"To prove you are a Pumpkinhead!" retorted the Scarecrow. "But, if the Sorceress expects us, we must not keep her waiting."
So they all clambered out of the sofas and followed the Captain toward the palace -- even the Saw-Horse taking his place in the queer procession.
Upon her throne of finely wrought gold sat Glinda, and she could scarcely repress a smile as her peculiar visitors entered and bowed before her. Both the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman she knew and liked; but the awkward Pumpkinhead and Highly Magnified Woggle-Bug were creatures she had never seen before, and they seemed even more curious than the others. As for the Saw-Horse, he looked to be nothing more than an animated chunk of wood; and he bowed so stiffly that his head bumped against the floor, causing a ripple of laughter among the soldiers, in which Glinda frankly joined.
"I beg to announce to your glorious highness," began the Scarecrow, in a solemn voice, "that my Emerald City has been overrun by a crowd of impudent girls with knitting-needles, who have enslaved all the men, robbed the streets and public buildings of all their emerald jewels, and usurped my throne."
"I know it," said Glinda.
"They also threatened to destroy me, as well as all the good friends and allies you see before you," continued the Scarecrow. "and had we not managed
240 to escape their clutches our days would long since have ended."
"I know it," repeated Glinda.
"Therefore I have come to beg your assistance," resumed the Scarecrow, "for I believe you are always glad to succor the unfortunate and oppressed."
"That is true," replied the Sorceress, slowly. "But the Emerald City is now ruled by General Jinjur, who has caused herself to be proclaimed Queen. What right have I to oppose her?"
"Why, she stole the throne from me," said the Scarecrow.
"And how came you to possess the throne?" asked Glinda.
"I got it from the Wizard of Oz, and by the choice of the people," returned the Scarecrow, uneasy at such questioning.
"And where did the Wizard get it?" she continued gravely.
"I am told he took it from Pastoria, the former King," said the Scarecrow, becoming confused under the intent look of the Sorceress.
"Then," declared Glinda, "the throne of the Emerald City belongs neither to you nor to Jinjur, but to this Pastoria from whom the Wizard usurped it."
"That is true," acknowledged the Scarecrow,
241 humbly; "but Pastoria is now dead and gone, and some one must rule in his place."
"Pastoria had a daughter, who is the rightful heir to the throne of the Emerald City. Did you know that?" questioned the Sorceress.
"No," replied the Scarecrow. "But if the girl still lives I will not stand in her way. It will satisfy me as well to have Jinjur turned out, as an impostor, as to regain the throne myself. In fact, it isn't much fun to be King, especially if one has good brains. I have known for some time that I am fitted to occupy a far more exalted position. But where is the girl who owns the throne, and what is her name?"
"Her name is Ozma," answered Glinda. "But where she is I have tried in vain to discover. For the Wizard of Oz, when he stole the throne from Ozma's father, hid the girl in some secret place; and by means of a magical trick with which I am not familiar he also managed to prevent her being discovered -- even by so experienced a Sorceress as myself."
"That is strange," interrupted the Woggle-Bug, pompously. "I have been informed that the Wonderful Wizard of Oz was nothing more than a humbug!"
"Nonsense!" exclaimed the Scarecrow, much provoked by this speech. "Didn't he give me a wonderful set of brains?"
"There's no humbug about my heart," announced the Tin Woodman, glaring indignantly at the Woggle-Bug.
"Perhaps I was misinformed," stammered the Insect, shrinking back; "I never knew the Wizard personally."
"Well, we did," retorted the Scarecrow, "and he was a very great Wizard, I assure you. It is true he was guilty of some slight impostures, but unless he was a great Wizard how -- let me ask -- could he have hidden this girl Ozma so securely that no one can find her?"
"I -- I give it up!" replied the Woggle-Bug, meekly.