"Now then," said the Wizard, "let us talk this matter over and decide what t_o when we get to Ugu's wicker castle. There can be no doubt that th_hoemaker is a powerful Magician, and his powers have been increased _undredfold since he secured the Great Book of Records, the Magic Picture, al_f Glinda's recipes for sorcery, and my own black bag, which was full of tool_f wizardry. The man who could rob us of those things and the man with al_heir powers at his command is one who may prove somewhat difficult t_onquer, therefore we should plan our actions well before we venture too nea_o his castle."
"I didn't see Ozma in the Magic Picture," said Trot. "What do you suppose Ug_as done with her?"
"Couldn't the Little Pink Bear tell us what he did with Ozma?" asked Button-
"To be sure," replied the Lavender King. "I'll ask him." So he turned th_rank in the Little Pink Bear's side and inquired, "Did Ugu the Shoemake_teal Ozma of Oz?"
"Yes," answered the Little Pink Bear.
"Then what did he do with her?" asked the King.
"Shut her up in a dark place," answered the Little Pink Bear.
"Oh, that must be a dungeon cell!" cried Dorothy, horrified. "How dreadful!"
"Well, we must get her out of it," said the Wizard. "That is what we came for,
and of course we must rescue Ozma. But how?"
Each one looked at some other one for an answer, and all shook their heads i_ grave and dismal manner. All but Scraps, who danced around them gleefully.
"You're afraid," said the Patchwork Girl, "because so many things can hur_our meat bodies. Why don't you give it up and go home? How can you fight _reat magician when you have nothing to fight with?"
Dorothy looked at her reflectively.
"Scraps," said she, "you know that Ugu couldn't hurt you a bit, whatever h_id, nor could he hurt ME, 'cause I wear the Gnome King's Magic Belt. S'pos_ust we two go on together and leave the others here to wait for us."
"No, no!" said the Wizard positively. "That won't do at all. Ozma is mor_owerful than either of you, yet she could not defeat the wicked Ugu, who ha_hut her up in a dungeon. We must go to the Shoemaker in one mighty band, fo_nly in union is there strength."
"That is excellent advice," said the Lavender Bear approvingly.
"But what can we do when we get to Ugu?" inquired the Cookie Cook anxiously.
"Do not expect a prompt answer to that important question," replied th_izard, "for we must first plan our line of conduct. Ugu knows, of course,
that we are after him, for he has seen our approach in the Magic Picture, an_e has read of all we have done up to the present moment in the Great Book o_ecords. Therefore we cannot expect to take him by surprise."
"Don't you suppose Ugu would listen to reason?" asked Betsy. "If we explaine_o him how wicked he has been, don't you think he'd let poor Ozma go?"
"And give me back my dishpan?" added the Cookie Cook eagerly.
"Yes, yes, won't he say he's sorry and get on his knees and beg our pardon?"
cried Scraps, turning a flip-flop to show her scorn of the suggestion. "Whe_gu the Shoemaker does that, please knock at the front door and let me know."
The Wizard sighed and rubbed his bald head with a puzzled air. "I'm quite sur_gu will not be polite to us," said he, "so we must conquer this crue_agician by force, much as we dislike to be rude to anyone. But none of yo_as yet suggested a way to do that. Couldn't the Little Pink Bear tell u_ow?" he asked, turning to the Bear King.
"No, for that is something that is GOING to happen," replied the Lavende_ear. "He can only tell us what already HAS happened."
Again, they were grave and thoughtful. But after a time, Betsy said in _esitating voice, "Hank is a great fighter. Perhaps HE could conquer th_agician."
The Mule turned his head to look reproachfully at his old friend, the youn_irl. "Who can fight against magic?" he asked.
"The Cowardly Lion could," said Dorothy.
The Lion, who was lying with his front legs spread out, his chin on his paws,
raised his shaggy head. "I can fight when I'm not afraid," said he calmly,
"but the mere mention of a fight sets me to trembling."
"Ugu's magic couldn't hurt the Sawhorse," suggested tiny Trot.
"And the Sawhorse couldn't hurt the Magician," declared that wooden animal.
"For my part," said Toto, "I am helpless, having lost my growl."
"Then," said Cayke the Cookie Cook, "we must depend upon the Frogman. Hi_arvelous wisdom will surely inform him how to conquer the wicked Magician an_estore to me my dishpan."
All eyes were now turned questioningly upon the Frogman. Finding himself th_enter of observation, he swung his gold-headed cane, adjusted his bi_pectacles, and after swelling out his chest, sighed and said in a modest ton_f voice, "Respect for truth obliges me to confess that Cayke is mistaken i_egard to my superior wisdom. I am not very wise. Neither have I had an_ractical experience in conquering magicians. But let us consider this case.
What is Ugu, and what is a magician? Ugu is a renegade shoemaker, and _agician is an ordinary man who, having learned how to do magical tricks,
considers himself above his fellows. In this case, the Shoemaker has bee_aughty enough to steal a lot of magical tools and things that did not belon_o him, and he is more wicked to steal than to be a magician. Yet with all th_rts at his command, Ugu is still a man, and surely there are ways in which _an may be conquered. How, do you say, how? Allow me to state that I don'_now. In my judgment, we cannot decide how best to act until we get to Ugu'_astle. So let us go to it and take a look at it. After that, we may discove_n idea that will guide us to victory."
"That may not be a wise speech, but it sounds good," said Dorothy approvingly.
"Ugu the Shoemaker is not only a common man, but he's a wicked man and a crue_an and deserves to be conquered. We musn't have any mercy on him till Ozma i_et free. So let's go to his castle as the Frogman says and see what the plac_ooks like."
No one offered any objection to this plan, and so it was adopted. They brok_amp and were about to start on the journey to Ugu's castle when the_iscovered that Button-Bright was lost again. The girls and the Wizard shoute_is name, and the Lion roared and the Donkey brayed and the Frogman croake_nd the Big Lavender Bear growled (to the envy of Toto, who couldn't growl bu_arked his loudest), yet none of them could make Button-Bright hear. So afte_ainly searching for the boy a full hour, they formed a procession an_roceeded in the direction of the wicker castle of Ugu the Shoemaker.
"Button-Bright's always getting lost," said Dorothy. "And if he wasn't alway_etting found again, I'd prob'ly worry. He may have gone ahead of us, and h_ay have gone back, but wherever he is, we'll find him sometime and somewhere,