The Tin Woodman of Oz
L. Frank Baum
Part 3 out of 4
place as near to the great Munchkin forest as a wagon
could get. The Red Wagon was big enough to seat them
all, and so, bidding good-bye to Jinjur, who gave Woot
a basket of ripe cream-puffs and caramels to take with
him, Ozma commanded the Wooden Sawhorse to start, and
the strange creature moved swiftly over the lanes and
presently came to the Road of Yellow Bricks. This road
led straight to a dense forest, where the path was too
narrow for the Red Wagon to proceed farther, so here
the party separated.
Ozma and Dorothy and Toto returned to the Emerald
City, after wishing their friends a safe and successful
journey, while the Tin Woodman, the Scarecrow, Woot the
Wanderer and Polychrome, the Rainbow's Daughter,
prepared to push their way through the thick forest.
However, these forest paths were well known to the Tin
Man and the Scarecrow, who felt quite at home among the
"I was born in this grand forest," said Nick Chopper,
the tin Emperor, speaking proudly, "and it was here
that the Witch enchanted my axe and I lost different
parts of my meat body until I became all tin. Here,
also -- for it is a big forest -- Nimmie Amee lived
with the Wicked Witch, and at the other edge of the
trees stands the cottage of my friend Ku-Klip, the
famous tinsmith who made my present beautiful form."
"He must be a clever workman," declared Woot,
"He is simply wonderful," declared the Tin Woodman.
"I shall be glad to make his acquaintance," said
"If you wish to meet with real cleverness," remarked
the Scarecrow, "you should visit the Munchkin farmer
who first made me. I won't say that my friend the
Emperor isn't all right for a tin man, but any judge of
beauty can understand that a Scarecrow is far more
artistic and refined."
"You are too soft and flimsy," said the Tin Woodman.
"You are too hard and stiff," said the Scarecrow, and
this was as near to quarreling as the two friends ever
came. Polychrome laughed at them both, as well she
might, and Woot hastened to change the subject.
At night they all camped underneath the trees. The
boy ate cream-puffs for supper and offered Polychrome
some, but she preferred other food and at daybreak
sipped the dew that was clustered thick on the forest
flowers. Then they tramped onward again, and presently
the Scarecrow paused and said:
"It was on this very spot that Dorothy and I first
met the Tin Woodman, who was rusted so badly that none
of his joints would move. But after we had oiled him
up, he was as good as new and accompanied us to the
"Ah, that was a sad experience," asserted the Tin
Woodman soberly. "I was caught in a rainstorm while
chopping down a tree for exercise, and before I
realized it, I was firmly rusted in every joint. There
I stood, axe in hand, but unable to move, for days and
weeks and months! Indeed, I have never known exactly
how long the time was; but finally along came Dorothy
and I was saved. See! This is the very tree I was
chopping at the time I rusted."
"You cannot be far from your old home, in that case,"
"No; my little cabin stands not a great way off, but
there is no occasion for us to visit it. Our errand is
with Nimmie Amee, and her house is somewhat farther
away, to the left of us."
"Didn't you say she lives with a Wicked Witch, who
makes her a slave?" asked the boy.
"She did, but she doesn't," was the reply. "I am told
the Witch was destroyed when Dorothy's house fell on
her, so now Nimmie Amee must live all alone. I haven't
seen her, of course, since the Witch was crushed, for
at that time I was standing rusted in the forest and
had been there a long time, but the poor girl must have
felt very happy to be free from her cruel mistress."
"Well," said the Scarecrow, "let's travel on and find
Nimmie Amee. Lead on, your Majesty, since you know the
way, and we will follow."
So the Tin Woodman took a path that led through the
thickest part of the forest, and they followed it for
some time. The light was dim here, because vines and
bushes and leafy foliage were all about them, and often
the Tin Man had to push aside the branches that
obstructed their way, or cut them off with his axe.
After they had proceeded some distance, the Emperor
suddenly stopped short and exclaimed: "Good gracious!"
The Scarecrow, who was next, first bumped into his
friend and then peered around his tin body, and said in
a tone of wonder:
"Well, I declare!"
Woot the Wanderer pushed forward to see what was the
matter, and cried out in astonishment: "For goodness'
Then the three stood motionless, staring hard, until
Polychrome's merry laughter rang out behind them and
aroused them from their stupor.
In the path before them stood a tin man who was the
exact duplicate of the Tin Woodman. He was of the same
size, he was jointed in the same manner, and he was
made of shining tin from top to toe. But he stood
immovable, with his tin jaws half parted and his tin
eyes turned upward. In one of his hands was held a
long, gleaming sword. Yes, there was the difference,
the only thing that distinguished him from the Emperor
of the Winkies. This tin man bore a sword, while the
Tin Woodman bore an axe.
"It's a dream; it must be a dream!" gasped Woot.
"That's it, of course," said the Scarecrow; "there
couldn't be two Tin Woodmen."
"No," agreed Polychrome, dancing nearer to the
stranger, "this one is a Tin Soldier. Don't you see his
The Tin Woodman cautiously put out one tin hand and
felt of his double's arm. Then he said in a voice that
trembled with emotion:
"Who are you, friend?"
There was no reply
"Can't you see he's rusted, just as you were once?"
asked Polychrome, laughing again. "Here, Nick Chopper,
lend me your oil-can a minute!"
The Tin Woodman silently handed her his oil-can,
without which he never traveled, and Polychrome
first oiled the stranger's tin jaws and then worked
them gently to and fro until the Tin Soldier said:
"That's enough. Thank you. I can now talk. But please
oil my other joints."
Woot seized the oil-can and did this, but all the
others helped wiggle the soldier's joints as soon as
they were oiled, until they moved freely.
The Tin Soldier seemed highly pleased at his release.
He strutted up and down the path, saying in a high,
"The Soldier is a splendid man
When marching on parade,
And when he meets the enemy
He never is afraid.
He rights the wrongs of nations,
His country's flag defends,
The foe he'll fight with great delight,
But seldom fights his friends."
"Are you really a soldier?" asked Woot, when they had
all watched this strange tin person parade up and down
the path and proudly flourish his sword.
"I was a soldier," was the reply, "but I've been a
prisoner to Mr. Rust so long that I don't know exactly
what I am."
"But -- dear me!" cried the Tin Woodman, sadly
perplexed; "how came you to be made of tin?"
"That," answered the Soldier, "is a sad, sad story I
was in love with a beautiful Munchkin girl, who lived
with a Wicked Witch. The Witch did not wish me to marry
the girl, so she enchanted my sword, which began
hacking me to pieces. When I lost my legs I went to the
tinsmith, Ku-Klip, and he made me some tin legs. When I
lost my arms, Ku-Klip made me tin arms, and when I lost
my head he made me this fine one out of tin. It was the
same way with my body, and finally I was all tin. But I
was not unhappy, for Ku-Klip made a good job of me,
having had experience in making another tin man before
"Yes," observed the Tin Woodman, "it was Ku-Klip who
made me. But, tell me, what was the name of the
Munchkin girl you were in love with?"
"She is called Nimmie Amee," said the Tin Soldier.
Hearing this, they were all so astonished that they
were silent for a time, regarding the stranger with
wondering looks. Finally the Tin Woodman ventured to
"And did Nimmie Amee return your love?"
"Not at first," admitted the Soldier. "When first I
marched into the forest and met her, she was weeping
over the loss of her former sweetheart, a woodman whose
name was Nick Chopper."
