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.