Tik-Tok of Oz
L. Frank Baum
Part 2 out of 4
"Hurrah!" cried Shaggy, joyfully, and he slapped
Tik-Tok upon the back in such a hearty manner that
the copper man lost his balance and tumbled to the
ground in a heap. But the clockwork that enabled
him to speak had been wound up and he kept saying:
"Pick-me-up! Pick-me-up! Pick-me-up!" until they
had again raised him and balanced him upon his
feet, when he added politely: "Ma-ny thanks!"
"He won't be self-supporting until we wind
up his action," remarked Shaggy; so Betsy
wound it, as tight as she could--for the key
turned rather hard--and then Tik-Tok lifted his
feet, marched around in a circle and ended by
stopping before the group and making them all
a low bow.
"How in the world did you happen to be in
that well, when I left you safe in Oz?" inquired
"It is a long sto-ry," replied Tik-Tok, "but
I'll tell it in a few words. Af-ter you had gone
in search of your broth-er, Oz-ma saw you wan-der-
ing in strange lands when-ev-er she looked in her
mag-ic pic-ture, and she also saw your broth-er in
the Nome King's cavern; so she sent me to tell you
where to find your broth-er and told me to help you
if I could. The Sor-cer-ess, Glin-da the Good,
trans-port-ed me to this place in the wink of an
eye; but here I met the Nome King him-self--old
Rug-ge-do, who is called in these parts the Met-al
Mon-arch. Rug-ge-do knew what I had come for, and
he was so an-gry that he threw me down the well.
Af-ter my works ran down I was help-less un-til you
came a-long and pulled me out a-gain. Ma-ny
"This is, indeed, good news," said Shaggy. "I
suspected that my brother was the prisoner of
Ruggedo; but now I know it. Tell us, Tik-Tok, how
shall we get to the Nome King's underground
"The best way is to walk," said Tik-Tok. "We
might crawl, or jump, or roll o-ver and o-ver
until we get there; but the best way is to walk."
"I know; but which road shall we take?"
"My ma-chin-er-y is-n't made to tell that,"
"There is more than one entrance to the
underground cavern," said Polychrome; "but old
Ruggedo has cleverly concealed every opening, so
that earth dwellers can not intrude in his domain.
If we find our way underground at all, it will be
"Then," said Betsy, "let us select any road,
haphazard, and see where it leads us."
"That seems sensible," declared the Princess.
"It may require a lot of time for us to find
Ruggedo, but we have more time than anything
"If you keep me wound up," said Tik-Tok, "I
will last a thou-sand years."
"Then the only question to decide is which
way to go," added Shaggy, looking first at one
road and then at another.
But while they stood hesitating, a peculiar
sound reached their ears--a sound like the
tramping of many feet.
"What's coming?" cried Betsy; and then she
ran to the left-hand road and glanced along the
path. "Why, it's an army!" she exclaimed. "What
shall we do, hide or run?"
"Stand still," commanded Shaggy. "I'm not afraid
of an army. If they prove to be friendly, they can
help us; if they are enemies, I'll show them the
Tik-Tok Tackles a Tough Task
While Shaggy and his companions stood huddled in a
group at one side, the Army of Oogaboo was
approaching along the pathway, the tramp of their
feet being now and then accompanied by a dismal
groan as one of the officers stepped on a sharp
stone or knocked his funnybone against his
Then out from among the trees marched Private
Files, bearing the banner of Oogaboo, which
fluttered from a long pole. This pole he stuck in
the ground just in front of the well and then he
cried in a loud voice:
"I hereby conquer this territory in the name of
Queen Ann Soforth of Oogaboo, and all the
inhabitants of the land I proclaim her slaves!"
Some of the officers now stuck their heads out
of the bushes and asked:
"Is the coast clear, Private Files?"
"There is no coast here," was the reply, "but
"I hope there's water in it," said General Cone,
mustering courage to advance to the well; but just
then he caught a glimpse of Tik-Tok and Shaggy and
at once fell upon his knees, trembling and
frightened and cried out:
"Mercy, kind enemies! Mercy! Spare us, and
we will be your slaves forever!"
The other officers, who had now advanced into
the clearing, likewise fell upon their knees and
begged for mercy.
Files turned around and, seeing the strangers
for the first time, examined them with much
curiosity. Then, discovering that three of the
party were girls, he lifted his cap and made a
"What's all this?" demanded a harsh voice, as
Queen Ann reached the place and beheld her
"Permit us to introduce ourselves," replied
Shaggy, stepping forward. "This is Tik-Tok, the
Clockwork Man--who works better than some meat
people. And here is Princess Ozga of Roseland,
just now unfortunately exiled from her Kingdom of
Roses. I next present Polychrome, a sky fairy, who
lost her Bow by an accident and can't find her way
home. The small girl here is Betsy Bobbin, from
some unknown earthly paradise called Oklahoma,
and with her you see Mr. Hank, a mule with a long
tail and a short temper."
"Puh!" said Ann, scornfully; "a pretty lot of
vagabonds you are, indeed; all lost or strayed,
I suppose, and not worth a Queen's plundering.
I'm sorry I've conquered you."
"But you haven't conquered us yet," called
"No," agreed Files, "that is a fact. But if my
officers will kindly command me to conquer you,
I will do so at once, after which we can stop
arguing and converse more at our ease."
The officers had by this time risen from their
knees and brushed the dust from their trousers. To
them the enemy did not look very fierce, so the
Generals and Colonels and Majors and Captains
gained courage to face them and began strutting in
their most haughty manner.
"You must understand," said Ann, "that I am the
Queen of Oogaboo, and this is my invincible Army.
We are busy conquering the world, and since you
seem to be a part of the world, and are
obstructing our journey, it is necessary for us to
conquer you--unworthy though you may be of such
"That's all right," replied Shaggy. "Conquer us
as often as you like. We don't mind."
"But we won't be anybody's slaves," added Betsy,
"We'll see about that," retorted the Queen,
angrily. "Advance, Private Files, and bind the
enemy hand and foot!"
But Private Files looked at pretty Betsy and
fascinating Polychrome and the beautiful Rose
Princess and shook his head.
"It would be impolite, and I won't do it," he
"You must!" cried Ann. "It is your duty to obey
"I haven't received any orders from my
officers," objected the Private.
But the Generals now shouted: "Forward, and bind
the prisoners!" and the Colonels and Majors and
Captains repeated the command, yelling it as loud
as they could.
All this noise annoyed Hank, who had been eyeing
the Army of Oogaboo with strong disfavor. The mule
now dashed forward and began backing upon the
officers and kicking fierce and dangerous heels at
them. The attack was so sudden that the officers
scattered like dust in a whirlwind, dropping their
swords as they ran and trying to seek refuge
behind the trees and bushes.
Betsy laughed joyously at the comical rout of
the "noble army," and Polychrome danced with glee.
But Ann was furious at this ignoble defeat of her
gallant forces by one small mule.
"Private Files, I command you to do your duty!"
she cried again, and then she herself ducked to
escape the mule's heels--for Hank made no
distinction in favor of a lady who was an open
enemy. Betsy grabbed her champion by the forelock,
however, and so held him fast, and when the
officers saw that the mule was restrained from
further attacks they crept fearfully back and
picked up their discarded swords.
"Private Files, seize and bind these prisoners!"
screamed the Queen.
"No," said Files, throwing down his gun and
removing the knapsack which was strapped to his
back, "I resign my position as the Army of
Oogaboo. I enlisted to fight the enemy and become
a hero, but if you want some one to bind harmless
girls you will have to hire another Private."
