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|The Patchwork Girl of Oz||L. Frank Baum|
A Good Friend
|Page 2 of 7||
"Indeed! Well, that is more difficult," said the Shaggy Man, scratching his left ear in a puzzled way. "I've never heard of a dark well; have you?"
"No," said Ojo.
"Do you know where one may be found?" inquired the Shaggy Man.
"I can't imagine," said Ojo.
"Then we must ask the Scarecrow."
"The Scarecrow! But surely, sir, a scarecrow can't know anything."
"Most scarecrows don't, I admit," answered the Shaggy Man. "But this Scarecrow of whom I speak is very intelligent. He claims to possess the best brains in all Oz."
"Better than mine?" asked Scraps.
"Better than mine?" echoed the Glass Cat. "Mine are pink, and you can see 'em work."
"Well, you can't see the Scarecrow's brains work, but they do a lot of clever thinking," asserted the Shaggy Man. "If anyone knows where a dark well is, it's my friend the Scarecrow."
"Where does he live?" inquired Ojo.
"He has a splendid castle in the Winkle Country, near to the palace of his friend the Tin Woodman, and he is often to be found in the Emerald City, where he visits Dorothy at the royal palace."
"Then we will ask him about the dark well," said Ojo.
"But what else does this Crooked Magician want?" asked the Shaggy Man.
"A drop of oil from a live man's body."
"Oh; but there isn't such a thing."
"That is what I thought," replied Ojo; "but the Crooked Magician said it wouldn't be called for by the recipe if it couldn't be found, and therefore I must search until I find it."
"I wish you good luck," said the Shaggy Man, shaking his head doubtfully; "but I imagine you'll have a hard job getting a drop of oil from a live man's body. There's blood in a body, but no oil."
"There's cotton in mine," said Scraps, dancing a little jig.
"I don't doubt it," returned the Shaggy Man admiringly. "You're a regular comforter and as sweet as patchwork can be. All you lack is dignity."
"I hate dignity," cried Scraps, kicking a pebble high in the air and then trying to catch it as it fell. "Half the fools and all the wise folks are dignified, and I'm neither the one nor the other."
"She's just crazy," explained the Glass Cat.
The Shaggy Man laughed.
"She's delightful, in her way," he said. "I'm sure Dorothy will be pleased with her, and the Scarecrow will dote on her. Did you say you were traveling toward the Emerald City?"
"Yes," replied Ojo. "I thought that the best place to go, at first, because the six-leaved clover may be found there."
"I'll go with you," said the Shaggy Man, "and show you the way."
"Thank you," exclaimed Ojo. "I hope it won't put you out any."
"No," said the other, "I wasn't going anywhere in particular. I've been a rover all my life, and although Ozma has given me a suite of beautiful rooms in her palace I still get the wandering fever once in a while and start out to roam the country over. I've been away from the Emerald City several weeks, this time, and now that I've met you and your friends I'm sure it will interest me to accompany you to the great city of Oz and introduce you to my friends."
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|The Patchwork Girl of Oz
L. Frank Baum
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