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.