Then he walked over to the others and shook
hands with Shaggy and Tik-Tok.
"Treason!" shrieked Ann, and all the officers
echoed her cry.
"Nonsense," said Files. "I've the right to
resign if I want to."
"Indeed you haven't!" retorted the Queen. "If
you resign it will break up my Army, and then I
cannot conquer the world." She now turned to the
officers and said: "I must ask you to do me a
favor. I know it is undignified in officers to
fight, but unless you immediately capture Private
Files and force him to obey my orders there will
be no plunder for any of us. Also it is likely you
will all suffer the pangs of hunger, and when we
meet a powerful foe you are liable to be captured
and made slaves."
The prospect of this awful fate so frightened
the officers that they drew their swords and
rushed upon Files, who stood beside Shaggy, in a
truly ferocious manner. The next instant, however,
they halted and again fell upon their knees; for
there, before them, was the glistening Love
Magnet, held in the hand of the smiling Shaggy
Man, and the sight of this magic talisman at once
won the heart of every Oogabooite. Even Ann saw
the Love Magnet, and forgetting all enmity and
anger threw herself upon Shaggy and embraced him
Quite disconcerted by this unexpected effect of
the Magnet, Shaggy disengaged himself from the
Queen's encircling arms and quickly hid the
talisman in his pocket. The adventurers from
Oogaboo were now his firm friends, and there was
no more talk about conquering and binding any of
"If you insist on conquering anyone," said
Shaggy, "you may march with me to the underground
Kingdom of Ruggedo. To conquer the world, as you
have set out to do, you must conquer everyone
under its surface as well as those upon its
surface, and no one in all the world needs
conquering so much as Ruggedo."
"Who is he?" asked Ann.
"The Metal Monarch, King of the Nomes."
"Is he rich?" inquired Major Stockings in an
"Of course," answered Shaggy. "He owns all
the metal that lies underground--gold, silver,
copper, brass and tin. He has an idea he also
owns all the metals above ground, for he says all
metal was once a part of his kingdom. So, by
conquering the Metal Monarch, you will win all
the riches in the world."
"Ah!" exclaimed General Apple, heaving a
deep sigh, "that would be plunder worth our
while. Let's conquer him, Your Majesty."
The Queen looked reproachfully at Files, who was
sitting next to the lovely Princess and whispering
in her ear.
"Alas," said Ann, "I have no longer an Army.
I have plenty of brave officers, indeed, but no
private soldier for them to command. Therefore
I cannot conquer Ruggedo and win all his
"Why don't you make one of your officers the
Private?" asked Shaggy; but at once every officer
began to protest and the Queen of Oogaboo shook
her head as she replied:
"That is impossible. A private soldier must be a
terrible fighter, and my officers are unable to
fight. They are exceptionally brave in commanding
others to fight, but could not themselves meet
the enemy and conquer."
"Very true, Your Majesty," said Colonel Plum,
eagerly. "There are many kinds of bravery and one
cannot be expected to possess them all. I myself
am brave as a lion in all ways until it comes to
fighting, but then my nature revolts. Fighting is
unkind and liable to be injurious to others; so,
being a gentleman, I never fight."
"Nor I!" shouted each of the other officers.
"You see," said Ann, "how helpless I am. Had not
Private Files proved himself a traitor and a
deserter, I would gladly have conquered this
Ruggedo; but an Army without a private soldier is
like a bee without a stinger."
"I am not a traitor, Your Majesty," protested
Files. "I resigned in a proper manner, not liking
the job. But there are plenty of people to take my
place. Why not make Shaggy Man the private
"He might be killed," said Ann, looking tenderly
at Shaggy, "for he is mortal, and able to die. If
anything happened to him, it would break my
"It would hurt me worse than that," declared
Shaggy. "You must admit, Your Majesty, that I am
commander of this expedition, for it is my brother
we are seeking, rather than plunder. But I and my
companions would like the assistance of your Army,
and if you help us to conquer Ruggedo and to
rescue my brother from captivity we will allow you
to keep all the gold and jewels and other
plunder you may find."
This prospect was so tempting that the officers
began whispering together and presently Colonel
Cheese said: "Your Majesty, by combining our
brains we have just evolved a most brilliant idea.
We will make the Clockwork Man the private
"Who? Me?" asked Tik-Tok. "Not for a sin-gle
sec-ond! I can-not fight, and you must not for-get
that it was Rug-ge-do who threw me in the well."
"At that time you had no gun," said Polychrome.
"But if you join the Army of Oogaboo you will
carry the gun that Mr. Files used."
"A sol-dier must be a-ble to run as well as to
fight," protested Tik-Tok, "and if my works run
down, as they of-ten do, I could nei-ther run nor
"I'll keep you wound up, Tik-Tok," promised
"Why, it isn't a bad idea," said Shaggy. "Tik-
Tok will make an ideal soldier, for nothing can
injure him except a sledge hammer. And, since a
private soldier seems to be necessary to this
Army, Tik-Tok is the only one of our party fitted
to undertake the job."
"What must I do?" asked Tik-Tok.
"Obey orders," replied Ann. "When the officers
command you to do anything, you must do
it; that is all."
"And that's enough, too," said Files.
"Do I get a salary?" inquired Tik-Tok.
"You get your share of the plunder," answered
"Yes," remarked Files, "one-half of the plunder
goes to Queen Ann, the other half is divided
among the officers, and the Private gets the
"That will be sat-is-fac-tor-y," said Tik-Tok,
picking up the gun and examining it wonderingly,
for he had never before seen such a weapon.
Then Ann strapped the knapsack to Tik-Tok's
copper back and said: "Now we are ready to march
to Ruggedo's Kingdom and conquer it. Officers,
give the command to march."
"Fall--in!" yelled the Generals, drawing their
"Fall--in!" cried the Colonels, drawing their
"Fall--in!" shouted the Majors, drawing their
"Fall--in!" bawled the Captains, drawing their
Tik-Tok looked at them and then around him in
"Fall in what? The well?" he asked.
"No," said Queen Ann, "you must fall in marching
"Can-not I march without fall-ing in-to it?"
asked the Clockwork Man.
"Shoulder your gun and stand ready to march,"
advised Files; so Tik-Tok held the gun straight
and stood still.
"What next?" he asked.
The Queen turned to Shaggy.
"Which road leads to the Metal Monarch's
"We don't know, Your Majesty," was the reply.
"But this is absurd!" said Ann with a frown.
"If we can't get to Ruggedo, it is certain that we
can't conquer him."
"You are right," admitted Shaggy; "but I did
not say we could not get to him. We have only
to discover the way, and that was the matter we
were considering when you and your magnificent
Army arrived here."
"Well, then, get busy and discover it," snapped
That was no easy task. They all stood looking
from one road to another in perplexity. The paths
radiated from the little clearing like the rays of
the midday sun, and each path seemed like all the
Files and the Rose Princess, who had by this
time become good friends, advanced a little way
along one of the roads and found that it was
bordered by pretty wild flowers.
"Why don't you ask the flowers to tell you the
way?" he said to his companion.
"The flowers?" returned the Princess, surprised
at the question.
"Of course," said Files. "The field-flowers must
be second-cousins to a Rose Princess, and I
believe if you ask them they will tell you."
She looked more closely at the flowers. There
were hundreds of white daisies, golden buttercups,
bluebells and daffodils growing by the roadside,
and each flower-head was firmly set upon its
slender but stout stem. There were even a few wild
roses scattered here and there and perhaps it was
the sight of these that gave the Princess courage
to ask the important question.
