As they followed a path down the blue-grass hillside, the first house that me_he view of the travelers was joyously recognized by the Scarecrow Bear as th_ne inhabited by his friend Jinjur, so they increased their speed and hurrie_oward it.
On reaching the place, how ever, they found the house deserted. The front doo_tood open, but no one was inside. In the garden surrounding the house wer_eat rows of bushes bearing cream-puffs and macaroons, some of which wer_till green, but others ripe and ready to eat. Farther back were fields o_aramels, and all the land seemed well cultivated and carefully tended. The_ooked through the fields for the girl farmer, but she was nowhere to be seen.
"Well," finally remarked the little Brown Bear, "let us go into the house an_ake ourselves at home. That will be sure to please my friend Jinjur, wh_appens to be away from home just now. When she returns, she will be greatl_urprised."
"Would she care if I ate some of those ripe cream-puffs?" asked the Gree_onkey.
"No, indeed; Jinjur is very generous. Help yourself to all you want," said th_carecrow Bear.
So Woot gathered a lot of the cream-puffs that were golden yellow and fille_ith a sweet, creamy substance, and ate until his hunger was satisfied. The_e entered the house with his friends and sat in a rocking-chair — just as h_as accustomed to do when a boy. The Canary perched herself upon the mante_nd daintily plumed her feathers; the Tin Owl sat on the back of anothe_hair; the Scarecrow squatted on his hairy haunches in the middle of the room.
"I believe I remember the girl Jinjur," remarked the Canary, in her swee_oice. "She cannot help us very much, except to direct us on our way t_linda's castle, for she does not understand magic. But she's a good girl, honest and sensible, and I'll be glad to see her."
"All our troubles," said the Owl with a deep sigh, "arose from my foolis_esolve to seek Nimmie Amee and make her Empress of the Winkies, and while _ish to reproach no one, I must say that it was Woot the Wanderer who put th_otion into my head."
"Well, for my part, I am glad he did," responded the Canary. "Your journe_esulted in saving me from the Giantess, and had you not traveled to the Yoo_alley, I would still be Mrs. Yoop's prisoner. It is much nicer to be free, even though I still bear the enchanted form of a Canary-Bird."
"Do you think we shall ever be able to get our proper forms back again?" aske_he Green Monkey earnestly.
Polychrome did not make reply at once to this important question, but after _eriod of thoughtfulness she said:
"I have been taught to believe that there is an antidote for every magi_harm, yet Mrs. Yoop insists that no power can alter her transformations. _ealize that my own fairy magic cannot do it, although I have thought that w_ky Fairies have more power than is accorded to Earth Fairies. The yookooho_agic is admitted to be very strange in its workings and different from th_agic usually practiced, but perhaps Glinda or Ozma may understand it bette_han I. In them lies our only hope. Unless they can help us, we must remai_orever as we are."
"A Canary-Bird on a Rainbow wouldn't be so bad," asserted the Tin Owl, winkin_nd blinking with his round tin eyes, "so if you can manage to find you_ainbow again you need have little to worry about."
"That's nonsense, Friend Chopper," exclaimed Woot. "I know just how Polychrom_eels. A beautiful girl is much superior to a little yellow bird, and a boy — such as I was — far better than a Green Monkey. Neither of us can be happ_gain unless we recover our rightful forms."
"I feel the same way," announced the stuffed Bear. "What do you suppose m_riend the Patchwork Girl would think of me, if she saw me wearing thi_eastly shape?"
"She'd laugh till she cried," admitted the Tin Owl. "For my part, I'll have t_ive up the notion of marrying Nimmie Amee, but I'll try not to let that mak_e unhappy. If it's my duty, I'd like to do my duty, but if magic prevents m_etting married I'll flutter along all by myself and be just as contented."
Their serious misfortunes made them all silent for a time, and as thei_houghts were busy in dwelling upon the evils with which fate had burdene_hem, none noticed that Jinjur had suddenly appeared in the doorway and wa_ooking at them in astonishment. The next moment her astonishment changed t_nger, for there, in her best rocking-chair, sat a Green Monkey. A great shin_wl perched upon another chair and a Brown Bear squatted upon her parlor rug.
Jinjur did not notice the Canary, but she caught up a broomstick and dashe_nto the room, shouting as she came:
"Get out of here, you wild creatures! How dare you enter my house?"
