Rinkitink In Oz
L. Frank Baum
Part 1 out of 4
RINKITINK IN OZ
Wherein is recorded the Perilous Quest of
Prince Inga of Pingaree and King
Rinkitink in the Magical
Isles that lie beyond
By L. Frank Baum
"Royal Historian of Oz"
Introducing this Story
Here is a story with a boy hero, and a boy of whom
you have never before heard. There are girls in the
story, too, including our old friend Dorothy, and some
of the characters wander a good way from the Land of Oz
before they all assemble in the Emerald City to take
part in Ozma's banquet. Indeed, I think you will find
this story quite different from the other histories
of Oz, but I hope you will not like it the less on that
If I am permitted to write another Oz book it will
tell of some thrilling adventures encountered by
Dorothy, Betsy Bobbin, Trot and the Patchwork Girl
right in the Land of Oz, and how they discovered some
amazing creatures that never could have existed outside
a fairy-land. I have an idea that about the time you
are reading this story of Rinkitink I shall be writing
that story of Adventures in Oz.
Don't fail to write me often and give me your advice
and suggestions, which I always appreciate. I get a
good many letters from my readers, but every one is a
joy to me and I answer them as soon as I can find time
to do so.
in CALIFORNIA, 1916.
L. FRANK BAUM
Royal Historian of Oz
LIST OF CHAPTERS
1 The Prince of Pingaree
2 The Coming of King Rinkitink
3 The Warriors from the North
4 The Deserted Island
5 The Three Pearls
6 The Magic Boat
7 The Twin Islands
8 Rinkitink Makes a Great Mistake
9 A Present for Zella
10 The Cunning of Queen Cor
11 Zella Goes to Coregos
12 The Excitement of Bilbil the Goat
13 Zella Saves the Prince
14 The Escape
15 The Flight of the Rulers
16 Nikobob Refuses a Crown
17 The Nome King
18 Inga Parts With His Pink Pearl
19 Rinkitink Chuckles
20 Dorothy to the Rescue
21 The Wizard Finds an Enchantment
22 Ozma's Banquet
23 The Pearl Kingdom
24 The Captive King
The Prince of Pingaree
If you have a map of the Land of Oz handy, you will
find that the great Nonestic Ocean washes the shores of
the Kingdom of Rinkitink, between which and the Land of
Oz lies a strip of the country of the Nome King and a
Sandy Desert. The Kingdom of Rinkitink isn't very big
and lies close to the ocean, all the houses and the
King's palace being built near the shore. The people
live much upon the water, boating and fishing, and the
wealth of Rinkitink is gained from trading along the
coast and with the islands nearest it.
Four days' journey by boat to the north of Rinkitink
is the Island of Pingaree, and as our story begins here
I must tell you something about this island. At the
north end of Pingaree, where it is widest, the land is
a mile from shore to shore, but at the south end it is
scarcely half a mile broad; thus, although Pingaree is
four miles long, from north to south, it cannot be
called a very big island. It is exceedingly pretty,
however, and to the gulls who approach it from the sea
it must resemble a huge green wedge lying upon the
waters, for its grass and trees give it the color of
The grass came to the edge of the sloping shores; the
beautiful trees occupied all the central portion of
Pingaree, forming a continuous grove where the branches
met high overhead and there was just space beneath
them for the cosy houses of the inhabitants. These
houses were scattered everywhere throughout the
island, so that there was no town or city, unless the
whole island might be called a city. The canopy of
leaves, high overhead, formed a shelter from sun and
rain, and the dwellers in the grove could all look past
the straight tree-trunks and across the grassy slopes
to the purple waters of the Nonestic Ocean.
At the big end of the island, at the north, stood the
royal palace of King Kitticut, the lord and ruler of
Pingaree. It was a beautiful palace, built entirely of
snow-white marble and capped by domes of burnished
gold, for the King was exceedingly wealthy. All along
the coast of Pingaree were found the largest and finest
pearls in the whole world.
These pearls grew within the shells of big oysters,
and the people raked the oysters from their watery
beds, sought out the milky pearls and carried them
dutifully to their King. Therefore, once every year His
Majesty was able to send six of his boats, with sixty
rowers and many sacks of the valuable pearls, to the
Kingdom of Rinkitink, where there was a city called
Gilgad, in which King Rinkitink's palace stood on a
rocky headland and served, with its high towers, as a
lighthouse to guide sailors to the harbor. In Gilgad
the pearls from Pingaree were purchased by the King's
treasurer, and the boats went back to the island laden
with stores of rich merchandise and such supplies of
food as the people and the royal family of Pingaree
The Pingaree people never visited any other land but
that of Rinkitink, and so there were few other lands
that knew there was such an island. To the southwest
was an island called the Isle of Phreex, where the
inhabitants had no use for pearls. And far north of
Pingaree -- six days' journey by boat, it was said --
were twin islands named Regos and Coregos, inhabited by
a fierce and warlike people.
Many years before this story really begins, ten big
boatloads of those fierce warriors of Regos and Coregos
visited Pingaree, landing suddenly upon the north end
of the island. There they began to plunder and conquer,
as was their custom, but the people of Pingaree,
although neither so big nor so strong as their foes,
were able to defeat them and drive them all back to the
sea, where a great storm overtook the raiders from
Regos and Coregos and destroyed them and their boats,
not a single warrior returning to his own country.
This defeat of the enemy seemed the more wonderful
because the pearl-fishers of Pingaree were mild and
peaceful in disposition and seldom quarreled even among
themselves. Their only weapons were their oyster rakes;
yet the fact remains that they drove their fierce
enemies from Regos and Coregos from their shores.
King Kitticut was only a boy when this remarkable
battle was fought, and now his hair was gray; but he
remembered the day well and, during the years that
followed, his one constant fear was of another invasion
of his enemies. He feared they might send a more
numerous army to his island, both for conquest and
revenge, in which case there could be little hope of
successfully opposing them.
This anxiety on the part of King Kitticut led him to
keep a sharp lookout for strange boats, one of his men
patrolling the beach constantly, but he was too wise to
allow any fear to make him or his subjects unhappy. He
was a good King and lived very contentedly in his fine
palace, with his fair Queen Garee and their one child,
The wealth of Pingaree increased year by year; and
the happiness of the people increased, too. Perhaps
there was no place, outside the Land of Oz, where
contentment and peace were more manifest than on this
pretty island, hidden in the besom of the Nonestic
Ocean. Had these conditions remained undisturbed, there
would have been no need to speak of Pingaree in this
Prince Inga, the heir to all the riches and the
kingship of Pingaree, grew up surrounded by every
luxury; but he was a manly little fellow, although
somewhat too grave and thoughtful, and he could never
bear to be idle a single minute. He knew where the
finest oysters lay hidden along the coast and was as
successful in finding pearls as any of the men of the
island, although he was so slight and small. He had a
little boat of his own and a rake for dragging up the
oysters and he was very proud indeed when he could
carry a big white pearl to his father.
There was no school upon the island, as the people of
Pingaree were far removed from the state of
civilization that gives our modern children such
advantages as schools and learned professors, but the
King owned several manuscript books, the pages being
made of sheepskin. Being a man of intelligence, he was
able to teach his son something of reading, writing and
When studying his lessons Prince Inga used to go into
the grove near his father's palace and climb into the
branches of a tall tree, where he had built a platform
with a comfortable seat to rest upon, all hidden by the
canopy of leaves. There, with no one to disturb him, he
would pore over the sheepskin on which were written the
queer characters of the Pingarese language.
King Kitticut was very proud of his little son, as
well he might be, and he soon felt a high respect for
Inga's judgment and thought that he was worthy to be
taken into the confidence of his father in many matters
of state. He taught the boy the needs of the people and
how to rule them justly, for some day he knew that Inga
would be King in his place. One day he called his son
to his side and said to him:
"Our island now seems peaceful enough, Inga, and we
are happy and prosperous, but I cannot forget those
terrible people of Regos and Coregos. My constant fear
is that they will send a fleet of boats to search for
those of their race whom we defeated many years ago,
and whom the sea afterwards destroyed. If the warriors
come in great numbers we may be unable to oppose them,
for my people are little trained to fighting at best;
they surely would cause us much injury and suffering."
"Are we, then, less powerful than in my grandfather's
day?" asked Prince Inga.
The King shook his head thoughtfully.
