"Oh!" said the boy surprised. "What sort of a General?"
"I command the Army of Revolt in this war," answered the General, with unnecessary sharpness.
"Oh!" he again exclaimed. "I didn't know there was a war."
"You were not supposed to know it," she returned, "for we have kept it a secret; and considering that our army is composed entirely of girls," she added, with some pride, "it is surely a remarkable thing that our Revolt is not yet discovered."
"It is, indeed," acknowledged Tip. "But where is your army?"
"About a mile from here," said General Jinjur. "The forces have assembled from all parts of the Land of Oz, at my express command. For this is the day we are to conquer His Majesty the Scarecrow, and wrest from him the throne. The Army of Revolt only awaits my coming to march upon the Emerald City."
"Well!" declared Tip, drawing a long breath, "this is certainly a surprising thing! May I ask why you wish to conquer His Majesty the Scarecrow?"
"Because the Emerald City has been ruled by men long enough, for one reason," said the girl.
87 "Moreover, the City glitters with beautiful gems, which might far better be used for rings, bracelets and necklaces; and there is enough money in the King's treasury to buy every girl in our Army a dozen new gowns. So we intend to conquer the City and run the government to suit ourselves."
Jinjur spoke these words with an eagerness and decision that proved she was in earnest.
"But war is a terrible thing," said Tip, thoughtfully.
"This war will be pleasant," replied the girl, cheerfully.
"Many of you will be slain!" continued the boy, in an awed voice.
"Oh, no", said Jinjur. "What man would oppose a girl, or dare to harm her? And there is not an ugly face in my entire Army."
"Perhaps you are right," said he. "But the Guardian of the Gate is considered a faithful Guardian, and the King's Army will not let the City be conquered without a struggle."
"The Army is old and feeble," replied General Jinjur, scornfully. "His strength has all been used to grow whiskers, and his wife has such a temper that she has already pulled more than half of them
88 out by the roots. When the Wonderful Wizard reigned the Soldier with the Green Whiskers was a very good Royal Army, for people feared the Wizard. But no one is afraid of the Scarecrow, so his Royal Army don't count for much in time of war."
After this conversation they proceeded some distance in silence, and before long reached a large clearing in the forest where fully four hundred young women were assembled. These were laughing and talking together as gaily as if they had gathered for a picnic instead of a war of conquest.
They were divided into four companies, and Tip noticed that all were dressed in costumes similar to that worn by General Jinjur. The only real difference was that while those girls from the Munchkin country had the blue strip in front of their skirts, those from the country of the Quadlings had the red strip in front; and those from the country of the Winkies had the yellow strip in front, and the Gillikin girls wore the purple strip in front. All had green waists, representing the Emerald City they intended to conquer, and the top button on each waist indicated by its color which country the wearer came from. The uniforms were Jaunty and becoming, and quite effective when massed together.
Tip thought this strange Army bore no weapons
89 whatever; but in this he was wrong. For each girl had stuck through the knot of her back hair two long, glittering knitting-needles.
General Jinjur immediately mounted the stump of a tree and addressed her army.
"Friends, fellow-citizens, and girls!" she said; "we are about to begin our great Revolt against the men of Oz! We march to conquer the Emerald City -- to dethrone the Scarecrow King -- to acquire thousands of gorgeous gems -- to rifle the royal treasury -- and to obtain power over our former oppressors!"
"Hurrah!" said those who had listened; but Tip thought most of the Army was too much engaged in chattering to pay attention to the words of the General.