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Main > Fairy tale > All authors > Frank Baum > Fairy tale "The Royal Book of Oz"

The Royal Book of Oz

"Wasn't I talking Ozish?" he asked in a puzzled voice.

"Oh, now you are!" exclaimed Dorothy. And sure enough, the Scarecrow was talking plain Ozish again. (Which I don't mind telling you is also plain English.)

The Knight had been watching this little reunion with hardly repressed emotion. Advancing hastily, he dropped on one knee.

"My good sword and lance are ever at thy service, my Lord Scarecrow!" he exclaimed feelingly.

"Who is this impulsive person?" gulped the Scarecrow, staring in undisguised astonishment at the kneeling figure of the Sir Hokus of Pokes.

"He's my Knight Errant, and he's taken such good care of me," explained Dorothy eagerly.

"Splendid fellow," hissed the Cowardly Lion in the Scarecrow's other painted ear, "if he does talk odds and ends."

"Any friend of little Dorothy's is my friend," said the Scarecrow, shaking hands with Sir Hokus warmly. "But what I want to know is how you all got here."

"First tell us where we are," begged the little girl, for the Scarecrow's silver hat and queue filled her with alarm.

"You are on the Silver Island," said the Scarecrow slowly. "And I am the Emperor—or his good-for-nothing spirit—and tomorrow," the Scarecrow glared around wildly, "tomorrow I'll be eighty-five going on eighty-six." His voice broke and ended in a barely controlled sob.

"Doubt that," drawled the Doubtful Dromedary sleepily.

"Eighty-five years old!" gasped Dorothy. "Why, no one in Oz grows any older!"

"We are no longer in Oz." The Scarecrow shook his head sadly. Then, fixing the group with a puzzled stare, he exclaimed, "But how did you get here?"

"On a wish," said the Knight in a hollow voice.

"Yes," said Dorothy, "we've been hunting you all over Oz, and at last we came to Wish Way, and I said 'I wish we were all with the Scarecrow,' just like that—and next minute—"

"We fell and fell—and fell—and fell," wheezed the Comfortable Camel.

"And fell—and fell—and fell—and fell," droned the Dromedary, "And—"

"Here you are," finished the Scarecrow hastily, for the Dromedary showed signs of going on forever.

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