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|The Marvelous Land of Oz||L. Frank Baum|
Princess Ozma of Oz
|Page 1 of 4||
"You are my prisoner, and it is useless for you to struggle any longer," said Glinda, in her soft, sweet voice. "Lie still a moment, and rest yourself, and then I will carry you back to my tent."
"Why do you seek me?" asked Mombi, still scarce able to speak plainly for lack of breath. "What have I done to you, to be so persecuted?"
"You have done nothing to me," answered the gentle Sorceress; "but I suspect you have been guilty of several wicked actions; and if I find it is true that you have so abused your knowledge of magic, I intend to punish you severely."
"I defy you!" croaked the old hag. "You dare not harm me!"
Just then the Gump flew up to them and alighted upon the desert sands beside Glinda. Our friends were delighted to find that Mombi had finally been captured, and after a hurried consultation it was decided they should all return to the camp in the Gump. So the Saw-Horse was tossed aboard, and then Glinda still holding an end of the golden thread that was around Mombi's neck, forced her prisoner to climb into the sofas. The others now followed, and Tip gave the word to the Gump to return.
The Journey was made in safety, Mombi sitting in her place with a grim and sullen air; for the old hag was absolutely helpless so long as the magical thread encircled her throat. The army hailed Glinda's return with loud cheers, and the party of friends soon gathered again in the royal tent, which had been neatly repaired during their absence.
"Now," said the Sorceress to Mombi, "I want you to tell us why the Wonderful Wizard of Oz paid you three visits, and what became of the child, Ozma, which so curiously disappeared."
The Witch looked at Glinda defiantly, but said not a word.
"Answer me!" cried the Sorceress.
But still Mombi remained silent.
"Perhaps she doesn't know," remarked Jack.
"I beg you will keep quiet," said Tip. "You might spoil everything with your foolishness."
"Very well, dear father!" returned the Pumpkinhead, meekly.
"How glad I am to be a Woggle-Bug!" murmured the Highly Magnified Insect, softly. "No one can expect wisdom to flow from a pumpkin."
"Well," said the Scarecrow, "what shall we do to make Mombi speak? Unless she tells us what we wish to know her capture will do us no good at all."
"Suppose we try kindness," suggested the Tin Woodman. "I've heard that anyone can be conquered with kindness, no matter how ugly they may be."
At this the Witch turned to glare upon him so horribly that the Tin Woodman shrank back abashed.
Glinda had been carefully considering what to do, and now she turned to Mombi and said:
"You will gain nothing, I assure you, by thus defying us. For I am determined to learn the truth about the girl Ozma, and unless you tell me all that you know, I will certainly put you to death."
"Oh, no! Don't do that!" exclaimed the Tin Woodman. "It would be an awful thing to kill anyone -- even old Mombi!"
"But it is merely a threat," returned Glinda. "I shall not put Mombi to death, because she will prefer to tell me the truth."
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|The Marvelous Land of Oz
L. Frank Baum
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