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Chapter 13 The Alarm Bell

  • Glinda, the Good, in her palace in the Quadling Country, had many things t_ccupy her mind, for not only did she look after the weaving and embroidery o_er bevy of maids, and assist all those who came to her to implore he_elp—beasts and birds as well as people—but she was a close student of th_rts of sorcery and spent much time in her Magical Laboratory, where sh_trove to find a remedy for every evil and to perfect her skill in magic.
  • Nevertheless, she did not forget to look in the Great Book of Records each da_o see if any mention was made of the visit of Ozma and Dorothy to th_nchanted Mountain of the Flatheads and the Magic Isle of the Skeezers. Th_ecords told her that Ozma had arrived at the mountain, that she had escaped,
  • with her companion, and gone to the island of the Skeezers, and that Quee_oo-ee-oh had submerged the island so that it was entirely under water. The_ame the statement that the Flatheads had come to the lake to poison th_ishes and that their Supreme Dictator had transformed Queen Coo-ee-oh into _wan.
  • No other details were given in the Great Book and so Glinda did not know tha_ince Coo-ee-oh had forgotten her magic none of the Skeezers knew how to rais_he island to the surface again. So Glinda was not worried about Ozma an_orothy until one morning, while she sat with her maids, there came a sudde_lang of the great alarm bell. This was so unusual that every maid gave _tart and even the Sorceress for a moment could not think what the alar_eant.
  • Then she remembered the ring she had given Dorothy when she left the palace t_tart on her venture. In giving the ring Glinda had warned the little girl no_o use its magic powers unless she and Ozma were in real danger, but then sh_as to turn it on her finger once to the right and once to the left an_linda's alarm bell would ring.
  • So the Sorceress now knew that danger threatened her beloved Ruler an_rincess Dorothy, and she hurried to her magic room to seek information as t_hat sort of danger it was. The answer to her question was not ver_atisfactory, for it was only: "Ozma and Dorothy are prisoners in the grea_ome of the Isle of the Skeezers, and the Dome is under the water of th_ake."
  • "Hasn't Ozma the power to raise the island to the surface?" inquired Glinda.
  • "No," was the reply, and the Record refused to say more except that Queen Coo-
  • ee-oh, who alone could command the island to rise, had been transformed by th_lathead Su-dic into a Diamond Swan.
  • Then Glinda consulted the past records of the Skeezers in the Great Book.
  • After diligent search she discovered that Coo-ee-oh was a powerful sorceres_ho had gained most of her power by treacherously transforming the Adepts o_agic, who were visiting her, into three fishes—gold, silver and bronze—afte_hich she had them cast into the lake.
  • Glinda reflected earnestly on this information and decided that someone mus_o to Ozma's assistance. While there was no great need of haste, because Ozm_nd Dorothy could live in a submerged dome a long time, it was evident the_ould not get out until someone was able to raise the island.
  • The Sorceress looked through all her recipes and books of sorcery, but coul_ind no magic that would raise a sunken island. Such a thing had never befor_een required in sorcery. Then Glinda made a little island, covered by a glas_ome, and sunk it in a pond near her castle, and experimented in magical way_o bring it to the surface. She made several such experiments, but all wer_ailures. It seemed a simple thing to do, yet she could not do it.
  • Nevertheless, the wise Sorceress did not despair of finding a way to liberat_er friends. Finally she concluded that the best thing to do was to go to th_keezer country and examine the lake. While there she was more likely t_iscover a solution to the problem that bothered her, and to work out a pla_or the rescue of Ozma and Dorothy.
  • So Glinda summoned her storks and her aerial chariot, and telling her maid_he was going on a journey and might not soon return, she entered the chario_nd was carried swiftly to the Emerald City.
  • In Princess Ozma's palace the Scarecrow was now acting as Ruler of the Land o_z. There wasn't much for him to do, because all the affairs of state moved s_moothly, but he was there in case anything unforeseen should happen.
  • Glinda found the Scarecrow playing croquet with Trot and Betsy Bobbin, tw_ittle girls who lived at the palace under Ozma's protection and were grea_riends of Dorothy and much loved by all the Oz people.
  • "Something's happened!" cried Trot, as the chariot of the Sorceress descende_ear them. "Glinda never comes here 'cept something's gone wrong."
  • "I hope no harm has come to Ozma, or Dorothy," said Betsy anxiously, as th_ovely Sorceress stepped down from her chariot.
  • Glinda approached the Scarecrow and told him of the dilemma of Ozma an_orothy and she added: "We must save them, somehow, Scarecrow."
  • "Of course," replied the Scarecrow, stumbling over a wicket and falling fla_n his painted face.
  • The girls picked him up and patted his straw stuffing into shape, and h_ontinued, as if nothing had occurred: "But you'll have to tell me what to do,
  • for I never have raised a sunken island in all my life."
  • "We must have a Council of State as soon as possible," proposed the Sorceress.
  • "Please send messengers to summon all of Ozma's counsellors to this palace.
  • Then we can decide what is best to be done."
  • The Scarecrow lost no time in doing this. Fortunately most of the roya_ounsellors were in the Emerald City or near to it, so they all met in th_hrone room of the palace that same evening.