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Chapter 11 Button-Bright Loses Himself

  • The Patchwork Girl, who never slept and who could see very well in the dark, had wandered among the rocks and bushes all night long, with the result tha_he was able to tell some good news the next morning. "Over the crest of th_ill before us," she said, "is a big grove of trees of many kinds on which al_orts of fruits grow. If you will go there, you will find a nice breakfas_waiting you." This made them eager to start, so as soon as the blankets wer_olded and strapped to the back of the Sawhorse, they all took their places o_he animals and set out for the big grove Scraps had told them of.
  • As soon as they got over the brow of the hill, they discovered it to be _eally immense orchard, extending for miles to the right and left of them. A_heir way led straight through the trees, they hurried forward as fast a_ossible. The first trees they came to bore quinces, which they did not like.
  • Then there were rows of citron trees and then crab apples and afterward lime_nd lemons. But beyond these they found a grove of big, golden oranges, juic_nd sweet, and the fruit hung low on the branches so they could pluck i_asily.
  • They helped themselves freely and all ate oranges as they continued on thei_ay. Then, a little farther along, they came to some trees bearing fine, re_pples, which they also feasted on, and the Wizard stopped here long enough t_ie a lot of the apples in one end of a blanket.
  • "We do not know what will happen to us after we leave this delightfu_rchard," he said, "so I think it wise to carry a supply of apples with us. W_an't starve as long as we have apples, you know."
  • Scraps wasn't riding the Woozy just now. She loved to climb the trees an_wing herself by the branches from one tree to another. Some of the choices_ruit was gathered by the Patchwork Girl from the very highest limbs an_ossed down to the others. Suddenly, Trot asked, "Where's Button-Bright?" an_hen the others looked for him, they found the boy had disappeared.
  • "Dear me!" cried Dorothy. "I guess he's lost again, and that will mean ou_aiting here until we can find him."
  • "It's a good place to wait," suggested Betsy, who had found a plum tree an_as eating some of its fruit.
  • "How can you wait here and find Button-Bright at one and the same time?"
  • inquired the Patchwork Girl, hanging by her toes on a limb just over the head_f the three mortal girls.
  • "Perhaps he'll come back here," answered Dorothy.
  • "If he tries that, he'll prob'ly lose his way," said Trot. "I've known him t_o that lots of times. It's losing his way that gets him lost."
  • "Very true," said the Wizard. "So all the rest of you must stay here while _o look for the boy."
  • "Won't YOU get lost, too?" asked Betsy.
  • "I hope not, my dear."
  • "Let ME go," said Scraps, dropping lightly to the ground. "I can't get lost, and I'm more likely to find Button-Bright than any of you." Without waitin_or permission, she darted away through the trees and soon disappeared fro_heir view.
  • "Dorothy," said Toto, squatting beside his little mistress, "I've lost m_rowl."
  • "How did that happen?" she asked.
  • "I don't know," replied Toto. "Yesterday morning the Woozy nearly stepped o_e, and I tried to growl at him and found I couldn't growl a bit."
  • "Can you bark?" inquired Dorothy.
  • "Oh, yes indeed."
  • "Then never mind the growl," said she.
  • "But what will I do when I get home to the Glass Cat and the Pink Kitten?"
  • asked the little dog in an anxious tone.
  • "They won't mind if you can't growl at them, I'm sure," said Dorothy. "I'_orry for you, of course, Toto, for it's just those things we can't do that w_ant to do most of all; but before we get back, you may find your grow_gain."
  • "Do you think the person who stole Ozma stole my growl?"
  • Dorothy smiled.
  • "Perhaps, Toto."
  • "Then he's a scoundrel!" cried the little dog.
  • "Anyone who would steal Ozma is as bad as bad can be," agreed Dorothy, "an_hen we remember that our dear friend, the lovely Ruler of Oz, is lost, w_ught not to worry over just a growl."
  • Toto was not entirely satisfied with this remark, for the more he thought upo_is lost growl, the more important his misfortune became. When no one wa_ooking, he went away among the trees and tried his best to growl—even _ittle bit—but could not manage to do so. All he could do was bark, and a bar_annot take the place of a growl, so he sadly returned to the others.
  • Now Button-Bright had no idea that he was lost at first. He had merel_andered from tree to tree seeking the finest fruit until he discovered he wa_lone in the great orchard. But that didn't worry him just then, and seein_ome apricot trees farther on, he went to them. Then he discovered some cherr_rees; just beyond these were some tangerines. "We've found 'most ev'ry kin_f fruit but peaches," he said to himself, "so I guess there are peaches here, too, if I can find the trees."
  • He searched here and there, paying no attention to his way, until he foun_hat the trees surrounding him bore only nuts. He put some walnuts in hi_ockets and kept on searching, and at last—right among the nut trees—he cam_pon one solitary peach tree. It was a graceful, beautiful tree, but althoug_t was thickly leaved, it bore no fruit except one large, splendid peach, rosy-cheeked and fuzzy and just right to eat.
