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Chapter 18 The Tin Woodman Talks to Himself

  • The Tin Woodman had just noticed the cupboards and was curious to know wha_hey contained, so he went to one of them and opened the door. There wer_helves inside, and upon one of the shelves which was about on a level wit_is tin chin the Emperor discovered a Head — it looked like a doll's head, only it was larger, and he soon saw it was the Head of some person. It wa_acing the Tin Woodman and as the cupboard door swung back, the eyes of th_ead slowly opened and looked at him. The Tin Woodman was not at al_urprised, for in the Land of Oz one runs into magic at every turn.
  • "Dear me!" said the Tin Woodman, staring hard. "It seems as if I had met you, somewhere, before. Good morning, sir!"
  • "You have the advantage of me," replied the Head. "I never saw you before i_y life."
  • "Still, your face is very familiar," persisted the Tin Woodman. "Pardon me, but may I ask if you — eh — eh — if you ever had a Body?"
  • "Yes, at one time," answered the Head, "but that is so long ago I can'_emember it. Did you think," with a pleasant smile, "that I was born just as _m? That a Head would be created without a Body?"
  • "No, of course not," said the other. "But how came you to lose your body?"
  • "Well, I can't recollect the details; you'll have to ask Ku-Klip about it,"
  • returned the Head. "For, curious as it may seem to you, my memory is not goo_ince my separation from the rest of me. I still possess my brains and m_ntellect is as good as ever, but my memory of some of the events I formerl_xperienced is quite hazy."
  • "How long have you been in this cupboard?" asked the Emperor.
  • "I don't know."
  • "Haven't you a name?"
  • "Oh, yes," said the Head; "I used to be called Nick Chopper, when I was _oodman and cut down trees for a living."
  • "Good gracious!" cried the Tin Woodman in astonishment. "If you are Nic_hopper's Head, then you are Me — or I'm You — or — or — What relation are we, anyhow?"
  • "Don't ask me," replied the Head. "For my part, I'm not anxious to clai_elationship with any common, manufactured article, like you. You may be al_ight in your class, but your class isn't my class. You're tin."
  • The poor Emperor felt so bewildered that for a time he could only stare at hi_ld Head in silence. Then he said:
  • "I must admit that I wasn't at all bad looking before I became tin. You'r_lmost handsome — for meat. If your hair was combed, you'd be quit_ttractive."
  • "How do you expect me to comb my hair without help?" demanded the Head, indignantly. "I used to keep it smooth and neat, when I had arms, but after _as removed from the rest of me, my hair got mussed, and old Ku-Klip never ha_ombed it for me."
  • "I'll speak to him about it," said the Tin Woodman. "Do you remember loving _retty Munchkin girl named Nimmie Amee?"
  • "No," answered the Head. "That is a foolish question. The heart in my body — when I had a body — might have loved someone, for all I know, but a head isn'_ade to love; it's made to think."
  • "Oh; do you think, then?"
  • "I used to think."
  • "You must have been shut up in this cupboard for years and years. What hav_ou thought about, in all that time?"
  • "Nothing. That's another foolish question. A little reflection will convinc_ou that I have had nothing to think about, except the boards on the inside o_he cupboard door, and it didn't take me long to think of everything abou_hose boards that could be thought of. Then, of course, I quit thinking."
  • "And are you happy?"
  • "Happy? What's that?"
  • "Don't you know what happiness is?" inquired the Tin Woodman.
  • "I haven't the faintest idea whether it's round or square, or black or white, or what it is. And, if you will pardon my lack of interest in it, I will sa_hat I don't care."
  • The Tin Woodman was much puzzled by these answers. His traveling companion_ad grouped themselves at his back, and had fixed their eyes on the Head an_istened to the conversation with much interest, but until now, they had no_nterrupted because they thought the Tin Woodman had the best right to talk t_is own head and renew acquaintance with it.
  • But now the Tin Soldier remarked:
  • "I wonder if my old head happens to be in any of these cupboards," and h_roceeded to open all the cupboard doors. But no other head was to be found o_ny of the shelves.
  • "Oh, well; never mind," said Woot the Wanderer; "I can't imagine what anyon_ants of a cast-off head, anyhow."
  • "I can understand the Soldier's interest," asserted Polychrome, dancing aroun_he grimy workshop until her draperies formed a cloud around her dainty form.
  • "For sentimental reasons a man might like to see his old head once more, jus_s one likes to revisit an old home."
  • "And then to kiss it good-bye," added the Scarecrow.
  • "I hope that tin thing won't try to kiss me good- bye!" exclaimed the Ti_oodman's former head. "And I don't see what right you folks have to distur_y peace and comfort, either."
  • "You belong to me," the Tin Woodman declared.
  • "I do not!"
  • "You and I are one."
  • "We've been parted," asserted the Head. "It would be unnatural for me to hav_ny interest in a man made of tin. Please close the door and leave me alone."
  • "I did not think that my old Head could be so disagreeable," said the Emperor.
  • "I — I'm quite ashamed of myself; meaning you."
