Chapter 14. The Winged Monkeys
You will remember there was no road--not even a pathway-between the castle of the Wicked Witch and the Emerald City. When the four travelers went in search of the Witch she had seen them coming, and so sent the Winged Monkeys to bring them to her. It was much harder to find their way back through the big fields of buttercups and yellow daisies than it was being carried. They knew, of course, they must go straight east, toward the rising sun; and they started off in the right way. But at noon, when the sun was over their heads, they did not know which was east and which was west, and that was the reason they were lost in the great fields. They kept on walking, however, and at night the moon came out and shone brightly. So they lay down among the sweet smelling yellow flowers and slept soundly until morning-all but the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman.
The next morning the sun was behind a cloud, but they started on, as if they were quite sure which way they were going.
"If we walk far enough," said Dorothy, "I am sure we shall sometime come to some place."
But day by day passed away, and they still saw nothing before them but the scarlet fields. The Scarecrow began to grumble a bit.
"We have surely lost our way," he said, "and unless we find it again in time to reach the Emerald City, I shall never get my brains."
"Nor I my heart," declared the Tin Woodman. "It seems to me I can scarcely wait till I get to Oz, and you must admit this is a very long journey."
"You see," said the Cowardly Lion, with a whimper, "I haven't the courage to keep tramping forever, without getting anywhere at all."
Then Dorothy lost heart. She sat down on the grass and looked at her companions, and they sat down and looked at her, and Toto found that for the first time in his life he was too tired to chase a butterfly that flew past his head. So he put out his tongue and panted and looked at Dorothy as if to ask what they should do next.
"Suppose we call the field mice," she suggested. "They could probably tell us the way to the Emerald City."
"To be sure they could," cried the Scarecrow. "Why didn't we think of that before?"
Dorothy blew the little whistle she had always carried about her neck since the Queen of the Mice had given it to her. In a few minutes they heard the pattering of tiny feet, and many of the small gray mice came running up to her. Among them was the Queen herself, who asked, in her squeaky little voice:
"What can I do for my friends?"
"We have lost our way," said Dorothy. "Can you tell us where the Emerald City is?"
"Certainly," answered the Queen; "but it is a great way off, for you have had it at your backs all this time." Then she noticed Dorothy's Golden Cap, and said, "Why don't you use the charm of the Cap, and call the Winged Monkeys to you? They will carry you to the City of Oz in less than an hour."
"I didn't know there was a charm," answered Dorothy, in surprise. "What is it?"
"It is written inside the Golden Cap," replied the Queen of the Mice. "But if you are going to call the Winged Monkeys we must run away, for they are full of mischief and think it great fun to plague us."
"Won't they hurt me?" asked the girl anxiously.
"Oh, no. They must obey the wearer of the Cap. Good-bye!" And she scampered out of sight, with all the mice hurrying after her.
Dorothy looked inside the Golden Cap and saw some words written upon the lining. These, she thought, must be the charm, so she read the directions carefully and put the Cap upon her head.
"Ep-pe, pep-pe, kak-ke!" she said, standing on her left foot.