"It is not that," said he. "That you may fully
understand that marvelous battle, I must confide to,
you a great secret. I have in my possession three Magic
Talismans, which I have ever guarded with utmost care,
keeping the knowledge of their existence from anyone
else. But, lest I should die, and the secret be lost, I
have decided to tell you what these talismans are and
where they are hidden. Come with me, my son.
He led the way through the rooms of the palace until
they came to the great banquet hall. There, stopping in
the center of the room, he stooped down and touched a
hidden spring in the tiled floor. At once one of the
tiles sank downward and the King reached within the
cavity and drew out a silken bag.
This bag he proceeded to open, showing Inga that it
contained three great pearls, each one as big around as
a marble. One had a blue tint and one was of a delicate
rose color, but the third was pure white.
"These three pearls," said the King, speaking in a
solemn, impressive voice, "are the most wonderful the
world has ever known. They were gifts to one of my
ancestors from the Mermaid Queen, a powerful fairy whom
he once had the good fortune to rescue from her
enemies. In gratitude for this favor she presented him
with these pearls. Each of the three possesses an
astonishing power, and whoever is their owner may count
himself a fortunate man. This one having the blue tint
will give to the person who carries it a strength so
great that no power can resist him. The one with the
pink glow will protect its owner from all dangers that
may threaten him, no matter from what source they may
come. The third pearl -- this one of pure white -- can
speak, and its words are always wise and helpful."
"What is this, my father!" exclaimed the Prince,
amazed; "do you tell me that a pearl can speak? It
"Your doubt is due to your ignorance of fairy
powers," returned the King, gravely. "Listen, my son,
and you will know that I speak the truth."
He held the white pearl to Inga's ear and the Prince
heard a small voice say distinctly: "Your father is
right. Never question the truth of what you fail to
understand, for the world is filled with wonders."
"I crave your pardon, dear father," said the Prince,
"for clearly I heard the pearl speak, and its words
were full of wisdom."
"The powers of the other pearls are even greater,"
resumed the King. "Were I poor in all else, these gems
would make me richer than any other monarch the world
"I believe that," replied Inga, looking at the
beautiful pearls with much awe. "But tell me, my
father, why do you fear the warriors of Regos and
Coregos when these marvelous powers are yours?"
"The powers are mine only while I have the pearls
upon my person," answered King Kitticut, "and I dare
not carry them constantly for fear they might be lost.
Therefore, I keep them safely hidden in this recess. My
only danger lies in the chance that my watchmen might
fail to discover the approach of our enemies and allow
the warrior invaders to seize me before I could secure
the pearls. I should, in that case, be quite powerless
to resist. My father owned the magic pearls at the time
of the Great Fight, of which you have so often heard,
and the pink pearl protected him from harm, while the
blue pearl enabled him and his people to drive away the
enemy. Often have I suspected that the destroying storm
was caused by the fairy mermaids, but that is a matter
of which I have no proof."
"I have often wondered how we managed to win that
battle," remarked Inga thoughtfully. "But the pearls
will assist us in case the warriors come again, will
"They are as powerful as ever," declared the King.
"Really, my son, I have little to fear from any foe.
But lest I die and the secret be lost to the next King,
I have now given it into your keeping. Remember that
these pearls are the rightful heritage of all Kings of
Pingaree. If at any time I should be taken from you,
Inga, guard this treasure well and do not forget where
it is hidden."
"I shall not forget," said Inga.
Then the King returned the pearls to their hiding
place and the boy went to his own room to ponder upon
the wonderful secret his father had that day confided
to his care.
The Coming of King Rinkitink
A few days after this, on a bright and sunny morning
when the breeze blew soft and sweet from the ocean and
the trees waved their leaf-laden branches, the Royal
Watchman, whose duty it was to patrol the shore, came
running to the King with news that a strange boat was
approaching the island.
At first the King was sore afraid and made a step
toward the hidden pearls, but the next moment he
reflected that one boat, even if filled with enemies,
would be powerless to injure him, so he curbed his fear
and went down to the beach to discover who the
strangers might be. Many of the men of Pingaree
assembled there also, and Prince Inga followed his
father. Arriving at the water's edge, they all stood
gazing eagerly at the oncoming boat.
It was quite a big boat, they observed, and covered
with a canopy of purple silk, embroidered with gold. It
was rowed by twenty men, ten on each side. As it came
nearer, Inga could see that in the stern, seated upon a
high, cushioned chair of state, was a little man who
was so very fat that he was nearly as broad as he was
high This man was dressed in a loose silken robe of
purple that fell in folds to his feet, while upon his
head was a cap of white velvet curiously worked with
golden threads and having a circle of diamonds sewn
around the band. At the opposite end of the boat stood
an oddly shaped cage, and several large boxes of
sandalwood were piled near the center of the craft.
As the boat approached the shore the fat little man
got upon his feet and bowed several times in the
direction of those who had assembled to greet him, and
as he bowed he flourished his white cap in an energetic
manner. His face was round as an apple and nearly as
rosy. When he stopped bowing he smiled in such a sweet
and happy way that Inga thought he must be a very jolly
The prow of the boat grounded on the beach, stopping
its speed so suddenly that the little man was caught
unawares and nearly toppled headlong into the sea. But
he managed to catch hold of the chair with one hand and
the hair of one of his rowers with the other, and so
steadied himself. Then, again waving his jeweled cap
around his head, he cried in a merry voice:
"Well, here I am at last!"
"So I perceive," responded King Kitticut, bowing with
The fat man glanced at all the sober faces before him
and burst into a rollicking laugh. Perhaps I should say
it was half laughter and half a chuckle of merriment,
for the sounds he emitted were quaint and droll and
tempted every hearer to laugh with him.
"Heh, heh -- ho, ho, ho!" he roared. "Didn't expect
me, I see. Keek-eek-eek-eek! This is funny -- it's
really funny. Didn't know I was coming, did you? Hoo,
hoo, hoo, hoo! This is certainly amusing. But I'm here,
just the same."
"Hush up!" said a deep, growling voice. "You're
making yourself ridiculous."
Everyone looked to see where this voice came from;
but none could guess who had uttered the words of
rebuke. The rowers of the boat were all solemn and
silent and certainly no one on the shore had spoken.
But the little man did not seem astonished in the
least, or even annoyed.
King Kitticut now addressed the stranger, saying
"You are welcome to the Kingdom of Pingaree. Perhaps
you will deign to come ashore and at your convenience
inform us whom we have the honor of receiving as a
"Thanks; I will," returned the little fat man,
waddling from his place in the boat and stepping, with
some difficulty, upon the sandy beach. "I am King
Rinkitink, of the City of Gilgad in the Kingdom of
Rinkitink, and I have come to Pingaree to see for
myself the monarch who sends to my city so many
beautiful pearls. I have long wished to visit this
island; and so, as I said before, here I am!"
"I am pleased to welcome you," said King Kitticut.
"But why has Your Majesty so few attendants? Is it not
dangerous for the King of a great country to make
distant journeys in one frail boat, and with but twenty
"Oh, I suppose so," answered King Rinkitink, with a
laugh. "But what else could I do? My subjects would not
allow me to go anywhere at all, if they knew it. So I
just ran away."
"Ran away!" exclaimed King Kitticut in surprise.
"Funny, isn't it? Heh, heh, heh -- woo, hoo!" laughed
Rinkitink, and this is as near as I can spell with
letters the jolly sounds of his laughter. "Fancy a King
running away from his own ple -- hoo, hoo -- keek, eek,
eek, eek! But I had to, don't you see!"
"Why?" asked the other King.
"They're afraid I'll get into mischief. They don't
trust me. Keek-eek-eek -- Oh, dear me! Don't trust
their own King. Funny, isn't it?"
"No harm can come to you on this island," said
Kitticut, pretending not to notice the odd ways of his
guest. "And, whenever it pleases you to return to your
own country, I will send with you a fitting escort of
my own people. In the meantime, pray accompany me to my
palace, where everything shall be done to make you
comfortable and happy."
"Much obliged," answered Rinkitink, tipping his white
cap over his left ear and heartily shaking the hand of
his brother monarch. "I'm sure you can make me
comfortable if you've plenty to eat. And as for being
happy -- ha, ha, ha, ha! -- why, that's my trouble. I'm
too happy. But stop! I've brought you some presents in
those boxes. Please order your men to carry them up to
"Certainly," answered King Kitticut, well pleased,
and at once he gave his men the proper orders.
