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|The Patchwork Girl of Oz||L. Frank Baum|
Trouble with the Tottenhots
|Page 2 of 6||
Before she had started on the journey Dorothy had packed a knapsack with the things she might need, and this knapsack the Scarecrow carried strapped to his back. The little girl wore a plain gingham dress and a checked sunbonnet, as she knew they were best fitted for travel. Ojo also had brought along his basket, to which Ozma had added a bottle of "Square Meal Tablets" and some fruit. But Jack Pumpkinhead grew a lot of things in his garden besides pumpkins, so he cooked for them a fine vegetable soup and gave Dorothy, Ojo and Toto, the only ones who found it necessary to eat, a pumpkin pie and some green cheese. For beds they must use the sweet dried grasses which Jack had strewn along one side of the room, but that satisfied Dorothy and Ojo very well. Toto, of course, slept beside his little mistress.
The Scarecrow, Scraps and the Pumpkinhead were tireless and had no need to sleep, so they sat up and talked together all night; but they stayed outside the house, under the bright stars, and talked in low tones so as not to disturb the sleepers. During the conversation the Scarecrow explained their quest for a dark well, and asked Jack's advice where to find it.
The Pumpkinhead considered the matter gravely.
"That is going to be a difficult task," said he, "and if I were you I'd take any ordinary well and enclose it, so as to make it dark."
"I fear that wouldn't do," replied the Scarecrow. "The well must be naturally dark, and the water must never have seen the light of day, for otherwise the magic charm might not work at all."
"How much of the water do you need?" asked Jack.
"How much is a gill?"
"Why--a gill is a gill, of course," answered the Scarecrow, who did not wish to display his ignorance.
"I know!" cried Scraps. "Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch--"
"No, no; that's wrong," interrupted the Scarecrow. "There are two kinds of gills, I think; one is a girl, and the other is--"
"A gillyflower," said Jack.
"No; a measure."
"How big a measure?"
"Well, I'll ask Dorothy."
So next morning they asked Dorothy, and she said:
"I don't just know how much a gill is, but I've brought along a gold flask that holds a pint. That's more than a gill, I'm sure, and the Crooked Magician may measure it to suit himself. But the thing that's bothering us most, Jack, is to find the well."
Jack gazed around the landscape, for he was standing in the doorway of his house.
"This is a flat country, so you won t find any dark wells here," said he. "You must go into the mountains, where rocks and caverns are.
"And where is that?" asked Ojo.
"In the Quadling Country, which lies south of here," replied the Scarecrow. "I've known all along that we must go to the mountains."
"So have I," said Dorothy.
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|The Patchwork Girl of Oz
L. Frank Baum
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