After Kaliko had failed in his attempts to destroy his guests, as has bee_elated, the Nome King did nothing more to injure them but treated them in _riendly manner. He refused, however, to permit Inga to see or to speak wit_is father and mother, or even to know in what part of the underground cavern_hey were confined.
"You are able to protect your lives and persons, I freely admit," said Kaliko;
"but I firmly believe you have no power, either of magic or otherwise, to tak_rom me the captives I have agreed to keep for King Gos."
Inga would not agree to this. He determined not to leave the caverns until h_ad liberated his father and mother, although he did not then know how tha_ould be accomplished. As for Rinkitink, the jolly King was well fed and had _ood bed to sleep upon, so he was not worrying about anything and seemed in n_urry to go away.
Kaliko and Rinkitink were engaged in pitching a game with solid gold quoits,
on the floor of the royal chamber, and Inga and Bilbil were watching them,
when Klik came running in, his hair standing on end with excitement, and crie_ut that the Wizard of Oz and Dorothy were approaching.
Kaliko turned pale on hearing this unwelcome news and, abandoning his game,
went to sit in his ivory throne and try to think what had brought thes_earful visitors to his domain.
"Who is Dorothy?" asked Inga.
"She is a little girl who once lived in Kansas," replied Klik, with a shudder,
"but she now lives in Ozma's palace at the Emerald City and is a Princess o_z — which means that she is a terrible foe to deal with."
"Doesn't she like the nomes?" inquired the boy.
"It isn't that," said King Kaliko, with a groan, "but she insists on the nome_eing goody-goody, which is contrary to their natures. Dorothy gets angry if _o the least thing that is wicked, and tries to make me stop it, and tha_aturally makes me downhearted. I can't imagine why she has come here jus_ow, for I've been behaving very well lately. As for that Wizard of Oz, he'_hock-full of magic that I can't overcome, for he learned it from Glinda, wh_s the most powerful sorceress in the world. Woe is me! Why didn't Dorothy an_he Wizard stay in Oz, where they belong?"
Inga and Rinkitink listened to this with much joy, for at once the idea cam_o them both to plead with Dorothy to help them. Even Bilbil pricked up hi_ars when he heard the Wizard of Oz mentioned, and the goat seemed much les_urly, and more thoughtful than usual.
A few minutes later a nome came to say that Dorothy and the Wizard had arrive_nd demanded admittance, so Klik was sent to usher them into the roya_resence of the Nome King.
As soon as she came in the little girl ran up to the boy Prince and seize_oth his hands.
"Oh, Inga!" she exclaimed, "I'm so glad to find you alive and well."
Inga was astonished at so warm a greeting. Making a low bow he said:
"I don't think we have met before, Princess."
"No, indeed," replied Dorothy, "but I know all about you and I've come to hel_ou and King Rinkitink out of your troubles." Then she turned to the Nome Kin_nd continued: "You ought to be ashamed of yourself, King Kaliko, to treat a_onest Prince and an honest King so badly."
"I haven't done anything to them," whined Kaliko, trembling as her eye_lashed upon him.
"No; but you tried to, an' that's just as bad, if not worse," said Dorothy,
who was very indignant. "And now I want you to send for the King and Queen o_ingaree and have them brought here immejitly!"
"I won't," said Kaliko.
"Yes, you will!" cried Dorothy, stamping her foot at him. "I won't have thos_oor people made unhappy any longer, or separated from their little boy. Why,
it's dreadful, Kaliko, an' I'm su'prised at you. You must be more wicked tha_ thought you were."
"I can't do it, Dorothy," said the Nome King, almost weeping with despair. "_romised King Gos I'd keep them captives. You wouldn't ask me to break m_romise, would you?"
"King Gos was a robber and an outlaw," she said, "and p'r'aps you don't kno_hat a storm at sea wrecked his boat, while he was going back to Regos, an_hat he and Queen Cor were both drowned."
"Dear me!" exclaimed Kaliko. "Is that so?"
"I saw it in Glinda's Record Book," said Dorothy. "So now you trot out th_ing and Queen of Pingaree as quick as you can."
"No," persisted the contrary Nome King, shaking his head. "I won't do it. As_e anything else and I'll try to please you, but I can't allow these friendl_nemies to triumph over me.
"In that case," said Dorothy, beginning to remove the cover from her basket,
"I'll show you some eggs."
"Eggs!" screamed the Nome King in horror. "Have you eggs in that basket?"
"A dozen of 'em," replied Dorothy.
"Then keep them there — I beg — I implore you! — and I'll do anything yo_ay," pleaded Kaliko, his teeth chattering so that he could hardly speak.
"Send for the King and Queen of Pingaree," said Dorothy.
"Go, Klik," commanded the Nome King, and Klik ran away in great haste, for h_as almost as much frightened as his master.
It was an affecting scene when the unfortunate King and Queen of Pingare_ntered the chamber and with sobs and tears of joy embraced their brave an_dventurous son. All the others stood silent until greetings and kisses ha_een exchanged and Inga had told his parents in a few words of his vai_truggles to rescue them and how Princess Dorothy had finally come to hi_ssistance.
Then King Kitticut shook the hands of his friend King Rinkitink and thanke_im for so loyally supporting his son Inga, and Queen Garee kissed littl_orothy's forehead and blessed her for restoring her husband and herself t_reedom.
The Wizard had been standing near Bilbil the goat and now he was surprised t_ear the animal say:
"Joyful reunion, isn't it? But it makes me tired to see grown people cry lik_hildren."
"Oho!" exclaimed the Wizard. "How does it happen, Mr. Goat, that you, who hav_ever been to the Land of Oz, are able to talk?"
"That's my business," returned Bilbil in a surly tone.
The Wizard stooped down and gazed fixedly into the animal's eyes. Then h_aid, with a pitying sigh: "I see; you are under an enchantment. Indeed, _elieve you to be Prince Bobo of Boboland."
Bilbil made no reply but dropped his head as if ashamed.
"This is a great discovery," said the Wizard, addressing Dorothy and th_thers of the party. "A good many years ago a cruel magician transformed th_allant Prince of Boboland into a talking goat, and this goat, being ashame_f his condition, ran away and was never after seen in Boboland, which is _ountry far to the south of here but bordering on the Deadly Desert, opposit_he Land of Oz. I heard of this story long ago and know that a diligent searc_as been made for the enchanted Prince, without result. But I am well assure_hat, in the animal you call Bilbil, I have discovered the unhappy Prince o_oboland."
"Dear me, Bilbil," said Rinkitink, "why have you never told me this?"
"What would be the use?" asked Bilbil in a low voice and still refusing t_ook up.
"The use?" repeated Rinkitink, puzzled.
"Yes, that's the trouble," said the Wizard. "It is one of the most powerfu_nchantments ever accomplished, and the magician is now dead and the secret o_he anti-charm lost. Even I, with all my skill, cannot restore Prince Bobo t_is proper form. But I think Glinda might be able to do so and if you will al_eturn with Dorothy and me to the Land of Oz, where Ozma will make yo_elcome, I will ask Glinda to try to break this enchantment."
This was willingly agreed to, for they all welcomed the chance to visit th_amous Land of Oz. So they bade good-bye to King Kaliko, whom Dorothy warne_ot to be wicked any more if he could help it, and the entire party returne_ver the Magic Carpet to the Land of Oz. They filled the Red Wagon, which wa_till waiting for them, pretty full; but the Sawhorse didn't mind that an_ith wonderful speed carried them safely to the Emerald City.