But I'm sure you could never find the place alone. It has always been hidden from the Oz people."
"But you, with your fine pink brains, could find it again, I s'pose," remarked Dorothy.
"Yes; and if you want that Magic Flower for Ozma, I'll go with you and show you the way."
"That's lovely of you!" declared Dorothy. "Trot and Cap'n Bill will go with you, for this is to be their birthday present to Ozma. While you're gone I'll have to find something else to give her."
"All right. Come on, then, Cap'n," said the Glass Cat, starting to move away.
"Wait a minute," begged Trot. "How long will we be gone?"
"Oh, about a week."
"Then I'll put some things in a basket to take with us," said the girl, and ran into the palace to make her preparations for the journey.
6. Ozma's Birthday Presents
When Cap'n Bill and Trot and the Glass Cat had started for the hidden island in the far-off river to get the Magic Flower, Dorothy wondered again what she could give Ozma on her birthday. She met the Patchwork Girl and said:
"What are you going to give Ozma for a birthday present?"
"I've written a song for her," answered the strange Patchwork Girl, who went by the name of "Scraps," and who, through stuffed with cotton, had a fair assortment of mixed brains. "It's a splendid song and the chorus runs this way:
I am crazy; You're a daisy, Ozma dear; I'm demented; You're contented, Ozma dear; I am patched and gay and glary; You're a sweet and lovely fairy; May your birthdays all be happy, Ozma dear!"
"How do you like it, Dorothy?" inquired the Patchwork Girl.
"Is it good poetry, Scraps?" asked Dorothy, doubtfully.
"It's as good as any ordinary song," was the reply. "I have given it a dandy title, too. I shall call the song: 'When Ozma Has a Birthday, Everybody's Sure to Be Gay, for She Cannot Help the Fact That She Was Born.'"
"That's a pretty long title, Scraps," said Dorothy.
"That makes it stylish," replied the Patchwork Girl, turning a somersault and alighting on one stuffed foot. "Now-a-days the titles are sometimes longer than the songs."
Dorothy left her and walked slowly toward the place, where she met the Tin Woodman just going up the front steps.
"What are you going to give Ozma on her birthday?" she asked.
"It's a secret, but I'll tell you," replied the Tin Woodman, who was Emperor of the Winkies. "I am having my people make Ozma a lovely girdle set with beautiful tin nuggets. Each tin nugget will be surrounded by a circle of emeralds, just to set it off to good advantage. The clasp of the girdle will be pure tin! Won't that be fine?"
"I'm sure she'll like it," said Dorothy. "Do you know what I can give her?"
"I haven't the slightest idea, Dorothy. It took me three months to think of my own present for Ozma."
The girl walked thoughtfully around to the back of the palace, and presently came upon the famous Scarecrow of Oz, who has having two of the palace servants stuff his legs with fresh straw.
"What are you going to give Ozma on her birthday?" asked Dorothy.
"I want to surprise her," answered the Scarecrow.
"I won't tell," promised Dorothy.
"Well, I'm having some straw slippers made for her--all straw, mind you, and braided very artistically. Ozma has always admired my straw filling, so I'm sure she'll be pleased with these lovely straw slippers."
"Ozma will be pleased with anything her loving friends give her," said the girl. "What I'M worried about, Scarecrow, is what to give Ozma that she hasn't got already."
"That's what worried me, until I thought of the slippers," said the Scarecrow. "You'll have to THINK, Dorothy; that's the only way to get a good idea. If I hadn't such wonderful brains, I'd never have thought of those straw foot-decorations."
Dorothy left him and went to her room, where she sat down and tried to think hard. A Pink Kitten was curled up on the window-sill and Dorothy asked her:
"What can I give Ozma for her birthday present?"
"Oh, give her some milk," replied the Pink Kitten; "that's the nicest thing I know of."
A fuzzy little black dog had squatted down at Dorothy's feet and now looked up at her with intelligent eyes.