"And, by the way," continued the fat little King,
"let them also take my goat from his cage."
"A goat!" exclaimed the King of Pingaree.
"Exactly; my goat Bilbil. I always ride him wherever
I go, for I'm not at all fond of walking, being a
trifle stout -- eh, Kitticut? -- a trifle stout! Hoo,
hoo, hoo-keek, eek!"
The Pingaree people started to lift the big cage out
of the boat, but just then a gruff voice cried: "Be
careful, you villains!" and as the words seemed to come
from the goat's mouth the men were so astonished that
they dropped the cage upon the sand with a sudden jar.
"There! I told you so!" cried the voice angrily.
"You've rubbed the skin off my left knee. Why on earth
didn't you handle me gently?"
"There, there, Bilbil," said King Rinkitink
soothingly; "don't scold, my boy. Remember that these
are strangers, and we their guests." Then he turned to
Kitticut and remarked: "You have no talking goats on
your island, I suppose."
"We have no goats at all," replied the King; "nor
have we any animals, of any sort, who are able to
"I wish my animal couldn't talk, either," said
Rinkitink, winking comically at Inga and then looking
toward the cage. "He is very cross at times, and
indulges in language that is not respectful. I thought,
at first, it would be fine to have a talking goat, with
whom I could converse as I rode about my city on his
back; but -- keek-eek-eek-eek! -- the rascal treats me
as if I were a chimney sweep instead of a King. Heh,
heh, heh, keek, eek! A chimney sweep-hoo, hoo, hoo! --
and me a King! Funny, isn't it?" This last was
addressed to Prince Inga, whom he chucked familiarly
under the chin, to the boy's great embarrassment.
"Why do you not ride a horse?" asked King Kitticut.
"I can't climb upon his back, being rather stout;
that's why. Kee, kee, keek, eek! -- rather stout --
hoo, hoo, hoo!" He paused to wipe the tears of
merriment from his eyes and then added: "But I can get
on and off Bilbil's back with ease."
He now opened the cage and the goat deliberately
walked out and looked about him in a sulky manner. One
of the rowers brought from the boat a saddle made of
red velvet and beautifully embroidered with silver
thistles, which he fastened upon the goat's back. The
fat King put his leg over the saddle and seated himself
"Lead on, my noble host, and we will follow."
"What! Up that steep hill?" cried the goat. "Get off
my back at once, Rinkitink, or I won't budge a step.
"But-consider, Bilbil," remonstrated the King. "How
am I to get up that hill unless I ride?"
"Walk!" growled Bilbil.
"But I'm too fat. Really, Bilbil, I'm surprised at
you. Haven't I brought you all this distance so you may
see something of the world and enjoy life? And now you
are so ungrateful as to refuse to carry me! Turn about
is fair play, my boy. The boat carried you to this
shore, because you can't swim, and now you must carry
me up the hill, because I can't climb. Eh, Bilbil,
isn't that reasonable?"
"Well, well, well," said the goat, surlily, "keep
quiet and I'll carry you. But you make me very tired,
Rinkitink, with your ceaseless chatter."
After making this protest Bilbil began walking
up the hill, carrying the fat King upon his back
with no difficulty whatever.
Prince Inga and his father and all the men of
Pingaree were much astonished to overhear this dispute
between King Rinkitink and his goat; but they were too
polite to make critical remarks in the presence of
their guests. King Kitticut walked beside the goat and
the Prince followed after, the men coming last with the
boxes of sandalwood.
When they neared the palace, the Queen and her
maidens came out to meet them and the royal guest was
escorted in state to the splendid throne room of the
palace. Here the boxes were opened and King Rinkitink
displayed all the beautiful silks and laces and jewelry
with which they were filled. Every one of the courtiers
and ladies received a handsome present, and the King
and Queen had many rich gifts and Inga not a few. Thus
the time passed pleasantly until the Chamberlain
announced that dinner was served.
Bilbil the goat declared that he preferred eating of
the sweet, rich grass that grew abundantly in the
palace grounds, and Rinkitink said that the beast could
never bear being shut up in a stable; so they removed
the saddle from his back and allowed him to wander
wherever he pleased.
During the dinner Inga divided his attention between
admiring the pretty gifts he had received and listening
to the jolly sayings of the fat King, who laughed when
he was not eating and ate when he was not laughing and
seemed to enjoy himself immensely.
"For four days I have lived in that narrow boat,"
said he, "with no other amusement than to watch the
rowers and quarrel with Bilbil; so I am very glad to be
on land again with such friendly and agreeable people."
"You do us great honor," said King Kitticut, with a
"Not at all -- not at all, my brother. This Pingaree
must be a wonderful island, for its pearls are the
admiration of all the world; nor will I deny the fact
that my kingdom would be a poor one without the riches
and glory it derives from the trade in your pearls. So
I have wished for many years to come here to see you,
but my people said: 'No! Stay at home and behave
yourself, or we'll know the reason why.'"
"Will they not miss Your Majesty from your
palace at Gilgad?" inquired Kitticut.
"I think not," answered Rinkitink. "You see, one of
my clever subjects has written a parchment entitled
'How to be Good,' and I believed it would benefit me to
study it, as I consider the accomplishment of being
good one of the fine arts. I had just scolded severely
my Lord High Chancellor for coming to breakfast without
combing his eyebrows, and was so sad and regretful at
having hurt the poor man's feelings that I decided to
shut myself up in my own room and study the scroll
until I knew how to be good -- hee, heek, keek, eek,
eek! --to be good! Clever idea, that, wasn't it? Mighty
clever! And I issued a decree that no one should enter
my room, under pain of my royal displeasure, until I
was ready to come out. They're awfully afraid of my
royal displeasure, although not a bit afraid of me.
Then I put the parchment in my pocket and escaped
through the back door to my boat -- and here I am. Oo,
hoo-hoo, keek-eek! Imagine the fuss there would be in
Gilgad if my subjects knew where I am this very
"I would like to see that parchment," said the
solemn-eyed Prince Inga, "for if it indeed teaches one
to be good it must be worth its weight in pearls."
"Oh, it's a fine essay," said Rinkitink, "and
beautifully written with a goosequill. Listen to this:
You'll enjoy it -- tee, hee, hee! -- enjoy it."
He took from his pocket a scroll of parchment tied
with a black ribbon, and having carefully unrolled it,
he proceeded to read as follows:
"'A Good Man is One who is Never Bad.' How's that,
eh? Fine thought, what? 'Therefore, in order to be
Good, you must avoid those Things which are Evil.' Oh,
hoo-hoo-hoo! -- how clever! When I get back I shall
make the man who wrote that a royal hippolorum, for,
beyond question, he is the wisest man in my kingdom -as
he has often told me himself." With this, Rinkitink lay
back in his chair and chuckled his queer chuckle until
he coughed, and coughed until he choked and choked
until he sneezed. And he wrinkled his face in such a
jolly, droll way that few could keep from laughing with
him, and even the good Queen was forced to titter
behind her fan.
When Rinkitink had recovered from his fit of laughter
and had wiped his eyes upon a fine lace handkerchief,
Prince Inga said to him:
"The parchment speaks truly."
"Yes, it is true beyond doubt," answered Rinkitink,
"and if I could persuade Bilbil to read it he would be
a much better goat than he is now. Here is another
selection: 'To avoid saying Unpleasant Things, always
Speak Agreeably.' That would hit Bilbil, to a dot. And
here is one that applies to you, my Prince: 'Good
Children are seldom punished, for the reason that they
deserve no punishment.' Now, I think that is neatly
put, and shows the author to be a deep thinker. But the
advice that has impressed me the most is in the
following paragraph: 'You may not find it as Pleasant
to be Good as it is to be Bad, but Other People will
find it more Pleasant.' Haw-hoo-ho! keek-eek! 'Other
people will find it more pleasant!' -- hee, hee, heek,
keek! -- 'more pleasant.' Dear me -- dear me! Therein
lies a noble incentive to be good, and whenever I get
time I'm surely going to try it."
Then he wiped his eyes again with the lace
handkerchief and, suddenly remembering his dinner,
seized his knife and fork and began eating.
