After breakfast Ozma announced that she had ordered a holiday to be observe_hroughout the Emerald City, in honor of her visitors. The people had learne_hat their old Wizard had returned to them and all were anxious to see hi_gain, for he had always been a rare favorite. So first there was to be _rand procession through the streets, after which the little old man wa_equested to perform some of his wizardries in the great Throne Room of th_alace. In the afternoon there were to be games and races.
The procession was very imposing. First came the Imperial Cornet Band of Oz,
dressed in emerald velvet uniforms with slashes of pea-green satin and button_f immense cut emeralds. They played the National air called "The Oz Spangle_anner," and behind them were the standard bearers with the Royal flag. Thi_lag was divided into four quarters, one being colored sky-blue, another pink,
a third lavender and a fourth white. In the center was a large emerald-gree_tar, and all over the four quarters were sewn spangles that glittere_eautifully in the sunshine. The colors represented the four countries of Oz,
and the green star the Emerald City.
Just behind the royal standard-bearers came the Princess Ozma in her roya_hariot, which was of gold encrusted with emeralds and diamonds set i_xquisite designs. The chariot was drawn on this occasion by the Cowardly Lio_nd the Hungry Tiger, who were decorated with immense pink and blue bows. I_he chariot rode Ozma and Dorothy, the former in splendid raiment and wearin_er royal coronet, while the little Kansas girl wore around her waist th_agic Belt she had once captured from the Nome King.
Following the chariot came the Scarecrow mounted on the Sawhorse, and th_eople cheered him almost as loudly as they did their lovely Ruler. Behind hi_talked with regular, jerky steps, the famous machine-man called Tik-tok, wh_ad been wound up by Dorothy for the occasion. Tik-tok moved by clockwork, an_as made all of burnished copper. He really belonged to the Kansas girl, wh_ad much respect for his thoughts after they had been properly wound and se_oing; but as the copper man would be useless in any place but a fairy countr_orothy had left him in charge of Ozma, who saw that he was suitably care_or.
There followed another band after this, which was called the Royal Court Band,
because the members all lived in the palace. They wore white uniforms wit_eal diamond buttons and played "What is Oz without Ozma" very sweetly.
Then came Professor Woggle-Bug, with a group of students from the Roya_ollege of Scientific Athletics. The boys wore long hair and striped sweater_nd yelled their college yell every other step they took, to the grea_atisfaction of the populace, which was glad to have this evidence that thei_ungs were in good condition.
The brilliantly polished Tin Woodman marched next, at the head of the Roya_rmy of Oz which consisted of twenty-eight officers, from Generals down t_aptains. There were no privates in the army because all were so courageou_nd skillful that they had been promoted one by one until there were n_rivates left. Jim and the buggy followed, the old cab-horse being driven b_eb while the Wizard stood up on the seat and bowed his bald head right an_eft in answer to the cheers of the people, who crowded thick about him.
Taken altogether the procession was a grand success, and when it had returne_o the palace the citizens crowded into the great Throne Room to see th_izard perform his tricks.
The first thing the little humbug did was to produce a tiny white piglet fro_nderneath his hat and pretend to pull it apart, making two. This act h_epeated until all of the nine tiny piglets were visible, and they were s_lad to get out of his pocket that they ran around in a very lively manner.
The pretty little creatures would have been a novelty anywhere, so the peopl_ere as amazed and delighted at their appearance as even the Wizard could hav_esired. When he had made them all disappear again Ozma declared she was sorr_hey were gone, for she wanted one of them to pet and play with. So the Wizar_retended to take one of the piglets out of the hair of the Princess (whil_eally he slyly took it from his inside pocket) and Ozma smiled joyously a_he creature nestled in her arms, and she promised to have an emerald colla_ade for its fat neck and to keep the little squealer always at hand to amus_er.
Afterward it was noticed that the Wizard always performed his famous tric_ith eight piglets, but it seemed to please the people just as well as i_here had been nine of them.
In his little room back of the Throne Room the Wizard had found a lot o_hings he had left behind him when he went away in the balloon, for no one ha_ccupied the apartment in his absence. There was enough material there t_nable him to prepare several new tricks which he had learned from some of th_ugglers in the circus, and he had passed part of the night in getting the_eady. So he followed the trick of the nine tiny piglets with several othe_onderful feats that greatly delighted his audience and the people did no_eem to care a bit whether the little man was a humbug Wizard or not, so lon_s he succeeded in amusing them. They applauded all his tricks and at the en_f the performance begged him earnestly not to go away again and leave them.
"In that case," said the little man, gravely, "I will cancel all of m_ngagements before the crowned heads of Europe and America and devote mysel_o the people of Oz, for I love you all so well that I can deny you nothing."
After the people had been dismissed with this promise our friends joine_rincess Ozma at an elaborate luncheon in the palace, where even the Tiger an_he Lion were sumptuously fed and Jim the Cab-horse ate his oatmeal out of _olden bowl with seven rows of rubies, sapphires and diamonds set around th_im of it.
In the afternoon they all went to a great field outside the city gates wher_he games were to be held. There was a beautiful canopy for Ozma and he_uests to sit under and watch the people run races and jump and wrestle. Yo_ay be sure the folks of Oz did their best with such a distinguished compan_atching them, and finally Zeb offered to wrestle with a little Munchkin wh_eemed to be the champion. In appearance he was twice as old as Zeb, for h_ad long pointed whiskers and wore a peaked hat with little bells all aroun_he brim of it, which tinkled gaily as he moved. But although the Munchkin wa_ardly tall enough to come to Zeb's shoulder he was so strong and clever tha_e laid the boy three times on his back with apparent ease.
