Ozzy Footnotes 6
The Royal Book of Oz
History: The 15th Oz book of the Famous Forty, Sovereign Sixty and Supreme Seventy-Five! It is the first to be penned by someone other than L. Frank Baum. Early editions credited Baum as the author, and a fiction was put forth by the publisher that Thompson wrote it based on Baum's notes. This is not so. The story is entirely her own.
Story: When the Wogglebug announces that he's going to write a book chronicling the important lineages of the various people in Oz, he offends the Scarecrow by claiming that he has no family tree. The Scarecrow decides to set off in search of his family tree, specifically, the bean-pole upon which he came to life. En route, he gets stuck at the Munchkin River until he meets the A-B-Sea serpent and the Rattle-snake, who are on vacation from their service to the children of the Mer People. They cheer the Scarecrow up with riddles, and help him get across the river, after which they go off to visit the Emerald City.
The Scarecrow makes his way to his old beanpole, temporarily waking up the farmer who built him. Scarecrow assures him that they'll speak in the morning, as he wishes to spend the night thinking. As he begins to clear away the dead foliage around the pole, however, he slips through a hole in the ground and begins to descend into the earth down the beanpole.
Noting the Scarecrow's absence at breakfast, Dorothy heads off with the Cowardly Lion to cheer him up at his Corncob mansion, unaware that he's not there. Blink the housekeeper says the Scarecrow hasn't been back home, but that they should check the Magic Picture. On the way back, however, a storm comes, terrifying the Lion who runs the wrong way along the road, bringing them to an unknown place called Pokes.
The Scarecrow is pulled from his descent into the realm of terrifying mud-and-root people called Middlings, who demand a toll. The Scarecrow gives the king an emerald, but only when the king determines that he's no good for work does he drop him back down the beanpole. Descending much further, the Scarecrow finally ends up in the Silver Islands, hailed as the Emperor returned and the Ancestor.
In Pokes, no one is allowed to sing, whistle or run, and, in fact, all of the Pokes move slowly and sleepily. Even Dorothy and the Lion start to get sleepy. The Pokes arrest them and bring them before Sir Hokus, a knight whose been alive for centuries in Pokes, and who doesn't remember anything from the time he left his father's home. He doesn't even know they're in the Land of Oz. After he left his father's home, another knight challenged him to a duel, but when Sir Hokus unseated him, the knight cursed him to live for centuries in the stupidest country out of the world, and there he ended up without ever having had any adventures or proving himself. Upon hearing Dorothy's story, Hokus deems her a damsel in distress and pledges himself to serve her. To escape, he recommends that they all sing, which will keep sleep and the Pokes at bay. The task proves harder than it seems, and it's up to the Cowardly Lion in the end to rescue them.
In the Silver Island, meanwhile, the Grand Chew Chew declares the prophecy of the magic bean stalk fulfilled, proclaiming the Scarecrow the return of the spirit of Chang Wang Woe, and Emperor of the Silver Island. When he asks if he's in China, it's explained that the Silvermen are a much older race than their Chinese cousins (p.99), "People of the Stars," as opposed to "People of the Sun." The Grand Chew Chew explains that 50 years ago after defeating the King of the Golden Islands in battle, a wicked magician in his employ crept into his quarters at night and turned him into a crocus. Chang Wang Woe's wife Tsing Tsing kept the crocus alive with her tears for three days before it sprouted into the clouds. A prophecy was then left on parchment that whoever first touches the beanpole on the other side of the world, the spirit of the emperor will enter. Chang Wang Woe is now 85 years old and has sons and grandsons (though his wife is dead).
Scarecrow finds ruling the Silver Islanders difficult because they're quarrelsome, even his ministers Chew Chew, Chief Chow Chow and General Mugwump. Deciding to no longer follow protocol, the Scarecrow decides to befriend the slave Happy Toko. After spending the day kiting, Scarecrow returns to a commotion. The son of the King of the Golden Island has invaded. The Scarecrow takes Happy Toko and his courtiers to face the invading army. As they set foot on the island, the Scarecrow takes out his royal fan, which blows them all into the air. Realizing it's a magic fan, he drops them into the water where they soon climb back in this ships, and are blown away from the Silver Island.
After the celebratory feast that followed the victory, the Scarecrow is horrified to see the fare of broiled mice, shark fin, bird nest and cat, and wishes he could return to Oz. At the fireworks celebration, the Scarecrow is burned by a stray firework, but Happy Toko puts him out.
In Oz, meanwhile, Ozma and Betsy had fun with the A-B-Sea Serpent and Rattlesnake, but their reverie is interrupted by a messenger from Glinda who informs them that the Hoppers and Horners are at war again. So Ozma, the Wizard, Betsy Bobbin, Jack Pumpkinhead and the Sawhorse head out to make peace.
