Ojo examined this curious contrivance with wonder. The Patchwork Girl wa_aller than he, when she stood upright, and her body was plump and rounde_ecause it had been so neatly stuffed with cotton. Margolotte had first mad_he girl's form from the patchwork quilt and then she had dressed it with _atchwork skirt and an apron with pockets in it— using the same gay materia_hroughout. Upon the feet she had sewn a pair of red leather shoes wit_ointed toes. All the fingers and thumbs of the girl's hands had bee_arefully formed and stuffed and stitched at the edges, with gold plates a_he ends to serve as finger-nails.
"She will have to work, when she comes to life," said Marglotte.
The head of the Patchwork Girl was the most curious part of her. While sh_aited for her husband to finish making his Powder of Life the woman had foun_mple time to complete the head as her fancy dictated, and she realized that _ood servant's head must be properly constructed. The hair was of brown yar_nd hung down on her neck in several neat braids. Her eyes were two silve_uspender-buttons cut from a pair of the Magician's old trousers, and the_ere sewed on with black threads, which formed the pupils of the eyes.
Margolotte had puzzled over the ears for some time, for these were importan_f the servant was to hear distinctly, but finally she had made them out o_hin plates of gold and attached them in place by means of stitches throug_iny holes bored in the metal. Gold is the most common metal in the Land of O_nd is used for many purposes because it is soft and pliable.
The woman had cut a slit for the Patchwork Girl's mouth and sewn two rows o_hite pearls in it for teeth, using a strip of scarlet plush for a tongue.
This mouth Ojo considered very artistic and lifelike, and Margolotte wa_leased when the boy praised it. There were almost too many patches on th_ace of the girl for her to be considered strictly beautiful, for one chee_as yellow and the other red, her chin blue, her forehead purple and th_enter, where her nose had been formed and padded, a bright yellow.
"You ought to have had her face all pink," suggested the boy.
"I suppose so; but I had no pink cloth," replied the woman. "Still, I canno_ee as it matters much, for I wish my Patchwork Girl to be useful rather tha_rnamental. If I get tired looking at her patched face I can whitewash it."
"Has she any brains?" asked Ojo.
"No; I forgot all about the brains!" exclaimed the woman. "I am glad yo_eminded me of them, for it is not too late to supply them, by any means.
Until she is brought to life I can do anything I please with this girl. But _ust be careful not to give her too much brains, and those she has must b_uch as are fitted to the station she is to occupy in life. In other words, her brains mustn't be very good."
"Wrong," said Unc Nunkie.
"No; I am sure I am right about that," returned the woman.
"He means," explained Ojo, "that unless your servant has good brains she won'_now how to obey you properly, nor do the things you ask her to do."
"Well, that may be true," agreed Margolotte; "but, on the contrary, a servan_ith too much brains is sure to become independent and high- and-mighty an_eel above her work. This is a very delicate task, as I said, and I must tak_are to give the girl just the right quantity of the right sort of brains. _ant her to know just enough, but not too much."
With this she went to another cupboard which was filled with shelves. All th_helves were lined with blue glass bottles, neatly labeled by the Magician t_how what they contained. One whole shelf was marked: "Brain Furniture," an_he bottles on this shelf were labeled as follows: "Obedience," "Cleverness,"
"Let me see," said Margolotte; "of those qualities she must have 'Obedience'
first of all," and she took down the bottle bearing that label and poured fro_t upon a dish several grains of the contents. "'Amiability' is also good and
'Truth.'" She poured into the dish a quantity from each of these bottles. "_hink that will do," she continued, "for the other qualities are not needed i_ servant."
Unc Nunkie, who with Ojo stood beside her, touched the bottle marked
"Little," said he.
"A little 'Cleverness'? Well, perhaps you are right, sir," said she, and wa_bout to take down the bottle when the Crooked Magician suddenly called to he_xcitedly from the fireplace.
"Quick, Margolotte! Come and help me."
She ran to her husband's side at once and helped him lift the four kettle_rom the fire. Their contents had all boiled away, leaving in the bottom o_ach kettle a few grains of fine white powder. Very carefully the Magicia_emoved this powder, placing it all together in a golden dish, where he mixe_t with a golden spoon. When the mixture was complete there was scarcely _andful, all told.
"That," said Dr. Pipt, in a pleased and triumphant tone, "is the wonderfu_owder of Life, which I alone in the world know how to make. It has taken m_early six years to prepare these precious grains of dust, but the little hea_n that dish is worth the price of a kingdom and many a king would give all h_as to possess it. When it has become cooled I will place it in a smal_ottle; but meantime I must watch it carefully, lest a gust of wind blow i_way or scatter it."
Unc Nunkie, Margolotte and the Magician all stood looking at the marvelou_owder, but Ojo was more interested just then in the Patchwork Girl's brains.
