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Chapter 18 The Emerald City

  • The others now came up, and the Tin Woodman greeted the Lion and the Tige_ordially. Button-Bright yelled with fear when Dorothy first took his hand an_ed him toward the great beasts; but the girl insisted they were kind an_ood, and so the boy mustered up courage enough to pat their heads; after the_ad spoken to him gently and he had looked into their intelligent eyes hi_ear vanished entirely and he was so delighted with the animals that he wante_o keep close to them and stroke their soft fur every minute.
  • As for the shaggy man, he might have been afraid if he had met the beast_lone, or in any other country, but so many were the marvels in; the Land o_z that he was no longer easily surprised, and Dorothy's friendship for th_ion and Tiger was enough to assure him they were safe companions. Toto barke_t the Cowardly Lion in joyous greeting, for he knew the beast of old an_oved him, and it was funny to see how gently the Lion raised his huge paw t_at Toto's head. The little dog smelled of the Tiger's nose, and the Tige_olitely shook paws with him; so they were quite likely to become fir_riends.
  • Tik-tok and Billina knew the beasts well, so merely bade them good day an_sked after their healths and inquired about the Princess Ozma.
  • Now it was seen that the Cowardly Lion and the Hungry Tiger were drawin_ehind them a splendid golden chariot, to which they were harnessed by golde_ords. The body of the chariot was decorated on the outside with designs i_lusters of sparkling emeralds, while inside it was lined with a green an_old satin, and the cushions of the seats were of green plush embroidered i_old with a crown, underneath which was a monogram.
  • "Why, it's Ozma's own royal chariot!" exclaimed Dorothy.
  • "Yes," said the Cowardly Lion; "Ozma sent us to meet you here, for she feare_ou would be weary with your long walk and she wished you to enter the City i_ style becoming your exalted rank."
  • "What!" cried Polly, looking at Dorothy curiously. "Do you belong to th_obility?"
  • "Just in Oz I do," said the child, "'cause Ozma made me a Princess, you know.
  • But when I'm home in Kansas I'm only a country girl, and have to help with th_hurning and wipe the dishes while Aunt Em washes 'em. Do you have to hel_ash dishes on the rainbow, Polly?"
  • "No, dear," answered Polychrome, smiling.
  • "Well, I don't have to work any in Oz, either," said Dorothy. "It's kind o_un to be a Princess once in a while; don't you think so?"
  • "Dorothy and Polychrome and Button-Bright are all to ride in the chariot,"
  • said the Lion. "So get in, my dears, and be careful not to mar the gold or pu_our dusty feet on the embroidery."
  • Button-Bright was delighted to ride behind such a superb team, and he tol_orothy it made him feel like an actor in a circus. As the strides of th_nimals brought them nearer to the Emerald City every one bowed respectfull_o the children, as well as to the Tin Woodman, Tik-tok, and the shaggy man,
  • who were following behind.
  • The Yellow Hen had perched upon the back of the chariot, where she could tel_orothy more about her wonderful chickens as they rode. And so the gran_hariot came finally to the high wall surrounding the City, and paused befor_he magnificent jewel-studded gates.
  • These were opened by a cheerful-looking little man who wore green spectacle_ver his eyes. Dorothy introduced him to her friends as the Guardian of th_ates, and they noticed a big bunch of keys suspended on the golden chain tha_ung around his neck. The chariot passed through the outer gates into a fin_rched chamber built in the thick wall, and through the inner gates into th_treets of the Emerald City.
  • Polychrome exclaimed in rapture at the wondrous beauty that met her eyes o_very side as they rode through this stately and imposing City, the equal o_hich has never been discovered, even in Fairyland. Button-Bright could onl_ay "My!" so amazing was the sight; but his eyes were wide open and he trie_o look in every direction at the same time, so as not to miss anything.
  • The shaggy man was fairly astounded at what he saw, for the graceful an_andsome buildings were covered with plates of gold and set with emeralds s_plendid and valuable that in any other part of the world any one of the_ould have been worth a fortune to its owner. The sidewalks were superb marbl_labs polished as smooth as glass, and the curbs that separated the walks fro_he broad street were also set thick with clustered emeralds. There were man_eople on these walks—men, women and children—all dressed in handsome garment_f silk or satin or velvet, with beautiful jewels. Better even than this: al_eemed happy and contented, for their faces were smiling and free from care,
  • and music and laughter might be heard on every side.
  • "Don't they work at all?" asked the shaggy man.
  • "To be sure they work," replied the Tin Woodman; "this fair city could not b_uilt or cared for without labor, nor could the fruit and vegetables and othe_ood be provided for the inhabitants to eat. But no one works more than hal_is time, and the people of Oz enjoy their labors as much as they do thei_lay."
  • "It's wonderful!" declared the shaggy man. "I do hope Ozma will let me liv_ere."
  • The chariot, winding through many charming streets, paused before a buildin_o vast and noble and elegant that even Button-Bright guessed at once that i_as the Royal Palace. Its gardens and ample grounds were surrounded by _eparate wall, not so high or thick as the wall around the City, but mor_aintily designed and built all of green marble. The gates flew open as th_hariot appeared before them, and the Cowardly Lion and Hungry Tiger trotte_p a jeweled driveway to the front door of the palace and stopped short.
  • "Here we are!" said Dorothy, gaily, and helped Button-Bright from the chariot.
  • Polychrome leaped out lightly after them, and they were greeted by a crowd o_orgeously dressed servants who bowed low as the visitors mounted the marbl_teps. At their head was a pretty little maid with dark hair and eyes, dresse_ll in green embroidered with silver. Dorothy ran up to her with eviden_leasure, and exclaimed:
  • "O, Jellia Jamb! I'm so glad to see you again. Where's Ozma?"
  • "In her room, your Highness," replied the little maid demurely, for this wa_zma's favorite attendant. "She wishes you to come to her as soon as you hav_ested and changed your dress, Princess Dorothy. And you and your friends ar_o dine with her this evening."
  • "When is her birthday, Jellia?" asked the girl.
  • "Day after to-morrow, your Highness."
  • "And where's the Scarecrow?"
  • "He's gone into the Munchkin country to get some fresh straw to stuff himsel_ith, in honor of Ozma's celebration," replied the maid. "He returns to th_merald City to-morrow, he said."
  • By this time, Tok-tok, the Tin Woodman, and the shaggy man had arrived and th_hariot had gone around to the back of the palace, Billina going with the Lio_nd Tiger to see her chickens after her absence from them. But Toto staye_lose beside Dorothy.
  • "Come in, please," said Jellia Jamb; "it shall be our pleasant duty to escor_ll of you to the rooms prepared for your use."
  • The shaggy man hesitated. Dorothy had never known him to be ashamed of hi_haggy looks before, but now that he was surrounded by so much magnificenc_nd splendor the shaggy man felt sadly out of place.
  • Dorothy assured him that all her friends were welcome at Ozma's palace, so h_arefully dusted his shaggy shoes with his shaggy handkerchief and entered th_rand hall after the others.
  • Tik-tok lived at the Royal Palace and the Tin Woodman always had the same roo_henever he visited Ozma, so these two went at once to remove the dust of th_ourney from their shining bodies. Dorothy also had a pretty suite of room_hich she always occupied when in the Emerald City; but several servant_alked ahead politely to show the way, although she was quite sure she coul_ind the rooms herself. She took Button-Bright with her, because he seemed to_mall to be left alone in such a big palace; but Jellia Jamb herself ushere_he beautiful Daughter of the Rainbow to her apartments, because it was eas_o see that Polychrome was used to splendid palaces and was therefore entitle_o especial attention.