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The Tin Woodman of Oz

The Tin Woodman of Oz

Lyman Frank Baum

Update: 2020-04-22

Chapter 1 Woot the Wanderer

  • The Tin Woodman sat on his glittering tin throne in the handsome tin hall o_is splendid tin castle in the Winkie Country of the Land of Oz. Beside him,
  • in a chair of woven straw, sat his best friend, the Scarecrow of Oz. At time_hey spoke to one another of curious things they had seen and strang_dventures they had known since first they two had met and become comrades.
  • But at times they were silent, for these things had been talked over man_imes between them, and they found themselves contented in merely bein_ogether, speaking now and then a brief sentence to prove they were wide awak_nd attentive. But then, these two quaint persons never slept. Why should the_leep, when they never tired?
  • And now, as the brilliant sun sank low over the Winkie Country of Oz, tintin_he glistening tin towers and tin minarets of the tin castle with gloriou_unset hues, there approached along a winding pathway Woot the Wanderer, wh_et at the castle entrance a Winkie servant.
  • The servants of the Tin Woodman all wore tin helmets and tin breastplates an_niforms covered with tiny tin discs sewed closely together on silver cloth,
  • so that their bodies sparkled as beautifully as did the tin castle — an_lmost as beautifully as did the Tin Woodman himself.
  • Woot the Wanderer looked at the man servant —all bright and glittering — an_t the magnificent castle — all bright and glittering — and as he looked hi_yes grew big with wonder. For Woot was not very big and not very old and,
  • wanderer though he was, this proved the most gorgeous sight that had ever me_is boyish gaze.
  • "Who lives here?" he asked.
  • "The Emperor of the Winkies, who is the famous Tin Woodman of Oz," replied th_ervant, who had been trained to treat all strangers with courtesy.
  • "A Tin Woodman? How queer!" exclaimed the little wanderer.
  • "Well, perhaps our Emperor is queer," admitted the servant; "but he is a kin_aster and as honest and true as good tin can make him; so we, who gladl_erve him, are apt to forget that he is not like other people."
  • "May I see him?" asked Woot the Wanderer, after a moment's thought.
  • "If it please you to wait a moment, I will go and ask him," said the servant,
  • and then he went into the hall where the Tin Woodman sat with his friend th_carecrow. Both were glad to learn that a stranger had arrived at the castle,
  • for this would give them something new to talk about, so the servant was aske_o admit the boy at once.
  • By the time Woot the Wanderer had passed through the grand corridors — al_ined with ornamental tin — and under stately tin archways and through th_any tin rooms all set with beautiful tin furniture, his eyes had grown bigge_han ever and his whole little body thrilled with amazement. But, astonishe_hough he was, he was able to make a polite bow before the throne and to sa_n a respectful voice: "I salute your Illustrious Majesty and offer you m_umble services."
  • "Very good!" answered the Tin Woodman in his accustomed cheerful manner. "Tel_e who you are, and whence you come."
  • "I am known as Woot the Wanderer," answered the boy, "and I have come, throug_any travels and by roundabout ways, from my former home in a far corner o_he Gillikin Country of Oz."
  • "To wander from one's home," remarked the Scarecrow, "is to encounter danger_nd hardships, especially if one is made of meat and bone. Had you no friend_n that corner of the Gillikin Country? Was it not homelike and comfortable?"
  • To hear a man stuffed with straw speak, and speak so well, quite startle_oot, and perhaps he stared a bit rudely at the Scarecrow. But after a momen_e replied:
  • "I had home and friends, your Honorable Strawness, but they were so quiet an_appy and comfortable that I found them dismally stupid. Nothing in tha_orner of Oz interested me, but I believed that in other parts of the countr_ would find strange people and see new sights, and so I set out upon m_andering journey. I have been a wanderer for nearly a full year, and now m_anderings have brought me to this splendid castle."
  • "I suppose," said the Tin Woodman, "that in this year you have seen so muc_hat you have become very wise."
  • "No," replied Woot, thoughtfully, "I am not at all wise, I beg to assure you_ajesty. The more I wander the less I find that I know, for in the Land of O_uch wisdom and many things may be learned."
  • "To learn is simple. Don't you ask questions?" inquired the Scarecrow.
  • "Yes; I ask as many questions as I dare; but some people refuse to answe_uestions."
  • "That is not kind of them," declared the Tin Woodman. "If one does not ask fo_nformation he seldom receives it; so I, for my part, make it a rule to answe_ny civil question that is asked me."
  • "So do I," added the Scarecrow, nodding.
  • "I am glad to hear this," said the Wanderer, "for it makes me bold to ask fo_omething to eat."
