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The Wizard of Oz - Chapter 11 part 1



Even with eyes protected by the green spectacles, Dorothy and her

friends were at first dazzled by the brilliancy of the wonderful City.

The streets were lined with beautiful houses all built of green marble

and studded everywhere with sparkling emeralds. They walked over a

pavement of the same green marble, and where the blocks were joined

together were rows of emeralds, set closely, and glittering in the

brightness of the sun. The window panes were of green glass; even the

sky above the City had a green tint, and the rays of the sun were green.

There were many people--men, women, and children--walking about, and

these were all dressed in green clothes and had greenish skins. They

looked at Dorothy and her strangely assorted company with wondering

eyes, and the children all ran away and hid behind their mothers when

they saw the Lion; but no one spoke to them. Many shops stood in the

street, and Dorothy saw that everything in them was green. Green candy

and green pop corn were offered for sale, as well as green shoes, green

hats, and green clothes of all sorts. At one place a man was selling

green lemonade, and when the children bought it Dorothy could see that

they paid for it with green pennies.

There seemed to be no horses nor animals of any kind; the men carried

things around in little green carts, which they pushed before them.

Everyone seemed happy and contented and prosperous.

The Guardian of the Gates led them through the streets until they came

to a big building, exactly in the middle of the City, which was the

Palace of Oz, the Great Wizard. There was a soldier before the door,

dressed in a green uniform and wearing a long green beard.

"Here are strangers," said the Guardian of the Gates to him, "and they

demand to see the Great Oz."

"Step inside," answered the soldier, "and I will carry your message to

him."

So they passed through the Palace Gates and were led into a big room

with a green carpet and lovely green furniture set with emeralds. The

soldier made them all wipe their feet upon a green mat before entering

this room, and when they were seated he said politely:

"Please make yourselves comfortable while I go to the door of the

Throne Room and tell Oz you are here."

They had to wait a long time before the soldier returned. When, at

last, he came back, Dorothy asked:

"Have you seen Oz?"

"Oh, no," returned the soldier; "I have never seen him. But I spoke to

him as he sat behind his screen and gave him your message. He said he

will grant you an audience, if you so desire; but each one of you must

enter his presence alone, and he will admit but one each day.

Therefore, as you must remain in the Palace for several days, I will

have you shown to rooms where you may rest in comfort after your

journey."

"Thank you," replied the girl; "that is very kind of Oz."

The soldier now blew upon a green whistle, and at once a young girl,

dressed in a pretty green silk gown, entered the room. She had lovely

green hair and green eyes, and she bowed low before Dorothy as she

said, "Follow me and I will show you your room."

So Dorothy said good-bye to all her friends except Toto, and taking the

dog in her arms followed the green girl through seven passages and up

three flights of stairs until they came to a room at the front of the

Palace. It was the sweetest little room in the world, with a soft

comfortable bed that had sheets of green silk and a green velvet

counterpane. There was a tiny fountain in the middle of the room, that

shot a spray of green perfume into the air, to fall back into a

beautifully carved green marble basin. Beautiful green flowers stood

in the windows, and there was a shelf with a row of little green books.

When Dorothy had time to open these books she found them full of queer

green pictures that made her laugh, they were so funny.

In a wardrobe were many green dresses, made of silk and satin and

velvet; and all of them fitted Dorothy exactly.

"Make yourself perfectly at home," said the green girl, "and if you

wish for anything ring the bell. Oz will send for you tomorrow

morning."

She left Dorothy alone and went back to the others. These she also led

to rooms, and each one of them found himself lodged in a very pleasant

part of the Palace. Of course this politeness was wasted on the

Scarecrow; for when he found himself alone in his room he stood

stupidly in one spot, just within the doorway, to wait till morning.

It would not rest him to lie down, and he could not close his eyes; so

he remained all night staring at a little spider which was weaving its

web in a corner of the room, just as if it were not one of the most

wonderful rooms in the world. The Tin Woodman lay down on his bed from

force of habit, for he remembered when he was made of flesh; but not

being able to sleep, he passed the night moving his joints up and down

to make sure they kept in good working order. The Lion would have

preferred a bed of dried leaves in the forest, and did not like being

shut up in a room; but he had too much sense to let this worry him, so

he sprang upon the bed and rolled himself up like a cat and purred

himself asleep in a minute.

The next morning, after breakfast, the green maiden came to fetch

Dorothy, and she dressed her in one of the prettiest gowns, made of

green brocaded satin. Dorothy put on a green silk apron and tied a

green ribbon around Toto's neck, and they started for the Throne Room

of the Great Oz.

First they came to a great hall in which were many ladies and gentlemen

of the court, all dressed in rich costumes. These people had nothing

to do but talk to each other, but they always came to wait outside the

Throne Room every morning, although they were never permitted to see

Oz. As Dorothy entered they looked at her curiously, and one of them

whispered:

"Are you really going to look upon the face of Oz the Terrible?"

"Of course," answered the girl, "if he will see me."

