The command to march was now given, and the girls formed themselves into four bands, or companies, and set off with eager strides toward the Emerald City.
Line-Art Drawing on the right of this page.
90 Line-Art Drawing
The boy followed after them, carrying several baskets and wraps and packages which various members of the Army of Revolt had placed in his care. It was not long before they came to the green granite walls of the City and halted before the gateway.
The Guardian of the Gate at once came out and looked at them curiously, as if a circus had come to town. He carried a bunch of keys swung round his neck by a golden chain; his hands were thrust carelessly into his pockets, and he seemed to have no idea at all that the City was threatened by rebels. Speaking pleasantly to the girls, he said:
"Good morning, my dears! What can I do for you?"
"Surrender instantly!" answered General Jinjur, standing before him and frowning as terribly as her pretty face would allow her to.
"Surrender!" echoed the man, astounded. "Why, it's impossible. It's against the law! I never heard of such a thing in my life."
"Still, you must surrender!" exclaimed the General, fiercely. "We are revolting!"
"You don't look it," said the Guardian, gazing from one to another, admiringly.
"But we are!" cried Jinjur, stamping her foot, impatiently; "and we mean to conquer the Emerald City!"
"Good gracious!" returned the surprised Guardian of the Gates; "what a nonsensical idea! Go home to your mothers, my good girls, and milk the cows and bake the bread. Don't you know it's a dangerous thing to conquer a city?"
"We are not afraid!" responded the General; and she looked so determined that it made the Guardian uneasy.
So he rang the bell for the Soldier with the Green Whiskers, and the next minute was sorry he had done so. For immediately he was surrounded by a crowd of girls who drew the knitting-needles from their hair and began Jabbing them at the Guardian with the sharp points dangerously near his fat cheeks and blinking eyes.
The poor man howled loudly for mercy and made no resistance when Jinjur drew the bunch of keys from around his neck.
Followed by her Army the General now rushed
93 Full page line-art drawing.
GENERAL JINJUR AND HER ARMY CAPTURE THE CITY.
94 to the gateway, where she was confronted by the Royal Army of Oz -- which was the other name for the Soldier with the Green Whiskers.
"Halt!" he cried, and pointed his long gun full in the face of the leader.
Some of the girls screamed and ran back, but General Jinjur bravely stood her ground and said, reproachfully:
"Why, how now? Would you shoot a poor, defenceless girl?"
"No," replied the soldier. "for my gun isn't loaded."
"No; for fear of accidents. And I've forgotten where I hid the powder and shot to load it with. But if you'll wait a short time I'll try to hunt them up."
"Don't trouble yourself," said Jinjur, cheerfully. Then she turned to her Army and cried:
"Girls, the gun isn't loaded!"
"Hooray," shrieked the rebels, delighted at this good news, and they proceeded to rush upon the Soldier with the Green Whiskers in such a crowd that it was a wonder they didn't stick the knitting-needles into one another.
But the Royal Army of Oz was too much afraid
95 of women to meet the onslaught. He simply turned about and ran with all his might through the gate and toward the royal palace, while General Jinjur and her mob flocked into the unprotected City.
In this way was the Emerald City captured without a drop of blood being spilled. The Army of Revolt had become an Army of Conquerors!
96 Full page line-art drawing.
97 The Scarecrow Plans an escape
Tip slipped away from the girls and followed swiftly after the Soldier with the Green Whiskers.