"Half-past three," he said.
"Then we must wait for half an hour," she continued; "but it won't take long, after that, to carry us all to the Emerald City."
They sat silently thinking for a time. Then Jim suddenly asked:
"Are there any horses in Oz?"
"Only one," replied Dorothy, "and he's a sawhorse."
"A sawhorse. Princess Ozma once brought him to life with a witch-powder, when she was a boy."
"Was Ozma once a boy?" asked Zeb, wonderingly.
"Yes; a wicked witch enchanted her, so she could not rule her kingdom. But she's a girl now, and the sweetest, loveliest girl in all the world."
"A sawhorse is a thing they saw boards on," remarked Jim, with a sniff.
"It is when it's not alive," acknowledged the girl. "But this sawhorse can trot as fast as you can, Jim; and he's very wise, too."
"Pah! I'll race the miserable wooden donkey any day in the week!" cried the cab-horse.
Dorothy did not reply to that. She felt that Jim would know more about the Saw-Horse later on.
The time dragged wearily enough to the eager watchers, but finally the Wizard announced that four o'clock had arrived, and Dorothy caught up the kitten and began to make the signal that had been agreed upon to the far-away invisible Ozma.
"Nothing seems to happen," said Zeb, doubtfully.
"Oh, we must give Ozma time to put on the Magic Belt," replied the girl.
She had scarcely spoken the words then she suddenly disappeared from the cave, and with her went the kitten. There had been no sound of any kind and no warning. One moment Dorothy sat beside them with the kitten in her lap, and a moment later the horse, the piglets, the Wizard and the boy were all that remained in the underground prison.
"I believe we will soon follow her," announced the Wizard, in a tone of great relief; "for I know something about the magic of the fairyland that is called the Land of Oz. Let us be ready, for we may be sent for any minute."
He put the piglets safely away in his pocket again and then he and Zeb got into the buggy and sat expectantly upon the seat.
"Will it hurt?" asked the boy, in a voice that trembled a little.
"Not at all," replied the Wizard. "It will all happen as quick as a wink."
And that was the way it did happen.
The cab-horse gave a nervous start and Zeb began to rub his eyes to make sure he was not asleep. For they were in the streets of a beautiful emerald-green city, bathed in a grateful green light that was especially pleasing to their eyes, and surrounded by merry faced people in gorgeous green-and-gold costumes of many extraordinary designs.
Before them were the jewel-studded gates of a magnificent palace, and now the gates opened slowly as if inviting them to enter the courtyard, where splendid flowers were blooming and pretty fountains shot their silvery sprays into the air.
Zeb shook the reins to rouse the cab-horse from his stupor of amazement, for the people were beginning to gather around and stare at the strangers.
"Gid-dap!" cried the boy, and at the word Jim slowly trotted into the courtyard and drew the buggy along the jewelled driveway to the great entrance of the royal palace.
15. Old Friends are Reunited
Many servants dressed in handsome uniforms stood ready to welcome the new arrivals, and when the Wizard got out of the buggy a pretty girl in a green gown cried out in surprise:
"Why, it's Oz, the Wonderful Wizard, come back again!"
The little man looked at her closely and then took both the maiden's hands in his and shook them cordially.
"On my word," he exclaimed, "it's little Jellia Jamb--as pert and pretty as ever!"
"Why not, Mr. Wizard?" asked Jellia, bowing low. "But I'm afraid you cannot rule the Emerald City, as you used to, because we now have a beautiful Princess whom everyone loves dearly."
"And the people will not willingly part with her," added a tall soldier in a Captain-General's uniform.
The Wizard turned to look at him.
"Did you not wear green whiskers at one time?" he asked.