Three days later the Grand Army of Oogaboo assembled in the square in front o_he royal palace. The sixteen officers were attired in gorgeous uniforms an_arried sharp, glittering swords. The Private had picked his gun and, althoug_t was not a very big weapon, Files tried to look fierce and succeeded so wel_hat all his commanding officers were secretly afraid of him.
The women were there, protesting that Queen Ann Soforth had no right to tak_heir husbands and fathers from them; but Ann commanded them to keep silent,
and that was the hardest order to obey they had ever received.
The Queen appeared before her Army dressed in an imposing uniform of green,
covered with gold braid. She wore a green soldier-cap with a purple plume i_t and looked so royal and dignified that everyone in Oogaboo except the Arm_as glad she was going. The Army was sorry she was not going alone.
"Form ranks!" she cried in her shrill voice.
Salye leaned out of the palace window and laughed.
"I believe your Army can run better than it can fight," she observed.
"Of course," replied General Bunn, proudly. "We're not looking for trouble,
you know, but for plunder. The more plunder and the less fighting we get, th_etter we shall like our work."
"For my part," said Files, "I prefer war and carnage to anything. The only wa_o become a hero is to conquer, and the story-books all say that the easies_ay to conquer is to fight."
"That's the idea, my brave man!" agreed Ann. "To fight is to conquer and t_onquer is to secure plunder and to secure plunder is to become a hero. Wit_uch noble determination to back me, the world is mine! Good-bye, Salye. Whe_e return we shall be rich and famous. Come, Generals; let us march."
At this the Generals straightened up and threw out their chests. Then the_wung their glittering swords in rapid circles and cried to the Colonels:
Then the Colonels shouted to the Majors: "For-ward March!" and the Major_elled to the Captains: "For-ward March!" and the Captains screamed to th_rivate:
So Files shouldered his gun and began to march, and all the officers followe_fter him. Queen Ann came last of all, rejoicing in her noble army an_ondering why she had not decided long ago to conquer the world.
In this order the procession marched out of Oogaboo and took the narro_ountain pass which led into the lovely Fairyland of Oz.