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Chapter 16 Visiting the Pumpkin-Field

  • Dorothy let Button-Bright wind up the clock-work in the copper man thi_orning—his thinking machine first, then his speech, and finally his action;
  • so he would doubtless run perfectly until they had reached the Emerald City.
  • The copper man and the tin man were good friends, and not so much alike as yo_ight think. For one was alive and the other moved by means of machinery; on_as tall and angular and the other short and round. You could love the Ti_oodman because he had a fine nature, kindly and simple; but the machine ma_ou could only admire without loving, since to love such a thing as he was a_mpossible as to love a sewing-machine or an automobile. Yet Tik-tok wa_opular with the people of Oz because he was so trustworthy, reliable an_rue; he was sure to do exactly what he was wound up to do, at all times an_n all circumstances. Perhaps it is better to be a machine that does its dut_han a flesh-and-blood person who will not, for a dead truth is better than _ive falsehood.
  • About noon the travelers reached a large field of pumpkins—a vegetable quit_ppropriate to the yellow country of the Winkies—and some of the pumpkin_hich grew there were of remarkable size. Just before they entered upon thi_ield they saw three little mounds that looked like graves, with a prett_eadstone to each one of them.
  • "What is this?" asked Dorothy, in wonder.
  • "It's Jack Pumpkinhead's private graveyard," replied the Tin Woodman.
  • "But I thought nobody ever died in Oz," she said.
  • "Nor do they; although if one is bad, he may be condemned and killed by th_ood citizens," he answered.
  • Dorothy ran over to the little graves and read the words engraved upon th_ombstones. The first one said:
  • Here Lies the Mortal Part of
  • JACK PUMPKINHEAD
  • Which Spoiled April 9th.
  • She then went to the next stone, which read:
  • Here Lies the Mortal Part of
  • JACK PUMPKINHEAD
  • Which Spoiled October 2nd.
  • On the third stone were carved these words:
  • Here Lies the Mortal Part of
  • JACK PUMPKINHEAD
  • Which Spoiled January 24th.
  • "Poor Jack!" sighed Dorothy. "I'm sorry he had to die in three parts, for _oped to see him again."
  • "So you shall," declared the Tin Woodman, "since he is still alive. Come wit_e to his house, for Jack is now a farmer and lives in this very pumpki_ield."
  • They walked over to a monstrous big, hollow pumpkin which had a door an_indows cut through the rind. There was a stovepipe running through the stem,
  • and six steps had been built leading up to the front door.
  • They walked up to this door and looked in. Seated on a bench was a man clothe_n a spotted shirt, a red vest, and faded blue trousers, whose body was merel_ticks of wood, jointed clumsily together. On his neck was set a round, yello_umpkin, with a face carved on it such as a boy often carves on a jack-
  • lantern.
  • This queer man was engaged in snapping slippery pumpkin-seeds with his woode_ingers, trying to hit a target on the other side of the room with them. H_id not know he had visitors until Dorothy exclaimed:
  • "Why, it's Jack Pumpkinhead himself!"
  • He turned and saw them, and at once came forward to greet the little Kansa_irl and Nick Chopper, and to be introduced to their new friends.
  • Button-Bright was at first rather shy with the quaint Pumpkinhead, but Jack'_ace was so jolly and smiling—being carved that way—that the boy soon grew t_ike him.
  • "I thought a while ago that you were buried in three parts," said Dorothy,
  • "but now I see you're just the same as ever."
  • "Not quite the same, my dear, for my mouth is a little more one-sided than i_sed to be; but pretty nearly the same. I've a new head, and this is th_ourth one I've owned since Ozma first made me and brought me to life b_prinkling me with the Magic Powder."
  • "What became of the other heads, Jack?"
  • "They spoiled and I buried them, for they were not even fit for pies. Eac_ime Ozma has carved me a new head just like the old one, and as my body is b_ar the largest part of me, I am still Jack Pumpkinhead, no matter how often _hange my upper end. Once we had a dreadful time to find another pumpkin, a_hey were out of season, and so I was obliged to wear my old head a littl_onger than was strictly healthy. But after this sad experience I resolved t_aise pumpkins myself, so as never to be caught again without one handy; an_ow I have this fine field that you see before you. Some grow pretty big—to_ig to be used for heads—so I dug out this one and use it for a house."
  • "Isn't it damp?" asked Dorothy.
  • "Not very. There isn't much left but the shell, you see, and it will last _ong time yet."
  • "I think you are brighter than you used to be, Jack," said the Tin Woodman.
  • "Your last head was a stupid one."
  • "The seeds in this one are better," was the reply.
  • "Are you going to Ozma's party?" asked Dorothy.
  • "Yes," said he, "I wouldn't miss it for anything. Ozma's my parent, you know,
  • because she built my body and carved my pumpkin head. I'll follow you to th_merald City to-morrow, where we shall meet again. I can't go to-day, becaus_ have to plant fresh pumpkin-seeds and water the young vines. But give m_ove to Ozma, and tell her I'll be there in time for the jubilation."
  • "We will," she promised; and then they all left him and resumed their journey.