I shall take you all apart, Mr. Phony, and scatter your pieces far and wide over the country, as a matter of kindness to the people you might meet if allowed to run around loose. Having performed this painful duty I shall--"
But before he could say more the phonograph turned and dashed up the road as fast as its four table-legs could carry it, and soon it had entirely disappeared from their view.
The Shaggy Man sat down again and seemed well pleased. "Some one else will save me the trouble of scattering that phonograph," said he; "for it is not possible that such a music-maker can last long in the Land of Oz. When you are rested, friends, let us go on our way."
During the afternoon the travelers found themselves in a lonely and uninhabited part of the country. Even the fields were no longer cultivated and the country began to resemble a wilderness. The road of yellow bricks seemed to have been neglected and became uneven and more difficult to walk upon. Scrubby under-brush grew on either side of the way, while huge rocks were scattered around in abundance.
But this did not deter Ojo and his friends from trudging on, and they beguiled the journey with jokes and cheerful conversation. Toward evening they reached a crystal spring which gushed from a tall rock by the roadside and near this spring stood a deserted cabin. Said the Shaggy Man, halting here:
"We may as well pass the night here, where there is shelter for our heads and good water to drink. Road beyond here is pretty bad; worst we shall have to travel; so let's wait until morning before we tackle it."
They agreed to this and Ojo found some brushwood in the cabin and made a fire on the hearth. The fire delighted Scraps, who danced before it until Ojo warned her she might set fire to herself and burn up. After that the Patchwork Girl kept at a respectful distance from the darting flames, but the Woozy lay down before the fire like a big dog and seemed to enjoy its warmth.
For supper the Shaggy Man ate one of his tablets, but Ojo stuck to his bread and cheese as the most satisfying food. He also gave a portion to the Woozy.
When darkness came on and they sat in a circle on the cabin floor, facing the firelight--there being no furniture of any sort in the place--Ojo said to the Shaggy Man:
"Won't you tell us a story?"
"I'm not good at stories," was the reply; "but I sing like a bird."
"Raven, or crow?" asked the Glass Cat.
"Like a song bird. I'll prove it. I'll sing a song I composed myself. Don't tell anyone I'm a poet; they might want me to write a book. Don't tell 'em I can sing, or they'd want me to make records for that awful phonograph. Haven't time to be a public benefactor, so I'll just sing you this little song for your own amusement."
They were glad enough to be entertained, and listened with interest while the Shaggy Man chanted the following verses to a tune that was not unpleasant:
"I'll sing a song of Ozland, where wondrous creatures dwell And fruits and flowers and shady bowers abound in every dell, Where magic is a science and where no one shows surprise If some amazing thing takes place before his very eyes.
Our Ruler's a bewitching girl whom fairies love to please; She's always kept her magic sceptre to enforce decrees To make her people happy, for her heart is kind and true And to aid the needy and distressed is what she longs to do.
And then there's Princess Dorothy, as sweet as any rose, A lass from Kansas, where they don't grow fairies, I suppose; And there's the brainy Scarecrow, with a body stuffed with straw, Who utters words of wisdom rare that fill us all with awe.
I'll not forget Nick Chopper, the Woodman made of Tin, Whose tender heart thinks killing time is quite a dreadful sin, Nor old Professor Woggle-Bug, who's highly magnified And looks so big to everyone that he is filled with pride.
Jack Pumpkinhead's a dear old chum who might be called a chump, But won renown by riding round upon a magic Gump; The Sawhorse is a splendid steed and though he's made of wood He does as many thrilling stunts as any meat horse could.