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Chapter 3 Roundabout

  • Woot the Wanderer slept that night in the tin castle of the Emperor of th_inkies and found his tin bed quite comfortable. Early the next morning h_ose and took a walk through the gardens, where there were tin fountains an_eds of curious tin flowers, and where tin birds perched upon the branches o_in trees and sang songs that sounded like the notes of tin whistles. Al_hese wonders had been made by the clever Winkie tinsmiths, who wound th_irds up every morning so that they would move about and sing.
  • After breakfast the boy went into the throne room, where the Emperor wa_aving his tin joints carefully oiled by a servant, while other servants wer_tuffing sweet, fresh straw into the body of the Scarecrow.
  • Woot watched this operation with much interest, for the Scarecrow's body wa_nly a suit of clothes filled with straw. The coat was buttoned tight to kee_he packed straw from falling out and a rope was tied around the waist to hol_t in shape and prevent the straw from sagging down. The Scarecrow's head wa_ gunnysack filled with bran, on which the eyes, nose and mouth had bee_ainted. His hands were white cotton gloves stuffed with fine straw. Woo_oticed that even when carefully stuffed and patted into shape, the straw ma_as awkward in his movements and decidedly wobbly on his feet, so the bo_ondered if the Scarecrow would be able to travel with them all the way to th_orests of the Munchkin Country of Oz.
  • The preparations made for this important journey were very simple. A knapsac_as filled with food and given Woot the Wanderer to carry upon his back, fo_he food was for his use alone. The Tin Woodman shouldered an axe which wa_harp and brightly polished, and the Scarecrow put the Emperor's oil-can i_is pocket, that he might oil his friend's joints should they need it.
  • "Who will govern the Winkie Country during your absence?" asked the boy.
  • "Why, the Country will run itself," answered the Emperor. "As a matter o_act, my people do not need an Emperor, for Ozma of Oz watches over th_elfare of all her subjects, including the Winkies. Like a good many kings an_mperors, I have a grand title, but very little real power, which allows m_ime to amuse myself in my own way. The people of Oz have but one law to obey, which is: 'Behave Yourself,' so it is easy for them to abide by this Law, an_ou'll notice they behave very well. But it is time for us to be off, and I a_ager to start because I suppose that that poor Munchkin girl is anxiousl_waiting my coming."
  • "She's waited a long time already, seems to me," remarked the Scarecrow, a_hey left the grounds of the castle and followed a path that led eastward.
  • "True," replied the Tin Woodman; "but I've noticed that the last end of _ait, however long it has been, is the hardest to endure; so I must try t_ake Nimmie Amee happy as soon as possible."
  • "Ah; that proves you have a Kind heart," remarked the Scarecrow, approvingly.
  • "It's too bad he hasn't a Loving Heart," said Woot. "This Tin Man is going t_arry a nice girl through kindness, and not because he loves her, and someho_hat doesn't seem quite right."
  • "Even so, I am not sure it isn't best for the girl," said the Scarecrow, wh_eemed very intelligent for a straw man, "for a loving husband is not alway_ind, while a kind husband is sure to make any girl content."
  • "Nimmie Amee will become an Empress!" announced the Tin Woodman, proudly. "_hall have a tin gown made for her, with tin ruffles and tucks on it, and sh_hall have tin slippers, and tin earrings and bracelets, and wear a tin crow_n her head. I am sure that will delight Nimmie Amee, for all girls are fon_f finery."
  • "Are we going to the Munchkin Country by way of the Emerald City?" inquire_he Scarecrow, who looked upon the Tin Woodman as the leader of the party.
  • "I think not," was the reply. "We are engaged upon a rather delicat_dventure, for we are seeking a girl who fears her former lover has forgotte_er. It will be rather hard for me, you must admit, when I confess to Nimmi_mee that I have come to marry her because it is my duty to do so, an_herefore the fewer witnesses there are to our meeting the better for both o_s. After I have found Nimmie Amee and she has managed to control her joy a_ur reunion, I shall take her to the Emerald City and introduce her to Ozm_nd Dorothy, and to Betsy Bobbin and Tiny Trot, and all our other friends; but, if I remember rightly, poor Nimmie Amee has a sharp tongue when angry, and she may be a trifle angry with me, at first, because I have been so lon_n coming to her."
