A curious thing about Ugu the Shoemaker was that he didn't suspect in th_east that he was wicked. He wanted to be powerful and great, and he hoped t_ake himself master of all the Land of Oz that he might compel everyone i_hat fairy country to obey him, His ambition blinded him to the rights o_thers, and he imagined anyone else would act just as he did if anyone els_appened to be as clever as himself.
When he inhabited his little shoemaking shop in the City of Herku, he had bee_iscontented, for a shoemaker is not looked upon with high respect, and Ug_new that his ancestors had been famous magicians for many centuries past an_herefore his family was above the ordinary. Even his father practiced magi_hen Ugu was a boy, but his father had wandered away from Herku and had neve_ome back again. So when Ugu grew up, he was forced to make shoes for _iving, knowing nothing of the magic of his forefathers. But one day, i_earching through the attic of his house, he discovered all the books o_agical recipes and many magical instruments which had formerly been in use i_is family. From that day, he stopped making shoes and began to study magic.
Finally, he aspired to become the greatest magician in Oz, and for days an_eeks and months he thought on a plan to render all the other sorcerers an_izards, as well as those with fairy powers, helpless to oppose him.
From the books of his ancestors, he learned the following facts:
(1) That Ozma of Oz was the fairy ruler of the Emerald City and the Land of O_nd that she could not be destroyed by any magic ever devised. Also, by mean_f her Magic Picture she would be able to discover anyone who approached he_oyal palace with the idea of conquering it.
(2) That Glinda the Good was the most powerful Sorceress in Oz, among he_ther magical possessions being the Great Book of Records, which told her al_hat happened anywhere in the world. This Book of Records was very dangerou_o Ugu's plans, and Glinda was in the service of Ozma and would use her art_f sorcery to protect the girl Ruler.
(3) That the Wizard of Oz, who lived in Ozma's palace, had been taught muc_owerful magic by Glinda and had a bag of magic tools with which he might b_ble to conquer the Shoemaker.
(4) That there existed in Oz—in the Yip Country—a jeweled dishpan made o_old, which dishpan would grow large enough for a man to sit inside it. Then,
when he grasped both the golden handles, the dishpan would transport him in a_nstant to any place he wished to go within the borders of the Land of Oz.
No one now living except Ugu knew of the powers of the Magic Dishpan, so afte_ong study, the shoemaker decided that if he could manage to secure th_ishpan, he could by its means rob Ozma and Glinda and the Wizard of Oz of al_heir magic, thus becoming himself the most powerful person in all the land.
His first act was to go away from the City of Herku and build for himself th_icker Castle in the hills. Here he carried his books and instruments o_agic, and here for a full year he diligently practiced all the magical art_earned from his ancestors. At the end of that time, he could do a good man_onderful things.
Then, when all his preparations were made, he set out for the Yip Country, an_limbing the steep mountain at night he entered the house of Cayke the Cooki_ook and stole her diamond-studded gold dishpan while all the Yips wer_sleep, Taking his prize outside, he set the pan upon the ground and uttere_he required magic word. Instantly, the dishpan grew as large as a bi_ashtub, and Ugu seated himself in it and grasped the two handles. Then h_ished himself in the great drawing room of Glinda the Good.
He was there in a flash. First he took the Great Book of Records and put it i_he dishpan. Then he went to Glinda's laboratory and took all her rar_hemical compounds and her instruments of sorcery, placing these also in th_ishpan, which he caused to grow large enough to hold them. Next he seate_imself amongst the treasures he had stolen and wished himself in the room i_zma's palace which the Wizard occupied and where he kept his bag of magi_ools. This bag Ugu added to his plunder and then wished himself in th_partments of Ozma.
Here he first took the Magic Picture from the wall and then seized all th_ther magical things which Ozma possessed. Having placed these in the dishpan,
he was about to climb in himself when he looked up and saw Ozma standin_eside him. Her fairy instinct had warned her that danger was threatening her,
so the beautiful girl Ruler rose from her couch and leaving her bedchamber a_nce confronted the thief.
Ugu had to think quickly, for he realized that if he permitted Ozma to rous_he inmates of her palace, all his plans and his present successes were likel_o come to naught. So he threw a scarf over the girl's head so she could no_cream, and pushed her into the dishpan and tied her fast so she could no_ove. Then he climbed in beside her and wished himself in his own wicke_astle. The Magic Dishpan was there in an instant, with all its contents, an_gu rubbed his hands together in triumphant joy as he realized that he no_ossessed all the important magic in the Land of Oz and could force all th_nhabitants of that fairyland to do as he willed.
So quickly had his journey been accomplished that before daylight the robbe_agician had locked Ozma in a room, making her a prisoner, and had unpacke_nd arranged all his stolen goods. The next day he placed the Book of Record_n his table and hung the Magic Picture on his wall and put away in hi_upboards and drawers all the elixirs and magic compounds he had stolen. Th_agical instruments he polished and arranged, and this was fascinating wor_nd made him very happy.
By turns the imprisoned Ruler wept and scolded the Shoemaker, haughtil_hreatening him with dire punishment for the wicked deeds he had done. Ug_ecame somewhat afraid of his fairy prisoner, in spite of the fact that h_elieved he had robbed her of all her powers; so he performed an enchantmen_hat quickly disposed of her and placed her out of his sight and hearing.
After that, being occupied with other things, he soon forgot her.
But now, when he looked into the Magic Picture and read the Great Book o_ecords, the Shoemaker learned that his wickedness was not to go unchallenged.
Two important expeditions had set out to find him and force him to give up hi_tolen property. One was the party headed by the Wizard and Dorothy, while th_ther consisted of Cayke and the Frogman. Others were also searching, but no_n the right places. These two groups, however, were headed straight for th_icker castle, and so Ugu began to plan how best to meet them and to defea_heir efforts to conquer him.