Dorothy, Lion and Hokus, meanwhile, get lost leaving Pokes and are soon set upon by a giant named Bangladore, but it's soon discovered that he's made of candy, and to ensure his secret is kept safe, he agrees to get them out of the area. They find themselves in Fix City, where the people remained fixed in place, but everything else is alive and runs around for the people. The king provides them with walking beds, and they sleep off their exhaustion. The beds shake them off by morning unto a rolling road which drops them off in the Winkie River. A Winkie named Memo won't budge a finger to help them, looking up the information instead, while his brother Randum dives in to help, but misses entirely. Eventually, Memo and Randum shuffle off, forcing the Cowardly Lion to rescue Hokus once again.
The Scarecrow, meanwhile, is introduced to his three sons and fifteen grandsons, but they are all disagreeable and unpleasant. Happy Toko overhears the sons plotting to do away with their grandfather, compelling the Scarecrow to come up with a plan. But that night, they're shanghaied and chained to a pole.
Dorothy and her party meet the Comfortable Camel and Doubtful Dromedary who lost their caravan in a fog some time ago. The former chooses to become the steed of Hokus. They encounter an area called Wish Way, which grants wishes, and Dorothy wishes them all with the Scarecrow, bringing them instantly to the Silver Island. There the friends reunite and share stories of their prior adventures. Happy Toko is given a language pill to understand them. The party eventually decide to wait for morning to escape, but the Scarecrow is anxious because his sons are plotting to kill him and the Grand Gheewizard is planning to restore him to his former meat form of Chang Wang Woe so he can marry him to an old woman named Princess Orange Blossom.
A grand celebration commences the next morning. Upon seeing the old dragon that the Grand Gheewizard keeps as a companion, Hokus rushes off and kills him, to the dismay of the wizard and disappointment of Dorothy, but Hokus is content because he's finally slain a dragon. The Scarecrow attempts to resign, but the people won't allow it. As the Gheewizard prepares to transform them, Dorothy opens the parasol the Scarecrow gave her the night before and flies up into the air and then back down on top of the vase which holds the magic formula the Gheewizard has prepared for the transformation. The vase instead smashes unto the princes, transforming them into two pigs and a weasel. Their plan foiled, the Scarecrow abdicates and leaves rule of the Silver Island to Happy Toko, who he promises to check in on with the Magic Picture every month.
With that, the Ozites hang onto Dorothy as she alights upon the magic bean pole and floats "up" it, until finally reaching Oz again. But Hokus eats a bean from the beanpole and begins sprouting branches, growing up into the air. Dorothy accidentally loosens the magic fan, blowing the animals away, while she again uses the parasol to guide Sir Hokus to the Emerald City, where the Wizard is able to disenchant him. Ozma, having returned from her mission achieving peace between the Hoppers and Horners, throws a celebration and hears everyone's stories, welcoming Sir Hokus and the two camels to Oz.
A-B-Sea Serpent: This sea serpent has a literary precedent in Walter Crane's Pothooks and Perseverance, or The A.B.C. Serpent. This book also features a protagonist named Percy Vere. He is clearly of a different kind than the Sea Serpents, Anko, Unko and Inko (mentioned in The Sea Fairies).
Attribution: Early editions attributed portions of this book to Baum to help readers bridge the gap to the new author, however, this work is strictly that of the famous children's author–soon to be Royal Historian–Ruth Plumy Thompson, whom Reilly & Lee (with the widow Baum's approval) hired to continue the series after Baum's death.
Beanpole: The prophecy that came about at Chang Wang Woe's death indicates that whomever first touched the beanpole would receive the spirit of Chang Wang Woe. Also, that he would return in 50 years. This would seem to indicate that the pole emerged in the farmer's cornfield in 1860 (based on the 1910 date that the Royal Timeline gives Royal Book). Cryptic Conversations in a Cornfield, however, indicates that the beanpole emerged at the time the Scarecrow was ready to be hung in 1898, startling the farmers by its appearance. Since the Scarecrow did not hang for 30 or so years before Dorothy released him, it must be assumed that after its initial burst, the beanpole took 38 years to "grow" and climb up from the Silver Island on one side of the world to Oz on the other side.
Camels: The mystery of where the Comfortable Camel and Doubtful Dromedary comes from is addressed in The Yellow Knight of Oz. Whereas the Comfortable Camel appears in several future stories, not as much is told of the Doudtful Dromedary until The Magic Cryptogram of Oz, in which he gets a new master.
Continent of Imagination: This is the first mention of the Oz fairyland as being part of the continent of imagination. In Pirates in Oz, Roger the Read Bird also refers to Oz as Imagi-Nation.
Contradiction: Sir Hokus' sword snaps off at the hilt on p. 155, and there is no mention of his getting another. Yet, he kills the dragon with a sword on p. 257.