The Warriors from the North
King Rinkitink was so much pleased with the Island of
Pingaree that he continued his stay day after day and
week after week, eating good dinners, talking with King
Kitticut and sleeping. Once in a while he would read
from his scroll. "For," said he, "whenever I return
home, my subjects will be anxious to know if I have
learned 'How to be Good,' and I must not disappoint
The twenty rowers lived on the small end of the
island, with the pearl fishers, and seemed not to care
whether they ever returned to the Kingdom of Rinkitink
or not. Bilbil the goat wandered over the grassy
slopes, or among the trees, and passed his days exactly
as he pleased. His master seldom cared to ride him.
Bilbil was a rare curiosity to the islanders, but since
there was little pleasure in talking with the goat they
kept away from him. This pleased the creature, who
seemed well satisfied to be left to his own devices.
Once Prince Inga, wishing to be courteous, walked up
to the goat and said: "Good morning, Bilbil."
"It isn't a good morning," answered Bilbil grumpily.
"It is cloudy and damp, and looks like rain."
"I hope you are contented in our kingdom," continued
the boy, politely ignoring the other's harsh words.
"I'm not," said Bilbil. "I'm never contented; so it
doesn't matter to me whether I'm in your kingdom or in
some other kingdom. Go away -- will you?"
"Certainly," answered the Prince, and after this
rebuff he did not again try to make friends with
Now that the King, his father, was so much occupied
with his royal guest, Inga was often left to amuse
himself, for a boy could not be allowed to take part in
the conversation of two great monarchs. He devoted
himself to his studies, therefore, and day after day he
climbed into the branches of his favorite tree and sat
for hours in his "tree-top rest," reading his father's
precious manuscripts and thinking upon what he read.
You must not think that Inga was a molly-coddle or a
prig, because he was so solemn and studious. Being a
King's son and heir to a throne, he could not play with
the other boys of Pingaree, and he lived so much in the
society of the King and Queen, and was so surrounded by
the pomp and dignity of a court, that he missed all the
jolly times that boys usually have. I have no doubt
that had he been able to live as other boys do, he
would have been much like other boys; as it was, he was
subdued by his surroundings, and more grave and
thoughtful than one of his years should be.
Inga was in his tree one morning when, without
warning, a great fog enveloped the Island of Pingaree.
The boy could scarcely see the tree next to that in
which he sat, but the leaves above him prevented the
dampness from wetting him, so he curled himself up in
his seat and fell fast asleep.
All that forenoon the fog continued. King Kitticut,
who sat in his palace talking with his merry visitor,
ordered the candles lighted, that they might be able to
see one another. The good Queen, Inga's mother, found
it was too dark to work at her embroidery, so she
called her maidens together and told them wonderful
stories of bygone days, in order to pass away the
But soon after noon the weather changed. The dense
fog rolled away like a heavy cloud and suddenly the sun
shot his bright rays over the island.
"Very good!" exclaimed King Kitticut. "We shall have
a pleasant afternoon, I am sure," and he blew out the
Then he stood a moment motionless, as if turned to
stone, for a terrible cry from without the palace
reached his ears -- a cry so full of fear and horror
that the King's heart almost stopped beating.
Immediately there was a scurrying of feet as every one
in the palace, filled with dismay, rushed outside to
see what had happened. even fat little Rinkitink sprang
from his chair and followed his host and the others
through the arched vestibule.
After many years the worst fears of King Kitticut
Landing upon the beach, which was but a few steps
from the palace itself, were hundreds of boats, every
one filled with a throng of fierce warriors. They
sprang upon the land with wild shouts of defiance and
rushed to the King's palace, waving aloft their swords
and spears and battleaxes.
King Kitticut, so completely surprised that he was
bewildered, gazed at the approaching host with terror
"They are the men of Regos and Coregos!" he groaned.
"We are, indeed, lost!"
Then he bethought himself, for the first time, of his
wonderful pearls. Turning quickly, he ran back into the
palace and hastened to the hall where the treasures
were hidden. But the leader of the warriors had seen
the King enter the palace and bounded after him,
thinking he meant to escape. Just as the King had
stooped to press the secret spring in the tiles, the
warrior seized him from the rear and threw him backward
upon the floor, at the same time shouting to his men to
fetch ropes and bind the prisoner. This they did very
quickly and King Kitticut soon found himself helplessly
bound and in the power of his enemies. In this sad
condition he was lifted by the warriors and carried
outside, when the good King looked upon a sorry sight.
The Queen and her maidens, the officers and servants
of the royal household and all who had inhabited this
end of the Island of Pingaree had been seized by the
invaders and bound with ropes. At once they began
carrying their victims to the boats, tossing them in as
unceremoniously as if they had been bales of
The King looked around for his son Inga, but failed
to find the boy among the prisoners. Nor was the fat
King, Rinkitink, to be seen anywhere about.
The warriors were swarming over the palace like bees
in a hive, seeking anyone who might be in hiding, and
after the search had been prolonged for some time the
leader asked impatiently: "Do you find anyone else?"
"No," his men told him. "We have captured them all."
"Then," commanded the leader, "remove everything of
value from the palace and tear down its walls and
towers, so that not one stone remains upon another!"
While the warriors were busy with this task we will
return to the boy Prince, who, when the fog lifted and
the sun came out, wakened from his sleep and began to
climb down from his perch in the tree. But the
terrifying cries of the people, mingled with the shouts
of the rude warriors, caused him to pause and listen
Then he climbed rapidly up the tree, far above his
platform, to the topmost swaying branches. This tree,
which Inga called his own, was somewhat taller than the
other trees that surrounded it, and when he had reached
the top he pressed aside the leaves and saw a great
fleet of boats upon the shore -- strange boats, with
banners that he had never seen before. Turning to look
upon his father's palace, he found it surrounded by a
horde of enemies. Then Inga knew the truth: that tile
island had been invaded by the barbaric warriors from
the north. He grew so faint from the terror of it all
that he might have fallen had he not wound his arms
around a limb and clung fast until the dizzy feeling
passed away. Then with his sash he bound himself to the
limb and again ventured to look out through the leaves.
The warriors were now engaged in carrying King
Kitticut and Queen Garee and all their other captives
down to the boats, where they were thrown in and
chained one to another. It was a dreadful sight for the
Prince to witness, but he sat very still, concealed
from the sight of anyone below by the bower of leafy
branches around him. Inga knew very well that he could
do nothing to help his beloved parents, and that if he
came down he would only be forced to share their cruel
Now a procession of the Northmen passed between the
boats and the palace, bearing the rich furniture,
splendid draperies and rare ornaments of which the
royal palace had been robbed, together with such food
and other plunder as they could lay their hands upon.
After this, the men of Regos and Coregos threw ropes
around the marble domes and towers and hundreds of
warriors tugged at these ropes until the domes and
towers toppled and fell in ruins upon the ground. Then
the walls themselves were torn down, till little
remained of the beautiful palace but a vast heap of
white marble blocks tumbled and scattered upon the
Prince Inga wept bitter tears of grief as he watched
the ruin of his home; yet he was powerless to avert the
destruction. When the palace had been demolished, some
of the warriors entered their boats and rowed along the
coast of the island, while the others marched in a
great body down the length of the island itself. They
were so numerous that they formed a line stretching
from shore to shore and they destroyed every house they
came to and took every inhabitant prisoner.
The pearl fishers who lived at the lower end of the
island tried to escape in their boats, but they were
soon overtaken and made prisoners, like the others. Nor
was there any attempt to resist the foe, for the sharp
spears and pikes and swords of the invaders terrified
the hearts of the defenseless people of Pingaree, whose
sole weapons were their oyster rakes.
When night fell the whole of the Island of Pingaree
had been conquered by the men of the North, and all its
people were slaves of the conquerors. Next morning the
men of Regos and Coregos, being capable of no further
mischief, departed from the scene of their triumph,
carrying their prisoners with them and taking also
every boat to be found upon the island. Many of the
boats they had filled with rich plunder, with pearls
and silks and velvets, with silver and gold ornaments
and all the treasure that had made Pingaree famed as
one of the richest kingdoms in the world. And the
hundreds of slaves they had captured would be set to
work in the mines of Regos and the grain fields of
So complete was the victory of the Northmen that it
is no wonder the warriors sang songs of triumph as they
hastened back to their homes. Great rewards were
awaiting them when they showed the haughty King of
Regos and the terrible Queen of Coregos the results of
their ocean raid and conquest.
