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Chapter 3 The Mist Maidens

  • From the top of the hill Ozma and Dorothy looked down into the valley beyon_nd were surprised to find it filled with a floating mist that was as dense a_moke. Nothing in the valley was visible except these rolling waves of mist,
  • but beyond, on the other side, rose a grassy hill that appeared quit_eautiful.
  • "Well," said Dorothy, "what are we to do, Ozma? Walk down into that thick fog,
  • an' prob'bly get lost in it, or wait till it clears away?"
  • "I'm not sure it will clear away, however long we wait," replied Ozma,
  • doubtfully. "If we wish to get on, I think we must venture into the mist."
  • "But we can't see where we're going, or what we're stepping on," proteste_orothy. "There may be dreadful things mixed up in that fog, an' I'm scare_ust to think of wading into it."
  • Even Ozma seemed to hesitate. She was silent and thoughtful for a littl_hile, looking at the rolling drifts that were so gray and forbidding. Finall_he said:
  • "I believe this is a Mist Valley, where these moist clouds always remain, fo_ven the sunshine above does not drive them away. Therefore the Mist Maid_ust live here, and they are fairies and should answer my call."
  • She placed her two hands before her mouth, forming a hollow with them, an_ttered a clear, thrilling, bird-like cry. It floated far out over the mis_aves and presently was answered by a similar sound, as of a far-off echo.
  • Dorothy was much impressed. She had seen many strange things since coming t_his fairy country, but here was a new experience. At ordinary times Ozma wa_ust like any little girl one might chance to meet—simple, merry, lovable a_ould be—yet with a certain reserve that lent her dignity in her most joyou_oods. There were times, however, when seated on her throne and commanding he_ubjects, or when her fairy powers were called into use, when Dorothy and al_thers about her stood in awe of their lovely girl Ruler and realized he_uperiority.
  • Ozma waited. Presently out from the billows rose beautiful forms, clothed i_leecy, trailing garments of gray that could scarcely be distinguished fro_he mist. Their hair was mist-color, too; only their gleaming arms and sweet,
  • pallid faces proved they were living, intelligent creatures answering the cal_f a sister fairy.
  • Like sea nymphs they rested on the bosom of the clouds, their eyes turne_uestioningly upon the two girls who stood upon the bank. One came quite nea_nd to her Ozma said:
  • "Will you please take us to the opposite hillside? We are afraid to ventur_nto the mist. I am Princess Ozma of Oz, and this is my friend Dorothy, _rincess of Oz."
  • The Mist Maids came nearer, holding out their arms. Without hesitation Ozm_dvanced and allowed them to embrace her and Dorothy plucked up courage t_ollow. Very gently the Mist Maids held them. Dorothy thought the arms wer_old and misty—they didn't seem real at all—yet they supported the two girl_bove the surface of the billows and floated with them so swiftly to the gree_illside opposite that the girls were astonished to find themselves set upo_he grass before they realized they had fairly started.
  • "Thank you!" said Ozma gratefully, and Dorothy also added her thanks for th_ervice.
  • The Mist Maids made no answer, but they smiled and waved their hands in good-
  • bye as again they floated out into the mist and disappeared from view.