"That is me," said the Tin Woodman.
"She told me he was nicer than a soldier, because he
was all made of tin and shone beautifully in the sun.
She said a tin man appealed to her artistic instincts
more than an ordinary meat man, as I was then. But I
did not despair, because her tin sweetheart had
disappeared, and could not be found. And finally Nimmie
Amee permitted me to call upon her and we became
friends. It was then that the Wicked Witch discovered
me and became furiously angry when I said I wanted to
marry the girl. She enchanted my sword, as I said, and
then my troubles began. When I got my tin legs, Nimmie
Amee began to take an interest in me; when I got my tin
arms, she began to like me better than ever, and when I
was all made of tin, she said I looked like her dear
Nick Chopper and she would be willing to marry me.
"The day of our wedding was set, and it turned out to
be a rainy day. Nevertheless I started out to get
Nimmie Amee, because the Witch had been absent for some
time, and we meant to elope before she got back. As I
traveled the forest paths the rain wetted my joints,
but I paid no attention to this because my thoughts
were all on my wedding with beautiful Nimmie Amee and I
could think of nothing else until suddenly my legs
stopped moving. Then my arms rusted at the joints and I
became frightened and cried for help, for now I was
unable to oil myself. No one heard my calls and before
long my jaws rusted, and I was unable to utter another
sound. So I stood helpless in this spot, hoping some
wanderer would come my way and save me. But this forest
path is seldom used, and I have been standing here so
long that I have lost all track of time. In my mind I
composed poetry and sang songs, but not a sound have I
been able to utter. But this desperate condition has
now been relieved by your coming my way and I must
thank you for my rescue."
"This is wonderful!" said the Scarecrow, heaving a
stuffy, long sigh. "I think Ku-Klip was wrong to make
two tin men, just alike, and the strangest thing of all
is that both you tin men fell in love with the same
"As for that," returned the Soldier, seriously, "I
must admit I lost my ability to love when I lost my
meat heart. Ku-Klip gave me a tin heart, to be sure,
but it doesn't love anything, as far as I can discover,
and merely rattles against my tin ribs, which makes me
wish I had no heart at all."
"Yet, in spite of this condition, you were going to
marry Nimmie Amee?"
"Well, you see I had promised to marry her, and I am
an honest man and always try to keep my promises. I
didn't like to disappoint the poor girl, who had been
disappointed by one tin man already."
"That was not my fault," declared the Emperor of the
Winkies, and then he related how he, also, had rusted
in the forest and after a long time had been rescued by
Dorothy and the Scarecrow and had traveled with them to
the Emerald City in search of a heart that could love.
"If you have found such a heart, sir," said the
Soldier, "I will gladly allow you to marry Nimmie Amee
in my place."
"If she loves you best, sir," answered the Woodman,
"I shall not interfere with your wedding her. For, to
be quite frank with you, I cannot yet love Nimmie Amee
as I did before I became tin."
"Still, one of you ought to marry the poor girl,"
remarked Woot; "and, if she likes tin men, there is not
much choice between you. Why don't you draw lots for
"That wouldn't be right," said the Scarecrow.
"The girl should be permitted to choose her own
husband," asserted Polychrome. "You should both go to
her and allow her to take her choice. Then she will
surely be happy."
"That, to me, seems a very fair arrangement," said
the Tin Soldier.
"I agree to it," said the Tin Woodman, shaking the
hand of his twin to show the matter was settled. "May I
ask your name, sir?" he continued.
"Before I was so cut up," replied the other, "I was
known as Captain Fyter, but afterward I was merely
called 'The Tin Soldier.'"
"Well, Captain, if you are agreeable, let us now go
to Nimmie Amee's house and let her choose between us."
"Very well; and if we meet the Witch, we will both
fight her -- you with your axe and I with my sword."
"The Witch is destroyed," announced the Scarecrow,
and as they walked away he told the Tin Soldier of much
that had happened in the Land of Oz since he had stood
rusted in the forest.
"I must have stood there longer than I had imagined,"
he said thoughtfully
The Workshop of Ku-Klip
It was not more than a two hours' journey to the house
where Nimmie Amee had lived, but when our travelers
arrived there they found the place deserted. The door
was partly off its hinges, the roof had fallen in at
the rear and the interior of the cottage was thick with
dust. Not only was the place vacant, but it was evident
that no one had lived there for a long time.
"I suppose," said the Scarecrow, as they all stood
looking wonderingly at the ruined house, "that after
the Wicked Witch was destroyed, Nimmie Amee became
lonely and went somewhere else to live."
"One could scarcely expect a young girl to live all
alone in a forest," added Woot. "She would want
company, of course, and so I believe she has gone where
other people live."
"And perhaps she is still crying her poor little
heart out because no tin man comes to marry her,"
"Well, in that case, it is the clear duty of you two
tin persons to seek Nimmie Amee until you find her,"
declared the Scarecrow.
"I do not know where to look for the girl," said the
Tin Soldier, "for I am almost a stranger to this part
of the country."
"I was born here," said the Tin Woodman, "but the
forest has few inhabitants except the wild beasts. I
cannot think of anyone living near here with whom
Nimmie Amee might care to live."
"Why not go to Ku-Klip and ask him what has become of
the girl?" proposed Polychrome.
That struck them all as being a good suggestion, so
once more they started to tramp through the forest,
taking the direct path to Ku-Klip's house, for both the
tin twins knew the way, having followed it many times.
Ku-Klip lived at the far edge of the great forest,
his house facing the broad plains of the Munchkin
Country that lay to the eastward. But, when they came
to this residence by the forest's edge, the tinsmith
was not at home.
It was a pretty place, all painted dark blue with
trimmings of lighter blue. There was a neat blue fence
around the yard and several blue benches had been
placed underneath the shady blue trees which marked the
line between forest and plain. There was a blue lawn
before the house, which was a good sized building. Ku-
Klip lived in the front part of the house and had his
work-shop in the back part, where he had also built a
lean-to addition, in order to give him more room.
Although they found the tinsmith absent on their
arrival, there was smoke coming out of his chimney,
which proved that he would soon return.
"And perhaps Nimmie Amee will be with him," said the
Scarecrow in a cheerful voice.
While they waited, the Tin Woodman went to the door
of the workshop and, finding it unlocked, entered and
looked curiously around the room where he had been
"It seems almost like home to me," hie told his
friends, who had followed him in. "The first time I
came here I had lost a leg, so I had to carry it in my
hand while I hopped on the other leg all the way from
the place in the forest where the enchanted axe cut me.
I remember that old Ku-Klip carefully put my meat leg
into a barrel -- I think that is the same barrel, still
standing in the corner yonder -- and then at once he
began to make a tin leg for me. He worked fast and with
skill, and I was much interested in the job."
"My experience was much the same," said the Tin
Soldier. "I used to bring all the parts of me, which
the enchanted sword had cut away, here to the tinsmith,
and Ku-Klip would put them into the barrel."
"I wonder," said Woot, "if those cast-off parts of you two
unfortunates are still in that barrel in the corner?"
"I suppose so." replied the Tin Woodman. "In the Land
of Oz no part of a living creature can ever be destroyed."
"If that is true, how was that Wicked Witch destroyed?" inquired Woot.