The Deserted Island
All through that terrible night Prince Inga remained
hidden in his tree. In the morning he watched the great
fleet of boats depart for their own country, carrying
his parents and his countrymen with them, as well as
everything of value the Island of Pingaree had
Sad, indeed, were the boy's thoughts when the last of
the boats had become a mere speck in the distance, but
Inga did not dare leave his perch of safety until all
of the craft of the invaders had disappeared beyond the
horizon. Then he came down, very slowly and carefully,
for he was weak from hunger and the long and weary
watch, as he had been in the tree for twenty-four hours
The sun shone upon the beautiful green isle as
brilliantly as if no ruthless invader had passed and
laid it in ruins. The birds still chirped among the
trees and the butterflies darted from flower to flower
as happily as when the land was filled with a
prosperous and contented people.
Inga feared that only he was left of all his nation.
Perhaps he might be obliged to pass his life there
alone. He would not starve, for the sea would give him
oysters and fish, and the trees fruit; yet the life
that confronted him was far from enticing.
The boy's first act was to walk over to where the
palace had stood and search the ruins until he found
some scraps of food that had been overlooked by the
enemy. He sat upon a block of marble and ate of this,
and tears filled his eyes as he gazed upon the
desolation around him. But Inga tried to bear up
bravely, and having satisfied his hunger he walked over
to the well, intending to draw a bucket of drinking
Fortunately, this well had been overlooked by the
invaders and the bucket was still fastened to the chain
that wound around a stout wooden windlass. Inga took
hold of the crank and began letting the bucket down
into the well, when suddenly he was startled by a
muffled voice crying out:
"Be careful, up there!"
The sound and the words seemed to indicate that the
voice came from the bottom of the well, so Inga looked
down. Nothing could be seen, on account of the
"Who are you?" he shouted.
"It's I -- Rinkitink," came the answer, and the
depths of the well echoed: "Tink-i-tink-i-tink!" in a
"Are you in the well?" asked the boy, greatly
"Yes, and nearly drowned. I fell in while running
from those terrible warriors, and I've been standing in
this damp hole ever since, with my head just above the
water. It's lucky the well was no deeper, for had my
head been under water, instead of above it -- hoo, hoo,
hoo, keek, eek! -- under instead of over, you know --
why, then I wouldn't be talking to you now! Ha, hoo,
hee!" And the well dismally echoed: "Ha, hoo, hee!"
which you must imagine was a laugh half merry and half
"I'm awfully sorry," cried the boy, in answer. "I
wonder you have the heart to laugh at all. But how am I
to get you out?"
"I've been considering that all night," said
Rinkitink, "and I believe the best plan will be for you
to let down the bucket to me, and I'll hold fast to it
while you wind up the chain and so draw me to the top."
"I will try to do that," replied Inga, and he let the
bucket down very carefully until he heard the King call
"I've got it! Now pull me up -- slowly, my boy,
slowly -- so I won't rub against the rough sides."
Inga began winding up the chain, but King Rinkitink
was so fat that he was very heavy and by the time the
boy had managed to pull him halfway up the well his
strength was gone. He clung to the crank as long as
possible, but suddenly it slipped from his grasp and
the next minute he heard Rinkitink fall "plump!" into
the water again.
"That's too bad!" called Inga, in real distress; "but
you were so heavy I couldn't help it."
"Dear me!" gasped the King, from the darkness below,
as he spluttered and coughed to get the water out of
his mouth. "Why didn't you tell me you were going to
"I hadn't time," said Inga, sorrowfully.
"Well, I'm not suffering from thirst," declared the
King, "for there's enough water inside me to float all
the boats of Regos and Coregos or at least it feels
that way. But never mind! So long as I'm not actually
drowned, what does it matter?"
"What shall we do next?" asked the boy anxiously.
"Call someone to help you," was the reply.
"There is no one on the island but myself," said the
boy; "-- excepting you," he added, as an afterthought.
"I'm not on it -- more's the pity! -- but in it,"
responded Rinkitink. "Are the warriors all gone?"
"Yes," said Inga, "and they have taken my father and
mother, and all our people, to be their slaves," he
added, trying in vain to repress a sob.
"So -- so!" said Rinkitink softly; and then he paused
a moment, as if in thought. Finally he said: "There are
worse things than slavery, but I never imagined a well
could be one of them. Tell me, Inga, could you let down
some food to me? I'm nearly starved, and if you could
manage to send me down some food I'd be well fed --
hoo, hoo, heek, keek, eek! -- well fed. Do you see the
"Do not ask me to enjoy a joke just now, Your
Majesty," begged Inga in a sad voice; "but if you will
be patient I will try to find something for you to
He ran back to the ruins of the palace and began
searching for bits of food with which to satisfy the
hunger of the King, when to his surprise he observed
the goat, Bilbil, wandering among the marble blocks.
"What!" cried Inga. "Didn't the warriors get you,
"If they had," calmly replied Bilbil, "I shouldn't be
"But how did you escape?" asked the boy.
"Easily enough. I kept my mouth shut and stayed away
from the rascals," said the goat. "I knew that the
soldiers would not care for a skinny old beast like me,
for to the eye of a stranger I seem good for nothing.
Had they known I could talk, and that my head contained
more wisdom than a hundred of their own noddles, I
might not have escaped so easily."
"Perhaps you are right," said the boy.
"I suppose they got the old man?" carelessly remarked
"What old man?"
"Oh, no! His Majesty is at the bottom of the well,"
said Inga, "and I don't know how to get him out again."
"Then let him stay there," suggested the goat.
"That would be cruel. I am sure, Bilbil, that you are
fond of the good King, your master, and do not mean
what you say. Together, let us find some way to save
poor King Rinkitink. He is a very jolly companion, and
has a heart exceedingly kind and gentle."
"Oh, well; the old boy isn't so bad, taken
altogether," admitted Bilbil, speaking in a more
friendly tone. "But his bad jokes and fat laughter tire
me dreadfully, at times."
Prince Inga now ran back to the well, the goat
following more leisurely.
"Here's Bilbil!" shouted the boy to the King. "The
enemy didn't get him, it seems."
"That's lucky for the enemy," said Rinkitink. "But
it's lucky for me, too, for perhaps the beast can
assist me out of this hole. If you can let a rope down
the well, I am sure that you and Bilbil, pulling
together, will be able to drag me to the earth's
"Be patient and we will make the attempt," replied
Inga encouragingly, and he ran to search. the ruins for
a rope. Presently he found one that had been used by
the warriors in toppling over the towers, which in
their haste they had neglected to remove, and with some
difficulty he untied the knots and carried the rope to
the mouth of the well.
Bilbil had lain down to sleep and the refrain of a
merry song came in muffled tones from the well, proving
that Rinkitink was making a patient endeavor to amuse
"I've found a rope!" Inga called down to him; and
then the boy proceeded to make a loop in one end of the
rope, for the King to put his arms through, and the
other end he placed over the drum of the windlass. He
now aroused Bilbil and fastened the rope firmly around
the goat's shoulders.
"Are you ready?" asked the boy, leaning over the
"I am," replied the King.
"And I am not," growled the goat, "for I have not yet
had my nap out. Old Rinki will be safe enough in the
well until I've slept an hour or two longer."
"But it is damp in the well," protested the boy, "and
King Rinkitink may catch the rheumatism, so that he
will have to ride upon your back wherever he goes."
Hearing this, Bilbil jumped up at once.
"Let's get him out," he said earnestly.
"Hold fast!" shouted Inga to the King. Then he seized
the rope and helped Bilbil to pull. They soon found the
task more difficult than they had supposed. Once or
twice the King's weight threatened to drag both the boy
and the goat into the well, to keep Rinkitink company.
But they pulled sturdily, being aware of this danger,
and at last the King popped out of the hole and fell
sprawling full length upon the ground.
For a time he lay panting and breathing hard to get
his breath back, while Inga and Bilbil were likewise
worn out from their long strain at the rope; so the
three rested quietly upon the grass and looked at one
another in silence.
Finally Bilbil said to the King: "I'm surprised at
you. Why were you so foolish as to fall down that well?
Don't you know it's a dangerous thing to do? You might
have broken your neck in the fall, or been drowned in
"Bilbil," replied the King solemnly, "you're a goat.
Do you imagine I fell down the well on purpose?"
