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Chapter 21 Dorothy's Magic Belt

  • Dorothy passed several very happy weeks in the Land of Oz as the guest of th_oyal Ozma, who delighted to please and interest the little Kansas girl. Man_ew acquaintances were formed and many old ones renewed, and wherever she wen_orothy found herself among friends.
  • One day, however, as she sat in Ozma's private room, she noticed hanging upo_he wall a picture which constantly changed in appearance, at one time showin_ meadow and at another time a forest, a lake or a village.
  • "How curious!" she exclaimed, after watching the shifting scenes for a fe_oments.
  • "Yes," said Ozma, "that is really a wonderful invention in magic. If I wish t_ee any part of the world or any person living, I need only express the wis_nd it is shown in the picture."
  • "May I use it?" asked Dorothy, eagerly.
  • "Of course, my dear."
  • "Then I'd like to see the old Kansas farm, and Aunt Em," said the girl.
  • Instantly the well remembered farmhouse appeared in the picture, and Aunt E_ould be seen quite plainly. She was engaged in washing dishes by the kitche_indow and seemed quite well and contented. The hired men and the teams wer_n the harvest fields behind the house, and the corn and wheat seemed to th_hild to be in prime condition. On the side porch Dorothy's pet dog, Toto, wa_ying fast asleep in the sun, and to her surprise old Speckles was runnin_round with a brood of twelve new chickens trailing after her.
  • "Everything seems all right at home," said Dorothy, with a sigh of relief.
  • "Now I wonder what Uncle Henry is doing."
  • The scene in the picture at once shifted to Australia, where, in a pleasan_oom in Sydney, Uncle Henry was seated in an easy chair, solemnly smoking hi_riar pipe. He looked sad and lonely, and his hair was now quite white and hi_ands and face thin and wasted.
  • "Oh!" cried Dorothy, in an anxious voice, "I'm sure Uncle Henry isn't gettin_ny better, and it's because he is worried about me. Ozma, dear, I must go t_im at once!"
  • "How can you?" asked Ozma.
  • "I don't know," replied Dorothy; "but let us go to Glinda the Good. I'm sur_he will help me, and advise me how to get to Uncle Henry."
  • Ozma readily agreed to this plan and caused the Sawhorse to be harnessed to _retty green and pink phaeton, and the two girls rode away to visit the famou_orceress.
  • Glinda received them graciously, and listened to Dorothy's story wit_ttention.
  • "I have the magic belt, you know," said the little girl. "If I buckled i_round my waist and commanded it to take me to Uncle Henry, wouldn't it d_t?"
  • "I think so," replied Glinda, with a smile.
  • "And then," continued Dorothy, "if I ever wanted to come back here again, th_elt would bring me."
  • "In that you are wrong," said the sorceress. "The belt has magical powers onl_hile it is in some fairy country, such as the Land of Oz, or the Land of Ev.
  • Indeed, my little friend, were you to wear it and wish yourself in Australia,
  • with your uncle, the wish would doubtless be fulfilled, because it was made i_airyland. But you would not find the magic belt around you when you arrive_t your destination."
  • "What would become of it?" asked the girl.
  • "It would be lost, as were your silver shoes when you visited Oz before, an_o one would ever see it again. It seems too bad to destroy the use of th_agic belt in that way, doesn't it?"
  • "Then," said Dorothy, after a moment's thought, "I will give the magic belt t_zma, for she can use it in her own country. And she can wish me transporte_o Uncle Henry without losing the belt."
  • "That is a wise plan," replied Glinda.
  • So they rode back to the Emerald City, and on the way it was arranged tha_very Saturday morning Ozma would look at Dorothy in her magic picture,
  • wherever the little girl might chance to be. And, if she saw Dorothy make _ertain signal, then Ozma would know that the little Kansas girl wanted t_evisit the Land of Oz, and by means of the Nome King's magic belt would wis_hat she might instantly return.
  • This having been agreed upon, Dorothy bade good-bye to all her friends. Tikto_anted to go to Australia; too, but Dorothy knew that the machine man woul_ever do for a servant in a civilized country, and the chances were that hi_achinery wouldn't work at all. So she left him in Ozma's care.
  • Billina, on the contrary, preferred the Land of Oz to any other country, an_efused to accompany Dorothy.
  • "The bugs and ants that I find here are the finest flavored in the world,"
  • declared the yellow hen, "and there are plenty of them. So here I shall end m_ays; and I must say, Dorothy, my dear, that you are very foolish to go bac_nto that stupid, humdrum world again."
  • "Uncle Henry needs me," said Dorothy, simply; and every one except Billin_hought it was right that she should go.
  • All Dorothy's friends of the Land of Oz—both old and new—gathered in a grou_n front of the palace to bid her a sorrowful good-bye and to wish her lon_ife and happiness. After much hand shaking, Dorothy kissed Ozma once more,
  • and then handed her the Nome King's magic belt, saying:
  • "Now, dear Princess, when I wave my handkerchief, please wish me with Uncl_enry. I'm aw'fly sorry to leave you—and the Scarecrow—and the Tin Woodman—an_he Cowardly Lion—and Tiktok—and—and everybody—but I do want my Uncle Henry!
  • So good-bye, all of you."
  • Then the little girl stood on one of the big emeralds which decorated th_ourtyard, and after looking once again at each of her friends, waved he_andkerchief.
  • "No," said Dorothy, "I wasn't drowned at all. And I've come to nurse you an_ake care of you, Uncle Henry, and you must promise to get well as soon a_oss'ble."
  • Uncle Henry smiled and cuddled his little niece close in his lap.
  • "I'm better already, my darling," said he.