"Why, she was very old and was all dried up and
withered before Oz became a fairyland," explained the
Scarecrow. "Only her magic arts had kept her alive so
long, and when Dorothy's house fell upon her she just
turned to dust, and was blown away and scattered by the
wind. I do not think, however, that the parts cut away
from these two young men could ever be entirely
destroyed and, if they are still in those barrels,
they are likely to be just the same as when the
enchanted axe or sword severed them."
"It doesn't matter, however," said the Tin Woodman;
"our tin bodies are more brilliant and durable, and
quite satisfy us."
"Yes, the tin bodies are best," agreed the Tin
Soldier. "Nothing can hurt them."
"Unless they get dented or rusted," said Woot, but
both the tin men frowned on him.
Scraps of tin, of all shapes and sizes, lay scattered
around the workshop. Also there were hammers and anvils
and soldering irons and a charcoal furnace and many
other tools such as a tinsmith works with. Against two
of the side walls had been built stout work-benches and
in the center of the room was a long table. At the end of
the shop, which adjoined the dwelling, were several cupboards.
After examining the interior of the workshop until
his curiosity was satisfied, Woot said;
"I think I will go outside until Ku-Klip comes. It
does not seem quite proper for us to take possession of
his house while he is absent."
"That is true," agreed the Scarecrow, and they were
all about to leave the room when the Tin Woodman said:
"Wait a minute," and they halted in obedience to the
The Tin Woodman Talks to Himself
The Tin Woodman had just noticed the cupboards and was
curious to know what they contained, so he went to one
of them and opened the door. There were shelves inside,
and upon one of the shelves which was about on a level
with his 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 was facing
the Tin Woodman and as the cupboard door swung back,
the eyes of the Head slowly opened and looked at him.
The Tin Woodman was not at all surprised, 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
"You have the advantage of me," replied the Head. "I
never saw you before in my 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't remember it. Did you think," with a
pleasant smile, "that I was born just as I am? 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 good since my
separation from the rest of me. I still possess my
brains and my intellect is as good as ever, but my
memory of some of the events I formerly experienced is
"How long have you been in this cupboard?" asked the
"I don't know."
"Haven't you a name?"
"Oh, yes," said the Head; "I used to be called Nick
Chopper, when I was a woodman and cut down trees for a
"Good gracious!" cried the Tin Woodman in
astonishment. "If you are Nick Chopper's Head, then you
are Me -- or I'm You -- or -- or -- What relation are
"Don't ask me," replied the Head. "For my part, I'm
not anxious to claim relationship with any common,
manufactured article, like you. You may be all right 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 his old Head in silence. Then he said:
"I must admit that I wasn't at all bad looking before
I became tin. You're almost handsome -- for meat. If
your hair was combed, you'd be quite attractive."
"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 I was
removed from the rest of me, my hair got mussed,
and old Ku-Klip never has combed it for me."
"I'll speak to him about it," said the Tin Woodman.
"Do you remember loving a pretty Munchkin girl named
"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't made 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 have you thought about, in all
"Nothing. That's another foolish question. A little
reflection will convince you that I have had nothing to
think about, except the boards on the inside of the
cupboard door, and it didn't take me long to think of
everything about those 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
"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 say that
I don't care."
The Tin Woodman was much puzzled by these answers.
His traveling companions had grouped themselves at his
back, and had fixed their eyes on the Head and listened
to the conversation with much interest, but until now,
they had not interrupted because they thought the Tin
Woodman had the best right to talk to his 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 he proceeded to open all the
cupboard doors. But no other head was to be found on
any of the shelves.
"Oh, well; never mind," said Woot the Wanderer; "I
can't imagine what anyone wants of a cast-off head,
"I can understand the Soldier's interest," asserted
Polychrome, dancing around the 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, just as one likes to revisit an old
"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 Tin Woodman's former head. "And I
don't see what right you folks have to disturb my 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 have any 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 and
dignified, and when a mob of people in whom I am not
interested disturb me, they are the disagreeable ones;
With a sigh the Tin Woodman closed and latched the
cupboard door and turned away.
"Well," said the Tin Soldier, "if my old head would
have treated me as coldly and in so unfriendly a manner
as your old head has treated you, friend Chopper, 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 of meat."
But just then old Ku-Klip the Tinsmith arrived, and
he seemed surprised to find so many visitors. Ku-Klip
was a stout man and a short man. He had his sleeves
rolled above his elbows, showing muscular arms, and he
wore a leathern apron that covered all the front of
him, and was so long that Woot was surprised he didn't
step on it and trip whenever he walked. And Ku-Klip had
a gray beard that was almost as long as his apron, and
his head was bald on top and his ears stuck out from
his head like two fans. Over his eyes, which were
bright and twinkling, he wore big spectacles. It was
easy to see that the tinsmith 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 visit me, and they and their friends are welcome
indeed. I'm very proud of you two characters, I assure
you, for you are so perfect that you are proof that I'm
a good workman. Sit down. Sit down, all of you -- if
you can find anything to sit on -- and tell me why you
So they found seats and told him all of their
adventures that they thought he would like to know. Ku-
Klip was glad to learn that Nick Chopper, the Tin
Woodman, was now Emperor of the Winkies and a friend of
Ozma of Oz, and the tinsmith was also interested in the
Scarecrow and Polychrome.
He turned the straw man around, examining him
curiously, and patted him on all sides, and then said:
"You are certainly wonderful, but I think you would
be more durable and steady on your legs if you were
made of tin. Would you like me to --"
"No, indeed!" interrupted the Scarecrow hastily; "I
like myself better as I am."
But to Polychrome the tinsmith said:
"Nothing could improve you, my dear, for you are the
most beautiful maiden I have ever seen. It is pure
happiness just to look at you."
"That is praise, indeed, from so skillful a workman,"
returned the Rainbow's Daughter, 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 to you for information."
Then, between them, they related their search for
Nimmie Amee, whom the Tin Woodman explained he had
resolved to marry, yet who had promised to become the
bride of the Tin Soldier before he unfortunately became
rusted. And when the story 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 when the Tin Soldier did not come to
marry her, as he had promised to do. The old Witch was
so provoked at the girl's tears that she beat Nimmie
Amee with her crooked stick and then hobbled away to
gather some magic herbs, with which she intended to
transform the girl into an old hag, so that no one
would again love her or care to marry her. It was while
she was away on this errand that Dorothy's house fell
on the Wicked Witch, and she turned to dust and blew
away. When I heard this good news, I sent Nimmie Amee
to find the Silver Shoes which the Witch had worn, but
Dorothy had taken them with her to the Emerald City."
"Yes, we know all about those Silver Shoes," said the
"Well," continued Ku-Klip, "after that, Nimmie Amee
decided to go away from the forest and live with some
people she was acquainted with who had a house on Mount
Munch. I have never seen the girl since."
"Do you know the name of the people on Mount Munch,
with whom she went to live?" asked the Tin Woodman.