She dropped to her knees, facing the flowers,
and extended both her arms pleadingly toward them.
"Tell me, pretty cousins," she said in her
sweet, gentle voice, "which way will lead us to
the Kingdom of Ruggedo, the Nome King?"
At once all the stems bent gracefully to the
right and the flower heads nodded once--twice--
thrice in that direction.
"That's it!" cried Files joyfully. "Now we
know the way."
Ozga rose to her feet and looked wonderingly
at the field-flowers, which had now resumed
their upright position.
"Was it the wind, do you think?" she asked
in a low whisper.
"No, indeed," replied Files. "There is not a
breath of wind stirring. But these lovely blossoms
are indeed your cousins and answered your question
at once, as I knew they would."
Ruggedo's Rage is Rash and Reckless
The way taken by the adventurers led up hill and
down dale and wound here and there in a fashion
that seemed aimless. But always it drew nearer to
a range of low mountains and Files said more than
once that he was certain the entrance to
Ruggedo's cavern would be found among these rugged
In this he was quite correct. Far underneath the
nearest mountain was a gorgeous chamber hollowed
from the solid rock, the walls and roof of which
glittered with thousands of magnificent jewels.
Here, on a throne of virgin gold, sat the famous
Nome King, dressed in splendid robes and wearing a
superb crown cut from a single blood-red ruby.
Ruggedo, the Monarch of all the Metals and
Precious Stones of the Underground World,
was a round little man with a flowing white
beard, a red face, bright eyes and a scowl that
covered all his forehead. One would think, to
look at him, that he ought to be jolly; one might
think, considering his enormous wealth, that he
ought to be happy; but this was not the case. The
Metal Monarch was surly and cross because
mortals had dug so much treasure out of the
earth and kept it above ground, where all the
power of Ruggedo and his nomes was unable to
recover it. He hated not only the mortals but
also the fairies who live upon the earth or above
it, and instead of being content with the riches
he still possessed he was unhappy because he did
not own all the gold and jewels in the world.
Ruggedo had been nodding, half asleep, in
his chair when suddenly he sat upright, uttered
a roar of rage and began pounding upon a huge
gong that stood beside him.
The sound filled the vast cavern and penetrated
to many caverns beyond, where countless thousands
of nomes were working at their unending tasks,
hammering out gold and silver and other metals, or
melting ores in great furnaces, or polishing
glittering gems. The nomes trembled at the sound
of the King's gong and whispered fearfully to one
another that something unpleasant was sure to
happen; but none dared pause in his task,
The heavy curtains of cloth-of-gold were pushed
aside and Kaliko, the King's High Chamberlain,
entered the royal presence.
"What's up, Your Majesty?" he asked, with a wide
yawn, for he had just wakened.
"Up?" roared Ruggedo, stamping his foot
viciously. "Those foolish mortals are up, that's
what! And they want to come down."
"Down here?" inquired Kaliko.
"How do you know?" continued the Chamberlain,
"I feel it in my bones," said Ruggedo. "I can
always feel it when those hateful earth-crawlers
draw near to my Kingdom. I am positive, Kaliko,
that mortals are this very minute on their way
here to annoy me--and I hate mortals more than I do
"Well, what's to be done?" demanded the nome.
"Look through your spyglass, and see where
the invaders are," commanded the King.
So Kaliko went to a tube in the wall of rock
and put his eye to it. The tube ran from the
cavern up to the side of the mountain and turned
several curves and corners, but as it was a magic
spyglass Kaliko was able to see through it just
as easily as if it had been straight.
"Ho--hum," said he. "I see 'em, Your Majesty."
"What do they look like?" inquired the Monarch.
"That's a hard question to answer, for a queerer
assortment of creatures I never yet beheld,"
replied the nome. "However, such a collection of
curiosities may prove dangerous. There's a copper
man, worked by machinery--"
"Bah! that's only Tik-Tok," said Ruggedo.
"I'm not afraid of him. Why, only the other day
I met the fellow and threw him down a well."
"Then some one must have pulled him out again,"
said Kaliko. "And there's a little girl--"
"Dorothy?" asked Ruggedo, jumping up in fear.
"No; some other girl. In fact, there are several
girls, of various sizes; but Dorothy is not with
them, nor is Ozma."
"That's good!" exclaimed the King, sighing in
Kaliko still had his eye to the spyglass.
"I see," said he, "an army of men from Oogaboo.
They are all officers and carry swords. And there
is a Shaggy Man--who seems very harmless--and a
little donkey with big ears."
"Pooh!" cried Ruggedo, snapping his fingers
in scorn. "I've no fear of such a mob as that. A
dozen of my nomes can destroy them all in a
"I'm not so sure of that," said Kaliko. "The
people of Oogaboo are hard to destroy, and I
believe the Rose Princess is a fairy. As for
Polychrome, you know very well that the Rainbow's
Daughter cannot be injured by a nome."
"Polychrome! Is she among them?" asked the King.
"Yes; I have just recognized her."
"Then these people are coming here on no
peaceful errand," declared Ruggedo, scowling
fiercely. "In fact, no one ever comes here on a
peaceful errand. I hate everybody, and everybody
"Very true," said Kaliko.
"I must in some way prevent these people from
reaching my dominions. Where are they now?"
"Just now they are crossing the Rubber Country,
"Good! Are your magnetic rubber wires in working
"I think so," replied Kaliko. "Is it your Royal
Will that we have some fun with these invaders?"
"It is," answered Ruggedo. "I want to teach
them a lesson they will never forget."
Now, Shaggy had no idea that he was in a
Rubber Country, nor had any of his companions.
They noticed that everything around them was
of a dull gray color and that the path upon
which they walked was soft and springy, yet they
had no suspicion that the rocks and trees were
rubber and even the path they trod was made of
Presently they came to a brook where sparkling
water dashed through a deep channel and rushed
away between high rocks far down the mountain-side.
Across the brook were stepping-stones, so placed
that travelers might easily leap from one to
another and in that manner cross the water to the
Tik-Tok was marching ahead, followed by his
officers and Queen Ann. After them came Betsy
Bobbin and Hank, Polychrome and Shaggy, and last
of all the Rose Princess with Files. The Clockwork
Man saw the stream and the stepping stones and,
without making a pause, placed his foot upon the
The result was astonishing. First he sank
down in the soft rubber, which then rebounded
and sent Tik-Tok soaring high in the air, where
he turned a succession of flip-flops and alighted
upon a rubber rock far in the rear of the party.
General Apple did not see Tik-Tok bound, so
quickly had he disappeared; therefore he also
stepped upon the stone (which you will guess was
connected with Kaliko's magnetic rubber wire) and
instantly shot upward like an arrow. General Cone
came next and met with a like fate, but the others
now noticed that something was wrong and with one
accord they halted the column and looked back
along the path.
There was Tik-Tok, still bounding from one
rubber rock to another, each time rising a less
distance from the ground. And there was General
Apple, bounding away in another direction, his
three-cornered hat jammed over his eyes and his
long sword thumping him upon the arms and head as
it swung this way and that. And there, also,
appeared General Cone, who had struck a rubber
rock headforemost and was so crumpled up that his
round body looked more like a bouncing-ball than
the form of a man.
Betsy laughed merrily at the strange sight and
Polychrome echoed her laughter. But Ozga was
grave and wondering, while Queen Ann became
angry at seeing the chief officers of the Army of
Oogaboo bounding around in so undignified a
manner. She shouted to them to stop, but they
were unable to obey, even though they would
have been glad to do so. Finally, however, they
all ceased bounding and managed to get upon
their feet and rejoin the Army.