Cowardly Lion: The Lion's sudden fear of thunderstorms is accounted for in The Magic Carpet of Oz. He also claims to have "scorched his tongue on a dragon once," but what this event refers to is unknown.
Dorothy: Dorothy was unable to swim in The Patchwork Girl of Oz, and apparently has taken lessons since then since she is able to swim in a river.
Dragon: Sir Hokus's murder of the Gheewizard's aged and rheumatic dragon, a creature not shown to be evil, but rather a victim of Hokus's immature assumption that all dragons are evil and should be slain by knights, is addressed in the forthcoming novella, The Wizards of Silver and Gold in Oz.
Ferries: The text says there is no ferry in the country, though there are ferries and ferrymen in Oz, as evidenced by The Marvelous Land of Oz, The Lost Princess of Oz, Wishing Horse of Oz, Merry-Go-Round in Oz and others. Thompson may have been referring to the Munchkin country at that particular time.
Hokus of Pokes: The mystery of where Hokus comes from is addressed in The Yellow Knight of Oz.
Language: While the Scarecrow, Dorothy and the others who descend unto the Silver Island are magically able to understand and speak the language of the Silver Islanders, the native Silver Islanders cannot at first understand Ozish (which Thompson indicates is English). Once Happy Toko is given one of Professor Wogglebug's language pills, however, he can then converse with them.
Lewis Carroll: Dorothy has read Alice in the Wonderland (and possibly Through the Looking Glass). Page 239.
Scarecrow: The Scarecrow's complete background history is told in Cryptic Conversations in a Cornfield, which reconciles the disparate history of Chang Wang Woe with what is said in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz that he first became self-aware when the farmer painted an ear on the sack that was to become his head, which is some time before he was placed on the pole. His motivations for seeking out his ancestry are best understood in light of the 50 year prophecy coming to term.
The Silver Island: As with the Realm of An (home of Tititi-Hoochoo and the Original Dragon), the Silver Island is said to be on the other side of the world, and steeped in Asian motifs. That it's not an underground realm is demonstrated by its having clouds, by the fact that the Scarecrow flies through its skies, and by their being daylight and nighttime. The Scarecrow falls down the beanpole, and by virtue of perspective, must climb "up" it to get back to Oz.
Sequel: The Grand Gheewizard and ruler and wizards of the Golden Island return again in the forthcoming The Wizards of Silver and Gold in Oz, included in the anthology The Lost Tales of Oz.
Storms: On the BCF Pumperdink page, David Hulan notes that it is "odd, noteworthy, and unusual that an ordinary storm could and would cause a total blackout over an area of about 400 square miles (minimum) for three hours or more." Perhaps there is an unexplained magical reason this occurred. That the lion didn't fall into a ditch or smash against a tree suggests that he can see in the dark (as cats can) and that he was mainly following the Yellow Brick Road, albeit in the wrong direction. Another theory to account for the blackout storm without rain is a volcanic eruption from somewhere beyond the Deadly Desert. Within Oz, possibilities include Blaze's Fire Island in Grampa in Oz, the Fire-fall in The Hungry Tiger of Oz, Lavaland in Captain Salt in Oz, and the volcano Mt. Smoky in Flame City, located in the Gillikin country, in Adolf Hitler in Oz.
The Green Star of Oz
Continuity notes: This Roger Baum entry postulates that L. Frank Baum went to Oz after he died.
Masquerade in Oz
Story: Since Betsy Bobbin’s birthday occurs on October 31, she wants to have a Halloween party. Everyone agrees, and dresses up as others in Oz, except for Scraps, who wants to perform magic. When she steals a magical bomb from the Wizard, however, everything goes awry, as each person believes she is the character she's portraying! It's up to Scraps to undo the damage she's done, but she encounters a heap of troubles along the way, including an actual skeleton in the closet, and a hyena who finds everything funny.
Birthday date: There is a seeming contradiction Betsy birthday in The Hungry Tiger of Oz, which hints that it might take place in the Spring. The Royal Timeline of Oz places the latter book at the end of October, as noted explicitly in this story.
Dating: The exact year is uncertain, however, it appears to be in the early years after Betsy arrives since few know what Halloween is. Also, it mentions that the Wizard invited a hyena to live at the palace during one of his trips to the Gillikin forest "a few years back." This was likely his trip to the Forest of Gugu in The Magic of Oz, when he brought the monkeys back for Ozma's birthday party. If it had been his trip to the Great Gillikin Forest in Glinda of Oz, Scraps, who was present then, would have known about it.
Hyena: The Wizard keeps a hyena in one of his suites for help in producing laughing gas for many of his magical inventions. The creature has free reign of the palace, but apparently likes to keep himself amused in private. How long he remains living with the Wizard is unknown, and it's possible he returns to his original (presumably the Forest of Gugu).
