"But the houses and fences are blue," said the Tin Woodman, "and that indicates we are in the land of the Munchkins, and therefore a long distance from Glinda the Good."
"What shall we do?" asked the boy, turning to their guide.
"I don't know" replied the Scarecrow, frankly. "If we were at the Emerald City we could then move directly southward, and so reach our destination. But we dare not go to the Emerald City, and the Gump is probably carrying us further in the wrong direction with every flop of its wings."
"Then the Woggle-Bug must swallow another pill," said Tip, decidedly, "and wish us headed in the right direction."
"Very well," returned the Highly Magnified one; "I'm willing."
But when the Scarecrow searched in his pocket for the pepper-box containing the two silver Wishing Pills, it was not to be found. Filled with anxiety, the voyagers hunted throughout every inch of the
235 Thing for the precious box; but it had disappeared entirely.
And still the Gump flew onward, carrying them they knew not where.
"I must have left the pepper-box in the Jackdaws' nest," said the Scarecrow, at length.
"It is a great misfortune," the Tin Woodman declared. "But we are no worse off than before we discovered the Wishing Pills."
"We are better off," replied Tip. "for the one pill we used has enabled us to escape from that horrible nest."
"Yet the loss of the other two is serious, and I deserve a good scolding for my carelessness," the Scarecrow rejoined, penitently. "For in such an unusual party as this accidents are liable to happen any moment, and even now we may be approaching a new danger."
No one dared contradict this, and a dismal silence ensued.
The Gump flew steadily on.
Suddenly Tip uttered an exclamation of surprise. "We must have reached the South Country," he cried, "for below us everything is red!"
Immediately they all leaned over the backs of the sofas to look -- all except Jack, who was too careful
236 of his pumpkin head to risk its slipping off his neck. Sure enough; the red houses and fences and trees indicated they were within the domain of Glinda the Good; and presently, as they glided rapidly on, the Tin Woodman recognized the roads and buildings they passed, and altered slightly the flight of
237 the Gump so that they might reach the palace of the celebrated Sorceress.
"Good!" cried the Scarecrow, delightedly. "We do not need the lost Wishing Pills now, for we have arrived at our destination."
Gradually the Thing sank lower and nearer to the ground until at length it came to rest within the beautiful gardens of Glinda, settling upon a velvety green lawn close by a fountain which sent sprays of flashing gems, instead of water, high into the air, whence they fell with a soft, tinkling sound into the carved marble basin placed to receive them.
Everything was very gorgeous in Glinda's gardens, and while our voyagers gazed about with admiring eyes a company of soldiers silently appeared and surrounded them. But these soldiers of the great Sorceress were entirely different from those of Jinjur's Army of Revolt, although they were likewise girls. For Glinda's soldiers wore neat uniforms and bore swords and spears; and they marched with a skill and precision that proved them well trained in the arts of war.
The Captain commanding this troop -- which was Glinda's private Body Guard - - recognized the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman at once, and greeted them with respectful salutations.
"Good day!" said the Scarecrow, gallantly removing his hat, while the Woodman gave a soldierly salute; "we have come to request an audience with your fair Ruler."
"Glinda is now within her palace, awaiting you," returned the Captain; "for she saw you coming long before you arrived."
"That is strange!" said Tip, wondering.
"Not at all," answered the Scarecrow, "for Glinda the Good is a mighty Sorceress, and nothing that goes on in the Land of Oz escapes her notice. I suppose she knows why we came as well as we do ourselves."
"Then what was the use of our coming?" asked Jack, stupidly.