"I imagine nothing," retorted Bilbil. "I only know
you were there."
"There? Heh-heh-heek-keek-eek! To be sure I was
there," laughed Rinkitink. "There in a dark hole, where
there was no light; there in a watery well, where the
wetness soaked me through and through -- keek-eek-eek-
eek! -- through and through!"
"How did it happen?" inquired Inga.
"I was running away from the enemy," explained the
King, "and I was carelessly looking over my shoulder at
the same time, to see if they were chasing me. So I did
not see the well, but stepped into it and found myself
tumbling down to the bottom. I struck the water very
neatly and began struggling to keep myself from
drowning, but presently I found that when I stood upon
my feet on the bottom of the well, that my chin was
just above the water. So I stood still and yelled for
help; but no one heard me."
"If the warriors had heard you," said Bilbil, "they
would have pulled you out and carried you away to be a
slave. Then you would have been obliged to work for a
living, and that would be a new experience."
"Work!" exclaimed Rinkitink. "Me work? Hoo, hoo,
heek-keek-eek! How absurd! I'm so stout -- not to say
chubby -- not to say fat -- that I can hardly walk, and
I couldn't earn my salt at hard work. So I'm glad the
enemy did not find me, Bilbil. How many others
"That I do not know," replied the boy, "for I
have not yet had time to visit the other parts of
the island. When you have rested and satisfied
your royal hunger, it might be well for us to
look around and see what the thieving warriors
of Regos and Coregos have left us."
"An excellent idea," declared Rinkitink. "I am
somewhat feeble from my long confinement in the well,
but I can ride upon Bilbil's back and we may as well
start at once."
Hearing this, Bilbil cast a surly glance at his
master but said nothing, since it was really the goat's
business to carry King Rinkitink wherever he desired to
They first searched the ruins of the palace, and
where the kitchen had once been they found a small
quantity of food that had been half hidden by a block
of marble. This they carefully placed in a sack to
preserve it for future use, the little fat King having
first eaten as much as he cared for. This consumed some
time, for Rinkitink had been exceedingly hungry and
liked to eat in a leisurely manner. When he had
finished the meal he straddled Bilbil's back and set
out to explore the island, Prince Inga walking by his
They found on every hand ruin and desolation. The
houses of the people had been pilfered of all valuables
and then torn down or burned. Not a boat had been left
upon the shore, nor was there a single person, man or
woman or child, remaining upon the island, save
themselves. The only inhabitants of Pingaree now
consisted of a fat little King, a boy and a goat.
Even Rinkitink, merry hearted as he was, found it
hard to laugh in the face of this mighty disaster. Even
the goat, contrary to its usual habit, refrained from
saying anything disagreeable. As for the poor boy whose
home was now a wilderness, the tears came often to his
eyes as he marked the ruin of his dearly loved island.
When, at nightfall, they reached the lower end of
Pingaree and found it swept as bare as the rest, Inga's
grief was almost more than he could bear. Everything
had been swept from him -- parents, home and country --
in so brief a time that his bewilderment was equal to
Since no house remained standing, in which they might
sleep, the three wanderers crept beneath the
overhanging branches of a cassa tree and curled
themselves up as comfortably as possible. So tired and
exhausted were they by the day's anxieties and griefs
that their troubles soon faded into the mists of
dreamland. Beast and King and boy slumbered peacefully
together until wakened by the singing of the birds
which greeted the dawn of a new day.
The Three Pearls
When King Rinkitink and Prince Inga had bathed
themselves in the sea and eaten a simple breakfast,
they began wondering what they could do to improve
"The poor people of Gilgad," said Rinkitink
cheerfully, "are little likely ever again to behold
their King in the flesh, for my boat and my rowers are
gone with everything else. Let us face the fact that we
are imprisoned for life upon this island, and that our
lives will be short unless we can secure more to eat
than is in this small sack."
"I'll not starve, for I can eat grass," remarked the
goat in a pleasant tone -- or a tone as pleasant as
Bilbil could assume.
"True, quite true," said the King. Then he seemed
thoughtful for a moment and turning to Inga he asked:
"Do you think, Prince, that if the worst comes, we
could eat Bilbil?"
The goat gave a groan and cast a reproachful look at
his master as he said:
"Monster! Would you, indeed, eat your old friend and
"Not if I can help it, Bilbil," answered the King
pleasantly. "You would make a remarkably tough morsel,
and my teeth are not as good as they once were.
While this talk was in progress Inga suddenly
remembered the three pearls which his father had hidden
under the tiled floor of the banquet hall. Without
doubt King Kitticut had been so suddenly surprised by
the invaders that he had found no opportunity to get
the pearls, for otherwise the fierce warriors would
have been defeated and driven out of Pingaree. So they
must still be in their hiding place, and Inga believed
they would prove of great assistance to him and his
comrades in this hour of need. But the palace was a
mass of ruins; perhaps he would be unable now to find
the place where the pearls were hidden.
He said nothing of this to Rinkitink, remembering
that his father had charged him to preserve the secret
of the pearls and of their magic powers. Nevertheless,
the thought of securing the wonderful treasures of his
ancestors gave the boy new hope.
He stood up and said to the King:
"Let us return to the other end of Pingaree. It is
more pleasant than here in spite of the desolation of
my father's palace. And there, if anywhere, we shall
discover a way out of our difficulties."
This suggestion met with Rinkitink's approval and the
little party at once started upon the return journey.
As there was no occasion to delay upon the way, they
reached the big end of the island about the middle of
the day and at once began searching the ruins of the
They found, to their satisfaction, that one room at
the bottom of a tower was still habitable, although the
roof was broken in and the place was somewhat littered
with stones. The King was, as he said, too fat to do
any hard work, so he sat down on a block of marble and
watched Inga clear the room of its rubbish. This done,
the boy hunted through the ruins until he discovered a
stool and an armchair that had not been broken beyond
use. Some bedding and a mattress were also found, so
that by nightfall the little room had been made quite
The following morning, while Rinkitink was still
sound asleep and Bilbil was busily cropping the dewy
grass that edged the shore, Prince Inga began to search
the tumbled heaps of marble for the place where the
royal banquet hall had been. After climbing over the
ruins for a time he reached a flat place which he
recognized, by means of the tiled flooring and the
broken furniture scattered about, to be the great hall
he was seeking. But in the center of the floor,
directly over the spot where the pearls were hidden,
lay several large and heavy blocks of marble, which had
been torn from the dismantled walls.
This unfortunate discovery for a time discouraged the
boy, who realized how helpless he was to remove such
vast obstacles; but it was so important to secure the
pearls that he dared not give way to despair until
every human effort had been made, so he sat him down to
think over the matter with great care.
Meantime Rinkitink had risen from his bed and walked
out upon the lawn, where he found Bilbil reclining at
ease upon the greensward.
"Where is Inga?" asked Rinkitink, rubbing his eyes
with his knuckles because their vision was blurred with
too much sleep.
"Don't ask me," said the goat, chewing with much
satisfaction a cud of sweet grasses.
"Bilbil," said the King, squatting down beside the
goat and resting his fat chin upon his hands and his
elbows on his knees, "allow me to confide to you the
fact that I am bored, and need amusement. My good
friend Kitticut has been kidnapped by the barbarians
and taken from me, so there is no one to converse with
me intelligently. I am the King and you are the goat.
Suppose you tell me a story.
"Suppose I don't," said Bilbil, with a scowl, for a
goat's face is very expressive.
"If you refuse, I shall be more unhappy than ever,
and I know your disposition is too sweet to permit
that. Tell me a story, Bilbil."
The goat looked at him with an expression of scorn.
"One would think you are but four years old,
Rinkitink! But there -- I will do as you command.
Listen carefully, and the story may do you some good --
although I doubt if you understand the moral."
"I am sure the story will do me good," declared the
King, whose eyes were twinkling.
"Once on a time," began the goat.
"When was that, Bilbil?" asked the King gently.
"Don't interrupt; it is impolite. Once on a time
there was a King with a hollow inside his head, where
most people have their brains, and --"
"Is this a true story, Bilbil?"
"And the King with a hollow head could chatter words,
which had no sense, and laugh in a brainless manner at
senseless things. That part of the story is true
"Then proceed with the tale, sweet Bilbil. Yet it is
hard to believe that any King could be brainless --
unless, indeed, he proved it by owning a talking goat."