Jack Pumpkinhead: Jack gets a scary surprise when his former heads, who are being used to decorate the palace, begin talking to him. Why this happens remains a mystery.
Skeleton: Ozma has an actual skeleton in one of the palace's closets. Who it belonged to, how it go there, and why it's alive is a mystery.
Kabumpo in Oz
Note: 16th Oz book of the Famous Forty, Sovereign Sixty and Supreme Seventy-Five!
Story: When Prince Pompadore's birthday cake explodes, the royalty of Pumperdink discover a dire prophecy stating they will all disappear unless the prince marries a proper princess. This is followed by the appearance of a mysterious doorknob. Pompa's father, the King of Pumperdink, determines that his son will marry the old and ugly fairy Faleero, who resides in their domain. Not even Pompa's mother Queen Pozy objects, but Kabumpo, the Elegant Elephant, won't hear of it. Taking the mysterious doorknob, he sneaks Pompa off in the night. Although no one from Pumperdink has ever been in the capital, he hopes to get the boy to marry Ozma instead.
Ruggedo, meanwhile, is living underneath the Emerald City, in an old cavern he discovered after he began digging under the home Ozma gave him at the end of The Magic of Oz. Along with his friend, Wag, a rabbit, Ruggedo has been carving his history in rock so that he won't forget it again. When he discovers Glegg's box of mixed magic, a golden box that contains magic implements inside it, he uses some of the magic to bring Trot's former wooden doll Peg Amy to life, grow Wag to human-size, turn his own head spiky. But it gets out of control and the Nome grows to giant-size, while carrying the royal palace on his head like a crown. Frightened by this turn of events, Ruggedo runs back home to Ev. Wag and Peg Amy determine to go after him, and take with them the magic box that Ruggedo left behind.
Kabumpo and Pompa head to the Emerald City, unaware of recent events, and encounter the Curious Cottabus, who feels he must ask incessant questions. Growing tired of that, they move ahead and arrive at a city of Rith-Metic, where reside the Figure Heads, hostile numbers, from who they escape thanks to the help of the cottabus, who they'd earlier disdained. Departing from there, they discover a soup sea, from which Pompa hungrily eats, but they fall into an underground city of sapient Candlemen called Illumi-Nation, where they are nearly set on fire by the unwitting citizens who don't understand where the travelers' wicks and flames are. These creatures are taken out of their domain when the need arises for candles, upon which they shrink to a small size.
Kabumpo and Pompa soon discover that the Emerald City and all its residents have been abducted when they come across Glinda, who explains what happened. They agree to help rescue Ozma and the rest. En route, they encounter Peg Amy and Wag, and after an awkward introduction, become friends and decide to travel together to find Ruggedo and save everyone.
In Ev, Ozma sends a note down to Ruggedo, informing him that if he keeps shaking up the palace on his head, she'll send eggs down. Ruggedo tries to comply, but then the Sandman happens by and puts everyone, except the Scarecrow, Scraps, the Tin Woodman and Tik-Tok, to sleep.
Kabumpo and his party encounter a grove of violent trees called Twigs, ruled by the Woodjesty. With Kabumpo's help, they break through their line, and soon wonder how they'll cross the Deadly Desert. Just then, they're abducted by a Runaway Country, a sapient peninsula with ten legs who wants to become a civilized island in Oz. Peg convinces him to let them off at the nearest country so they can find food, but when the Runaway Country sees the giant Ruggedo in Ev, he flees in a panic, leaving all his inhabitants behind. Wag pokes Ruggedo's toes with a stick, and the Scarecrow comes tumbling down and makes everyone's acquaintance.
With Glegg's box of mixed magic opens due to the fall from the Runaway Country, they discover the Question Box, and ask it how to make Ruggedo return the Emerald City and shrink back to normal size. Glinda brings Ozma down, while a disenchantment spell sends Ruggedo back across the desert. Pompadore proposes to Ozma, but she refuses, explaining that she has no intention of marrying anyone. Kabumpo is incensed, but Pompa tells her the whole story. Ozma tells him to ask Glegg's Question Box who the proper princess is, which he does. The mirror says she is from Sun Top Mountain.
The Runaway Country returns, but Ozma binds it, releasing it only on the condition that it first escort them over the Desert to Oz. So, it takes the party to Sun Top Mountain in the north Winkie Country, after which Ozma permits it to live as an island in the Nonestic, with Ruggedo as his king. When Peg Amy reaches Sun Top Mountain, she feels as if she'd been before.