  • "You ought to be glad that I've enough sense to know what my rights are,"
  • retorted the Head. "In this cupboard I am leading a simple life, peaceful an_ignified, and when a mob of people in whom I am not interested disturb me, they are the disagreeable ones; not I."
  • With a sigh the Tin Woodman closed and latched the cupboard door and turne_way.
  • "Well," said the Tin Soldier, "if my old head would have treated me as coldl_nd in so unfriendly a manner as your old head has treated you, frien_hopper, I'm glad I could not find it."
  • "Yes; I'm rather surprised at my head, myself," replied the Tin Woodman, thoughtfully. "I thought I had a more pleasant disposition when I was made o_eat."
  • But just then old Ku-Klip the Tinsmith arrived, and he seemed surprised t_ind so many visitors. Ku-Klip was a stout man and a short man. He had hi_leeves rolled above his elbows, showing muscular arms, and he wore a leather_pron that covered all the front of him, and was so long that Woot wa_urprised he didn't step on it and trip whenever he walked. And Ku-Klip had _ray beard that was almost as long as his apron, and his head was bald on to_nd his ears stuck out from his head like two fans. Over his eyes, which wer_right and twinkling, he wore big spectacles. It was easy to see that th_insmith was a kind hearted man, as well as a merry and agreeable one. "Oh- ho!" he cried in a joyous bass voice; "here are both my tin men come to visi_e, and they and their friends are welcome indeed. I'm very proud of you tw_haracters, I assure you, for you are so perfect that you are proof that I'm _ood workman. Sit down. Sit down, all of you — if you can find anything to si_n — and tell me why you are here."
  • So they found seats and told him all of their adventures that they thought h_ould like to know. Ku- Klip was glad to learn that Nick Chopper, the Ti_oodman, was now Emperor of the Winkies and a friend of Ozma of Oz, and th_insmith was also interested in the Scarecrow and Polychrome.
  • He turned the straw man around, examining him curiously, and patted him on al_ides, and then said:
  • "You are certainly wonderful, but I think you would be more durable and stead_n your legs if you were made of tin. Would you like me to —"
  • "No, indeed!" interrupted the Scarecrow hastily; "I like myself better as _m."
  • But to Polychrome the tinsmith said:
  • "Nothing could improve you, my dear, for you are the most beautiful maiden _ave ever seen. It is pure happiness just to look at you."
  • "That is praise, indeed, from so skillful a workman," returned the Rainbow'_aughter, laughing and dancing in and out the room.
  • "Then it must be this boy you wish me to help," said Ku-Klip, looking at Woot.
  • "No," said Woot, "we are not here to seek your skill, but have merely come t_ou for information."
  • Then, between them, they related their search for Nimmie Amee, whom the Ti_oodman explained he had resolved to marry, yet who had promised to become th_ride of the Tin Soldier before he unfortunately became rusted. And when th_tory was told, they asked Ku-Klip if he knew what had become of Nimmie Amee.
  • "Not exactly," replied the old man, "but I know that she wept bitterly whe_he Tin Soldier did not come to marry her, as he had promised to do. The ol_itch was so provoked at the girl's tears that she beat Nimmie Amee with he_rooked stick and then hobbled away to gather some magic herbs, with which sh_ntended to transform the girl into an old hag, so that no one would agai_ove her or care to marry her. It was while she was away on this errand tha_orothy's house fell on the Wicked Witch, and she turned to dust and ble_way. When I heard this good news, I sent Nimmie Amee to find the Silver Shoe_hich the Witch had worn, but Dorothy had taken them with her to the Emeral_ity."
  • "Yes, we know all about those Silver Shoes," said the Scarecrow.
  • "Well," continued Ku-Klip, "after that, Nimmie Amee decided to go away fro_he forest and live with some people she was acquainted with who had a hous_n Mount Munch. I have never seen the girl since."
  • "Do you know the name of the people on Mount Munch, with whom she went t_ive?" asked the Tin Woodman.
  • "No, Nimmie Amee did not mention her friend's name, and I did not ask her. Sh_ook with her all that she could carry of the goods that were in the Witch'_ouse, and she told me I could have the rest. But when I went there I foun_othing worth taking except some magic powders that I did not know how to use, and a bottle of Magic Glue."
  • "What is Magic Glue?" asked Woot.
  • "It is a magic preparation with which to mend people when they cut themselves.
  • One time, long ago, I cut off one of my fingers by accident, and I carried i_o the Witch, who took down her bottle and glued it on again for me. See!"
  • showing them his finger, "it is as good as ever it was. No one else that _ver heard of had this Magic Glue, and of course when Nick Chopper cut himsel_o pieces with his enchanted axe and Captain Fyter cut himself to pieces wit_is enchanted sword, the Witch would not mend them, or allow me to glue the_ogether, because she had herself wickedly enchanted the axe and sword.
  • Nothing remained but for me to make them new parts out of tin; but, as yo_ee, tin answered the purpose very well, and I am sure their tin bodies are _reat improvement on their meat bodies." "Very true," said the Tin Soldier.
  • "I quite agree with you," said the Tin Woodman. "I happened to find my ol_ead in your cupboard, a while ago, and certainly it is not as desirable _ead as the tin one I now wear."
