"You are still very gorgeous, in spite of your long journey."
The children of the house wanted to keep the Glass Cat to play with, so Bungle was offered a good home if she would remain; but the cat was too much interested in Ojo's adventures and refused to stop.
"Children are rough playmates," she remarked to the Shaggy Man, "and although this home is more pleasant than that of the Crooked Magician I fear I would soon be smashed to pieces by the boys and girls."
After they had rested themselves they renewed their journey, finding the road now smooth and pleasant to walk upon and the country growing more beautiful the nearer they drew to the Emerald City.
By and by Ojo began to walk on the green grass, looking carefully around him.
"What are you trying to find?" asked Scraps.
"A six-leaved clover," said he.
"Don't do that!" exclaimed the Shaggy Man, earnestly. "It's against the Law to pick a six- leaved clover. You must wait until you get Ozma's consent."
"She wouldn't know it," declared the boy.
"Ozma knows many things," said the Shaggy Man. "In her room is a Magic Picture that shows any scene in the Land of Oz where strangers or travelers happen to be. She may be watching the picture of us even now, and noticing everything that we do."
"Does she always watch the Magic Picture?" asked Ojo.
"Not always, for she has many other things to do; but, as I said, she may be watching us this very minute."
"I don't care," said Ojo, in an obstinate tone of voice; "Ozma's only a girl."
The Shaggy Man looked at him in surprise.
"You ought to care for Ozma," said he, "if you expect to save your uncle. For, if you displease our powerful Ruler, your journey will surely prove a failure; whereas, if you make a friend of Ozma, she will gladly assist you. As for her being a girl, that is another reason why you should obey her laws, if you are courteous and polite. Everyone in Oz loves Ozma and hates her enemies, for she is as just as she is powerful."
Ojo sulked a while, but finally returned to the road and kept away from the green clover. The boy was moody and bad tempered for an hour or two afterward, because he could really see no harm in picking a six-leaved clover, if he found one, and in spite of what the Shaggy Man had said he considered Ozma's law to be unjust.
They presently came to a beautiful grove of tall and stately trees, through which the road wound in sharp curves--first one way and then another. As they were walking through this grove they heard some one in the distance singing, and the sounds grew nearer and nearer until they could distinguish the words, although the bend in the road still hid the singer. The song was something like this:
"Here's to the hale old bale of straw That's cut from the waving grain, The sweetest sight man ever saw In forest, dell or plain. It fills me with a crunkling joy A straw-stack to behold, For then I pad this lucky boy With strands of yellow gold."
"Ah!" exclaimed the Shaggy Man; "here comes my friend the Scarecrow."
"What, a live Scarecrow?" asked Ojo.
"Yes; the one I told you of. He's a splendid fellow, and very intelligent. You'll like him, I'm sure."
Just then the famous Scarecrow of Oz came around the bend in the road, riding astride a wooden Sawhorse which was so small that its rider's legs nearly touched the ground.
The Scarecrow wore the blue dress of the Munchkins, in which country he was made, and on his head was set a peaked hat with a flat brim trimmed with tinkling bells. A rope was tied around his waist to hold him in shape, for he was stuffed with straw in every part of him except the top of his head, where at one time the Wizard of Oz had placed sawdust, mixed with needles and pins, to sharpen his wits. The head itself was merely a bag of cloth, fastened to the body at the neck, and on the front of this bag was painted the face--ears, eyes, nose and mouth.
The Scarecrow's face was very interesting, for it bore a comical and yet winning expression, although one eye was a bit larger than the other and ears were not mates.