Then a Magic Mirror from Glegg's box reveals that Peg Amy is the Princess of Sun Top Mountain, and she appears again as the human princess she once was. Her uncle Tozzyfog emerges, explaining that three years ago Glegg had come to marry her, but when she refused him, he cast a spell, turning her into a tree and warning that if they went to Ozma for help, it would disappear. That tree was near the Emerald City, and was the very next day cut down by Cap'n Bill to be turned into a wooden doll for Trot, where it remained until Ruggedo stole it and brought it with him into his underground cavern. After the explanation, Glegg appears magically, threatening to take Peg Amy for his own now that the Prince has found and restored her. But following their adventures in the Magic Picture, Ozma transports him to the Emerald City by means of the Magic Belt, and sends Trot there in his place. After a grand celebration, Peg and Pompadore agree to marry. After visiting Pumperdink and the Emerald City, they settle on Sun Top Mountain.
Ruggedo settles on Runaway Island, which becomes Ruggedo's Island. Glegg explains how he followed the advice of the question box, and buried his magic box under the Emerald City after digging a tunnel there. This took a year, and having been told the exact date Peg Amy would arrive two years later, he waited for the very moment to seize her. Ozma inquires from the Question Box what to do about Glegg, and the box advises he be given a taste of his own medicine and drink the tea in the magic box. Upon doing so, he explodes!
Continuity errors: The Wizard, Tin Woodman and Jack Pumpkinhead each appear for a paragraph, and are never seen or heard from again in the story. The former is particularly odd, as the Wizard appears to have some kind of plan or idea as to what's going on. Many think this is either an editorial interpolation, or a subplot that Thompson meant to enlarge, or forgot to eliminate. Ruth Berman on the BCF forum writes: "As to why RPT would mention the Wizard in a way that sounds as if there'll be a follow-up and then leave out the follow-up: Perhaps RPT (or whoever formed the sentence--the wording could have been a specific suggestion by the R&L editor to match up with the artwork) didn't notice that saying that the Wizard was serene and smiling would sound to readers as if he had a special reason (like a plan of action) for his serenity. The passage could have been meant to suggest that the Wizard was trying to look serene in the panic to try to reassure the others."
Dating: The story takes place over the course of a week. See the Chronology of Oz. It's made clear that a little over two years have passed since the events of The Magic of Oz, as Ruggedo's history is laid out after his drinking water from the Fountain of Oblivion. Once he began to remember who he was (about a week according to "Much Ado About Kiki Aru"), he began digging underneath his cellar, and discovered a cavern underneath the Emerald City (a process that may have taken anywhere from a few weeks to a few months). He then spent the better part of two years living there and carving out his history on the six rocks.
Faleero: The first mention of Faleero notes that she is a 1,000 year old fairy, but a hideously unattractive one that lives in the forest. The text does not go into any details as to why this might be the case, a story that is saved for The Purple Prince of Oz. Taken at face value, that would mean she was created around 900 A.D. Faleero's story is also told in Nathan DeHoff's "The Banishment of Faleero," which has been placed at 1668.
Food: Thompson doesn't seem to quite follow Baum's vegetarian conception of Oz, and has Peg Amy wonder why there are no chickens for food, though she may be thinking of eggs (given how gentle Peg is, and the fact that it's unlawful to eat chickens in Oz, this might be what she had in mind). Then again, Thompson mentions eating fish, even while noting that all animals in Oz talk—and Baum includes fish in this equation—this must be chalked up to either historian error or non-sentient fish.
Glegg's Box of Mixed Magic: The history of J. Glegg and his Box of Mixed Magic is told in the forthcoming: Mixed Magic Makes Misery. Ozma uses the Question Box again in the Oziana 1980 story, "A Study in Orange."
Ozma's age: On page 256, it is stated that Ozma has lived "almost a thousand years." This is around the same age that Thompson says that Faleero came into being (900 A.D.) Thompson seems to be saying that fairies, in general, came into being around that time. On the other hand, she may just be using that number as a signifier of a long period time, an epoch.
Prince Pompadore: Pompa is celebrating his 10th 18th birthday, making him actually 28 years old. Prince Pompa first appears in "Christmas with the Prince" (aka. "Christmas in Pumperdink"). After his marriage to Peg Amy, they settle in Sun Top Mountain, but later (in The Purple Prince of Oz) appear in Pumperdink.
Pumperdink: This country was first created by Thompson for the Philadelphia Public Ledger long before she was writing Oz books, where she came to place it in the Gillikin country. Like Baum, who set the precedent of bringing other fantasy kingdoms into Oz, Thompson's Pumperdink would be the first of many of her small kingdoms retconned to exist in Oz. Sun Top Mountain, also in this story, comes originally from the Philadelphia Public Ledger. There are five earlier Pumperdink stories, which are collected in issues 1, 2, 4 and 6 of Oz-story Magazine (with new illustrations) and two Thompson collections published by The International Wizard of Oz Club, The Wizard of Way-up and Other Wonders and Sissajig and Other Surprises, which The Royal Timeline of Oz considers Borderlands books. These include "The Apple Pie Princess," "A Story About Dragons" (aka. "The Dragon of Pumperdink"), "Christmas with the Prince" (aka. "Christmas in Pumperdink"), "The Wizard and His Purple Beard" (aka. "The Wizard of Pumperdink") and "The Laughing King: A Page Out of Pumperdink History" (aka. "The King of Pumperdink.")