"No, Nimmie Amee did not mention her friend's name,
and I did not ask her. She took with her all that she
could carry of the goods that were in the Witch's
house, and she told me I could have the rest. But when
I went there I found nothing 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 it to 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 I ever heard of had
this Magic Glue, and of course when Nick Chopper cut
himself to pieces with his enchanted axe and Captain
Fyter cut himself to pieces with his enchanted sword,
the Witch would not mend them, or allow me to glue them
together, 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 you see, tin
answered the purpose very well, and I am sure their tin
bodies are a great 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 old head in your cupboard, a while
ago, and certainly it is not as desirable a head 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
"Let me think a minute," replied Ku-Klip. "If I
remember right, you two boys used to bring me most of
your parts, when they were cut off, and I saved them in
that barrel in the corner. You must not have brought me
all the parts, for when 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! And he'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 live with her friends on Mount
Munch, I was looking around the shop for something and
came upon the bottle of Magic Glue which I had brought
from the old Witch's house. It occurred to me to piece
together the odds and ends of you two people, which of
course were just as good as ever, and see if I couldn't
make a man out of them. If I succeeded, I would have an
assistant to help me with my work, and I thought it
would be a clever idea to put to some practical use the
scraps of Nick Chopper and Captain Fyter. There were
two perfectly good heads in my cupboard, and a lot of
feet and legs and parts of bodies in the 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, which worked perfectly. That was
the hardest part of my job, however, because the bodies
didn't match up well and some parts were missing. But
by using a piece of Captain Fyter here and a piece of
Nick Chopper there, I finally got together a very
decent body, with heart and all the trimmings
"Whose heart did you use in making asked the Tin.
Woodman anxiously. the body?"
"I can't tell, for the parts had no tags on them and
one heart looks much like another. 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 leg longer than the other, I trimmed it
down to make them match. I was much disappointed to
find that I had but one arm. There was an extra leg in
the barrel, but I could find only one arm. Having glued
this onto the body, I was ready for the head, and I had
some difficulty in making up my mind which head to use.
Finally I shut my eyes and reached out my hand toward
the cupboard shelf, 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 exchange for it -- the beautiful tin
head you now wear. When the glue had dried, my man was
quite an interesting fellow. I named him Chopfyt, using
a part of Nick Chopper's name and a part of Captain
Fyter's name, because he was a mixture of both your
cast-off parts. Chopfyt was interesting, as I said,
but he did not prove a very agreeable companion. He
complained bitterly because I had given him but one arm
-- as if it were my fault! -- and he grumbled because the
suit of blue Munchkin clothes, which I got for him from
a neighbor, did not fit him perfectly."
"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. He was awkward with tools
and was always hungry. He demanded something to eat six
or 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 he proposed,
one day, to go out into the world and seek adventures,
I was delighted to be rid of him. I even made him a tin
arm to take the place of the missing one, and that
pleased him very much, so that we parted good friends."
"What became of Chopfyt after that?" the Scarecrow
"I never heard. He started off toward the east, into
the plains of the Munchkin Country, and that was the
last I ever saw of him."
"It seems to me," said the Tin Woodman reflectively,
"that you did wrong in making a man out of our cast-off
parts. It is evident that Chopfyt could, with justice,
claim relationship with both of us."
"Don't worry about that," advised Ku-Klip cheerfully;
"it is not likely that you will ever meet the fellow.
And, if you should meet him, he doesn't know who 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 to yourselves, if you
"Never mind Chopfyt," said the Scarecrow. "Our
business now is to find poor Nimmie Amee and let her
choose her tin husband. To do that, it seems, from the
information Ku-Klip has given us, we must travel to
"If that's the programme, let us start at once,"
So they all went outside, where they found Polychrome
dancing about among the trees and talking with the
birds and laughing as merrily as if she had not lost
her Rainbow and so been separated from all her fairy
They told her they were going to Mount Munch, and she
"Very well; I am as likely to find my Rainbow there
as here, and any other place is as likely as there. It
all depends on the weather. Do you think it looks like
They shook their heads, and Polychrome laughed again
and danced on after them when they resumed their
The Invisible Country
They were proceeding so easily and comfortably on their
way to Mount Munch that Woot said in a serious tone of
"I'm afraid something is going to happen."
"Why?" asked Polychrome, dancing around the group of
"Because," said the boy, thoughtfully, "I've noticed
that when we have the least reason for getting into
trouble, something is sure to go wrong. Just now the
weather is delightful; the grass is beautifully blue
and quite soft to our feet; the mountain we are seeking
shows clearly in the distance and there is no reason
anything should happen to delay us in getting there.
Our troubles all seem to be over, and -- well, that's
why I'm afraid," he added, with a sigh.
"Dear me!" remarked the Scarecrow, "what unhappy
thoughts you have, to be sure. This is proof that born
brains cannot equal manufactured brains, for my brains
dwell only on facts and never borrow trouble. When
there is occasion for my brains to think, they think,
but I would be ashamed of my brains if they kept
shooting out thoughts that were merely fears and
imaginings, such as do no good, but are likely to do
"For my part," said the Tin Woodman, "I do not think
at all, but allow my velvet heart to guide me at all
"The tinsmith filled my hollow head with scraps and
clippings of tin," said the Soldier, "and he told me
they would do nicely for brains, but when I begin to
think, the tin scraps rattle around and get so mixed
that I'm soon bewildered. So I try not to think. My tin
heart is almost as useless to me, for it is hard and
cold, so I'm sure the red velvet heart of my friend
Nick Chopper is a better guide."
"Thoughtless people are not unusual," observed the
Scarecrow, "but I consider them more fortunate than
those who have useless or wicked thoughts and do not
try to curb them. Your oil can, friend Woodman, is
filled with oil, but you only apply the oil to your
joints, drop by drop, as you need it, and do not keep
spilling it where it will do no good. Thoughts should
be restrained in the same way as your oil, and only
applied when necessary, and for a good purpose. If used
carefully, thoughts are good things to have."
Polychrome laughed at him, for the Rainbow's Daughter
knew more about thoughts than the Scarecrow did. But
the others were solemn, feeling they had been rebuked,
and tramped on in silence.
Suddenly Woot, who was in the lead, looked around and
found that all his comrades had mysteriously
disappeared. But where could they have gone to? The
broad plain was all about him and there were neither
trees nor bushes that could hide even a rabbit, nor any
hole for one to fall into. Yet there he stood, alone.
Surprise had caused him to halt, and with a
thoughtful and puzzled expression on his face he looked
down at his feet. It startled him anew to discover that
he had no feet. He reached out his hands, but he could
not see them. He could feel his hands and arms and
body; he stamped his feet on the grass and knew they
were there, but in some strange way they had become
While Woot stood, wondering, a crash of metal sounded
in his ears and he heard two heavy bodies tumble to the
earth just beside him.
"Good gracious!" exclaimed the voice of the Tin
"Mercy me!" cried the voice of the Tin Soldier.
"Why didn't you look where you were going?" asked the
Tin Woodman reproachfully.
"I did, but I couldn't see you," said the Tin
Soldier. "Something has happened to my tin eyes. I
can't see you, even now, nor can I see anyone else!"
"It's the same way with me," admitted the Tin
Woot couldn't see either of them, although he heard
them plainly, and just then something smashed against
him unexpectedly and knocked him over; but it was only
the straw-stuffed body of the Scarecrow that fell upon
him and while he could not see the Scarecrow he managed
to push him off and rose to his feet just as Polychrome
whirled against him and made him tumble again.
Sitting upon the ground, the boy asked:
"Can you see us, Poly?"
"No, indeed," answered the Rainbow's Daughter; "we've
all become invisible."
"How did it happen, do you suppose?" inquired the
Scarecrow, lying where he had fallen.
"We have met with no enemy," answered Poly-chrome,
"so it must be that this part of the country has the
magic quality of making people invisible --even fairies
falling under the charm. We can see the grass, and the
flowers, and the stretch of plain before us, and we can
still see Mount Munch in the distance; but we cannot
see ourselves or one another."
