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Chapter 3 The Patchwork Girl

  • 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,"
  • "Judgment," "Courage," "Ingenuity," "Amiability," "Learning," "Truth,"
  • "Poesy," "Self Reliance."
  • "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
  • "Cleverness."
  • "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.