Ruggedo's history: The six rocks that Ruggedo carves conveys his history (albeit from his perspective) up to this point, and, thus establishes a framework that precludes other major events (such as from other books) from occurring during this time-frame, as Ruggedo would have recorded them.
Runaway Country: There is no indication as to how an entire peninsula came to life. Even Ozma doesn't seem to know. The Runaway Country becomes the island he wishes and is called Ruggedo's Island, after Ruggedo is banished there.
Sandman: The first appearance in an Oz book of the Sandman further links Oz to older legends and stories. He appears again in Queen Ann in Oz in Sand City, as well as in The Magic Carpet of Oz, putting to sleep visitors to the Kingdom of Dreams so that the Phantagens enter their dreams. The complete story and purpose of the Sandman has yet to be told.
Sun Top Mountain: Like Pumperdink, this country was first created by Thompson for the Philadelphia Public Ledger long before she was writing Oz books. Here she places it in the Winkie country. The earlier story is called "The Fairy's Silver Trumpet," and can be found in Sissajig and Other Surprises, and online at the Hungry Tiger Press website (click on the title). The story appears to detail how Peg Amy's mother married her father.
Invisible Inzi of Oz
History: The first legally published story outside of the Reilly & Britton/Lee "canon" (Frank Joslyn Baum's The Laughing Dragon of Oz was published first, but resulted in a lawsuit.) Originally composed between May and December 1919, though not published until 1925 through 1926, this story was purportedly told to two children by means of a Ouija Board. For more information, see here and here.
Story: When Glinda's magic books are stolen, a party gathers to reclaim them from the castle of the evil magician Kuik Blackbab. Encountering Kalidahs and kooky towns like Musicton and Flattown, the adventurers are imprisoned by Blackbab, but are soon aided by an invisible being called the Inzi. Plot synopsis forthcoming.
Dating: No explicit date is given.
Musicton: The Royal Timeline of Oz postulates that this small musical community was established by one of the royals of the Clef Kingdom and Scale Domain (from Ruth Plumly Thompsons's "The Singing Monarch"), similar to Tune Town (from The Gnome King of Oz).
The Cowardly Lion of Oz
Oz Book 17 of the Famous Forty, Sovereign Sixty and Supreme Seventy Five!
Story: Mustafa of Mudge demands his 10,000th lion, but his chamberlain Tazzywaller says there are no more lions in Mudge, which is a southerly desert land in the Munchkin country, isolated from the rest of Oz. Their book of Oz, which Glinda sent them when she forbid them leaving their domain (when they used to raid neighboring lands during Mustafa's grandfather's time), indicates that there's a Cowardly Lion of Oz. Mustafa will stop at nothing to get him, but his people are afraid to leave Mudge due to Glinda's warning of the consequences.
During a circus performance in Stumptown, the clown Notta Bit More notices the bored faces of the patrons. Picking up a young orphan named Bobbie Downs, he throws him in the air, uttering a rhyming phrase that suddenly pops into his head. At once the boy disappears. Uttering a similar rhyme, the clown disappears as well. Unbeknownst to him, this was a secret magical incantation which brings whoever utters it to Mudge. Mustafa is surprised by their sudden appearance and doesn't know what to make of them, particularly as the clown tries out his several rules of dealing with strangers: 1. Use a disguise, 2. Speak politely. 3. Make a joke. 4. Run. As his disguise is a lion, it nearly gets him thrown in with the nine thousand others. Politeness fails, as do his jokes and attempts to flee. Instead, Mustafa charges them with bringing to him the Cowardly Lion of Oz, on threat that if they fail he'll use his magic ring on them!
Away from Mudge, Notta Bit gets to known Bobbie better, and renames him Bob-Up. During the night, while sleeping in the forest, a fairy-man sees to it that no one disturbs them. The next day, a talking sign points the way to Doorways, and tells them to take the right door. Doorways is accessed by seven doors. The first says "Keep Out," the second "Don't Waken the Baby," the third leads to Dorms, but no admission till February, the fourth says "King Theodore the Third," the fifth is "The Queen: Adora the First," the sixth says "Push," which pushes back, and the seventh says "This Door Answers Itself" and is a talking door, who warns them about the queen.
Notta Bit, disguised now as a bear, tries the second door, only to find a sleeping baby dragon. Frustrated, he takes the queen's door. The king and queen arrive, but they think the travelers stole their door jam, or that they're dormant animals, and don't find Notta Bit amusing at all. Fearing they'll call the Slammer to slam them, Notta and Bob run through a door marked "Out" and escape. Outside, they meet the front half of a lion who had been chopped in half by Tazzywaller when he attempted to capture him. He petitions that they ask the Wizard to help him, which they promise to do. After another talking sign mentions the country of U, they head off again.