"Well, what are we to do about it?" demanded Woot.
"I think this magic affects only a small part of the
plain," replied Polychrome; "perhaps there is only a
streak of the country where an enchantment makes people
become invisible. So, if we get together and hold
hands, we can travel toward Mount Munch until the
enchanted streak is passed."
"All right," said Woot, jumping up, "give me your
hand, Polychrome. Where are you?"
"Here," she answered. "Whistle, Woot, and keep
whistling until I come to you."
So Woot whistled, and presently Polychrome found him
and grasped his hand.
"Someone must help me up," said the Scarecrow, lying
near them; so they found the straw man and sat him upon
his feet, after which he held fast to Polychrome's
Nick Chopper and the Tin Soldier had managed to
scramble up without assistance, but it was awkward for
them and the Tin Woodman said:
"I don't seem to stand straight, somehow. But my
joints all work, so I guess I can walk."
Guided by his voice, they reached his side, where
Woot grasped his tin fingers so they might keep
The Tin Soldier was standing near by and the
Scarecrow soon touched him and took hold of his arm.
"I hope you're not wobbly," said the straw man,
"for if two of us walk unsteadily we will be sure
"I'm not wobbly," the Tin Soldier assured him, "but
I'm certain that one of my legs is shorter than the
other. I can't see it, to tell what's gone wrong, but
I'll limp on with the rest of you until we are out of
this enchanted territory."
They now formed a line, holding hands, and turning
their faces toward Mount Munch resumed their journey.
They had not gone far, however, when a terrible growl
saluted their ears. The sound seemed to come from a
place just in front of them, so they halted abruptly
and remained silent, listening with all their ears.
"I smell straw!" cried a hoarse, harsh voice, with
more growls and snarls. "I smell straw, and I'm a
Hip-po-gy-raf who loves straw and eats all he can find.
I want to eat this straw! Where is it? Where is it?"
The Scarecrow, hearing this, trembled but kept
silent. All the others were silent, too, hoping that
the invisible beast would be unable to find them. But
the creature sniffed the odor of the straw and drew
nearer and nearer to them until he reached the Tin
Woodman, on one end of the line. It was a big beast and
it smelled of the Tin Woodman and grated two rows of
enormous teeth against the Emperor's tin body.
"Bah! that's not straw," said the harsh voice, and
the beast advanced along the line to Woot.
"Meat! Pooh, you're no good! I can't eat meat,"
grumbled the beast, and passed on to Polychrome.
"Sweetmeats and perfume -- cobwebs and dew! Nothing
to eat in a fairy like you," said the creature.
Now, the Scarecrow was next to Polychrome in the
line, and he realized if the beast devoured his straw
he would be helpless for a long time, because the last
farmhouse was far behind them and only grass covered
the vast expanse of plain. So in his fright he let go
of Polychrome's hand and put the hand of the Tin
Soldier in that of the Rainbow's Daughter. Then he
slipped back of the line and went to the other end,
where he silently seized the Tin Woodman's hand.
Meantime, the beast had smelled the Tin Soldier and
found he was the last of the line.
"That's funny!" growled the Hip-po-gy-raf; "I can
smell straw, but I can't find it. Well, it's here,
somewhere, and I must hunt around until I do find it,
for I'm hungry."
His voice was now at the left of them, so they
started on, hoping to avoid him, and traveled as fast
as they could in the direction of Mount Munch.
"I don't like this invisible country," said Woot with
a shudder. "We can't tell how many dreadful, invisible
beasts are roaming around us, or what danger we'll come
"Quit thinking about danger, please," said the
"Why?" asked the boy.
"If you think of some dreadful thing, it's liable to
happen, but if you don't think of it, and no one else
thinks of it, it just can't happen. Do you see?"
"No," answered Woot. "I won't be able to see much of
anything until we escape from this enchantment."
But they got out of the invisible strip of country
as suddenly as they had entered it, and the instant
they got out they stopped short, for just before them
was a deep ditch, running at right angles as far as
their eyes could see and stopping all further progress
toward Mount Munch.
"It's not so very wide," said Woot, "but I'm sure
none of us can jump across it."
Polychrome began to laugh, and the Scarecrow said:
"What's the matter?"
"Look at the tin men!" she said, with another burst
of merry laughter.
Woot and the Scarecrow looked, and the tin men looked
"It was the collision," said the Tin Woodman
regretfully. "I knew something was wrong with me, and
now I can see that my side is dented in so that I lean
over toward the left. It was the Soldier's fault; he
shouldn't have been so careless."
"It is your fault that my right leg is bent, making
it shorter than the other, so that I limp badly,"
retorted the Soldier. "You shouldn't have stood where I
"You shouldn't have walked where I was standing,"
replied the Tin Woodman.
It was almost a quarrel, so Polychrome said
"Never mind, friends; as soon as we have time I am
sure we can straighten the Soldier's leg and get the
dent out of the Woodman's body. The Scarecrow needs
patting into shape, too, for he had a bad tumble, but
our first task is to get over this ditch."
"Yes, the ditch is the most important thing, just
now," added Woot
They were standing in a row, looking hard at the
unexpected barrier, when a fierce growl from behind
them made them all turn quickly. Out of the invisible
country marched a huge beast with a thick, leathery
skin and a surprisingly long neck. The head on the top
of this neck was broad and flat and the eyes and mouth
were very big and the nose and ears very small. When
the head was drawn down toward the beast's shoulders,
the neck was all wrinkles, but the head could shoot up
very high indeed, if the creature wished it to.
"Dear me!" exclaimed the Scarecrow, "this must be the
"Quite right," said the beast; "and you're the straw
which I'm to eat for my dinner. Oh, how I love straw! I
hope you don't resent my affectionate appetite?"
With its four great legs it advanced straight toward
the Scarecrow, but the Tin Woodman and the Tin Soldier
both sprang in front of their friend and flourished
"Keep off!" said the Tin Woodman, warningly, or I'll
chop you with my axe."
"Keep off!" said the Tin Soldier, "or I'll cut you
with my sword."
"Would you really do that?" asked the Hip-po-gy-raf,
in a disappointed voice.
"We would," they both replied, and the Tin Woodman
added: "The Scarecrow is our friend, and he would be
useless without his straw stuffing. So, as we are
comrades, faithful and true, we will defend our
friend's stuffing against all enemies."
The Hip-po-gy-raf sat down and looked at them
"When one has made up his mind to have a meal of
delicious straw, and then finds he can't have it, it is
certainly hard luck," he said. "And what good is the
straw man to you, or to himself, when the ditch keeps
you from going any further?"
"Well, we can go back again," suggested Woot.
"True," said the Hip-po; "and if you do, you'll be as
disappointed as I am. That's some comfort, anyhow."
The travelers looked at the beast, and then they
looked across the ditch at the level plain beyond. On
the other side the grass had grown tall, and the sun
had dried it, so there was a fine crop of hay that only
needed to be cut and stacked.
"Why don't you cross over and eat hay?" the boy asked
"I'm not fond of hay," replied the Hip-po-gy-raf;
"straw is much more delicious, to my notion, and it's
more scarce in this neighborhood, too. Also I must
confess that I can't get across the ditch, for my body
is too heavy and clumsy for me to jump the distance. I
can stretch my neck across, though, and you will notice
that I've nibbled the hay on the farther edge -- not
because I liked it, but because one must eat, and if
one can't get the sort of food he desires, he must take
what is offered or go hungry."