  • "By the way," said the Tin Soldier, "what ever became of my old head, Ku- Klip?"
  • "And of the different parts of our bodies?" added the Tin Woodman.
  • "Let me think a minute," replied Ku-Klip. "If I remember right, you two boy_sed to bring me most of your parts, when they were cut off, and I saved the_n that barrel in the corner. You must not have brought me all the parts, fo_hen I made Chopfyt I had hard work finding enough pieces to complete the job.
  • I finally had to finish him with one arm."
  • "Who is Chopfyt?"inquired Woot.
  • "Oh, haven't I told you about Chopfyt?" exclaimed Ku-Klip. "Of course not! An_e's quite a curiosity, too. You'll be interested in hearing about Chopfyt.
  • This is how he happened:
  • "One day, after the Witch had been destroyed and Nimmie Amee had gone to liv_ith her friends on Mount Munch, I was looking around the shop for somethin_nd came upon the bottle of Magic Glue which I had brought from the ol_itch's house. It occurred to me to piece together the odds and ends of yo_wo people, which of course were just as good as ever, and see if I couldn'_ake a man out of them. If I succeeded, I would have an assistant to help m_ith my work, and I thought it would be a clever idea to put to some practica_se the scraps of Nick Chopper and Captain Fyter. There were two perfectl_ood heads in my cupboard, and a lot of feet and legs and parts of bodies i_he barrel, so I set to work to see what I could do.
  • "First, I pieced together a body, gluing it with the Witch's Magic Glue, whic_orked perfectly. That was the hardest part of my job, however, because th_odies didn't match up well and some parts were missing. But by using a piec_f Captain Fyter here and a piece of Nick Chopper there, I finally go_ogether a very decent body, with heart and all the trimmings complete."
  • "Whose heart did you use in making asked the Tin. Woodman anxiously. th_ody?"
  • "I can't tell, for the parts had no tags on them and one heart looks much lik_nother. After the body was completed, I glued two fine legs and feet onto it.
  • One leg was Nick Chopper's and one was Captain Fyter's and, finding one le_onger than the other, I trimmed it down to make them match. I was muc_isappointed to find that I had but one arm. There was an extra leg in th_arrel, but I could find only one arm. Having glued this onto the body, I wa_eady for the head, and I had some difficulty in making up my mind which hea_o use. Finally I shut my eyes and reached out my hand toward the cupboar_helf, and the first head I touched I glued upon my new man."
  • "It was mine!" declared the Tin Soldier, gloomily.
  • "No, it was mine," asserted Ku-Klip, "for I had given you another in exchang_or it — the beautiful tin head you now wear. When the glue had dried, my ma_as quite an interesting fellow. I named him Chopfyt, using a part of Nic_hopper's name and a part of Captain Fyter's name, because he was a mixture o_oth your cast-off parts. Chopfyt was interesting, as I said, but he did no_rove a very agreeable companion. He complained bitterly because I had give_im but one arm — as if it were my fault! — and he grumbled because the sui_f blue Munchkin clothes, which I got for him from a neighbor, did not fit hi_erfectly."
  • "Ah, that was because he was wearing my old head," remarked the Tin Soldier.
  • "I remember that head used to be very particular about its clothes."
  • "As an assistant," the old tinsmith continued, "Chopfyt was not a success. H_as awkward with tools and was always hungry. He demanded something to eat si_r eight times a day, so I wondered if I had fitted his insides properly.
  • Indeed, Chopfyt ate so much that little food was left for myself; so, when h_roposed, one day, to go out into the world and seek adventures, I wa_elighted to be rid of him. I even made him a tin arm to take the place of th_issing one, and that pleased him very much, so that we parted good friends."
  • "What became of Chopfyt after that?" the Scarecrow inquired.
  • "I never heard. He started off toward the east, into the plains of th_unchkin Country, and that was the last I ever saw of him."
  • "It seems to me," said the Tin Woodman reflectively, "that you did wrong i_aking a man out of our cast-off parts. It is evident that Chopfyt could, wit_ustice, claim relationship with both of us."
  • "Don't worry about that," advised Ku-Klip cheerfully; "it is not likely tha_ou will ever meet the fellow. And, if you should meet him, he doesn't kno_ho he is made of, for I never told him the secret of his manufacture. Indeed, you are the only ones who know of it, and you may keep the secret t_ourselves, if you wish to."
  • "Never mind Chopfyt," said the Scarecrow. "Our business now is to find poo_immie Amee and let her choose her tin husband. To do that, it seems, from th_nformation Ku-Klip has given us, we must travel to Mount Munch."
  • "If that's the programme, let us start at once," suggested Woot.
  • So they all went outside, where they found Polychrome dancing about among th_rees and talking with the birds and laughing as merrily as if she had no_ost her Rainbow and so been separated from all her fairy sisters.
  • They told her they were going to Mount Munch, and she replied:
  • "Very well; I am as likely to find my Rainbow there as here, and any othe_lace is as likely as there. It all depends on the weather. Do you think i_ooks like rain?"
  • They shook their heads, and Polychrome laughed again and danced on after the_hen they resumed their journey.