"Why did you do that?" demanded Ann, who seemed
"Don't ask them why," said Shaggy earnestly. "I
knew you would ask them why, but you ought not to
do it. The reason is plain. Those stones are
rubber; therefore they are not stones. Those rocks
around us are rubber, and therefore they are not
rocks. Even this path is not a path; it's rubber.
Unless we are very careful, your Majesty, we are
all likely to get the bounce, just as your poor
officers and Tik-Tok did."
"Then let's be careful," remarked Files, who
was full of wisdom; but Polychrome wanted to
test the quality of the rubber, so she began
dancing. Every step sent her higher and higher
into the air, so that she resembled a big butterfly
fluttering lightly. Presently she made a great
bound and bounded way across the stream,
landing lightly and steadily on the other side.
"There is no rubber over here," she called to
them. "Suppose you all try to bound over the
stream, without touching the stepping-stones."
Ann and her officers were reluctant to undertake
such a risky adventure, but Betsy at once grasped
the value of the suggestion and began jumping up
and down until she found herself bounding almost
as high as Polychrome had done. Then she suddenly
leaned forward and the next bound took her easily
across the brook, where she alighted by the side
of the Rainbow's Daughter.
"Come on, Hank!" called the girl, and the
donkey tried to obey. He managed to bound
pretty high but when he tried to bound across
the stream he misjudged the distance and fell
with a splash into the middle of the water.
"Hee-haw!" he wailed, struggling toward the
far bank. Betsy rushed forward to help him out,
but when the mule stood safely beside her she
was amazed to find he was not wet at all.
"It's dry water," said Polychrome, dipping her
hand into the stream and showing how the water
fell from it and left it perfectly dry.
"In that case," returned Betsy, "they can all
walk through the water."
She called to Ozga and Shaggy to wade across,
assuring them the water was shallow and would not
wet them. At once they followed her advice,
avoiding the rubber stepping stones, and made the
crossing with ease. This encouraged the entire
party to wade through the dry water, and in a few
minutes all had assembled on the bank and renewed
their journey along the path that led to the Nome
When Kaliko again looked through his magic
spyglass he exclaimed:
"Bad luck, Your Majesty! All the invaders have
passed the Rubber Country and now are fast
approaching the entrance to your caverns."
Ruggedo raved and stormed at the news and his
anger was so great that several times, as he
strode up and down his jeweled cavern, he paused
to kick Kaliko upon his shins, which were so
sensitive that the poor nome howled with pain.
Finally the King said:
"There's no help for it; we must drop these
audacious invaders down the Hollow Tube."
Kaliko gave a jump, at this, and looked at his
"If you do that, Your Majesty," he said, "you
will make Tititi-Hoochoo very angry."
"Never mind that," retorted Ruggedo. "Tititi-
Hoochoo lives on the other side of the world, so
what do I care for his anger?"
Kaliko shuddered and uttered a little groan.
"Remember his terrible powers," he pleaded, "and
remember that he warned you, the last time you
slid people through the Hollow Tube, that if you
did it again he would take vengeance upon you."
The Metal Monarch walked up and down in silence,
"Of two dangers," said he, "it is wise to choose
the least. What do you suppose these invaders
"Let the Long-Eared Hearer listen to them,"
"Call him here at once!" commanded Ruggedo
So in a few minutes there entered the cavern a
nome with enormous ears, who bowed low before the
"Strangers are approaching," said Ruggedo, "and
I wish to know their errand. Listen carefully to
their talk and tell me why they are coming here,
and what for."
The nome bowed again and spread out his
great ears, swaying them gently up and down
and back and forth. For half an hour he stood
silent, in an attitude of listening, while both the
King and Kaliko grew impatient at the delay. At
last the Long-Eared Hearer spoke:
"Shaggy Man is coming here to rescue his
brother from captivity," said he.
"Ha, the Ugly One!" exclaimed Ruggedo. "Well,
Shaggy Man may have his ugly brother, for all I
care. He's too lazy to work and is always getting
in my way. Where is the Ugly One now, Kaliko?"
"The last time Your Majesty stumbled over
the prisoner you commanded me to send him to
the Metal Forest, which I did. I suppose he is
"Very good. The invaders will have a hard
time finding the Metal Forest," said the King,
with a grin of malicious delight, "for half the
time I can't find it myself. Yet I created the
forest and made every tree, out of gold and
silver, so as to keep the precious metals in a
safe place and out of the reach of mortals. But
tell me, Hearer, do the strangers want anything
"Yes, indeed they do!" returned the nome. "The
Army of Oogaboo is determined to capture all the
rich metals and rare jewels in your kingdom, and
the officers and their Queen have arranged to
divide the spoils and carry them away."
When he heard this Ruggedo uttered a bellow of
rage and began dancing up and down, rolling his
eyes, clicking his teeth together and swinging his
arms furiously. Then, in an ecstasy of anger he
seized the long ears of the Hearer and pulled and
twisted them cruelly; but Kaliko grabbed up the
King's sceptre and rapped him over the knuckles
with it, so that Ruggedo let go the ears and began
to chase his Royal Chamberlain around the throne.
The Hearer took advantage of this opportunity to
slip away from the cavern and escape, and after
the King had tired himself out chasing Kaliko he
threw himself into his throne and panted for
breath, while he glared wickedly at his defiant
"You'd better save your strength to fight the
enemy," suggested Kaliko. "There will be a
terrible battle when the Army of Oogaboo gets
"The Army won't get here," said the King,
still coughing and panting. "I'll drop 'em down
the Hollow Tube--every man Jack and every
girl Jill of 'em!"
"And defy Tititi-Hoochoo?" asked Kaliko.
"Yes. Go at once to my Chief Magician and
order him to turn the path toward the Hollow
Tube, and to make the tip of the Tube invisible,
so they'll all fall into it."
Kaliko went away shaking his head, for he
thought Ruggedo was making a great mistake. He
found the Magician and had the path twisted so
that it led directly to the opening of the Hollow
Tube, and this opening he made invisible.
Having obeyed the orders of his master, the
Royal Chamberlain went to his private room and
began to write letters of recommendation of
himself, stating that he was an honest man, a good
servant and a small eater.
"Pretty soon," he said to himself, "I shall have
to look for another job, for it is certain that
Ruggedo has ruined himself by this reckless
defiance of the mighty Tititi-Hoochoo. And in
seeking a job nothing is so effective as a letter
A Terrible Tumble Through a Tube
I suppose that Polychrome, and perhaps Queen Ann
and her Army, might have been able to dispel the
enchantment of Ruggedo's Chief Magician had they
known that danger lay in their pathway; for the
Rainbow's Daughter was a fairy and as Oogaboo is
a part of the Land of Oz its inhabitants cannot
easily be deceived by such common magic as the
Nome King could command. But no one suspected any
especial danger until after they had entered
Ruggedo's cavern, and so they were journeying
along in quite a contented manner when Tik-Tok,
who marched ahead, suddenly disappeared.
The officers thought he must have turned a
corner, so they kept on their way and all of them
likewise disappeared--one after another. Queen Ann
was rather surprised at this, and in hastening
forward to learn the reason she also vanished from
Betsy Bobbin had tired her feet by walking, so
she was now riding upon the back of the stout
little mule, facing backward and talking to Shaggy
and Polychrome, who were just behind. Suddenly
Hank pitched forward and began falling and Betsy
would have tumbled over his head had she not
grabbed the mule's shaggy neck with both arms and
held on for dear life.