"Ah, I see you are a philosopher," remarked the
"No, I'm just a Hip-po-gy-raf," was the reply.
Polychrome was not afraid of the big beast. She
danced close to him and said:
"If you can stretch your neck across the ditch, why
not help us over? We can sit on your big head, one at a
time, and then you can lift us across."
"Yes; I can, it is true," answered the Hip-po; "but I
refuse to do it. Unless --" he added, and stopped
"Unless what?" asked Polychrome.
"Unless you first allow me to eat the straw with
which the Scarecrow is stuffed."
"No," said the Rainbow's Daughter, "that is too high
a price to pay. Our friend's straw is nice and fresh,
for he was restuffed only a little while ago."
"I know," agreed the Hip-po-gy-raf. "That's why I
want it. If it was old, musty straw, I wouldn't care
"Please lift us across," pleaded Polychrome.
"No," replied the beast; "since you refuse my
generous offer, I can be as stubborn as you are."
After that they were all silent for a time, but then
the Scarecrow said bravely:
"Friends, let us agree to the beast's terms. Give him
my straw, and carry the rest of me with you across the
ditch. Once on the other side, the Tin Soldier can cut
some of the hay with his sharp sword, and you can stuff
me with that material until we reach a place where
there is straw. It is true I have been stuffed with
straw all my life and it will be somewhat humiliating
to be filled with common hay, but I am willing to
sacrifice my pride in a good cause. Moreover, to
abandon our errand and so deprive the great Emperor of
the Winkies -- or this noble Soldier -- of his bride,
would be equally humiliating, if not more so."
"You're a very honest and clever man!" exclaimed the
Hip-po-gy-raf, admiringly. "When I have eaten your
head, perhaps I also will become clever."
"You're not to eat my head, you know," returned the
Scarecrow hastily. "My head isn't stuffed with straw
and I cannot part with it. When one loses his head he
loses his brains."
"Very well, then; you may keep your head," said the
The Scarecrow's companions thanked him warmly for his
loyal sacrifice to their mutual good, and then he laid
down and permitted them to pull the straw from his
body. As fast as they did this, the Hip-po-gy-raf ate
up the straw, and when all was consumed Polychrome made
a neat bundle of the clothes and boots and gloves and
hat and said she would carry them, while Woot tucked
the Scarecrow's head under his arm and promised to
guard its safety.
"Now, then," said the Tin Woodman, "keep your
promise, Beast, and lift us over the ditch."
"M-m-m-mum, but that was a fine dinner!" said the
Hip-po, smacking his thick lips in satisfaction, "and
I'm as good as my word. Sit on my head, one at a time,
and I'll land you safely on the other side."
He approached close to the edge of the ditch and
squatted down. Polychrome climbed over his big body and
sat herself lightly upon the flat head, holding the
bundle of the Scarecrow's raiment in her hand. Slowly
the elastic neck stretched out until it reached the far
side of the ditch, when the beast lowered his head and
permitted the beautiful fairy to leap to the ground.
Woot made the queer journey next, and then the Tin
Soldier and the Tin Woodman went over, and all were
well pleased to have overcome this serious barrier to
"Now, Soldier, cut the hay," said the Scarecrow's
head, which was still held by Woot the Wanderer.
"I'd like to, but I can't stoop over, with my bent
leg, without falling," replied Captain Fyter.
"What can we do about that leg, anyhow?" asked Woot,
appealing to Polychrome.
She danced around in a circle several times without
replying, and the boy feared she had not heard him; but
the Rainbow's Daughter was merely thinking upon the
problem, and presently she paused beside the Tin
Soldier and said:
"I've been taught a little fairy magic, but I've
never before been asked to mend tin legs with it, so
I'm not sure I can help you. It all depends on the good
will of my unseen fairy guardians, so I'll try, and if
I fail, you will be no worse off than you are now."
She danced around the circle again, and then laid
both hands upon the twisted tin leg and sang in her
"Fairy Powers, come to my aid!
This bent leg of tin is made;
Make it straight and strong and true,
And I'll render thanks to you."
"Ah!" murmured Captain Fyter in a glad voice, as she
withdrew her hands and danced away, and they saw he was
standing straight as ever, because his leg was as
shapely and strong as it had been before his accident.
The Tin Woodman had watched Polychrome with much
interest, and he now said:
"Please take the dent out of my side, Poly, for I am
more crippled than was the Soldier."
So the Rainbow's Daughter touched his side lightly
"Here's a dent by accident;
Such a thing was never meant.
Fairy Powers, so wondrous great,
Make our dear Tin Woodman straight!"
"Good!" cried the Emperor, again standing erect and
strutting around to show his fine figure. "Your fairy
magic may not be able to accomplish all things, sweet
Polychrome, but it works splendidly on tin. Thank you
"The hay -- the hay!" pleaded the Scarecrow's head.
"Oh, yes; the hay," said Woot. "What are you waiting
for, Captain Fyter?"
At once the Tin Soldier set to work cutting hay with
his sword and in a few minutes there was quite enough
with which to stuff the Scarecrow's body. Woot and
Polychrome did this and it was no easy task because the
hay packed together more than straw and as they had
little experience in such work their job, when
completed, left the Scarecrow's arms and legs rather
bunchy. Also there was a hump on his back which made
Woot laugh and say it reminded him of a camel, but it
was the best they could do and when the head was fastened
on to the body they asked the Scarecrow how he felt.
"A little heavy, and not quite natural," he
cheerfully replied; "but I'll get along somehow until
we reach a straw-stack. Don't laugh at me, please,
because I'm a little ashamed of myself and I don't want
to regret a good action."
They started at once in the direction of Mount Munch,
and as the Scarecrow proved very clumsy in his
movements, Woot took one of his arms and the Tin
Woodman the other and so helped their friend to walk in
a straight line.
And the Rainbow's Daughter, as before, danced ahead
of them and behind them and all around them, and they
never minded her odd ways, because to them she was like
a ray of sunshine.
The Land of the Munchkins is full of surprises, as our
travelers had already learned, and although Mount Munch
was constantly growing larger as they advanced toward
it, they knew it was still a long way off and were not
certain, by any means, that they had escaped all danger
or encountered their last adventure.
The plain was broad, and as far as the eye could see,
there seemed to be a level stretch of country between
them and the mountain, but toward evening they came
upon a hollow, in which stood a tiny blue Munchkin
dwelling with a garden around it and fields of grain
filling in all the rest of the hollow.
They did not discover this place until they came
close to the edge of it, and they were astonished at
the sight that greeted them because they had imagined
that this part of the plain had no inhabitants.
"It's a very small house," Woot declared. "I wonder
who lives there?"
"The way to find out is to knock on the door and
ask," replied the Tin Woodman. "Perhaps it is the home
of Nimmie Amee."
"Is she a dwarf?" asked the boy.
"No, indeed; Nimmie Amee is a full sized woman."
"Then I'm sure she couldn't live in that little house," said Woot.
"Let's go down," suggested the Scarecrow. "I'm almost
sure I can see a straw-stack in the back yard."
They descended the hollow, which was rather steep at
the sides, and soon came to the house, which was indeed
rather small. Woot knocked upon a door that was not
much higher than his waist, but got no reply. He
knocked again, but not a sound was heard.