With a blow of her broom she knocked the Brown Bear over, and the Tin Ow_ried to fly out of her reach and made a great clatter with his tin wings. Th_reen Monkey was so startled by the sudden attack that he sprang into th_ireplace — where there was fortunately no fire — and tried to escape b_limbing up the chimney. But he found the opening too small, and so was force_o drop down again. Then he crouched trembling in the fireplace, his prett_reen hair all blackened with soot and covered with ashes. From this positio_oot watched to see what would happen next.
"Stop, Jinjur — stop!" cried the Brown Bear, when the broom again threatene_im. "Don't you know me? I'm your old friend the Scarecrow?"
"You're trying to deceive me, you naughty beast! I can see plainly that yo_re a bear, and a mighty poor specimen of a bear, too," retorted the girl.
"That's because I'm not properly stuffed," he assured her. "When Mrs. Yoo_ransformed me, she didn't realize I should have more stuffing."
"Who is Mrs. Yoop?" inquired Jinjur, pausing with the broom still upraised.
"A Giantess in the Gillikin Country."
"Oh; I begin to understand. And Mrs. Yoop transformed you? You are really th_amous Scarecrow of Oz."
"I was, Jinjur. Just now I'm as you see me — a miserable little Brown Bea_ith a poor quality of stuffing. That Tin Owl is none other than our dear Ti_oodman — Nick Chopper, the Emperor of the Winkies — while this Green Monke_s a nice little boy we recently became acquainted with, Woot the Wanderer."
"And I," said the Canary, flying close to Jinjur, "am Polychrome, the Daughte_f the Rainbow, in the form of a bird."
"Goodness me!" cried Jinjur, amazed; "that Giantess must be a powerfu_orceress, and as wicked as she is powerful."
"She's a yookoohoo," said Polychrome. "Fortunately, we managed to escape fro_er castle, and we are now on our way to Glinda the Good to see if sh_ossesses the power to restore us to our former shapes."
"Then I must beg your pardons; all of you must forgive me," said Jinjur, putting away the broom. "I took you to be a lot of wild, unmannerly animals, as was quite natural. You are very welcome to my home and I'm sorry I haven'_he power to help you out of your troubles. Please use my house and all that _ave, as if it were your own."
At this declaration of peace, the Bear got upon his feet and the Owl resume_is perch upon the chair and the Monkey crept out of the fireplace. Jinju_ooked at Woot critically, and scowled.
"For a Green Monkey," said she, "you're the blackest creature I ever saw. An_ou'll get my nice clean room all dirty with soot and ashes. Whateve_ossessed you to jump up the chimney?"
"I — I was scared," explained Woot, somewhat ashamed.
"Well, you need renovating, and that's what will happen to you, right away.
Come with me!" she commanded.
"What are you going to do?" asked Woot.
"Give you a good scrubbing," said Jinjur.
Now, neither boys nor monkeys relish being scrubbed, so Woot shrank away fro_he energetic girl, trembling fearfully. But Jinjur grabbed him by his paw an_ragged him out to the back yard, where, in spite of his whines and struggles, she plunged him into a tub of cold water and began to scrub him with a stif_rush and a cake of yellow soap.
This was the hardest trial that Woot had endured since he became a monkey, bu_o protest had any influence with Jinjur, who lathered and scrubbed him in _usiness-like manner and afterward dried him with a coarse towel.
The Bear and the Owl gravely watched this operation and nodded approval whe_oot's silky green fur shone clear and bright in the afternoon sun. The Canar_eemed much amused and laughed a silvery ripple of laughter as she said:
"Very well done, my good Jinjur; I admire your energy and judgment. But I ha_o idea a monkey could look so comical as this monkey did while he was bein_athed."
"I'm not a monkey!" declared Woot, resentfully; "I'm just a boy in a monkey'_hape, that's all."
"If you can explain to me the difference," said Jinjur, "I'll agree not t_ash you again — that is, unless you foolishly get into the fireplace. Al_ersons are usually judged by the shapes in which they appear to the eyes o_thers. Look at me, Woot; what am I?"
Woot looked at her.
"You're as pretty a girl as I've ever seen," he replied.
Jinjur frowned. That is, she tried hard to frown.
"Come out into the garden with me," she said, "and I'll give you some of th_ost delicious caramels you ever ate. They're a new variety, that no one ca_row but me, and they have a heliotrope flavor."