All around was darkness, and they were not
falling directly downward but seemed to be sliding
along a steep incline. Hank's hoofs were resting
upon some smooth substance over which he slid with
the swiftness of the wind. Once Betsy's heels flew
up and struck a similar substance overhead. They
were, indeed, descending the "Hollow Tube" that
led to the other side of the world.
"Stop, Hank--stop!" cried the girl; but Hank
only uttered a plaintive "Hee-haw!" for it was
impossible for him to obey.
After several minutes had passed and no harm had
befallen them, Betsy gained courage. She could see
nothing at all, nor could she hear anything except
the rush of air past her ears as they plunged
downward along the Tube. Whether she and Hank were
alone, or the others were with them, she could not
tell. But had some one been able to take a
flash-light photograph of the Tube at that time a
most curious picture would have resulted. There
was Tik-Tok, flat upon his back and sliding
headforemost down the incline. And there were the
Officers of the Army of Oogaboo, all tangled up in
a confused crowd, flapping their arms and trying
to shield their faces from the clanking swords,
which swung back and forth during the swift
journey and pommeled everyone within their reach.
Now followed Queen Ann, who had struck the Tube in
a sitting position and went flying along with a
dash and abandon that thoroughly bewildered the
poor lady, who had no idea what had happened to
her. Then, a little distance away, but unseen by
the others in the inky darkness, slid Betsy and
Hank, while behind them were Shaggy and Polychrome
and finally Files and the Princess.
When first they tumbled into the Tube all were
too dazed to think clearly, but the trip was a
long one, because the cavity led straight through
the earth to a place just opposite the Nome King's
dominions, and long before the adventurers got to
the end they had begun to recover their wits.
"This is awful, Hank!" cried Betsy in a loud
voice, and Queen Ann heard her and called out:
"Are you safe, Betsy?"
"Mercy, no!" answered the little girl. "How
could anyone be safe when she's going about
sixty miles a minute?" Then, after a pause, she
added: "But where do you s'pose we're going
to, Your Maj'sty?"
"Don't ask her that, please don't!" said
Shaggy, who was not too far away to overhear
them. "And please don't ask me why, either."
"Why?" said Betsy.
"No one can tell where we are going until
we get there," replied Shaggy, and then he
yelled "Ouch!" for Polychrome had overtaken
him and was now sitting on his head.
The Rainbow's Daughter laughed merrily,
and so infectious was this joyous laugh that
Betsy echoed it and Hank said "Hee haw!" in a
mild and sympathetic tone of voice.
"I'd like to know where and when we'll arrive,
just the same," exclaimed the little girl.
"Be patient and you'll find out, my dear," said
Polychrome. "But isn't this an odd experience?
Here am I, whose home is in the skies, making
a journey through the center of the earth--where
I never expected to be!"
"How do you know we're in the center of the
earth?" asked Betsy, her voice trembling a little
"Why, we can t be anywhere else," replied
Polychrome. "I have often heard of this passage,
which was once built by a Magician who was a
great traveler. He thought it would save him the
bother of going around the earth's surface, but
he tumbled through the Tube so fast that he
shot out at the other end and hit a star in the sky,
which at once exploded."
"The star exploded?" asked Betsy wonderingly.
"Yes; the Magician hit it so hard."
"And what became of the Magician?" inquired the
"No one knows that," answered Polychrome. "But I
don't think it matters much."
"It matters a good deal, if we also hit the
stars when we come out," said Queen Ann, with a
"Don't worry," advised Polychrome. "I believe
the Magician was going the other way, and probably
he went much faster than we are going."
"It's fast enough to suit me," remarked
Shaggy, gently removing Polychrome's heel
from his left eye. "Couldn't you manage to fall
all by yourself, my dear?"
"I'll try," laughed the Rainbow's Daughter.
All this time they were swiftly falling through
the Tube, and it was not so easy for them to talk
as you may imagine when you read their words. But
although they were so helpless and altogether in
the dark as to their fate, the fact that they were
able to converse at all cheered them,
Files and Ozga were also conversing as they
clung tightly to one another, and the young
fellow bravely strove to reassure the Princess,
although he was terribly frightened, both on her
account and on his own.
An hour, under such trying circumstances, is
a very long time, and for more than an hour they
continued their fearful journey. Then, just as
they began to fear the Tube would never end,
Tik-Tok popped out into broad daylight and,
after making a graceful circle in the air, fell
with a splash into a great marble fountain.
Out came the officers, in quick succession,
tumbling heels over head and striking the
ground in many undignified attitudes.
"For the love of sassafras!" exclaimed a
Peculiar Person who was hoeing pink violets in a
garden. "What can all this mean?"
For answer, Queen Ann sailed up from the
Tube, took a ride through the air as high as the
treetops, and alighted squarely on top of the
Peculiar Person's head, smashing a jeweled
crown over his eyes and tumbling him to the
The mule was heavier and had Betsy clinging to
his back, so he did not go so high up. Fortunately
for his little rider he struck the ground upon his
four feet. Betsy was jarred a trifle but not hurt
and when she looked around her she saw the Queen
and the Peculiar Person struggling together upon
the ground, where the man was trying to choke Ann
and she had both hands in his bushy hair and was
pulling with all her might. Some of the officers,
when they got upon their feet, hastened to
separate the combatants and sought to restrain the
Peculiar Person so that he could not attack their
By this time, Shaggy, Polychrome, Ozga and Files
had all arrived and were curiously examining the
strange country in which they found themselves and
which they knew to be exactly on the opposite side
of the world from the place where they had fallen
into the Tube. It was a lovely place, indeed, and
seemed to be the garden of some great Prince, for
through the vistas of trees and shrubbery could be
seen the towers of an immense castle. But as yet
the only inhabitant to greet them was the Peculiar
Person just mentioned, who had shaken off the
grasp of the officers without effort and was now
trying to pull the battered crown from off his
Shaggy, who was always polite, helped him to
do this and when the man was free and could
see again he looked at his visitors with evident
"Well, well, well!" he exclaimed. "Where did
you come from and how did you get here?"
Betsy tried to answer him, for Queen Ann was
surly and silent.
"I can't say, exac'ly where we came from,
cause I don't know the name of the place," said
the girl, "but the way we got here was through
the Hollow Tube."
"Don't call it a 'hollow' Tube, please,"
exclaimed the Peculiar Person in an irritated tone
of voice. "If it's a tube, it's sure to be
"Why?" asked Betsy.
"Because all tubes are made that way. But this
Tube is private property and everyone is forbidden
to fall into it."
"We didn't do it on purpose," explained Betsy,
and Polychrome added: "I am quite sure that
Ruggedo, the Nome King, pushed us down that Tube."
"Ha! Ruggedo! Did you say Ruggedo?" cried the
man, becoming much excited.
"That is what she said," replied Shaggy, "and I
believe she is right. We were on our way to
conquer the Nome King when suddenly we fell into
"Then you are enemies of Ruggedo?" inquired the
"Not exac'ly enemies," said Betsy, a little
puzzled by the question, "'cause we don't know him
at all; but we started out to conquer him, which
isn't as friendly as it might be."
"True," agreed the man. He looked thoughtfully
from one to another of them for a while and then
he turned his head over his shoulder and said:
"Never mind the fire and pincers, my good
brothers. It will be best to take these strangers
to the Private Citizen."
"Very well, Tubekins," responded a Voice,
deep and powerful, that seemed to come out of
the air, for the speaker was invisible.
All our friends gave a jump, at this. Even
Polychrome was so startled that her gauze
draperies fluttered like a banner in a breeze.