"Smoke is coming out of the chimney," announced
Polychrome, who was dancing lightly through the garden,
where cabbages and beets and turnips and the like were
"Then someone surely lives here," said Woot, and
Now a window at the side of the house opened and a
queer head appeared. It was white and hairy and had a
long snout and little round eyes. The ears were hidden
by a blue sunbonnet tied under the chin.
"Oh; it's a pig!" exclaimed Woot.
"Pardon me; I am Mrs. Squealina Swyne, wife of
Professor Grunter Swyne, and this is our home," said
the one in the window. "What do you want?"
"What sort of a Professor is your husband?" inquired
the Tin Woodman curiously.
"He is Professor of Cabbage Culture and Corn
Perfection. He is very famous in his own family, and
would be the wonder of the world if he went abroad,"
said Mrs. Swyne in a voice that was half proud and half
irritable. "I must also inform you intruders that the
Professor is a dangerous individual, for he files his
teeth every morning until they are sharp as needles. If
you are butchers, you'd better run away and avoid
"We are not butchers," the Tin Woodman assured her.
"Then what are you doing with that axe? And why has
the other tin man a sword?"
"They are the only weapons we have to defend our
friends from their enemies," explained the Emperor of
the Winkies, and Woot added:
"Do not be afraid of us, Mrs. Swyne, for we are
harmless travelers. The tin men and the Scarecrow never
eat anything and Polychrome feasts only on dewdrops. As
for me, I'm rather hungry, but there is plenty of food
in your garden to satisfy me."
Professor Swyne now joined his wife at the window,
looking rather scared in spite of the boy's assuring
speech. He wore a blue Munchkin hat, with pointed crown
and broad brim, and big spectacles covered his eyes. He
peeked around from behind his wife and after looking
hard at the strangers, he said:
"My wisdom assures me that you are merely travelers,
as you say, and not butchers. Butchers have reason to
be afraid of me, but you are safe. We cannot invite you
in, for you are too big for our house, but the boy who
eats is welcome to all the carrots and turnips he
wants. Make yourselves at home in the garden and stay
all night, if you like; but in the morning you must go
away, for we are quiet people and do not care for company."
"May I have some of your straw?" asked the Scarecrow.
"Help yourself," replied Professor Swyne.
"For pigs, they're quite respectable," remarked Woot,
as they all went toward the straw-stack.
"I'm glad they didn't invite us in," said Captain
Fyter. "I hope I'm not too particular about my
associates, but I draw the line at pigs."
The Scarecrow was glad to be rid of his hay, for
during the long walk it had sagged down and made him
fat and squatty and more bumpy than at first.
"I'm not specially proud," he said, "but I love a
manly figure, such as only straw stuffing can create.
I've not felt like myself since that hungry Hip-po ate
my last straw."
Polychrome and Woot set to work removing the hay and
then they selected the finest straw, crisp and golden,
and with it stuffed the Scarecrow anew. He certainly
looked better after the operation, and he was so
pleased at being reformed that he tried to dance a
little jig, and almost succeeded.
"I shall sleep under the straw-stack tonight," Woot
decided, after he had eaten some of the vegetables from
the garden, and in fact he slept very well, with the
two tin men and the Scarecrow sitting silently beside
him and Polychrome away somewhere in the moonlight
dancing her fairy dances.
At daybreak the Tin Woodman and the Tin Soldier took
occasion to polish their bodies and oil their joints,
for both were exceedingly careful of their personal
appearance. They had forgotten the quarrel due to their
accidental bumping of one another in the invisible
country, and being now good friends the Tin Woodman
polished the Tin Soldier's back for him and then the
Tin Soldier polished the Tin Woodman's back.
For breakfast the Wanderer ate crisp lettuce and
radishes, and the Rainbow's Daughter, who had now
returned to her friends, sipped the dewdrops that had
formed on the petals of the wild-flowers.
As they passed the little house to renew their
journey, Woot called out:
"Good-bye, Mr. and Mrs. Swyne!"
The window opened and the two pigs looked out.
"A pleasant journey," said the Professor.
"Have you any children?" asked the Scarecrow, who was
a great friend of children.
"We have nine," answered the Professor; "but they do
not live with us, for when they were tiny piglets the
Wizard of Oz came here and offered to care for them and
to educate them. So we let him have our nine tiny
piglets, for he's a good Wizard and can be relied upon
to keep his promises."
"I know the Nine Tiny Piglets," said the Tin Woodman.
"So do I," said the Scarecrow. "They still live in
the Emerald City, and the Wizard takes good care of
them and teaches them to do all sorts of tricks."
"Did they ever grow up?" inquired Mrs. Squealina
Swyne, in an anxious voice.
"No," answered the Scarecrow; "like all other
children in the Land of Oz, they will always remain
children, and in the case of the tiny piglets that is a
good thing, because they would not be nearly so cute
and cunning if they were bigger."
"But are they happy?" asked Mrs. Swyne.
"Everyone in the Emerald City is happy," said the Tin
Woodman. "They can't help it."
Then the travelers said good-bye, and climbed the
side of the basin that was toward Mount Munch.
On this morning, which ought to be the last of this
important journey, our friends started away as bright
and cheery as could be, and Woot whistled a merry tune
so that Polychrome could dance to the music.
On reaching the top of the hill, the plain spread out
before them in all its beauty of blue grasses and
wildflowers, and Mount Munch seemed much nearer than it
had the previous evening. They trudged on at a brisk
pace, and by noon the mountain was so close that they
could admire its appearance. Its slopes were partly
clothed with pretty evergreens, and its foot-hills were
tufted with a slender waving bluegrass that had a
tassel on the end of every blade. And, for the first
time, they perceived, near the foot of the mountain, a
charming house, not of great size but neatly painted
and with many flowers surrounding it and vines climbing
over the doors and windows.
It was toward this solitary house that our travelers
now directed their steps, thinking to inquire of the
people who lived there where Nimmie Amee might be
There were no paths, but the way was quite open and
clear, and they were drawing near to the dwelling when
Woot the Wanderer, who was then in the lead of the
little party, halted with such an abrupt jerk that he
stumbled over backward and lay flat on his back in the
meadow. The Scarecrow stopped to look at the boy.
"Why did you do that?" he asked in surprise.
Woot sat up and gazed around him in amazement.
"I -- I don't know!" he replied.
The two tin men, arm in arm, started to pass them
when both halted and tumbled, with a great clatter,
into a heap beside Woot. Polychrome, laughing at the
absurd sight, came dancing up and she, also, came to a
sudden stop, but managed to save herself from falling.
Everyone of them was much astonished, and the
Scarecrow said with a puzzled look:
"I don't see anything."
"Nor I," said Woot; "but something hit me, just the
"Some invisible person struck me a heavy blow,"
declared the Tin Woodman, struggling to separate
himself from the Tin Soldier, whose legs and arms were
mixed with his own.
"I'm not sure it was a person," said Polychrome,
looking more grave than usual. "It seems to me that I
merely ran into some hard substance which barred my way.
In order to make sure of this, let me try another place."
She ran back a way and then with much caution
advanced in a different place, but when she reached a
position on a line with the others she halted, her arms
outstretched before her.
"I can feel something hard - something smooth as
glass," she said, "but I'm sure it is not glass."
"Let me try," suggested Woot, getting up; but when he
tried to go forward, he discovered the same barrier
that Polychrome had encountered.
