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|The Road to Oz||L. Frank Baum|
Princess Ozma Of Oz
|Page 2 of 3||
Just then Polychrome danced in, and Ozma rose to greet the Rainbow's Daughter in her sweetest and most cordial manner.
Dorothy thought she had never seen two prettier creatures together than these lovely maidens; but Polly knew at once her own dainty beauty could not match that of Ozma, yet was not a bit jealous because this was so.
The Wizard of Oz was announced, and a dried-up, little, old man, clothed all in black, entered the drawing-room. His face was cheery and his eyes twinkling with humor, so Polly and Button-Bright were not at all afraid of the wonderful personage whose fame as a humbug magician had spread throughout the world. After greeting Dorothy with much affection, he stood modestly behind Ozma's throne and listened to the lively prattle of the young people.
Now the shaggy man appeared, and so startling was his appearance, all clad in shaggy new rainment, that Dorothy cried "Oh!" and clasped her hands impulsively as she examined her friend with pleased eyes.
"He's still shaggy, all right," remarked Button-Bright; and Ozma nodded brightly because she had meant the shaggy man to remain shaggy when she provided his new clothes for him.
Dorothy led him toward the throne, as he was shy in such fine company, and presented him gracefully to the Princess, saying:
"This, your Highness, is my friend, the shaggy man, who owns the Love Magnet."
"You are welcome to Oz," said the girl Ruler, in gracious accents. "But tell me, sir, where did you get the Love Magnet which you say you own?"
The shaggy man grew red and looked downcast, as he answered in a low voice:
"I stole it, your Majesty."
"Oh, Shaggy Man!" cried Dorothy. "How dreadful! And you told me the Eskimo gave you the Love Magnet."
He shuffled first on one foot and then on the other, much embarrassed.
"I told you a falsehood, Dorothy," he said; "but now, having bathed in the Truth Pond, I must tell nothing but the truth."
"Why did you steal it?" asked Ozma, gently.
"Because no one loved me, or cared for me," said the shaggy man, "and I wanted to be loved a great deal. It was owned by a girl in Butterfield who was loved too much, so that the young men quarreled over her, which made her unhappy. After I had stolen the Magnet from her, only one young man continued to love the girl, and she married him and regained her happiness."
"Are you sorry you stole it?" asked the Princess.
"No, your Highness; I'm glad," he answered; "for it has pleased me to be loved, and if Dorothy had not cared for me I could not have accompanied her to this beautiful Land of Oz, or met its kind-hearted Ruler. Now that I'm here, I hope to remain, and to become one of your Majesty's most faithful subjects."
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|The Road to Oz
L. Frank Baum
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