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|The Marvelous Land of Oz||L. Frank Baum|
The Marvelous Powder of Life
|Page 4 of 4||
Finally, Tip spoke again.
"Have I got to drink that stuff?" he asked, nodding toward the pot.
"Yes," said Mombi.
"What'll it do to me?" asked Tip.
"If it's properly made," replied Mombi, "it will change or transform you into a marble statue."
Tip groaned, and wiped the perspiration from his forehead with his sleeve.
"I don't want to be a marble statue!" he protested.
"That doesn't matter I want you to be one," said the old woman, looking at him severely.
"What use'll I be then?" asked Tip. "There won't be any one to work for you."
"I'll make the Pumpkinhead work for me," said Mombi.
Again Tip groaned.
"Why don't you change me into a goat, or a chicken?" he asked, anxiously. "You can't do anything with a marble statue."
"Oh, yes, I can," returned Mombi. "I'm going to plant a flower garden, next Spring, and I'll put you in the middle of it, for an ornament. I wonder I haven't thought of that before; you've been a bother to me for years."
At this terrible speech Tip felt the beads of perspiration starting all over his body. but he sat still and shivered and looked anxiously at the kettle.
"Perhaps it won't work," he mutttered, in a voice that sounded weak and discouraged.
"Oh, I think it will," answered Mombi, cheerfully. "I seldom make a mistake."
Again there was a period of silence a silence so long and gloomy that when Mombi finally lifted the kettle from the fire it was close to midnight.
"You cannot drink it until it has become quite cold," announced the old witch for in spite of the law she had acknowledged practising witchcraft. "We must both go to bed now, and at daybreak I will call you and at once complete your transformation into a marble statue."
With this she hobbled into her room, bearing the steaming kettle with her, and Tip heard her close and lock the door.
The boy did not go to bed, as he had been commanded to do, but still sat glaring at the embers of the dying fire.
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|The Marvelous Land of Oz
L. Frank Baum
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