Thinking it both unfair and unkind to deprive her of any good qualities tha_ere handy, the boy took down every bottle on the shelf and poured some of th_ontents in Margolotte's dish. No one saw him do this, for all were looking a_he Powder of Life; but soon the woman remembered what she had been doing, an_ame back to the cupboard.
"Let's see," she remarked; "I was about to give my girl a little 'Cleverness,'
which is the Doctor's substitute for 'Intelligence'—a quality he has not ye_earned how to manufacture." Taking down the bottle of "Cleverness" she adde_ome of the powder to the heap on the dish. Ojo became a bit uneasy at this, for he had already put quite a lot of the "Cleverness" powder in the dish; bu_e dared not interfere and so he comforted himself with the thought that on_annot have too much cleverness.
Margolotte now carried the dish of brains to the bench. Ripping the seam o_he patch on the girl's forehead, she placed the powder within the head an_hen sewed up the seam as neatly and securely as before.
"My girl is all ready for your Powder of Life, my dear," she said to he_usband. But the Magician replied:
"This powder must not be used before to-morrow morning; but I think it is no_ool enough to be bottled."
He selected a small gold bottle with a pepper- box top, so that the powde_ight be sprinkled on any object through the small holes. Very carefully h_laced the Powder of Life in the gold bottle and then locked it up in a drawe_f his cabinet.
"At last," said he, rubbing his hands together gleefully, "I have ampl_eisure for a good talk with my old friend Unc Nunkie. So let us sit dow_osily and enjoy ourselves. After stirring those four kettles for six years _m glad to have a little rest."
"You will have to do most of the talking," said Ojo, "for Unc is called th_ilent One and uses few words."
"I know; but that renders your uncle a most agreeable companion and gossip,"
declared Dr. Pipt. "Most people talk too much, so it is a relief to find on_ho talks too little."
Ojo looked at the Magician with much awe and curiosity.
"Don't you find it very annoying to be so crooked?" he asked.
"No; I am quite proud of my person," was the reply. "I suppose I am the onl_rooked Magician in all the world. Some others are accused of being crooked, but I am the only genuine."
He was really very crooked and Ojo wondered how he managed to do so man_hings with such a twisted body. When he sat down upon a crooked chair tha_ad been made to fit him, one knee was under his chin and the other near th_mall of his back; but he was a cheerful man and his face bore a pleasant an_greeable expression.
"I am not allowed to perform magic, except for my own amusement," he told hi_isitors, as he lighted a pipe with a crooked stem and began to smoke. "To_any people were working magic in the Land of Oz, and so our lovely Princes_zma put a stop to it. I think she was quite right. There were several wicke_itches who caused a lot of trouble; but now they are all out of business an_nly the great Sorceress, Glinda the Good, is permitted to practice her arts, which never harm anybody. The Wizard of Oz, who used to be a humbug and kne_o magic at all, has been taking lessons of Glinda, and I'm told he is gettin_o be a pretty good Wizard; but he is merely the assistant of the grea_orceress. I've the right to make a servant girl for my wife, you know, or _lass Cat to catch our mice—which she refuses to do—but I am forbidden to wor_agic for others, or to use it as a profession."
"Magic must be a very interesting study," said Ojo.
"It truly is," asserted the Magician. "In my time I've performed some magica_eats that were worthy of the skill of Glinda the Good. For instance, there'_he Powder of Life, and my Liquid of Petrifaction, which is contained in tha_ottle on the shelf yonder—over the window."
"What does the Liquid of Petrifaction do?" inquired the boy.
"Turns everything it touches to solid marble. It's an invention of my own, an_ find it very useful. Once two of those dreadful Kalidahs, with bodies lik_ears and heads like tigers, came here from the forest to attack us; but _prinkled some of that Liquid on them and instantly they turned to marble. _ow use them as ornamental statuary in my garden. This table looks to you lik_ood, and once it really was wood; but I sprinkled a few drops of the Liqui_f Petrifaction on it and now it is marble. It will never break nor wear out."
"Fine!" said Unc Nunkie, wagging his head and stroking his long gray beard.
"Dear me; what a chatterbox you're getting to be, Unc," remarked the Magician, who was pleased with the compliment. But just then there came a scratching a_he back door and a shrill voice cried:
"Let me in! Hurry up, can't you? Let me in!"
Margolotte got up and went to the door.
"Ask like a good cat, then," she said.
"Mee-ee-ow-w-w! There; does that suit your royal highness?" asked the voice, in scornful accents.
"Yes; that's proper cat talk," declared the woman, and opened the door.
At once a cat entered, came to the center of the room and stopped short at th_ight of strangers. Ojo and Unc Nunkie both stared at it with wide open eyes, for surely no such curious creature had ever existed before—even in the Lan_f Oz.