Shaggy shook his head and sighed; Queen Ann looked
very unhappy; the officers clung to each other,
But soon they gained courage to look more
closely at the Peculiar Person. As he was a type
of all the inhabitants of this extraordinary land
whom they afterward met, I will try to tell you
what he looked like.
His face was beautiful, but lacked expression.
His eyes were large and blue in color and his
teeth finely formed and white as snow. His hair
was black and bushy and seemed inclined to curl at
the ends. So far no one could find any fault with
his appearance. He wore a robe of scarlet, which
did not cover his arms and extended no lower than
his bare knees. On the bosom of the robe was
embroidered a terrible dragon's head, as horrible
to look at as the man was beautiful. His arms and
legs were left bare and the skin of one arm was
bright yellow and the skin of the other arm a
vivid green. He had one blue leg and one pink one,
while both his feet--which showed through the open
sandals he wore--were jet black.
Betsy could not decide whether these gorgeous
colors were dyes or the natural tints of the skin,
but while she was thinking it over the man who
had been called "Tubekins" said:
"Follow me to the Residence--all of you!"
But just then a Voice exclaimed: "Here's another
of them, Tubekins, lying in the water of the
"Gracious!" cried Betsy; "it must be Tik-Tok,
and he'll drown."
"Water is a bad thing for his clockworks,
anyway," agreed Shaggy, as with one accord they
all started for the fountain. But before they
could reach it, invisible hands raised Tik-Tok
from the marble basin and set him upon his feet
beside it, water dripping from every joint of his
"Ma--ny tha--tha--tha--thanks!" he said; and
then his copper jaws clicked together and he
could say no more. He next made an attempt to
walk but after several awkward trials found he
could not move his joints.
Peals of jeering laughter from persons unseen
greeted Tik-Tok's failure, and the new arrivals in
this strange land found it very uncomfortable to
realize that there were many creatures around them
who were invisible, yet could be heard plainly.
"Shall I wind him up?" asked Betsy, feeling very
sorry for Tik-Tok.
"I think his machinery is wound; but he needs
oiling," replied Shaggy.
At once an oil-can appeared before him, held
on a level with his eyes by some unseen hand.
Shaggy took the can and tried to oil Tik-Tok's
joints. As if to assist him, a strong current of
warm air was directed against the copper man
which quickly dried him. Soon he was able to
say "Ma-ny thanks!" quite smoothly and his
joints worked fairly well.
"Come!" commanded Tubekins, and turning his back
upon them he walked up the path toward the castle.
"Shall we go?" asked Queen Ann, uncertainly; but
just then she received a shove that almost pitched
her forward on her head; so she decided to go. The
officers who hesitated received several energetic
kicks, but could not see who delivered them;
therefore they also decided--very wisely--to go.
The others followed willingly enough, for unless
they ventured upon another terrible journey
through the Tube they must make the best of the
unknown country they were in, and the best seemed
to be to obey orders.
The Famous Fellowship of Fairies
After a short walk through very beautiful gardens
they came to the castle and followed Tubekins
through the entrance and into a great domed
chamber, where he commanded them to be seated.
From the crown which he wore, Betsy had thought
this man must be the King of the country they were
in, yet after he had seated all the strangers upon
benches that were ranged in a semicircle before a
high throne, Tubekins bowed humbly before the
vacant throne and in a flash became invisible and
The hall was an immense place, but there seemed
to be no one in it beside themselves. Presently,
however, they heard a low cough near them, and
here and there was the faint rustling of a robe
and a slight patter as of footsteps. Then suddenly
there rang out the clear tone of a bell and at the
sound all was changed.
Gazing around the hall in bewilderment they saw
that it was filled with hundreds of men and women,
all with beautiful faces and staring blue eyes and
all wearing scarlet robes and jeweled crowns upon
their heads. In fact, these people seemed exact
duplicates of Tubekins and it was difficult to
find any mark by which to tell them apart.
"My! what a lot of Kings and Queens!" whispered
Betsy to Polychrome, who sat beside her and
appeared much interested in the scene but not a
"It is certainly a strange sight," was
Polychrome's reply; "but I cannot see how there
can be more than one King, or Queen, in any one
country, for were these all rulers, no one could
tell who was Master."
One of the Kings who stood near and overheard
this remark turned to her and said: "One who is
Master of himself is always a King, if only to
himself. In this favored land all Kings and Queens
are equal, and it is our privilege to bow before
one supreme Ruler--the Private Citizen."
"Who's he?" inquired Betsy.
As if to answer her, the clear tones of the bell
again rang out and instantly there appeared
seated in the throne the man who was lord and
master of all these royal ones. This fact was
evident when with one accord they fell upon their
knees and touched their foreheads to the floor.
The Private Citizen was not unlike the others,
except that his eyes were black instead of blue
and in the centers of the black irises glowed red
sparks that seemed like coals of fire. But his
features were very beautiful and dignified and
his manner composed and stately. Instead of the
prevalent scarlet robe, he wore one of white,
and the same dragon's head that decorated the
others was embroidered upon its bosom.
"What charge lies against these people,
Tubekins?" he asked in quiet, even tones.
"They came through the forbidden Tube, O Mighty
Citizen," was the reply.
"You see, it was this way," said Betsy. "We
were marching to the Nome King, to conquer him and
set Shaggy's brother free, when on a sudden--"
"Who are you?" demanded the Private Citizen
"Me? Oh, I'm Betsy Bobbin, and--"
"Who is the leader of this party?" asked the
"Sir, I am Queen Ann of Oogaboo, and--"
"Then keep quiet," said the Citizen. "Who is the
No one answered for a moment. Then General Bunn
"Sit down!" commanded the Citizen. "I can see
that sixteen of you are merely officers, and of no
"But we have an Army," said General Clock,
blusteringly, for he didn't like to be told he was
of no account.
"Where is your Army?" asked the Citizen.
"It's me," said Tik-Tok, his voice sounding a
little rusty. "I'm the on-ly Pri-vate Sol-dier in
Hearing this, the Citizen rose and bowed
respectfully to the Clockwork Man.
"Pardon me for not realizing your importance
before," said he. "Will you oblige me by taking
a seat beside me on my throne?"
Tik-Tok rose and walked over to the throne, all
the Kings and Queens making way for him. Then with
clanking steps he mounted the platform and sat on
the broad seat beside the Citizen.
Ann was greatly provoked at this mark of favor
shown to the humble Clockwork Man, but Shaggy
seemed much pleased that his old friend's
importance had been recognized by the ruler of
this remarkable country. The Citizen now began to
question Tik-Tok, who told in his mechanical voice
about Shaggy's quest of his lost brother, and how
Ozma of Oz had sent the Clockwork Man to assist
him, and how they had fallen in with Queen Ann and
her people from Oogaboo. Also he told how Betsy
and Hank and Polychrome and the Rose Princess had
happened to join their party.
"And you intended to conquer Ruggedo, the Metal
Monarch and King of the Nomes?" asked the Citizen.
"Yes. That seemed the on-ly thing for us to do,"
was Tik-Tok's reply. "But he was too cle-ver for
us. When we got close to his cav-ern he made our
path lead to the Tube, and made the op-en-ing in-
vis-i-ble, so that we all fell in-to it be-fore we
knew it was there. It was an eas-y way to get rid
of us and now Rug-gedo is safe and we are far a-
way in a strange land."
The Citizen was silent a moment and seemed to be
thinking. Then he said:
"Most noble Private Soldier, I must inform you
that by the laws of our country anyone who comes
through the Forbidden Tube must be tortured for
nine days and ten nights and then thrown back into
the Tube. But it is wise to disregard laws when
they conflict with justice, and it seems that you
and your followers did not disobey our laws
willingly, being forced into the Tube by Ruggedo.
