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|The Marvelous Land of Oz||L. Frank Baum|
The Scarecrow Plans an escape
|Page 2 of 4||
"Why, to my friend the Tin Woodman, who rules over the Winkies, and calls himself their Emperor," was the answer. "I am sure he will protect me."
Tip was looking out the window.
"The palace is surrounded by the enemy," said he "It is too late to escape. They would soon tear you to pieces."
The Scarecrow sighed.
"In an emergency," he announced, "it is always a good thing to pause and reflect. Please excuse me while I pause and reflect."
"But we also are in danger," said the Pumpkinhead, anxiously." If any of these girls understand cooking, my end is not far off!"
"Nonsense!" exclaimed the Scarecrow. "they're too busy to cook, even if they know how!"
"But should I remain here a prisoner for any length of time," protested Jack," I'm liable to spoil."
"Ah! then you would not be fit to associate with," returned the Scarecrow. "The matter is more serious than I suspected."
"You," said the Pumpkinhead, gloomily, "are liable to live for many years. My life is necessarily short. So I must take advantage of the few days that remain to me."
"There, there! Don't worry," answered the Scarecrow soothingly; "if you'll keep quiet long enough for me to think, I'll try to find some way for us all to escape."
So the others waited in patient silence while the Scarecrow walked to a corner and stood with his face to the wall for a good five minutes. At the end of that time he faced them with a more cheerful expression upon his painted face.
"Where is the Saw-Horse you rode here?" he asked the Pumpkinhead.
"Why, I said he was a jewel, and so your man locked him up in the royal treasury," said Jack.
"It was the only place I could think of your Majesty," added the Soldier, fearing he had made a blunder.
"It pleases me very much," said the Scarecrow. "Has the animal been fed?"
"Oh, yes; I gave him a heaping peck of sawdust."
"Excellent!" cried the Scarecrow. "Bring the horse here at once."
The Soldier hastened away, and presently they heard the clattering of the horse's wooden legs upon the pavement as he was led into the courtyard.
His Majesty regarded the steed critically. "He doesn't seem especially graceful!" he remarked, musingly. "but I suppose he can run?"
"He can, indeed," said Tip, gazing upon the Saw-Horse admiringly.
"Then, bearing us upon his back, he must make a dash through the ranks of the rebels and carry us to my friend the Tin Woodman," announced the Scarecrow.
"He can't carry four!" objected Tip.
"No, but he may be induced to carry three," said his Majesty. "I shall therefore leave my Royal Army Behind. For, from the ease with which he was conquered, I have little confidence in his powers."
"Still, he can run," declared Tip, laughing.
"I expected this blow" said the Soldier, sulkily; "but I can bear it. I shall disguise myself by cutting off my lovely green whiskers. And, after all, it is no more dangerous to face those reckless girls than to ride this fiery, untamed wooden horse!"
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|The Marvelous Land of Oz
L. Frank Baum
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