"That is the most sensible speech you've made," said the Tin Woodman.
"I must really make another effort to discover where this girl is hidden," resumed the Sorceress, thoughtfully. "I have in my library a book in which is inscribed every action of the Wizard while he was in our land of Oz -- or, at least, every action that could be observed by my spies. This book I will read carefully tonight, and try to single out the acts that may guide us in discovering the lost Ozma. In
243 the meantime, pray amuse yourselves in my palace and command my servants as if they were your own. I will grant you another audience tomorrow."
With this gracious speech Glinda dismissed the adventurers, and they wandered away through the beautiful gardens, where they passed several hours enjoying all the delightful things with which the Queen of the Southland had surrounded her royal palace.
On the following morning they again appeared before Glinda, who said to them:
"I have searched carefully through the records of the Wizard's actions, and among them I can find but three that appear to have been suspicious. He ate beans with a knife, made three secret visits to old Mombi, and limped slightly on his left foot."
"Ah! that last is certainly suspicious!" exclaimed the Pumpkinhead.
"Not necessarily," said the Scarecrow. "he may, have had corns. Now, it seems to me his eating beans with a knife is more suspicious."
"Perhaps it is a polite custom in Omaha, from which great country the Wizard originally came," suggested the Tin Woodman.
"It may be," admitted the Scarecrow.
"But why," asked Glinda, "did he make three secret visits to old Mombi?"
"Ah! Why, indeed!" echoed the Woggle-Bug, impressively.
"We know that the Wizard taught the old woman many of his tricks of magic," continued Glinda; "and this he would not have done had she not assisted him in some way. So we may suspect with good reason that Mombi aided him to hide the girl Ozma, who was the real heir to the throne of the Emerald City, and a constant danger to the usurper. For, if the people knew that she lived, they would quickly make her their Queen and restore her to her rightful position."
"An able argument!" cried the Scarecrow. "I have no doubt that Mombi was mixed up in this wicked business. But how does that knowledge help us?"
"We must find Mombi," replied Glinda, "and force her to tell where the girl is hidden."
"Mombi is now with Queen Jinjur, in the Emerald, City" said Tip. "It was she who threw so many obstacles in our pathway, and made Jinjur threaten to destroy my friends and give me back into the old witch's power."
"Then," decided Glinda, "I will march with my
245 army to the Emerald City, and take Mombi prisoner. After that we can, perhaps, force her to tell the truth about Ozma."
"She is a terrible old woman!" remarked Tip, with a shudder at the thought of Mombi's black kettle; "and obstinate, too."
"I am quite obstinate myself," returned the Sorceress, with a sweet smile. "so I do not fear Mombi in the least. Today I will make all necessary preparations, and we will march upon the Emerald City at daybreak tomorrow."
246 The Tin-Woodman Plucks a Rose
The Army of Glinda the Good looked very grand and imposing when it assembled at daybreak before the palace gates. The uniforms of the girl soldiers were pretty and of gay colors, and their silver-tipped spears were bright and glistening, the long shafts being inlaid with mother-of-pearl. All the officers wore sharp, gleaming swords, and shields edged with peacock- feathers; and it really seemed that no foe could by any possibility defeat such a brilliant army.
The Sorceress rode in a beautiful palanquin which was like the body of a coach, having doors and
247 windows with silken curtains; but instead of wheels, which a coach has, the palanquin rested upon two long, horizontal bars, which were borne upon the shoulders of twelve servants.
The Scarecrow and his comrades decided to ride in the Gump, in order to keep up with the swift march of the army; so, as soon as Glinda had started and her soldiers had marched away to the inspiring strains of music played by the royal band, our friends climbed into the sofas and followed.