Table of Contents

+ Add to Library

Previous Next

Chapter 13 The Truth Pond

  • They now made a more careful examination of the country around them. All wa_resh and beautiful after the sultriness of the desert, and the sunshine an_weet, crisp air were delightful to the wanderers. Little mounds of yellowis_reen were away at the right, while on the left waved a group of tall leaf_rees bearing yellow blossoms that looked like tassels and pompoms. Among th_rasses carpeting the ground were pretty buttercups and cowslips an_arigolds. After looking at these a moment Dorothy said reflectively:
  • "We must be in the Country of the Winkies, for the color of that country i_ellow, and you will notice that 'most everything here is yellow that has an_olor at all."
  • "But I thought this was the Land of Oz," replied the shaggy man, as if greatl_isappointed.
  • "So it is," she declared; "but there are four parts to the Land of Oz. Th_orth Country is purple, and it's the Country of the Gillikins. The Eas_ountry is blue, and that's the Country of the Munchkins. Down at the South i_he red Country of the Quadlings, and here, in the West, the yellow Country o_he Winkies. This is the part that is ruled by the Tin Woodman, you know."
  • "Who's he?" asked Button-Bright.
  • "Why, he's the tin man I told you about. His name is Nick Chopper, and he ha_ lovely heart given him by the wonderful Wizard."
  • "Where does HE live?" asked the boy.
  • "The Wizard? Oh, he lives in the Emerald City, which is just in the middle o_z, where the corners of the four countries meet."
  • "Oh," said Button-Bright, puzzled by this explanation.
  • "We must be some distance from the Emerald City," remarked the shaggy man.
  • "That's true," she replied; "so we'd better start on and see if we can fin_ny of the Winkies. They're nice people," she continued, as the little part_egan walking toward the group of trees, "and I came here once with my friend_he Scarecrow, and the Tin Woodman, and the Cowardly Lion, to fight a wicke_itch who had made all the Winkies her slaves."
  • "Did you conquer her?" asked Polly.
  • "Why, I melted her with a bucket of water, and that was the end of her,"
  • replied Dorothy. "After that the people were free, you know, and they mad_ick Chopper—that's the Tin Woodman—their Emp'ror."
  • "What's that?" asked Button-Bright.
  • "Emp'ror? Oh, it's something like an alderman, I guess."
  • "Oh," said the boy.
  • "But I thought Princess Ozma ruled Oz," said the shaggy man.
  • "So she does; she rules the Emerald City and all the four countries of Oz; bu_ach country has another little ruler, not so big as Ozma. It's like th_fficers of an army, you see; the little rulers are all captains, and Ozma'_he general."
  • By this time they had reached the trees, which stood in a perfect circle an_ust far enough apart so that their thick branches touched—or "shook hands,"
  • as Button-Bright remarked. Under the shade of the trees they found, in th_enter of the circle, a crystal pool, its water as still as glass. It mus_ave been deep, too, for when Polychrome bent over it she gave a little sig_f pleasure.
  • "Why, it's a mirror!" she cried; for she could see all her pretty face an_luffy, rainbow-tinted gown reflected in the pool, as natural as life.
  • Dorothy bent over, too, and began to arrange her hair, blown by the deser_ind into straggling tangles. Button-Bright leaned over the edge next, an_hen began to cry, for the sight of his fox head frightened the poor littl_ellow.
  • "I guess I won't look," remarked the shaggy man, sadly, for he didn't like hi_onkey head, either. While Polly and Dorothy tried to comfort Button-Bright,
  • the shaggy man sat down near the edge of the pool, where his image could no_e reflected, and stared at the water thoughtfully. As he did this he notice_ silver plate fastened to a rock just under the surface of the water, and o_he silver plate was engraved these words:
  • THE TRUTH POND
  • "Ah!" cried the shaggy man, springing to his feet with eager joy; "we've foun_t at last."
  • "Found what?" asked Dorothy, running to him.
  • "The Truth Pond. Now, at last, I may get rid of this frightful head; for w_ere told, you remember, that only the Truth Pond could restore to me m_roper face."
  • "Me, too!" shouted Button-Bright, trotting up to them.
  • "Of course," said Dorothy. "It will cure you both of your bad heads, I guess.
  • Isn't it lucky we found it?"
  • "It is, indeed," replied the shaggy man. "I hated dreadfully to go to Princes_zma looking like this; and she's to have a birthday celebration, too."
  • Just then a splash startled them, for Button-Bright, in his anxiety to see th_ool that would "cure" him, had stepped too near the edge and tumbled heel_ver head into the water. Down he went, out of sight entirely, so that onl_is sailor hat floated on the top of the Truth Pond.
  • He soon bobbed up, and the shaggy man seized him by his sailor collar an_ragged him to the shore, dripping and gasping for breath. They all looke_pon the boy wonderingly, for the fox head with its sharp nose and pointe_ars was gone, and in its place appeared the chubby round face and blue eye_nd pretty curls that had belonged to Button-Bright before King Dox o_oxville transformed him.
  • "Oh, what a darling!" cried Polly, and would have hugged the little one had h_ot been so wet.
  • Their joyful exclamations made the child rub the water out of his eyes an_ook at his friends questioningly.
  • "You're all right now, dear," said Dorothy. "Come and look at yourself." Sh_ed him to the pool, and although there were still a few ripples on th_urface of the water he could see his reflection plainly.
  • "It's me!" he said, in a pleased yet awed whisper.
  • "'Course it is," replied the girl, "and we're all as glad as you are, Button-
  • Bright."
  • "Well," announced the shaggy man, "it's my turn next." He took off his shagg_oat and laid it on the grass and dived head first into the Truth Pond.
  • When he came up the donkey head had disappeared, and the shaggy man's ow_haggy head was in its place, with the water dripping in little streams fro_is shaggy whiskers. He scrambled ashore and shook himself to get off some o_he wet, and then leaned over the pool to look admiringly at his reflecte_ace.
  • "I may not be strictly beautiful, even now," he said to his companions, wh_atched him with smiling faces; "but I'm so much handsomer than any donke_hat I feel as proud as I can be."
  • "You're all right, Shaggy Man," declared Dorothy. "And Button-Bright is al_ight, too. So let's thank the Truth Pond for being so nice, and start on ou_ourney to the Emerald City."
  • "I hate to leave it," murmured the shaggy man, with a sigh. "A truth pon_ouldn't be a bad thing to carry around with us." But he put on his coat an_tarted with the others in search of some one to direct them on their way.