Therefore the Nome King is alone to blame, and he
alone must be punished."
"That suits me," said Tik-Tok. "But Rug-ge-do
is on the o-ther side of the world where he is
a-way out of your reach."
The Citizen drew himself up proudly.
"Do you imagine anything in the world or upon it
can be out of the reach of the Great Jinjin?" he
"Oh! Are you, then, the Great Jinjin?" inquired
"Then your name is Ti-ti-ti-Hoo-choo?"
Queen Ann gave a scream and began to tremble.
Shaggy was so disturbed that he took out a
handkerchief and wiped the perspiration from his
brow. Polychrome looked sober and uneasy for the
first time, while Files put his arms around the
Rose Princess as if to protect her. As for the
officers, the name of the great Jinjin set them
moaning and weeping at a great rate and every one
fell upon his knees before the throne, begging for
mercy. Betsy was worried at seeing her companions
so disturbed, but did not know what it was all
about. Only Tik-Tok was unmoved at the discovery.
"Then," said he, "if you are Ti-ti-ti-Hoo-choo,
and think Rug-ge-do is to blame, I am sure that
some-thing queer will hap-pen to the King of the
"I wonder what 'twill be," said Betsy.
The Private Citizen--otherwise known as Tititi-
Hoochoo, the Great Jinjin--looked at the little
"I will presently decide what is to happen to
Ruggedo," said he in a hard, stern voice. Then,
turning to the throng of Kings and Queens, he
continued: "Tik-Tok has spoken truly, for his
machinery will not allow him to lie, nor will it
allow his thoughts to think falsely. Therefore
these people are not our enemies and must be
treated with consideration and justice. Take them
to your palaces and entertain them as guests until
to-morrow, when I command that they be brought
again to my Residence. By then I shall have formed
No sooner had Tititi-Hoochoo spoken than he
disappeared from sight. Immediately after, most of
the Kings and Queens likewise disappeared. But
several of them remained visible and approached
the strangers with great respect. One of the
lovely Queens said to Betsy:
"I trust you will honor me by being my guest. I
am Erma, Queen of Light."
"May Hank come with me?" asked the girl.
"The King of Animals will care for your mule,"
was the reply. "But do not fear for him, for he
will be treated royally. All of your party will be
reunited on the morrow."
"I--I'd like to have some one with me," said
Queen Erma looked around and smiled upon
"Will the Rainbow's Daughter be an agreeable
companion?" she asked.
"Oh, yes!" exclaimed the girl.
So Polychrome and Betsy became guests of the
Queen of Light, while other beautiful Kings and
Queens took charge of the others of the party.
The two girls followed Erma out of the hall
and through the gardens of the Residence to a
village of pretty dwellings. None of these was so
large or imposing as the castle of the Private
Citizen, but all were handsome enough to be
called palaces--as, in fact, they really were.
The Lovely Lady of Light
The palace of the Queen of Light stood on a little
eminence and was a mass of crystal windows,
surmounted by a vast crystal dome. When they
entered the portals Erma was greeted by six lovely
maidens, evidently of high degree, who at once
aroused Betsy's admiration. Each bore a wand in
her hand, tipped with an emblem of light, and
their costumes were also emblematic of the lights
they represented. Erma introduced them to her
guests and each made a graceful and courteous
First was Sunlight, radiantly beautiful and very
fair; the second was Moonlight, a soft, dreamy
damsel with nut-brown hair; next came Starlight,
equally lovely but inclined to be retiring and
shy. These three were dressed in shimmering robes
of silvery white. The fourth was Daylight, a
brilliant damsel with laughing eyes and frank
manners, who wore a variety of colors. Then came
Firelight, clothed in a fleecy flame-colored robe
that wavered around her shapely form in a very
attractive manner. The sixth maiden, Electra, was
the most beautiful of all, and Betsy thought from
the first that both Sunlight and Daylight regarded
Electra with envy and were a little jealous of
But all were cordial in their greetings to the
strangers and seemed to regard the Queen of Light
with much affection, for they fluttered around her
in a flashing, radiant group as she led the way to
her regal drawing-room.
This apartment was richly and cosily furnished,
the upholstery being of many tints, and both Betsy
and Polychrome enjoyed resting themselves upon the
downy divans after their strenuous adventures of
The Queen sat down to chat with her guests, who
noticed that Daylight was the only maiden now
seated beside Erma. The others had retired to
another part of the room, where they sat modestly
with entwined arms and did not intrude themselves
The Queen told the strangers all about this
beautiful land, which is one of the chief
residences of fairies who minister to the needs of
mankind. So many important fairies lived there
that, to avoid rivalry, they had elected as their
Ruler the only important personage in the country
who had no duties to mankind to perform and was,
in effect, a Private Citizen. This Ruler, or
Jinjin, as was his title, bore the name of Tititi-
Hoochoo, and the most singular thing about him was
that he had no heart. But instead of this he
possessed a high degree of Reason and Justice and
while he showed no mercy in his judgments he never
punished unjustly or without reason. To wrong-
doers Tititi-Hoochoo was as terrible as he was
heartless, but those who were innocent of evil had
nothing to fear from him.
All the Kings and Queens of this fairyland paid
reverence to Jinjin, for as they expected to be
obeyed by others they were willing to obey the one
in authority over them.
The inhabitants of the Land of Oz had heard many
tales of this fearfully just Jinjin, whose
punishments were always equal to the faults
committed. Polychrome also knew of him, although
this was the first time she had ever seen him face
to face. But to Betsy the story was all new, and
she was greatly interested in Tititi-Hoochoo, whom
she no longer feared.
Time sped swiftly during their talk and suddenly
Betsy noticed that Moonlight was sitting beside
the Queen of Light, instead of Daylight.
"But tell me, please," she pleaded, "why do you
all wear a dragon's head embroidered on your
Erma's pleasant face became grave as she
"The Dragon, as you must know, was the first
living creature ever made; therefore the Dragon is
the oldest and wisest of living things. By good
fortune the Original Dragon, who still lives, is a
resident of this land and supplies us with wisdom
whenever we are in need of it. He is old as the
world and remembers everything that has happened
since the world was created."
"Did he ever have any children?" inquired the
"Yes, many of them. Some wandered into other
lands, where men, not understanding them, made war
upon them; but many still reside in this country.
None, however, is as wise as the Original Dragon,
for whom we have great respect. As he was the
first resident here, we wear the emblem of the
dragon's head to show that we are the favored
people who alone have the right to inhabit this
fairyland, which in beauty almost equals the
Fairyland of Oz, and in power quite surpasses it."
"I understand about the dragon, now," said
Polychrome, nodding her lovely head. Betsy did not
quite understand, but she was at present
interested in observing the changing lights. As
Daylight had given way to Moonlight, so now
Starlight sat at the right hand of Erma the Queen,
and with her coming a spirit of peace and content
seemed to fill the room. Polychrome, being
herself a fairy, had many questions to ask about
the various Kings and Queens who lived in this
far-away, secluded place, and before Erma had
finished answering them a rosy glow filled the
room and Firelight took her place beside the
Betsy liked Firelight, but to gaze upon her warm
and glowing features made the little girl sleepy,
and presently she began to nod. Thereupon Erma
rose and took Betsy's hand gently in her own.
"Come," said she; "the feast time has arrived
and the feast is spread."
"That's nice," exclaimed the small mortal.
