"The gates must be around the other side," said the Wizard. "Let us follow the curve of the wall until we reach an opening in it."
"Which way?" asked Dorothy.
"We must guess that," he replied. "Suppose we go to the left. One direction is as good as another." They formed in marching order and went around the city wall to the left. It wasn't a big city, as I have said, but to go way around it outside the high wall was quite a walk, as they became aware. But around it our adventurers went without finding any sign of a gateway or other opening. When they had returned to the little mound from which they had started, they dismounted from the animals and again seated themselves on the grassy mound.
"It's mighty queer, isn't it?" asked Button-Bright.
"There must be SOME way for the people to get out and in," declared Dorothy. "Do you s'pose they have flying machines, Wizard?"
"No," he replied, "for in that case they would be flying all over the Land of Oz, and we know they have not done that. Flying machines are unknown here. I think it more likely that the people use ladders to get over the walls."
"It would be an awful climb over that high stone wall," said Betsy.
"Stone, is it?" Scraps, who was again dancing wildly around, for she never tired and could never keep still for long.
"Course it's stone," answered Betsy scornfully. "Can't you see?"
"Yes," said Scraps, going closer. "I can SEE the wall, but I can't FEEL it." And then, with her arms outstretched, she did a very queer thing. She walked right into the wall and disappeared.
"For goodness sake!" Dorothy, amazed, as indeed they all were.
THE HIGH COCO-LORUM OF THI
And now the Patchwork Girl came dancing out of the wall again. "Come on!" she called. "It isn't there.
There isn't any wall at all."
"What? No wall?" exclaimed the Wizard.
"Nothing like it," said Scraps. "It's a make-believe. You see it, but it isn't. Come on into the city; we've been wasting our time." With this, she danced into the wall again and once more disappeared. Button-Bright, who was rather venture-some, dashed away after her and also became invisible to them. The others followed more cautiously, stretching out their hands to feel the wall and finding, to their astonishment, that they could feel nothing because nothing opposed them. They walked on a few steps and found themselves in the streets of a very beautiful city. Behind them they again saw the wall, grim and forbidding as ever, but now they knew it was merely an illusion prepared to keep strangers from entering the city.
But the wall was soon forgotten, for in front of them were a number of quaint people who stared at them in amazement as if wondering where they had come from. Our friends forgot their good manners for a time and returned the stares with interest, for so remarkable a people had never before been discovered in all the remarkable Land of Oz. Their heads were shaped like diamonds, and their bodies like hearts. All the hair they had was a little bunch at the tip top of their diamond-shaped heads, and their eyes were very large and round, and their noses and mouths very small. Their clothing was tight fitting and of brilliant colors, being handsomely embroidered in quaint designs with gold or silver threads; but on their feet they wore sandals with no stockings whatever. The expression of their faces was pleasant enough, although they now showed surprise at the appearance of strangers so unlike themselves, and our friends thought they seemed quite harmless.
"I beg your pardon," said the Wizard, speaking for his party, "for intruding upon you uninvited, but we are traveling on important business and find it necessary to visit your city. Will you kindly tell us by what name your city is called?"
They looked at one another uncertainly, each expecting some other to answer. Finally, a short one whose heart-shaped body was very broad replied, "We have no occasion to call our city anything. It is where we live, that is all."
"But by what name do others call your city?"asked the Wizard.