all true enough," the Scarecrow replied, a little uneasily. "But I do not see how we can stop just now; for we might alight in a river, or on, the top of a steeple; and that would be a great disaster."
So they permitted the Gump to fly on, with regular flops of its great wings, and waited patiently for morning.
Then Tip's fears were proven to be well founded; for with the first streaks of gray dawn they looked over the sides of the sofas and discovered rolling plains dotted with queer villages, where the houses, instead of being dome-shaped -- as they all are in the Land of Oz -- had slanting roofs that rose to a peak in the center. Odd looking animals were also moving about upon the open plains, and the country was unfamiliar to both the Tin Woodman and the Scarecrow, who had formerly visited Glinda the Good's domain and knew it well.
"We are lost!" said the Scarecrow, dolefully. "The Gump must have carried us entirely out of the Land of Oz and over the sandy deserts and into the terrible outside world that Dorothy told us about."
"We must get back," exclaimed the Tin Woodman, earnestly. "we must get back as soon as possible!"
"Turn around!" cried Tip to the Gump. "turn as quickly as you can!"
"If I do I shall upset," answered the Gump. "I'm not at all used to flying, and the best plan would be for me to alight in some place, and then I can turn around and take a fresh start."
Just then, however, there seemed to be no stopping-place that would answer their purpose. They flew over a village so big that the Woggle-Bug declared it was a city. and then they came to a range of high mountains with many deep gorges and steep cliffs showing plainly.
"Now is our chance to stop," said the boy, finding they were very close to the mountain tops. Then he turned to the Gump and commanded: "Stop at the first level place you see!"
"Very well," answered the Gump, and settled down upon a table of rock that stood between two cliffs.
But not being experienced in such matters, the Gump did not judge his speed correctly; and instead of coming to a stop upon the flat rock he missed it by half the width of his body, breaking off both his right wings against the sharp edge of the rock and then tumbling over and over down the cliff.
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|The Marvelous Land of Oz
L. Frank Baum
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