"No," he said, "it isn't glass. But what is it?"
"Air," replied a small voice beside him. "Solid air;
They all looked downward and found a sky-blue rabbit
had stuck his head out of a burrow in the ground. The
rabbit's eyes were a deeper blue than his fur, and the
pretty creature seemed friendly and unafraid.
"Air!" exclaimed Woot, staring in astonishment into
the rabbit's blue eyes; "whoever heard of air so solid
that one cannot push it aside?"
"You can't push this air aside," declared the rabbit,
"for it was made hard by powerful sorcery, and it forms
a wall that is intended to keep people from getting to
that house yonder."
"Oh; it's a wall, is it?" said the Tin Woodman.
"Yes, it is really a wall," answered the rabbit, "and
it is fully six feet thick."
"How high is it?" inquired Captain Fyter, the Tin
"Oh, ever so high; perhaps a mile," said the rabbit.
"Couldn't we go around it?" asked Woot.
"Of course, for the wall is a circle," explained the
rabbit. "In the center of the circle stands the house,
so you may walk around the Wall of Solid Air, but you
can't get to the house."
"Who put the air wall around the house?" was the
"Nimmie Amee did that."
"Nimmie Amee!" they all exclaimed in surprise.
"Yes," answered the rabbit. "She used to live with an
old Witch, who was suddenly destroyed, and when Nimmie
Amee ran away from the Witch's house, she took with her
just one magic formula --pure sorcery it was -- which
enabled her to build this air wall around her house --
the house yonder. It was quite a clever idea, I think,
for it doesn't mar the beauty of the landscape, solid
air being invisible, and yet it keeps all strangers
away from the house."
"Does Nimmie Amee live there now?" asked the Tin
"Yes, indeed," said the rabbit.
"And does she weep and wail from morning till night?"
continued the Emperor.
"No; she seems quite happy," asserted the rabbit.
The Tin Woodman seemed quite disappointed to hear
this report of his old sweetheart, but the Scarecrow
reassured his friend, saying:
"Never mind, your Majesty; however happy Nimmie Amee
is now, I'm sure she will be much happier as Empress of
"Perhaps," said Captain Fyter, somewhat stiffly, "she
will be still more happy to become the bride of a Tin
"She shall choose between us, as we have agreed," the
Tin Woodman promised; "but how shall we get to the poor
Polychrome, although dancing lightly back and forth,
had listened to every word of the conversation. Now she
came forward and sat herself down just in front of the
Blue Rabbit, her many-hued draperies giving her the
appearance of some beautiful flower. The rabbit didn't
back away an inch. Instead, he gazed at the Rainbow's
"Does your burrow go underneath this Wall of Air?"
"To be sure," answered the Blue Rabbit; "I dug it
that way so I could roam in these broad fields, by
going out one way, or eat the cabbages in Nimmie Amee's
garden by leaving my burrow at the other end. I don't
think Nimmie Amee ought to mind the little I take from
her garden, or the hole I've made under her magic wall.
A rabbit may go and come as he pleases, but no one who
is bigger than I am could get through my burrow."
"Will you allow us to pass through it, if we are able
to? " inquired Polychrome.
"Yes, indeed," answered the Blue Rabbit. "I'm no
especial friend of Nimmie Amee, for once she threw
stones at me, just because I was nibbling some lettuce,
and only yesterday she yelled 'Shoo!' at me, which made
me nervous. You're welcome to use my burrow in any way
"But this is all nonsense!" declared Woot the
Wanderer. "We are every one too big to crawl through a
"We are too big now," agreed the Scarecrow, "but you
must remember that Polychrome is a fairy, and fairies
have many magic powers."
Woot's face brightened as he turned to the lovely
Daughter of the Rainbow.
"Could you make us all as small as that rabbit?" he
"I can try," answered Polychrome, with a smile. And
presently she did it -- so easily that Woot was not the
only one astonished. As the now tiny people grouped
themselves before the rabbit's burrow the hole appeared
to them like the entrance to a tunnel, which indeed it
"I'll go first," said wee Polychrome, who had made
herself grow as small as the others, and into the
tunnel she danced without hesitation. A tiny Scarecrow
went next and then the two funny little tin men.
"Walk in; it's your turn," said the Blue Rabbit to
Woot the Wanderer. "I'm coming after, to see how you
get along. This will be a regular surprise party to
So Woot entered the hole and felt his way along its
smooth sides in the dark until he finally saw the
glimmer of daylight ahead and knew the journey was
almost over. Had he remained his natural size, the
distance could have been covered in a few steps, but to
a thumb-high Woot it was quite a promenade. When he
emerged from the burrow he found himself but a short
distance from the house, in the center of the vegetable
garden, where the leaves of rhubarb waving above his
head seemed like trees. Outside the hole, and waiting
for him, he found all his friends.
"So far, so good!" remarked the Scarecrow cheerfully.
"Yes; so far, but no farther," returned the Tin
Woodman in a plaintive and disturbed tone of voice. "I
am now close to Nimmie Amee, whom I have come ever so
far to seek, but I cannot ask the girl to marry such a
little man as I am now."
"I'm no bigger than a toy soldier!" said Captain
Fyter, sorrowfully. "Unless Polychrome can make us big
again, there is little use in our visiting Nimmie Amee
at all, for I'm sure she wouldn't care for a husband
she might carelessly step on and ruin."
Polychrome laughed merrily.
"If I make you big, you can't get out of here again,"
said she, "and if you remain little Nimmie Amee will
laugh at you. So make your choice."
"I think we'd better go back," said Woot seriously
"No," said the Tin Woodman, stoutly, "I have decided
that it's my duty to make Nimmie Amee happy, in case
she wishes to marry me."
"So have I," announced Captain Fyter. "A good soldier
never shrinks from doing his duty."
"As for that," said the Scarecrow, "tin doesn't
shrink any to speak of, under any circumstances. But
Woot and I intend to stick to our comrades, whatever
they decide to do, so we will ask Polychrome to make us
as big as we were before."
Polychrome agreed to this request and in half a
minute all of them, including herself, had been
enlarged again to their natural sizes. They then
thanked the Blue Rabbit for his kind assistance, and at
once approached the house of Nimme Amee.
We may be sure that at this moment our friends were all
anxious to see the end of the adventure that had caused
them so many trials and troubles. Perhaps the Tin
Woodman's heart did not beat any faster, because it was
made of red velvet and stuffed with sawdust, and the
Tin Soldier's heart was made of tin and reposed in his
tin bosom without a hint of emotion. However, there is
little doubt that they both knew that a critical moment
in their lives had arrived, and that Nimmie Amee's
decision was destined to influence the future of one or
As they assumed their natural sizes and the rhubarb
leaves that had before towered above their heads now
barely covered their feet, they looked around the
garden and found that no person was visible save
themselves. No sound of activity came from the house,
either, but they walked to the front door, which had a
little porch built before it, and there the two tinmen
stood side by side while both knocked upon the door
with their tin knuckles.
As no one seemed eager to answer the summons they
knocked again; and then again. Finally they heard a
stir from within and someone coughed.
"Who's there?" called a girl's voice.
"It's I!" cried the tin twins, together.
"How did you get there?" asked the voice.
They hesitated how to reply, so Woot answered for
"By means of magic."
"Oh," said the unseen girl. "Are you friends, or
"Friends!" they all exclaimed.
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