"We can't," said Tip. "The Saw-Horse has broken a leg, so he can't bend his steps. And there is no wood around to make him a new limb from. And we can't leave the horse behind because the Pumpkinhead is so stiff in his Joints that he has to ride."
"How very unfortunate!" cried the Woggle-Bug. Then he looked the party over carefully and said:
"If the Pumpkinhead is to ride, why not use one of his legs to make a leg for the horse that carries him? I judge that both are made of wood."
"Now, that is what I call real cleverness," said the Scarecrow, approvingly. "I wonder my brains did not think of that long ago! Get to work, my dear Nick, and fit the Pumpkinhead's leg to the Saw-Horse."
Jack was not especially pleased with this idea; but he submitted to having his left leg amputated by the Tin Woodman and whittled down to fit the left leg of the Saw-Horse. Nor was the Saw-Horse especially pleased with the operation, either; for he growled a good deal about being "butchered," as he called it, and afterward declared that the new leg was a disgrace to a respectable Saw-Horse.
"I beg you to be more careful in your speech," said the Pumpkinhead, sharply. "Remember, if you please, that it is my leg you are abusing."
"I cannot forget it," retorted the Saw-Horse, "for it is quite as flimsy as the rest of your person."
"Flimsy! me flimsy!" cried Jack, in a rage. "How dare you call me flimsy?"
"Because you are built as absurdly as a jumping-
157 jack," sneered the horse, rolling his knotty eyes in a vicious manner. "Even your head won't stay straight, and you never can tell whether you are looking backwards or forwards!"
"Friends, I entreat you not to quarrel!" pleaded the Tin Woodman, anxiously." As a matter of fact, we are none of us above criticism; so let us bear with each others' faults."
"An excellent suggestion," said the Woggle-Bug, approvingly. "You must have an excellent heart, my metallic friend."
"I have," returned Nick, well pleased. "My heart is quite the best part of me. But now let us start upon our Journey.
They perched the one-legged Pumpkinhead upon the Saw-Horse, and tied him to his seat with cords, so that he could not possibly fall off.
And then, following the lead of the Scarecrow, they all advanced in the direction of the Emerald City.
158 Full page line-art drawing.
159 Old Mombi indulges in Witchcraft
They soon discovered that the Saw-Horse limped, for his new leg was a trifle too long. So they were obliged to halt while the Tin Woodman chopped it down with his axe, after which the wooden steed paced along more comfortably. But the Saw-Horse was not entirely satisfied, even yet.
"It was a shame that I broke my other leg!" it growled.
"On the contrary," airily remarked the Woggle-Bug, who was walking alongside, "you should consider the accident most fortunate. For a horse is never of much use until he has been broken."
"I beg your pardon," said Tip, rather provoked, for he felt a warm interest in both the Saw-Horse and his man Jack; "but permit me to say that your joke is a poor one, and as old as it is poor."
"Still, it is a Joke," declared the Woggle-Bug; firmly, "and a Joke derived from a play upon words is considered among educated people to be eminently proper."
"What does that mean?" enquired the Pumpkinhead, stupidly.
"It means, my dear friend," explained the Woggle-Bug, "that our language contains many words having a double meaning; and that to pronounce a joke that allows both meanings of a certain word, proves the joker a person of culture and refinement, who has, moreover, a thorough command of the language."
"I don't believe that," said Tip, plainly; "anybody can make a pun."
"Not so," rejoined the Woggle-Bug, stiffly. "It requires education of a high order. Are you educated, young sir?"
"Not especially," admitted Tip.
"Then you cannot judge the matter. I myself am Thoroughly Educated, and I say that puns display genius.