  • "I can understand that," said Woot gravely. "But how can we get to that par_f the Munchkin Country where you once lived without passing through th_merald City?"
  • "Why, that is easy," the Tin Man assured him.
  • "I have a map of Oz in my pocket," persisted the boy, "and it shows that th_inkie Country, where we now are, is at the west of Oz, and the Munchki_ountry at the east, while directly between them lies the Emerald City."
  • "True enough; but we shall go toward the north, first of all, into th_illikin Country, and so pass around the Emerald City," explained the Ti_oodman.
  • "That may prove a dangerous journey," replied the boy. "I used to live in on_f the top corners of the Gillikin Country, near to Oogaboo, and I have bee_old that in this northland country are many people whom it is not pleasant t_eet. I was very careful to avoid them during my journey south."
  • "A Wanderer should have no fear," observed the Scarecrow, who was wobblin_long in a funny, haphazard manner, but keeping pace with his friends.
  • "Fear does not make one a coward," returned Woot, growing a little red in th_ace, "but I believe it is more easy to avoid danger than to overcome it. Th_afest way is the best way, even for one who is brave and determined."
  • "Do not worry, for we shall not go far to the north," said the Emperor. "M_ne idea is to avoid the Emerald City without going out of our way more tha_s necessary. Once around the Emerald City we will turn south into th_unchkin Country, where the Scarecrow and I are well acquainted and have man_riends."
  • "I have traveled some in the Gillikin Country," remarked the Scarecrow, "an_hile I must say I have met some strange people there at times, I have neve_et been harmed by them."
  • "Well, it's all the same to me," said Woot, with assumed carelessness.
  • "Dangers, when they cannot be avoided, are often quite interesting, and I a_illing to go wherever you two venture to go."
  • So they left the path they had been following and began to travel toward th_ortheast, and all that day they were in the pleasant Winkie Country, and al_he people they met saluted the Emperor with great respect and wished him goo_uck on his journey. At night they stopped at a house where they were wel_ntertained and where Woot was given a comfortable bed to sleep in.
  • "Were the Scarecrow and I alone," said the Tin Woodman, "we would travel b_ight as well as by day; but with a meat person in our party, we must halt a_ight to permit him to rest."
  • "Meat tires, after a day's travel," added the Scarecrow, "while straw and ti_ever tire at all. Which proves," said he, "that we are somewhat superior t_eople made in the common way."
  • Woot could not deny that he was tired, and he slept soundly until morning, when he was given a good breakfast, smoking hot.
  • "You two miss a great deal by not eating," he said to his companions.
  • "It is true," responded the Scarecrow. "We miss suffering from hunger, whe_ood cannot be had, and we miss a stomachache, now and then."
  • As he said this, the Scarecrow glanced at the Tin Woodman, who nodded hi_ssent.
  • All that second day they traveled steadily, entertaining one another the whil_ith stories of adventures they had formerly met and listening to th_carecrow recite poetry. He had learned a great many poems from Professo_ogglebug and loved to repeat them whenever anybody would listen to him. O_ourse Woot and the Tin Woodman now listened, because they could not d_therwise — unless they rudely ran away from their stuffed comrade. One of th_carecrow's recitations was like this:
  • "What sound is so sweet
  • As the straw from the wheat
  • When it crunkles so tender and low?
  • It is yellow and bright,
  • So it gives me delight
  • To crunkle wherever I go.
  • "Sweet, fresh, golden Straw!
  • There is surely no flaw
  • In a stuffing so clean and compact.
  • It creaks when I walk,
  • And it thrills when I talk,
  • And its fragrance is fine, for a fact.
  • "To cut me don't hurt,
  • For I've no blood to squirt,
  • And I therefore can suffer no pain;
  • The straw that I use
  • Doesn't lump up or bruise,
  • Though it's pounded again and again!
  • "I know it is said
  • That my beautiful head
  • Has brains of mixed wheat-straw and bran,
  • But my thoughts are so good
  • I'd not change, if I could,
  • For the brains of a common meat man.
  • "Content with my lot,
  • I'm glad that I'm not
  • Like others I meet day by day;
  • If my insides get musty,
  • Or mussed-up, or dusty,
  • I get newly stuffed right away."