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|The Patchwork Girl of Oz||L. Frank Baum|
The Troublesome Phonograph
|Page 2 of 4||
"Don't ask me," replied Scraps. "I say what comes into my head, but of course I know nothing of a grocery store or bones without meat or very much else."
"No," said the cat; "she's stark, staring, raving crazy, and her brains can't be pink, for they don't work properly."
"Bother the brains!" cried Scraps. "Who cares for 'em, anyhow? Have you noticed how beautiful my patches are in this sunlight?"
Just then they heard a sound as of footsteps pattering along the path behind them and all three turned to see what was coming. To their astonishment they beheld a small round table running as fast as its four spindle legs could carry it, and to the top was screwed fast a phonograph with a big gold horn.
"Hold on!" shouted the phonograph. "Wait for me!"
"Goodness me; it's that music thing which the Crooked Magician scattered the Powder of Life over," said Ojo.
"So it is," returned Bungle, in a grumpy tone of voice; and then, as the phonograph overtook them, the Glass Cat added sternly: "What are you doing here, anyhow?"
"I've run away," said the music thing. "After you left, old Dr. Pipt and I had a dreadful quarrel and he threatened to smash me to pieces if I didn't keep quiet. Of course I wouldn't do that, because a talking-machine is supposed to talk and make a noise--and sometimes music. So I slipped out of the house while the Magician was stirring his four kettles and I've been running after you all night. Now that I've found such pleasant company, I can talk and play tunes all I want to."
Ojo was greatly annoyed by this unwelcome addition to their party. At first he did not know what to say to the newcomer, but a little thought decided him not to make friends.
"We are traveling on important business," he declared, "and you'll excuse me if I say we can't be bothered."
"How very impolite!" exclaimed the phonograph.
"I'm sorry; but it's true," said the boy. "You'll have to go somewhere else."
"This is very unkind treatment, I must say, whined the phonograph, in an injured tone. "Everyone seems to hate me, and yet I was intended to amuse people."
"It isn't you we hate, especially," observed the Glass Cat; "it's your dreadful music. When I lived in the same room with you I was much annoyed by your squeaky horn. It growls and grumbles and clicks and scratches so it spoils the music, and your machinery rumbles so that the racket drowns every tune you attempt."
"That isn't my fault; it's the fault of my records. I must admit that I haven't a clear record," answered the machine.
"Just the same, you'll have to go away," said Ojo.
"Wait a minute," cried Scraps. "This music thing interests me. I remember to have heard music when I first came to life, and I would like to hear it again. What is your name, my poor abused phonograph?"
"Victor Columbia Edison," it answered.
"Well, I shall call you 'Vic' for short," said the Patchwork Girl. "Go ahead and play something."
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|The Patchwork Girl of Oz
L. Frank Baum
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