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|The Patchwork Girl of Oz||L. Frank Baum|
Peace Is Declared
|Page 3 of 4||
"True that we have less understanding?" asked the Champion.
"Yes; it's true because you don't understand such a poor joke; if you did, you'd be no wiser than they are."
"Ah, yes; of course," they answered, looking very wise.
"So I'll tell you what to do," continued Dorothy. "Laugh at their poor joke and tell 'em it's pretty good for a Horner. Then they won't dare say you have less understanding, because you understand as much as they do."
The Hoppers looked at one another questioningly and blinked their eyes and tried to think what it all meant; but they couldn't figure it out.
"What do you think, Champion?" asked one of them.
"I think it is dangerous to think of this thing any more than we can help," he replied. "Let us do as this girl says and laugh with the Horners, so as to make them believe we see the joke. Then there will be peace again and no need to fight."
They readily agreed to this and returned to the fence laughing as loud and as hard as they could, although they didn't feel like laughing a bit. The Horners were much surprised.
"That's a fine joke--for a Horner--and we are much pleased with it," said the Champion, speaking between the pickets. "But please don't do it again."
"I won't," promised Diksey. "If I think of another such joke I'll try to forget it."
"Good!" cried the Chief Horner. "The war is over and peace is declared."
There was much joyful shouting on both sides of the fence and the gate was unlocked and thrown wide open, so that Scraps was able to rejoin her friends.
"What about the Scarecrow?" she asked Dorothy.
"We must get him down, somehow or other," was the reply.
"Perhaps the Horners can find a way," suggested Ojo. So they all went through the gate and Dorothy asked the Chief Horner how they could get the Scarecrow off the fence. The Chief didn't know how, but Diksey said:
"A ladder's the thing."
"Have you one?" asked Dorothy.
"To be sure. We use ladders in our mines," said he. Then he ran away to get the ladder, and while he was gone the Horners gathered around and welcomed the strangers to their country, for through them a great war had been avoided.
In a little while Diksey came back with a tall ladder which he placed against the fence. Ojo at once climbed to the top of the ladder and Dorothy went about halfway up and Scraps stood at the foot of it. Toto ran around it and barked. Then Ojo pulled the Scarecrow away from the picket and passed him down to Dorothy, who in turn lowered him to the Patchwork Girl.
As soon as he was on his feet and standing on solid ground the Scarecrow said:
"Much obliged. I feel much better. I'm not stuck on that picket any more."
The Horners began to laugh, thinking this was a joke, but the Scarecrow shook himself and
patted his straw a little and said to Dorothy: "Is there much of a hole in my back?"
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|The Patchwork Girl of Oz
L. Frank Baum
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