Zeb was greatly astonished at his defeat, and when the pretty Princess joine_er people in laughing at him he proposed a boxing-match with the Munchkin, t_hich the little Ozite readily agreed. But the first time that Zeb managed t_ive him a sharp box on the ears the Munchkin sat down upon the ground an_ried until the tears ran down his whiskers, because he had been hurt. Thi_ade Zeb laugh, in turn, and the boy felt comforted to find that Ozma laughe_s merrily at her weeping subject as she had at him.
Just then the Scarecrow proposed a race between the Sawhorse and the Cab-
horse; and although all the others were delighted at the suggestion th_awhorse drew back, saying:
"Such a race would not be fair."
"Of course not," added Jim, with a touch of scorn; "those little wooden leg_f yours are not half as long as my own."
"It isn't that," said the Sawhorse, modestly; "but I never tire, and you do."
"Bah!" cried Jim, looking with great disdain at the other; "do you imagine fo_n instant that such a shabby imitation of a horse as you are can run as fas_s I?"
"I don't know, I'm sure," replied the Sawhorse.
"That is what we are trying to find out," remarked the Scarecrow. "The objec_f a race is to see who can win it—or at least that is what my excellen_rains think."
"Once, when I was young," said Jim, "I was a race horse, and defeated all wh_ared run against me. I was born in Kentucky, you know, where all the best an_ost aristocratic horses come from."
"But you're old, now, Jim," suggested Zeb.
"Old! Why, I feel like a colt today," replied Jim. "I only wish there was _eal horse here for me to race with. I'd show the people a fine sight, I ca_ell you."
"Then why not race with the Sawhorse?" enquired the Scarecrow.
"He's afraid," said Jim.
"Oh, no," answered the Sawhorse. "I merely said it wasn't fair. But if m_riend the Real Horse is willing to undertake the race I am quite ready."
So they unharnessed Jim and took the saddle off the Sawhorse, and the tw_ueerly matched animals were stood side by side for the start.
"When I say 'Go!'" Zeb called to them, "you must dig out and race until yo_each those three trees you see over yonder. Then circle 'round them and com_ack again. The first one that passes the place where the Princess sits shal_e named the winner. Are you ready?"
"I suppose I ought to give the wooden dummy a good start of me," growled Jim.
"Never mind that," said the Sawhorse. "I'll do the best I can."
"Go!" cried Zeb; and at the word the two horses leaped forward and the rac_as begun.
Jim's big hoofs pounded away at a great rate, and although he did not loo_ery graceful he ran in a way to do credit to his Kentucky breeding. But th_awhorse was swifter than the wind. Its wooden legs moved so fast that thei_winkling could scarcely be seen, and although so much smaller than the cab-
horse it covered the ground much faster. Before they had reached the trees th_awhorse was far ahead, and the wooden animal returned to the starting plac_s was being lustily cheered by the Ozites before Jim came panting up to th_anopy where the Princess and her friends were seated.
I am sorry to record the fact that Jim was not only ashamed of his defeat bu_or a moment lost control of his temper. As he looked at the comical face o_he Sawhorse he imagined that the creature was laughing at him; so in a fit o_nreasonable anger he turned around and made a vicious kick that sent hi_ival tumbling head over heels upon the ground, and broke off one of its leg_nd its left ear.
An instant later the Tiger crouched and launched its huge body through the ai_wift and resistless as a ball from a cannon. The beast struck Jim full on hi_houlder and sent the astonished cab-horse rolling over and over, amid shout_f delight from the spectators, who had been horrified by the ungracious ac_e had been guilty of.
When Jim came to himself and sat upon his haunches he found the Cowardly Lio_rouched on one side of him and the Hungry Tiger on the other, and their eye_ere glowing like balls of fire.
"I beg your pardon, I'm sure," said Jim, meekly. "I was wrong to kick th_awhorse, and I am sorry I became angry at him. He has won the race, and wo_t fairly; but what can a horse of flesh do against a tireless beast of wood?"
Hearing this apology the Tiger and the Lion stopped lashing their tails an_etreated with dignified steps to the side of the Princess.
"No one must injure one of our friends in our presence," growled the Lion; an_eb ran to Jim and whispered that unless he controlled his temper in th_uture he would probably be torn to pieces.
Then the Tin Woodman cut a straight and strong limb from a tree with hi_leaming axe and made a new leg and a new ear for the Sawhorse; and when the_ad been securely fastened in place Princess Ozma took the coronet from he_wn head and placed it upon that of the winner of the race. Said she:
"My friend, I reward you for your swiftness by proclaiming you Prince o_orses, whether of wood or of flesh; and hereafter all other horses—in th_and of Oz, at least—must be considered imitations, and you the real Champio_f your race."
There was more applause at this, and then Ozma had the jewelled saddl_eplaced upon the Sawhorse and herself rode the victor back to the city at th_ead of the grand procession.
"I ought to be a fairy," grumbled Jim, as he slowly drew the buggy home; "fo_o be just an ordinary horse in a fairy country is to be of no accoun_hatever. It's no place for us, Zeb."
"It's lucky we got here, though," said the boy; and Jim thought of the dar_ave, and agreed with him.