The Cowardly Lion, meanwhile, is upset by his constant cowardice. Overhearing the Patchwork Girl joke about curing himself by eating a brave man, the Lion goes off determined to do just that. But when he encounters a woodcutter, the man, proud to meet the famous Cowardly Lion, introduces him to his friends and family, and the lion—abashed—goes off. He stalks upon a sleeping huntsmen, who screams, and turns out to be Notta Bit More in disguise. They agree to join together and go to the Emerald City, where Ozma can send them home. On the way, however, they're caught up in a net weaved by a witchy tree that captures them and throws them up high up in the air.
The travelers fly up into the Isle of Un, a skyle (sky isle) inhabited by large birds called Uns, and ruled by I-Wish-I-Was, who seeks to either turn them into Uns, or push them over the edge of the skyle. The Uns fish the sky for pre-cooked birds, and only one Un—whose in hiding—is not unpleasant. Going fishing themselves, they catch a dog (a Skye terrier), who lives on another star, and two silver packages of dreams. While sleeping, the Uns attack. A fierce battle ensues until Notta Bit wakens and uses his magic phrase to send them to Mudge.
The next day, they meet the Snorer, a bird named Nickadoodle, whose beak curves around and detaches like an old phone. He suggests they take the royal transport of Un, the Flyaboutabus, while the Uns are out wishing, which they do each morning. They capture the Flyaboutabus, which is shaped like a hollowed-out goose, and with it escape to the Munchkin country.
There, they find the Travelers' Tree, planted by Wam the Wizard in the year 1120 O.Z., which provides them with tea, cocoa and a heart breakfast. But after they attempt to move towards the Emerald City, Bob and Notta turn blue and freeze, a result of the ring on Mustafa's finger, which doesn't allow them to deviate from their purpose. Notta Bit and the Cowardly Lion each confess their original evil purposes, and Nickadoodle advises that Notta Bit tie up the lion, which allows them to move again. A storm overtakes them on the Flyaboutabus, forcing them to land. Emptying the bus of water, they drive it like a bus, but they can only go towards Mudge.
On the way, they come to the glass town of Preservatory, where the citizens are all preserved in glass jars. When the bus accidentally breaks a jarred person, the Prime Preserve and Queen Preserva come out indignant. They call the Imperial Squawmos, who is a towering Cookywitch, and the real ruler of Preserve. She is the one responsible for putting everyone in jars, which she does to keep them from working, eating or drinking. She smashes the bus's controls in an attempt to preserve the captors, but the Lion discovers that the Up button still works, and they escape. Yet, as the Flyaboutabus is broken, it begins to fall again.
They are saved by the Stone Man, Crunch, who lives atop Stone Mountain, and was first carved out of stone in ancient times by "a primitive Oz man." The Wizard Wam later brought him to life with a magic powder, but then ran away. Crunch has stayed atop the mountain wondering what to do with his life. Notta Bit More suggests he could travel, help people not as strong as himself, serve Ozma and build a city. Crunch likes the idea, and has also fallen in love with the Cowardly Lion, so he agrees to join them. When he learns about Mudge, he decides he'll go alone with the Lion there and pound Mustafa to powder. The others, meanwhile head to the Emerald City to seek Ozma's help.
On the way, Bob-up, Notta Bit and Nick go to sleep in Fiddlestick Forest, and there the friendly trees play them a melody with their fiddles. In the morning, the trees provide them a fiddlebow boat to carry them from the forest through the Munchkin River to the Emerald City. Notta, unfortunately chooses another inappropriate disguise, this time that of a witch. In fear, Dorothy fills a pail of water and tries to put him out twice, then she blows on a whistle, summoning Tik-Tok, the Soldier with the Green Whiskers, Scraps and others, who escort the three to the throne room. Ozma calls the Wizard to determine if it's a witch, and says that if she is she must be destroyed. The Wizard discovers he isn't, and after Notta removes his disguise, introductions are made. Glinda arrives, and they explain their adventure with the Cowardly Lion. Glinda says they must go to Mudge immediately, as the Lion is in grave danger. Using his formula, Notta Bit sends them all to Mudge.