"Now that I think of it, I'm awful hungry. But
p'raps I can't eat your fairy food."
The Queen smiled and led her to a doorway. As
she pushed aside a heavy drapery a flood of
silvery light greeted them, and Betsy saw before
her a splendid banquet hall, with a table spread
with snowy linen and crystal and silver. At one
side was a broad, throne-like seat for Erma and
beside her now sat the brilliant maid Electra.
Polychrome was placed on the Queen's right hand
and Betsy upon her left. The other five messengers
of light now waited upon them, and each person was
supplied with just the food she liked best.
Polychrome found her dish of dewdrops, all fresh
and sparkling, while Betsy was so lavishly served
that she decided she had never in her life eaten a
dinner half so good.
"I s'pose," she said to the Queen, "that Miss
Electra is the youngest of all these girls."
"Why do you suppose that?" inquired Erma, with a
"'Cause electric'ty is the newest light we
know of. Didn't Mr. Edison discover it?"
"Perhaps he was the first mortal to discover
it," replied the Queen. "But electricity was a
part of the world from its creation, and therefore
my Electra is as old as Daylight or Moonlight,
and equally beneficent to mortals and fairies
Betsy was thoughtful for a time. Then she
remarked, as she looked at the six messengers of
"We couldn't very well do without any of
'em; could we?"
Erma laughed softly. "I couldn't, I'm sure," she
replied, "and I think mortals would miss any one
of my maidens, as well. Daylight cannot take the
place of Sunlight, which gives us strength and
energy. Moonlight is of value when Daylight, worn
out with her long watch, retires to rest. If the
moon in its course is hidden behind the earth's
rim, and my sweet Moonlight cannot cheer us,
Starlight takes her place, for the skies always
lend her power. Without Firelight we should miss
much of our warmth and comfort, as well as much
cheer when the walls of houses encompass us. But
always, when other lights forsake us, our glorious
Electra is ready to flood us with bright rays. As
Queen of Light, I love all my maidens, for I know
them to be faithful and true."
"I love 'em too!" declared Betsy. "But
sometimes, when I'm real sleepy, I can get along
without any light at all."
"Are you sleepy now?" inquired Erma, for the
feast had ended.
"A little," admitted the girl.
So Electra showed her to a pretty chamber where
there was a soft, white bed, and waited patiently
until Betsy had undressed and put on a shimmery
silken nightrobe that lay beside her pillow. Then
the light-maid bade her good night and opened the
When she closed it after her Betsy was in
darkness. In six winks the little girl was fast
The Jinjin's Just Judgment
All the adventurers were reunited next morning
when they were brought from various palaces to the
Residence of Tititi-Hoochoo and ushered into the
great Hall of State.
As before, no one was visible except our friends
and their escorts until the first bell sounded.
Then in a flash the room was seen to be filled
with the beautiful Kings and Queens of the land.
The second bell marked the appearance in the
throne of the mighty Jinjin, whose handsome
countenance was as composed and expressionless as
All bowed low to the Ruler. Their voices softly
murmured: "We greet the Private Citizen, mightiest
of Rulers, whose word is Law and whose Law is
Tititi-Hoochoo bowed in acknowledgment.
Then, looking around the brilliant assemblage,
and at the little group of adventurers before him,
"An unusual thing has happened. Inhabitants of
other lands than ours, who are different from
ourselves in many ways, have been thrust upon us
through the Forbidden Tube, which one of our
people foolishly made years ago and was properly
punished for his folly. But these strangers had no
desire to come here and were wickedly thrust into
the Tube by a cruel King on the other side of the
world, named Ruggedo. This King is an immortal,
but he is not good. His magic powers hurt mankind
more than they benefit them. Because he had
unjustly kept the Shaggy Man's brother a prisoner,
this little band of honest people, consisting of
both mortals and immortals, determined to conquer
Ruggedo and to punish him. Fearing they might
succeed in this, the Nome King misled them so that
they fell into the Tube.
"Now, this same Ruggedo has been warned by me,
many times, that if ever he used this Forbidden
Tube in any way he would be severely punished. I
find, by referring to the Fairy Records, that this
King's servant, a nome named Kaliko, begged his
master not to do such a wrong act as to drop these
people into the Tube and send them tumbling into
our country. But Ruggedo defied me and my orders.
"Therefore these strangers are innocent of any
wrong. It is only Ruggedo who deserves punishment,
and I will punish him." He paused a moment and
then continued in the same cold, merciless voice:
"These strangers must return through the Tube to
their own side of the world; but I will make their
fall more easy and pleasant than it was before.
Also I shall send with them an Instrument of
Vengeance, who in my name will drive Ruggedo from
his underground caverns, take away his magic
powers and make him a homeless wanderer on the
face of the earth--a place he detests."
There was a little murmur of horror from the
Kings and Queens at the severity of this
punishment, but no one uttered a protest, for all
realized that the sentence was just.
"In selecting my Instrument of Vengeance," went
on Tititi-Hoochoo, "I have realized that this will
be an unpleasant mission. Therefore no one of us
who is blameless should be forced to undertake it.
In this wonderful land it is seldom one is guilty
of wrong, even in the slightest degree, and on
examining the Records I found no King or Queen had
erred. Nor had any among their followers or
servants done any wrong. But finally I came to the
Dragon Family, which we highly respect, and then
it was that I discovered the error of Quox.
"Quox, as you well know, is a young dragon who
has not yet acquired the wisdom of his race.
Because of this lack, he has been disrespectful
toward his most ancient ancestor, the Original
Dragon, telling him once to mind his own business
and again saying that the Ancient One had grown
foolish with age. We are aware that dragons are
not the same as fairies and cannot be altogether
guided by our laws, yet such disrespect as Quox
has shown should not be unnoticed by us. Therefore
I have selected Quox as my royal Instrument of
Vengeance and he shall go through the Tube with
these people and inflict upon Ruggedo the
punishment I have decreed."
All had listened quietly to this speech and now
the Kings and Queens bowed gravely to signify
their approval of the Jinjin's judgment.
Tititi-Hoochoo turned to Tubekins.
"I command you," said he, "to escort these
strangers to the Tube and see that they all enter
The King of the Tube, who had first discovered
our friends and brought them to the Private
Citizen, stepped forward and bowed. As he did so,
the Jinjin and all the Kings and Queens suddenly
disappeared and only Tubekins remained visible.
"All right," said Betsy, with a sigh; "I don't
mind going back so very much, 'cause the Jinjin
promised to make it easy for us."
Indeed, Queen Ann and her officers were the only
ones who looked solemn and seemed to fear the
return journey. One thing that bothered Ann was
her failure to conquer this land of Tititi-
Hoochoo. As they followed their guide through the
gardens to the mouth of the Tube she said to
"How can I conquer the world, if I go away
and leave this rich country unconquered?"
"You can't," he replied. "Don't ask me why,
please, for if you don't know I can't inform
"Why not?" said Ann; but Shaggy paid no
attention to the question.
This end of the Tube had a silver rim and around
it was a gold railing to which was attached a sign
"IF YOU ARE OUT, STAY THERE.
IF YOU ARE IN, DON'T COME OUT."
On a little silver plate just inside the Tube
was engraved the words:
"Burrowed and built by
Hiergargo the Magician,
In the Year of the World
1 9 6 2 5 4 7 8
For his own exclusive uses."
"He was some builder, I must say," remarked
Betsy, when she had read the inscription; "but
if he had known about that star I guess he'd
have spent his time playing solitaire."
"Well, what are we waiting for?" inquired
Shaggy, who was impatient to start.
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