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Chapter 21 Dorothy, Betsy and Ozma

  • I suppose many of my readers have read descriptions of the beautiful an_agnificent Emerald City of Oz, so I need not describe it here, except t_tate that never has any city in any fairyland ever equalled this one i_tately splendor. It lies almost exactly in the center of the Land of Oz, an_n the center of the Emerald City rises the wall of glistening emeralds tha_urrounds the palace of Ozma. The palace is almost a city in itself and i_nhabited by many of the Ruler's especial friends and those who have won he_onfidence and favor. As for Ozma herself, there are no words in an_ictionary I can find that are fitted to describe this young girl's beauty o_ind and person. Merely to see her is to love her for her charming face an_anners; to know her is to love her for her tender sympathy, her generou_ature, her truth and honor. Born of a long line of Fairy Queens, Ozma is a_early perfect as any fairy may be, and she is noted for her wisdom as well a_or her other qualities. Her happy subjects adore their girl Ruler and eac_ne considers her a comrade and protector.
  • At the time of which I write, Ozma's best friend and most constant companio_as a little Kansas girl named Dorothy, a mortal who had come to the Land o_z in a very curious manner and had been offered a home in Ozma's palace.
  • Furthermore, Dorothy had been made a Princess of Oz, and was as much at hom_n the royal palace as was the gentle Ruler. She knew almost every part of th_reat country and almost all of its numerous inhabitants. Next to Ozma she wa_oved better than anyone in all Oz, for Dorothy was simple and sweet, seldo_ecame angry and had such a friendly, chummy way that she made friends where-
  • ever she wandered. It was she who first brought the Scarecrow and the Ti_oodman and the Cowardly Lion to the Emerald City. Dorothy had also introduce_o Ozma the Shaggy Man and the Hungry Tiger, as well as Billina the Yello_en, Eureka the Pink Kitten, and many other delightful characters an_reatures. Coming as she did from our world, Dorothy was much like many othe_irls we know; so there were times when she was not so wise as she might hav_een, and other times when she was obstinate and got herself into trouble. Bu_ife in a fairy-land had taught the little girl to accept all sorts o_urprising things as matters-of-course, for while Dorothy was no fairy — bu_ust as mortal as we are — she had seen more wonders than most mortals eve_o.
  • Another little girl from our outside world also lived in Ozma's palace. Thi_as Betsy Bobbin, whose strange adventures had brought her to the Emeral_ity, where Ozma had cordially welcomed her. Betsy was a shy little thing an_ould never get used to the marvels that surrounded her, but she and Doroth_ere firm friends and thought themselves very fortunate in being together i_his delightful country.
  • One day Dorothy and Betsy were visiting Ozma in the girl Ruler's privat_partment, and among the things that especially interested them was Ozma'_agic Picture, set in a handsome frame and hung upon the wall of the room.
  • This picture was a magic one because it constantly changed its scenes an_howed events and adventures happening in all parts of the world. Thus it wa_eally a "moving picture" of life, and if the one who stood before it wishe_o know what any absent person was doing, the picture instantly showed tha_erson, with his or her surroundings.
  • The two girls were not wishing to see anyone in particular, on this occasion,
  • but merely enjoyed watching the shifting scenes, some of which wer_xceedingly curious and remarkable. Suddenly Dorothy exclaimed: "Why, there'_utton-Bright!" and this drew Ozma also to look at the picture, for she an_orothy knew the boy well.
  • "Who is Button-Bright?" asked Betsy, who had never met him.
  • "Why, he's the little boy who is just getting off the back of that strang_lying creature," exclaimed Dorothy. Then she turned to Ozma and asked: "Wha_s that thing, Ozma? A bird? I've never seen anything like it before."
  • "It is an Ork," answered Ozma, for they were watching the scene where the Or_nd the three big birds were first landing their passengers in Jinxland afte_he long flight across the desert. "I wonder," added the girl Ruler, musingly,
  • "why those strangers dare venture into that unfortunate country, which i_uled by a wicked King."
  • "That girl, and the one-legged man, seem to be mortals from the outsid_orld," said Dorothy
  • "The man isn't one-legged," corrected Betsy; "he has one wooden leg."
  • "It's almost as bad," declared Dorothy, watching Cap'n Bill stump around.
  • "They are three mortal adventurers," said Ozma, "and they seem worthy an_onest. But I fear they will be treated badly in Jinxland, and if they mee_ith any misfortune there it will reflect upon me, for Jinxland is a part o_y dominions."
  • "Can't we help them in any way?" inquired Dorothy. "That seems like a nic_ittle girl. I'd be sorry if anything happened to her."
  • "Let us watch the picture for awhile," suggested Ozma, and so they all dre_hairs before the Magic Picture and followed the adventures of Trot and Cap'_ill and Button-Bright. Presently the scene shifted and showed their frien_he Scarecrow crossing the mountains into Jinxland, and that somewhat relieve_zma's anxiety, for she knew at once that Glinda the Good had sent th_carecrow to protect the strangers.
  • The adventures in Jinxland proved very interesting to the three girls i_zma's palace, who during the succeeding days spent much of their time i_atching the picture. It was like a story to them.
  • "That girl's a reg'lar trump!" exclaimed Dorothy, referring to Trot, and Ozm_nswered:
  • "She's a dear little thing, and I'm sure nothing very bad will happen to her.
  • The old sailor is a fine character, too, for he has never once grumbled ove_eing a grasshopper, as so many would have done."
  • When the Scarecrow was so nearly burned up the girls all shivered a little,
  • and they clapped their hands in joy when the flock of Orks came and saved him.
  • So it was that when all the exciting adventures in Jinxland were over and th_our Orks had begun their flight across the mountains to carry the mortal_nto the Land of Oz, Ozma called the Wizard to her and asked him to prepare _lace for the strangers to sleep.
  • The famous Wizard of Oz was a quaint little man who inhabited the royal palac_nd attended to all the magical things that Ozma wanted done. He was not a_owerful as Glinda, to be sure, but he could do a great many wonderful things.
  • He proved this by placing a house in the uninhabited part of the Quadlin_ountry where the Orks landed Cap'n Bill and Trot and Button-Bright, an_itting it with all the comforts I have described in the last chapter.
  • Next morning Dorothy said to Ozma:
  • "Oughtn't we to go meet the strangers, so we can show them the way to th_merald City? I'm sure that little girl will feel shy in this beautiful land,
  • and I know if 'twas me I'd like somebody to give me a welcome."
  • Ozma smiled at her little friend and answered:
  • "You and Betsy may go to meet them, if you wish, but I can not leave my palac_ust now, as I am to have a conference with Jack Pumpkinhead and Professo_ogglebug on important matters. You may take the Sawhorse and the Red Wagon,
  • and if you start soon you will be able to meet the Scarecrow and the stranger_t Glinda's palace."
  • "Oh, thank you!" cried Dorothy, and went away to tell Betsy and to mak_reparations for the journey.