"Oh, he will see you," said the soldier who had taken her message to

the Wizard, "although he does not like to have people ask to see him.

Indeed, at first he was angry and said I should send you back where you

came from. Then he asked me what you looked like, and when I mentioned

your silver shoes he was very much interested. At last I told him

about the mark upon your forehead, and he decided he would admit you to

his presence."

Just then a bell rang, and the green girl said to Dorothy, "That is the

signal. You must go into the Throne Room alone."

She opened a little door and Dorothy walked boldly through and found

herself in a wonderful place. It was a big, round room with a high

arched roof, and the walls and ceiling and floor were covered with

large emeralds set closely together. In the center of the roof was a

great light, as bright as the sun, which made the emeralds sparkle in a

wonderful manner.

But what interested Dorothy most was the big throne of green marble

that stood in the middle of the room. It was shaped like a chair and

sparkled with gems, as did everything else. In the center of the chair

was an enormous Head, without a body to support it or any arms or legs

whatever. There was no hair upon this head, but it had eyes and a nose

and mouth, and was much bigger than the head of the biggest giant.

As Dorothy gazed upon this in wonder and fear, the eyes turned slowly

and looked at her sharply and steadily. Then the mouth moved, and

Dorothy heard a voice say:

"I am Oz, the Great and Terrible. Who are you, and why do you seek me?"

It was not such an awful voice as she had expected to come from the big

Head; so she took courage and answered:

"I am Dorothy, the Small and Meek. I have come to you for help."

The eyes looked at her thoughtfully for a full minute. Then said the

voice:

"Where did you get the silver shoes?"

"I got them from the Wicked Witch of the East, when my house fell on

her and killed her," she replied.

"Where did you get the mark upon your forehead?" continued the voice.

"That is where the Good Witch of the North kissed me when she bade me

good-bye and sent me to you," said the girl.

Again the eyes looked at her sharply, and they saw she was telling the

truth. Then Oz asked, "What do you wish me to do?"

"Send me back to Kansas, where my Aunt Em and Uncle Henry are," she

answered earnestly. "I don't like your country, although it is so

beautiful. And I’m sure Aunt Em will be dreadfully worried over my

being away so long."

The eyes winked three times, and then they turned up to the ceiling and

down to the floor and rolled around so queerly that they seemed to see

every part of the room. And at last they looked at Dorothy again.

"Why should I do this for you?" asked Oz.

"Because you are strong and I am weak; because you are a Great Wizard

and I am only a little girl."

"But you were strong enough to kill the Wicked Witch of the East," said

Oz.

"That just happened," returned Dorothy simply; "I could not help it."

"Well," said the Head, "I will give you my answer. You have no right

to expect me to send you back to Kansas unless you do something for me

in return. In this country everyone must pay for everything he gets.

If you wish me to use my magic power to send you home again you must do

something for me first. Help me and I will help you."

"What must I do?" asked the girl.

"Kill the Wicked Witch of the West," answered Oz.

"But I cannot!" exclaimed Dorothy, greatly surprised.

"You killed the Witch of the East and you wear the silver shoes, which

bear a powerful charm. There is now but one Wicked Witch left in all

this land, and when you can tell me she is dead I will send you back to

Kansas--but not before."

The little girl began to weep, she was so much disappointed; and the

eyes winked again and looked upon her anxiously, as if the Great Oz

felt that she could help him if she would.

"I never killed anything, willingly," she sobbed. "Even if I wanted

to, how could I kill the Wicked Witch? If you, who are Great and

Terrible, cannot kill her yourself, how do you expect me to do it?"

"I do not know," said the Head; "but that is my answer, and until the

Wicked Witch dies you will not see your uncle and aunt again. Remember

that the Witch is Wicked--tremendously Wicked--and ought to be killed.

Now go, and do not ask to see me again until you have done your task."

That’s the end of part one of this chapter. Next episode, let’s see what Oz has in store for Dorothy’s friends.


Quiz Questions:

  1. What color dominates the Emerald City and its inhabitants?

  • A. Blue

  • B. Red

  • C. Green

  • D. Yellow

  1. Where does Dorothy have to go to meet Oz for the first time?

  • A. Throne Room

  • B. Garden

  • C. Kitchen

  • D. Library

  1. What items of Dorothy's clothing are mentioned as being green?

  • A. Shoes and dress

  • B. Ribbon and hat

  • C. Apron and shoes

  • D. Hat and gloves

  1. What did Oz ask Dorothy to do in exchange for granting her request?

  • A. Bring him a magical artifact

  • B. Defeat a powerful enemy

  • C. Solve a difficult riddle

  • D. Build a new palace

  1. How did Dorothy react when she heard Oz's condition?

  • A. She laughed

  • B. She cried

  • C. She danced

  • D. She slept

Answers:

  1. C. Green

  2. A. Throne Room

  3. C. Apron and shoes

  4. B. Defeat a powerful enemy

  5. B. She cried

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