Ozma of Oz

Page 10

"It is only made out of copper, like the old kettle in the barn-yard at home," continued the hen, turning her head first to one side and then to the other, so that both her little round eyes could examine the object.

"Once," said Dorothy, "I knew a man made out of tin, who was a woodman named Nick Chopper. But he was as alive as we are, 'cause he was born a real man, and got his tin body a little at a time--first a leg and then a finger and then an ear--for the reason that he had so many accidents with his axe, and cut himself up in a very careless manner."

"Oh," said the hen, with a sniff, as if she did not believe the story.

"But this copper man," continued Dorothy, looking at it with big eyes, "is not alive at all, and I wonder what it was made for, and why it was locked up in this queer place."

"That is a mystery," remarked the hen, twisting her head to arrange her wing-feathers with her bill.

Dorothy stepped inside the little room to get a back view of the copper man, and in this way discovered a printed card that hung between his shoulders, it being suspended from a small copper peg at the back of his neck. She unfastened this card and returned to the path, where the light was better, and sat herself down upon a slab of rock to read the printing.

"What does it say?" asked the hen, curiously.

Dorothy read the card aloud, spelling out the big words with some difficulty; and this is what she read:

+----------------------------------------------------------------+ | | | SMITH & TINKER'S | | Patent Double-Action, Extra-Responsive, | | Thought-Creating, Perfect-Talking | | MECHANICAL MAN | | Fitted with our Special Clock-Work Attachment. | | Thinks, Speaks, Acts, and Does Everything but Live. | | Manufactured only at our Works at Evna, Land of Ev. | | All infringements will be promptly Prosecuted according to Law.| | | +----------------------------------------------------------------+

"How queer!" said the yellow hen. "Do you think that is all true, my dear?"

"I don't know," answered Dorothy, who had more to read. "Listen to this, Billina:"

+--------------------------------------------------+ | | | DIRECTIONS FOR USING: | | For THINKING:--Wind the Clock-work Man under his | | left arm, (marked No. 1.) | | For SPEAKING:--Wind the Clock-work Man under his | | right arm, (marked No. 2.) | | For WALKING and ACTION:--Wind Clock-work in the | | middle of his back, (marked No. 3.) | | N. B.--This Mechanism is guaranteed to work | | perfectly for a thousand years. | | | +--------------------------------------------------+

"Well, I declare!" gasped the yellow hen, in amazement; "if the copper man can do half of these things he is a very wonderful machine. But I suppose it is all humbug, like so many other patented articles."

"We might wind him up," suggested Dorothy, "and see what he'll do."

"Where is the key to the clock-work?" asked Billina.

"Hanging on the peg where I found the card."

"Then," said the hen, "let us try him, and find out if he will go. He is warranted for a thousand years, it seems; but we do not know how long he has been standing inside this rock."

Dorothy had already taken the clock key from the peg.

"Which shall I wind up first?" she asked, looking again at the directions on the card.

"Number One, I should think," returned Billina. "That makes him think, doesn't it?"

"Yes," said Dorothy, and wound up Number One, under the left arm.

"He doesn't seem any different," remarked the hen, critically.

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