Bilbil glared at him a full minute in silence.
Then he resumed his story:
"This empty-headed man was a King by accident, having
been born to that high station. Also the King was
empty-headed by the same chance, being born without
"Poor fellow!" quoth the King. "Did he own a talking
"He did," answered Bilbil.
"Then he was wrong to have been born at all. Cheek-
eek-eek-eek, oo, hoo!" chuckled Rinkitink, his fat body
shaking with merriment. "But it's hard to prevent
oneself from being born; there's no chance for protest,
"Who is telling this story, I'd like to know,"
demanded the goat, with anger.
"Ask someone with brains, my boy; I'm sure I can't
tell," replied the King, bursting into one of his merry
fits of laughter.
Bilbil rose to his hoofs and walked away in a
dignified manner, leaving Rinkitink chuckling anew at
the sour expression of the animal's face.
"Oh, Bilbil, you'll be the death of me, some day --
I'm sure you will!" gasped the King, taking out his
lace handkerchief to wipe his eyes; for, as he often
did, he had laughed till the tears came.
Bilbil was deeply vexed and would not even turn his
head to look at his master. To escape from Rinkitink he
wandered among the ruins of the palace, where he came
upon Prince Inga.
"Good morning, Bilbil," said the boy. "I was just
going to find you, that I might consult you upon an
important matter. If you will kindly turn back with me
I am sure your good judgment will be of great
The angry goat was quite mollified by the respectful
tone in which he was addressed, but he immediately
"Are you also going to consult that empty-headed King
"I am sorry to hear you speak of your kind master in
such a way," said the boy gravely. "All men are
deserving of respect, being the highest of living
creatures, and Kings deserve respect more than others,
for they are set to rule over many people."
"Nevertheless," said Bilbil with conviction,
"Rinkitink's head is certainly empty of brains."
"That I am unwilling to believe," insisted Inga. "But
anyway his heart is kind and gentle and that is better
than being wise. He is merry in spite of misfortunes
that would cause others to weep and he never speaks
harsh words that wound the feelings of his friends."
"Still," growled Bilbil, "he is --"
"Let us forget everything but his good nature, which
puts new heart into us when we are sad," advised the
"But he is --"
"Come with me, please," interrupted Inga, "for the
matter of which I wish to speak is very important."
Bilbil followed him, although the boy still heard the
goat muttering that the King had no brains. Rinkitink,
seeing them turn into the ruins, also followed, and
upon joining them asked for his breakfast.
Inga opened the sack of food and while he and the
King ate of it the boy said:
"If I could find a way to remove some of the blocks
of marble which have fallen in the banquet hall, I
think I could find means for us to escape from this
"Then," mumbled Rinkitink, with his mouth full, "let
us move the blocks of marble."
"But how?" inquired Prince Inga. "They are very
"Ah, how, indeed?" returned the King, smacking his
lips contentedly. "That is a serious question. But -- I
have it! Let us see what my famous parchment says about
it." He wiped his fingers upon a napkin and then,
taking the scroll from a pocket inside his embroidered
blouse, he unrolled it and read the following words:
'Never step on another man's toes.'
The goat gave a snort of contempt; Inga was silent;
the King looked from one to the other inquiringly.
"That's the idea, exactly!" declared Rinkitink.
"To be sure," said Bilbil scornfully, "it tells us
exactly how to move the blocks of marble."
"Oh, does it?" responded the King, and then for a
moment he rubbed the top of his bald head in a
perplexed manner. The next moment he burst into a peal
of joyous laughter. The goat looked at Inga and sighed.
"What did I tell you?" asked the creature. "Was I
right, or was I wrong?"
"This scroll," said Rinkitink, "is indeed a
masterpiece. Its advice is of tremendous value. 'Never
step on another man's toes.' Let us think this over.
The inference is that we should step upon our own toes,
which were given us for that purpose. Therefore, if I
stepped upon another man's toes, I would be the other
man. Hoo, hoo, hoo! -- the other man -- hee, hee, heek-
keek-eek! Funny, isn't it?"
"Didn't I say --" began Bilbil.
"No matter what you said, my boy," roared the King.
"No fool could have figured that out as nicely as I
"We have still to decide how to remove the blocks of
marble," suggested Inga anxiously.
"Fasten a rope to them, and pull," said Bilbil.
"Don't pay any more attention to Rinkitink, for he is
no wiser than the man who wrote that brainless scroll.
Just get the rope, and we'll fasten Rinkitink to one
end of it for a weight and I'll help you pull."
"Thank you, Bilbil," replied the boy. "I'll get the
rope at once.
Bilbil found it difficult to climb over the ruins to
the floor of the banquet hall, but there are few places
a goat cannot get to when it makes the attempt, so
Bilbil succeeded at last, and even fat little Rinkitink
finally joined them, though much out of breath.
Inga fastened one end of the rope around a block of
marble and then made a loop at the other end to go over
Bilbil's head. When all was ready the boy seized the
rope and helped the goat to pull; yet, strain as they
might, the huge block would not stir from its place.
Seeing this, King Rinkitink came forward and lent his
assistance, the weight of his body forcing the heavy
marble to slide several feet from where it had lain.
But it was hard work and all were obliged to take a
long rest before undertaking the removal of the next
"Admit, Bilbil," said the King, "that I am of some
use in the world."
"Your weight was of considerable help," acknowledged
the goat, "but if your head were as well filled as
your stomach the task would be still easier."
When Inga went to fasten the rope a second time he
was rejoiced to discover that by moving one more block
of marble he could uncover the tile with the secret
spring. So the three pulled with renewed energy and to
their joy the block moved and rolled upon its side,
leaving Inga free to remove the treasure when he
But the boy had no intention of allowing Bilbil and
the King to share the secret of the royal treasures of
Pingaree; so, although both the goat and its master
demanded to know why the marble blocks had been moved,
and how it would benefit them, Inga begged them to wait
until the next morning, when he hoped to be able to
satisfy them that their hard work had not been in vain.
Having little confidence in this promise of a mere
boy, the goat grumbled and the King laughed; but Inga
paid no heed to their ridicule and set himself to work
rigging up a fishing rod, with line and hook. During
the afternoon he waded out to some rocks near the shore
and fished patiently until he had captured enough
yellow perch for their supper and breakfast.
"Ah," said Rinkitink, looking at the fine catch when
Inga returned to the shore; "these will taste delicious
when they are cooked; but do you know how to cook
"No," was the reply. I have often caught fish, but
never cooked them. Perhaps Your Majesty understands
"Cooking and majesty are two different things,"
laughed the little King. "I could not cook a fish to
save me from starvation."
"For my part," said Bilbil, "I never eat fish, but I
can tell you how to cook them, for I have often watched
the palace cooks at their work." And so, with the
goat's assistance, the boy and the King managed to
prepare the fish and cook them, after which they were
eaten with good appetite.
That night, after Rinkitink and Bilbil were both fast
asleep, Inga stole quietly through the moonlight to the
desolate banquet hall. There, kneeling down, he touched
the secret spring as his father had instructed him to
do and to his joy the tile sank downward and disclosed
the opening. You may imagine how the boy's heart
throbbed with excitement as he slowly thrust his hand
into the cavity and felt around to see if the precious
pearls were still there. In a moment his fingers
touched the silken bag and, without pausing to close
the recess, he pressed the treasure against his breast
and ran out into the moonlight to examine it. When he
reached a bright place he started to open the bag, but
he observed Bilbil lying asleep upon the grass near by.
So, trembling with the fear of discovery, he ran to
another place, and when he paused he heard Rinkitink
snoring lustily. Again he fled and made his way to the
seashore, where he squatted under a bank and began to
untie the cords that fastened the mouth of the bag. But
now another fear assailed him.
"If the pearls should slip from my hand," he thought,
"and roll into the water, they might be lost to me
forever. I must find some safer place."
Here and there he wandered, still clasping the silken
bag in both hands, and finally he went to the grove and
climbed into the tall tree where he had made his
platform and seat. But here it was pitch dark, so he
found he must wait patiently until morning before he
dared touch the pearls. During those hours of waiting
he had time for reflection and reproached himself for
being so frightened by the possession of his father's
"These pearls have belonged to our family for
generations," he mused, "yet no one has ever lost them.
If I use ordinary care I am sure I need have no fears
for their safety."