  • In his heart he doubted this statement, for this was a solitary peach tree, while all the other fruits grew upon many trees set close to one another; bu_hat one luscious bite made him unable to resist eating the rest of it, an_oon the peach was all gone except the pit. Button-Bright was about to thro_his peach pit away when he noticed that it was of pure gold. Of course, thi_urprised him, but so many things in the Land of Oz were surprising that h_id not give much thought to the golden peach pit. He put it in his pocket, however, to show to the girls, and five minutes afterward had forgotten al_bout it.
  • For now he realized that he was far separated from his companions, and knowin_hat this would worry them and delay their journey, he began to shout as lou_s he could. His voice did not penetrate very far among all those trees, an_fter shouting a dozen times and getting no answer, he sat down on the groun_nd said, "Well, I'm lost again. It's too bad, but I don't see how it can b_elped."
  • As he leaned his back against a tree, he looked up and saw a Bluefinch fl_own from the sky and alight upon a branch just before him. The bird looke_nd looked at him. First it looked with one bright eye and then turned it_ead and looked at him with the other eye. Then, fluttering its wings _ittle, it said, "Oho! So you've eaten the enchanted peach, have you?"
  • "Was it enchanted?" asked Button-Bright.
  • "Of course," replied the Bluefinch."Ugu the Shoemaker did that."
  • "But why? And how was it enchanted? And what will happen to one who eats it?"
  • questioned the boy.
  • "Ask Ugu the Shoemaker. He knows," said the bird, preening its feathers wit_ts bill.
  • "And who is Ugu the Shoemaker?"
  • "The one who enchanted the peach and placed it here—in the exact center of th_reat Orchard—so no one would ever find it. We birds didn't dare to eat it; w_re too wise for that. But you are Button-Bright from the Emerald City, an_ou, YOU, YOU ate the enchanted peach!
  • You must explain to Ugu the Shoemaker why you did that." And then, before th_oy could ask any more questions, the bird flew away and left him alone.
  • Button-Bright was not much worried to find that the peach he had eaten wa_nchanted. It certainly had tasted very good, and his stomach didn't ache _it. So again he began to reflect upon the best way to rejoin his friends.
  • "Whichever direction I follow is likely to be the wrong one," he said t_imself, "so I'd better stay just where I am and let THEM find ME—if the_an."
  • A White Rabbit came hopping through the orchard and paused a little way off t_ook at him. "Don't be afraid," said Button-Bright. "I won't hurt you."
  • "Oh, I'm not afraid for myself," returned the White Rabbit. "It's you I'_orried about."
  • ."Yes, I'm lost,' said the boy.
  • "I fear you are, indeed," answered the Rabbit. "Why on earth did you eat th_nchanted peach?"
  • The boy looked at the excited little animal thoughtfully. "There were tw_easons," he explained. "One reason was that I like peaches, and the othe_eason was that I didn't know it was enchanted."
  • "That won't save you from Ugu the Shoemaker," declared the White Rabbit, an_t scurried away before the boy could ask any more questions.
  • "Rabbits and birds," he thought, "are timid creatures and seem afraid of thi_hoemaker, whoever he may be. If there was another peach half as good as tha_ther, I'd eat it in spite of a dozen enchantments or a hundred shoemakers!"
  • Just then, Scraps came dancing along and saw him sitting at the foot of th_ree. "Oh, here you are!" she said. "Up to your old tricks, eh? Don't you kno_t's impolite to get lost and keep everybody waiting for you? Come along, an_'ll lead you back to Dorothy and the others."
  • Button-Bright rose slowly to accompany her.
  • "That wasn't much of a loss," he said cheerfully. "I haven't been gone half _ay, so there's no harm done."
  • Dorothy, however, when the boy rejoined the party, gave him a good scolding.
  • "When we're doing such an important thing as searching for Ozma," said she,
  • "it's naughty for you to wander away and keep us from getting on. S'pose she'_ pris'ner in a dungeon cell! Do you want to keep our dear Ozma there an_onger than we can help?"
  • "If she's in a dungeon cell, how are you going to get her out?" inquired th_oy.
  • "Never you mind. We'll leave that to the Wizard. He's sure to find a way."
  • The Wizard said nothing, for he realized that without his magic tools he coul_o no more than any other person. But there was no use reminding hi_ompanions of that fact; it might discourage them. "The important thing jus_ow," he remarked, "is to find Ozma, and as our party is again happil_eunited, I propose we move on."
  • As they came to the edge of the Great Orchard, the sun was setting and the_new it would soon be dark. So it was decided to camp under the trees, a_nother broad plain was before them. The Wizard spread the blankets on a be_f soft leaves, and presently all of them except Scraps and the Sawhorse wer_ast asleep. Toto snuggled close to his friend the Lion, and the Woozy snore_o loudly that the Patchwork Girl covered his square head with her apron t_eaden the sound.