"I can scarcely see the path," he said at last. "Can you see it, Scraps?"
"No," replied the Patchwork Girl, who was holding fast to the boy's arm so he could guide her.
"I can see," declared the Glass Cat. "My eyes are better than yours, and my pink brains--"
"Never mind your pink brains, please," said Ojo hastily; "just run ahead and show us the way. Wait a minute and I'll tie a string to you; for then you can lead us."
He got a string from his pocket and tied it around the cat's neck, and after that the creature guided them along the path. They had proceeded in this way for about an hour when a twinkling blue light appeared ahead of them.
"Good! there's a house at last," cried Ojo. "When we reach it the good people will surely welcome us and give us a night's lodging." But however far they walked the light seemed to get no nearer, so by and by the cat stopped short, saying:
"I think the light is traveling, too, and we shall never be able to catch up with it. But here is a house by the roadside, so why go farther?"
"Where is the house, Bungle?"
"Just here beside us, Scraps."
Ojo was now able to see a small house near the pathway. It was dark and silent, but the boy was tired and wanted to rest, so he went up to the door and knocked.
"Who is there?" cried a voice from within.
"I am Ojo the Unlucky, and with me are Miss Scraps Patchwork and the Glass Cat," he replied.
"What do you want?" asked the Voice.
"A place to sleep," said Ojo.
"Come in, then; but don't make any noise, and you must go directly to bed," returned the Voice.
Ojo unlatched the door and entered. It was very dark inside and he could see nothing at all. But the cat exclaimed: "Why, there's no one here!"
"There must be," said the boy. "Some one spoke to me."
"I can see everything in the room," replied the cat, "and no one is present but ourselves. But here are three beds, all made up, so we may as well go to sleep."
"What is sleep?" inquired the Patchwork Girl.
"It's what you do when you go to bed," said Ojo.
"But why do you go to bed?" persisted the Patchwork Girl.
"Here, here! You are making altogether too much noise," cried the Voice they had heard before. "Keep quiet, strangers, and go to bed."
The cat, which could see in the dark, looked sharply around for the owner of the Voice, but could discover no one, although the Voice had seemed close beside them. She arched her back a little and seemed afraid. Then she whispered to Ojo: "Come!" and led him to a bed.
With his hands the boy felt of the bed and found it was big and soft, with feather pillows and plenty of blankets. So he took off his shoes and hat and crept into the bed. Then the cat led Scraps to another bed and the Patchwork Girl was puzzled to know what to do with it.
"Lie down and keep quiet," whispered the cat, warningly.
"Can't I sing?" asked Scraps.
"Can't I whistle?" asked Scraps.
"Can't I dance till morning, if I want to?" asked Scraps.
"You must keep quiet," said the cat, in a soft voice.
"I don't want to," replied the Patchwork Girl, speaking as loudly as usual. "What right have you to order me around? If I want to talk, or yell, or whistle--"
Before she could say anything more an unseen hand seized her firmly and threw her out of the door, which closed behind her with a sharp slam. She found herself bumping and rolling in the road and when she got up and tried to open the door of the house again she found it locked.
"What has happened to Scraps?" asked Ojo.
"Never mind. Let's go to sleep, or something will happen to us," answered the Glass Cat.
So Ojo snuggled down in his bed and fell asleep, and he was so tired that he never wakened until broad daylight.
The Troublesome Phonograph
When the boy opened his eyes next morning he looked carefully around the room. These small Munchkin houses seldom had more than one room in them. That in which Ojo now found himself had three beds, set all in a row on one side of it. The Glass Cat lay asleep on one bed, Ojo was in the second, and the third was neatly made up and smoothed for the day.