When the dawn came and he could see plainly, Inga
opened the bag and took out the Blue Pearl. There was
no possibility of his being observed by others, so he
took time to examine it wonderingly, saying to himself:
"This will give me strength."
Taking off his right shoe he placed the Blue Pearl
within it, far up in the pointed toe. Then he tore a
piece from his handkerchief and stuffed it into the
shoe to hold the pearl in place. Inga's shoes were long
and pointed, as were all the shoes worn in Pingaree,
and the points curled upward, so that there was quite a
vacant space beyond the place where the boy's toes
reached when the shoe was upon his foot.
After he had put on the Shoe and laced it up he
opened the bag and took out the Pink Pearl. "This will
protect me from danger," said Inga, and removing the
shoe from his left foot he carefully placed the pearl
in the hollow toe. This, also, he secured in place by
means of a strip torn from his handkerchief.
Having put on the second shoe and laced it up, the
boy drew from the silken bag the third pearl -- that
which was pure white -- and holding it to his ear he
"Will you advise me what to do, in this my hour of
Clearly the small voice of the pearl made answer:
"I advise you to go to the Islands of Regos and
Coregos, where you may liberate your parents from
"How could I do that?" exclaimed Prince Inga, amazed
at receiving such advice.
"To-night," spoke the voice of the pearl, "there will
be a storm, and in the morning a boat will strand upon
the shore. Take this boat and row to Regos and
"How can I, a weak boy, pull the boat so far?" he
inquired, doubting the possibility.
"The Blue Pearl will give you strength," was the
"But I may be shipwrecked and drowned, before ever I
reach Regos and Coregos," protested the boy.
"The Pink Pearl will protect you from harm," murmured
the voice, soft and low but very distinct.
"Then I shall act as you advise me," declared Inga,
speaking firmly because this promise gave him courage,
and as he removed the pearl from his ear it whispered:
"The wise and fearless are sure to win success."
Restoring the White Pearl to the depths of the silken
bag, Inga fastened it securely around his neck and
buttoned his waist above it to hide the treasure from
all prying eyes. Then he slowly climbed down from the
tree and returned to the room where King Rinkitink
The goat was browsing upon the grass but looked cross
and surly. When the boy said good morning as he passed,
Bilbil made no response whatever. As Inga entered the
room the King awoke and asked:
"What is that mysterious secret of yours? I've been
dreaming about it, and I haven't got my breath yet from
tugging at those heavy blocks. Tell me the secret."
"A secret told is no longer a secret," replied Inga,
with a laugh. "Besides, this is a family secret, which
it is proper I should keep to myself. But I may tell
you one thing, at least: We are going to leave this
island to-morrow morning."
The King seemed puzzled' by this statement.
"I'm not much of a swimmer," said he, "and, though
I'm fat enough to float upon the surface of the water,
I'd only bob around and get nowhere at all."
"We shall not swim, but ride comfortably in a boat,"
"There isn't a boat on this island!" declared
Rinkitink, looking upon the boy with wonder.
"True," said Inga. "But one will come to us in the
morning." He spoke positively, for he had perfect faith
in the promise of the White Pearl; but Rinkitink,
knowing nothing of the three marvelous jewels, began to
fear that the little Prince had lost his mind through
grief and misfortune.
For this reason the King did not question the boy
further but tried to cheer him by telling him witty
stories. He laughed at all the stories himself, in his
merry, rollicking way, and Inga joined freely in the
laughter because his heart had been lightened by the
prospect of rescuing his dear parents. Not since the
fierce warriors had descended upon Pingaree had the boy
been so hopeful and happy.
With Rinkitink riding upon Bilbil's back, the three
made a tour of the island and found in the central part
some bushes and trees bearing ripe fruit. They gathered
this freely, for -- aside from the fish which Inga
caught -- it was the only food they now had, and the
less they had, the bigger Rinkitink's appetite seemed
"I am never more happy," said he with a sigh, "than
when I am eating."
Toward evening the sky became overcast and soon a
great storm began to rage. Prince Inga and King
Rinkitink took refuge within the shelter of the room
they had fitted up and there Bilbil joined them. The
goat and the King were somewhat disturbed by the
violence of the storm, but Inga did not mind it, being
pleased at this evidence that the White Pearl might be
All night the wind shrieked around the island;
thunder rolled, lightning flashed and rain came down in
torrents. But with morning the storm abated and when
the sun arose no sign of the tempest remained save a
few fallen trees.
The Magic Boat
Prince Inga was up with the sun and, accompanied by
Bilbil, began walking along the shore in search of the
boat which the White Pearl had promised him. Never for
an instant did he doubt that he would find it and
before he had walked any great distance a dark object
at the water's edge caught his eye.
"It is the boat, Bilbil!" he cried joyfully, and
running down to it he found it was, indeed, a large and
roomy boat. Although stranded upon the beach, it was in
perfect order and had suffered in no way from the
Inga stood for some moments gazing upon the handsome
craft and wondering where it could have come from.
Certainly it was unlike any boat he had ever seen. On
the outside it was painted a lustrous black, without
any other color to relieve it; but all the inside of
the boat was lined with pure silver, polished so highly
that the surface resembled a mirror and glinted
brilliantly in the rays of the sun. The seats had white
velvet cushions upon them and the cushions were
splendidly embroidered with threads of gold. At one
end, beneath the broad seat, was a small barrel with
silver hoops, which the boy found was filled with
fresh, sweet water. A great chest of sandalwood, bound
and ornamented with silver, stood in the other end of
the boat. Inga raised the lid and discovered the chest
filled with sea-biscuits, cakes, tinned meats and ripe,
juicy melons; enough good and wholesome food to last
the party a long time.
Lying upon the bottom of the boat were two shining
oars, and overhead, but rolled back now, was a canopy
of silver cloth to ward off the heat of the sun.
It is no wonder the boy was delighted with the
appearance of this beautiful boat; but on reflection he
feared it was too large for him to row any great
distance. Unless, indeed, the Blue Pearl gave him
While he was considering this matter, King Rinkitink
came waddling up to him and said:
"Well, well, well, my Prince, your words have come
true! Here is the boat, for a certainty, yet how it
came here -- and how you knew it would come to us --
are puzzles that mystify me. I do not question our good
fortune, however, and my heart is bubbling with joy,
for in this boat I will return at once to my City of
Gilgad, from which I have remained absent altogether
too long a time."
"I do not wish to go to Gilgad," said Inga.
"That is too bad, my friend, for you would be very
welcome. But you may remain upon this island, if you
wish," continued Rinkitink, "and when I get home I will
send some of my people to rescue you."
"It is my boat, Your Majesty," said Inga quietly.
"May be, may be," was the careless answer, "but I am
King of a great country, while you are a boy Prince
without any kingdom to speak of. Therefore, being of
greater importance than you, it is just and right that
I take, your boat and return to my own country in it."
"I am sorry to differ from Your Majesty's views,"
said Inga, "but instead of going to Gilgad I consider
it of greater importance that we go to the islands of
Regos and Coregos."
"Hey? What!" cried the astounded King. "To Regos and
Coregos! To become slaves of the barbarians, like the
King, your father? No, no, my boy! Your Uncle Rinki may
have an empty noddle, as Bilbil claims, but he is far
too wise to put his head in the lion's mouth. It's no
fun to be a slave."
"The people of Regos and Coregos will not enslave
us," declared Inga. "On the contrary, it is my
intention to set free my dear parents, as well as all
my people, and to bring them back again to Pingaree."
"Cheek-eek-eek-eek-eek! How funny!" chuckled
Rinkitink, winking at the goat, which scowled in
return. "Your audacity takes my breath away, Inga, but
the adventure has its charm, I must, confess. Were I
not so fat, I'd agree to your plan at once, and could
probably conquer that horde of fierce warriors without
any assistance at all -- any at all -- eh, Bilbil? But
I grieve to say that I am fat, and not in good fighting
trim. As for your determination to do what I admit I
can't do, Inga, I fear you forget that you are only a
boy, and rather small at that."
"No, I do not forget that," was Inga's reply.
"Then please consider that you and I and Bilbil are
not strong enough, as an army, to conquer a powerful
nation of skilled warriors. We could attempt it, of
course, but you are too young to die, while I am too
old. Come with me to my City of Gilgad, where you will
be greatly honored. I'll have my professors teach you
how to be good. Eh? What do you say?"
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