  • "Bless the boy!" cried the Emperor of the Winkies; "how careless of me not t_emember that wanderers are usually hungry. I will have food brought you a_nce."
  • Saying this he blew upon a tin whistle that was suspended from his tin neck,
  • and at the summons a servant appeared and bowed low. The Tin Woodman ordere_ood for the stranger, and in a few minutes the servant brought in a tin tra_eaped with a choice array of good things to eat, all neatly displayed on ti_ishes that were polished till they shone like mirrors. The tray was set upo_ tin table drawn before the throne, and the servant placed a tin chair befor_he table for the boy to seat himself.
  • "Eat, friend Wanderer," said the Emperor cordially, "and I trust the feas_ill be to your liking. I, myself, do not eat, being made in such manner tha_ require no food to keep me alive. Neither does my friend the Scarecrow. Bu_ll my Winkie people eat, being formed of flesh, as you are, and so my ti_upboard is never bare, and strangers are always welcome to whatever i_ontains."
  • The boy ate in silence for a time, being really hungry, but after his appetit_as somewhat satisfied, he said:
  • "How happened your Majesty to be made of tin, and still be alive?"
  • "That," replied the tin man, "is a long story."
  • "The longer the better," said the boy. "Won't you please tell me the story?"
  • "If you desire it," promised the Tin Woodman, leaning back in his tin thron_nd crossing his tin legs. "I haven't related my history in a long while,
  • because everyone here knows it nearly as well as I do. But you, being _tranger, are no doubt curious to learn how I became so beautiful an_rosperous, so I will recite for your benefit my strange adventures."
  • "Thank you," said Woot the Wanderer, still eating.
  • "I was not always made of tin," began the Emperor, "for in the beginning I wa_ man of flesh and bone and blood and lived in the Munchkin Country of Oz.
  • There I was, by trade, a woodchopper, and contributed my share to the comfor_f the Oz people by chopping up the trees of the forest to make firewood, wit_hich the women would cook their meals while the children warmed themselve_bout the fires. For my home I had a little hut by the edge of the forest, an_y life was one of much content until I fell in love with a beautiful Munchki_irl who lived not far away."
  • "What was the Munchkin girl's name?" asked Woot.
  • "Nimmie Amee. This girl, so fair that the sunsets blushed when their rays fel_pon her, lived with a powerful witch who wore silver shoes and who had mad_he poor child her slave. Nimmie Amee was obliged to work from morning til_ight for the old Witch of the East, scrubbing and sweeping her hut an_ooking her meals and washing her dishes. She had to cut firewood, too, unti_ found her one day in the forest and fell in love with her. After that, _lways brought plenty of firewood to Nimmie Amee and we became very friendly.
  • Finally I asked her to marry me, and she agreed to do so, but the Witc_appened to overhear our conversation and it made her very angry, for she di_ot wish her slave to be taken away from her. The Witch commanded me never t_ome near Nimmie Amee again, but I told her I was my own master and would d_s I pleased, not realizing that this was a careless way to speak to a Witch.
  • "The next day, as I was cutting wood in the forest, the cruel Witch enchante_y axe, so that it slipped and cut off my right leg."
  • "How dreadful!" cried Woot the Wanderer.
  • "Yes, it was a seeming misfortune," agreed the Tin Man, "for a one-legge_oodchopper is of little use in his trade. But I would not allow the Witch t_onquer me so easily. I knew a very skillful mechanic at the other side of th_orest, who was my friend, so I hopped on one leg to him and asked him to hel_e. He soon made me a new leg out of tin and fastened it cleverly to my mea_ody. It had joints at the knee and at the ankle and was almost as comfortabl_s the leg I had lost."
  • "Your friend must have been a wonderful workman!" exclaimed Woot.
  • "He was, indeed," admitted the Emperor. "He was a tinsmith by trade and coul_ake anything out of tin. When I returned to Nimmie Amee, the girl wa_elighted and threw her arms around my neck and kissed me, declaring she wa_roud of me. The Witch saw the kiss and was more angry than before. When _ent to work in the forest, next day, my axe, being still enchanted, slippe_nd cut off my other leg. Again I hopped — on my tin leg — to my friend th_insmith, who kindly made me another tin leg and fastened it to my body. So _eturned joyfully to Nimmie Amee, who was much pleased with my glittering leg_nd promised that when we were wed she would always keep them oiled an_olished. But the Witch was more furious than ever, and as soon as I raised m_xe to chop, it twisted around and cut off one of my arms. The tinsmith mad_e a tin arm and I was not much worried, because Nimmie Amee declared sh_till loved me."