As for the Saw-Horse, he made a wonderful record upsetting a fruit cart, overturning several meek looking men, and finally bowling over the new Guardian of the Gate -- a fussy little fat woman appointed by General Jinjur.
Nor did the impetuous charger stop then. Once outside the walls of the Emerald City he dashed along the road to the West with fast and violent leaps that shook the breath out of the boy and filled the Scarecrow with wonder.
Jack had ridden at this mad rate once before, so he devoted every effort to holding, with both hands, his pumpkin head upon its stick, enduring meantime the dreadful jolting with the courage of a philosopher.
107 Full page line-art drawing.
THE WOODEN STEED GAVE ONE FINAL LEAP
"Slow him up! Slow him up!" shouted the Scarecrow. "My straw is all shaking down into my legs."
But Tip had no breath to speak, so the Saw-Horse continued his wild career unchecked and with unabated speed.
Presently they came to the banks of a wide river, and without a pause the wooden steed gave one final leap and launched them all in mid-air.
A second later they were rolling, splashing and bobbing about in the water, the horse struggling frantically to find a rest for its feet and its riders being first plunged beneath the rapid current and then floating upon the surface like corks.
109 The Journey to the Tin Woodman
Tip was well soaked and dripping water from every angle of his body. But he managed to lean forward and shout in the ear of the Saw-Horse:
"Keep still, you fool! Keep still!"
The horse at once ceased struggling and floated calmly upon the surface, its wooden body being as buoyant as a raft.
"What does that word 'fool' mean?" enquired the horse.
"It is a term of reproach," answered Tip, somewhat ashamed of the expression. "I only use it when I am angry."
"Then it pleases me to be able to call you a fool, in return," said the horse. "For I did not make
110 the river, nor put it in our way; so only a term of, reproach is fit for one who becomes angry with me for falling into the water."
"That is quite evident," replied Tip; "so I will acknowledge myself in the wrong." Then he called out to the Pumpkinhead: "are you all right, Jack?"
There was no reply. So the boy called to the King "are you all right, your majesty?"
The Scarecrow groaned.
"I'm all wrong, somehow," he said, in a weak voice. "How very wet this water is!"
Tip was bound so tightly by the cord that he could not turn his head to look at his companions; so he said to the Saw-Horse:
"Paddle with your legs toward the shore."
The horse obeyed, and although their progress was slow they finally reached the opposite river bank at a place where it was low enough to enable the creature to scramble upon dry land.
With some difficulty the boy managed to get his knife out of his pocket and cut the cords that bound the riders to one another and to the wooden horse. He heard the Scarecrow fall to the ground with a mushy sound, and then he himself quickly dismounted and looked at his friend Jack.
The wooden body, with its gorgeous clothing,
111 still sat upright upon the horse's back; but the pumpkin head was gone, and only the sharpened stick that served for a neck was visible. As for the Scarecrow, the straw in his body had shaken down with the jolting and packed itself into his legs and the lower part of his body -- which appeared very plump and round while his upper half seemed like an empty sack. Upon his head the Scarecrow still wore the heavy crown, which had been sewed on to prevent his losing it; but the head was now so damp and limp that the weight of the gold and jewels sagged forward and crushed the painted face into a mass of wrinkles that made him look exactly like a Japanese pug dog.
Tip would have laughed -- had he not been so anxious about his man Jack. But the Scarecrow, however damaged, was all there, while the pumpkin head that was so necessary to Jack's existence was missing; so the boy seized a long pole that fortunately lay near at hand and anxiously turned again toward the river.