Crunch, meanwhile, listens to the Lion's story about being cowardly, and says that he had gleaned a little magic from Wam and could remove his fear. The Lion insists on waiting before agreeing to that, but begins to distrust the Stone Man, who looks at him strangely. Crunch then informs him that he's not going to help people after all, only the Lion. Impatient while he sleeps, Crunch discovers the whereabouts of Mudge and picks up the sleeping lion, carrying him all the way to Mudge. The Lion stops him from crushing Mustafa, but once out of his sight, Mustafa has the Cowardly Lion chained up and put in with the other thousands of lions, who are waiting to fight him. Just as they're about to pounce, Sir Hokus, the Tin Woodman, Tik-Tok, Glinda, the Wizard, Nick, Bob, Notta, Ozma, Dorothy and the Scarecrow arrive. The lions pounce, but Crunch, turns all the lions into stone, including the Cowardly Lion, who he intends to keep, and begins flinging the other stone lions off him. Glinda and the Wizard stop him by depriving him of life, but they can't yet restore the Cowardly Lion. Mustafa has his ring taken away, and the Stone Man and lions are left there. Mustafa later grows rich selling the stone lions.
At the Emerald City, Glinda and the Wizard fail to undo Crunch's spell on the Cowardly Lion, and Dorothy weeps over the stone statue of her former friend. Her tears, however, prove to be the antidote, and everyone comes to weep over the Lion, who comes back to life. Ozma and Dorothy hear the rest of the adventures, and look in the Magic Picture at Un. Bob Up tells her the name of the good Un is Unselfish, and Ozma places him on the throne. Notta then explains that he's going to have to save up money for Bob Up and his old age, and grows sad at the thought of leaving, but Ozma invites them to live with them in Oz, to which they accept with great rejoicing. On their request, Ozma gives them a tent to live in, and restores the lion who'd been cut in half. Bob Up becomes friends with Button Bright, as Notta enrolls him in the Wogglebug's College.
Bob-Up: The orphan from Philadelphia nicknamed Bob-Up by Notta Bit More is actually named Bobbie Downs, and the text seems to indicate that he's seven years old. He now lives on the outskirts of the Emerald City in a tent with the clown Notta Bit More and Nickadoodle, and goes to school at the Wogglebug college. He and Notta are the first outsiders (from the U.S.) to come to Oz (and to live in Oz) since Trot, Cap'n Bill and Button Bright arrived in The Scarecrow of Oz.
Cookywitch: Although "next in wizardry to a sorceress," nothing is heard from the ruler of Preserve again, and it's not known whether or not Ozma ever dealt with the situation in this community.
Cowardly Lion: The Cowardly Lion is particularly troubled by his cowardice, and acts more fearful than he has in past stories, to the point where he seriously considers eating another person. While this may seem out of character, the precedent for this was set in Baum's "The Cowardly Lion and Hungry Tiger of Oz, from "Little Wizard Stories of Oz. Additionally, the Lion's added fears (such as of thunderstorms) are addressed in David Hulan's The Magic Carpet of Oz. It's also noted that the Wizard can't make more of the potion he gave the Lion in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. This fear finally gets resolved in the Oziana story, "The Cowardly Lion and the Courage Pills."
Dating: Internal evidence indicates this story takes place in May over the course of five days. See the Chronology of Oz for more details. No year is indicated, although Hokus lives in the Emerald City, ensuring it takes place before The Yellow Knight of Oz. At the time that Glinda warned the Mudgers to stay within their domain, or face Ozma's consequences, Mustafa's grandfather was ruling Mudge. The earliest this could have occurred was in 1902.
The 1912 dating for the events of The Cowardly Lion of Oz is based on the sequence of events depicted in The Lunechien Forest of Oz. While the dates listed in that book are off by three years each, the passage of time appears to be sound. Based on this sequence of time, The Cowardly Lion of Oz would take place later than the three books that succeeded it (Grampa in Oz, The Lost King of Oz, and The Hungry Tiger of Oz). As The Cowardly Lion of Oz works as a standalone story, doing so is possible and doesn't harm continuity, particularly as Notta Bit and Bob-Up aren't referenced in a story again until The Wishing Horse of Oz, and allows more time for the prior events of Mudge to occur. See Monarchs of Mudge below.
Dorothy: Page 207 seems to indicate that Dorothy is the one who tells Thompson this story. Like Ozma, Dorothy initially seems out of character, attempting to melt a witch (whose really Notta Bit More) upon first seeing her. The Dorothy of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz states that she doesn't want to kill anyone, even to get home to Kansas. In defense, Ruth Berman (on the Pumperdink BCF digest) notes that: "Notta, in his witch impersonation, is running full-speed at Dorothy and gesturing wildly, and those are factors that should be considered, too, in Dorothy's reaction. It really would look as if she's dealing with a wicked witch who is about to do something wicked to her. (And she has maybe 30 seconds to decide.) After all, as various people have pointed out, if she's wrong in thinking that the apparent witch is a witch, she won't have done any more harm than dousing someone." In "The Wailing Witch of Oz," Dorothy is said to regret her rush to judgment and says she didn't know what she was doing, which supports Berman's postulation.
Lions in Oz: African lions can have up to 40 individuals living in a pride. Ozian lions would appear to have many more, as they're tame and get along much more easily than their carnivorous cousins in the outside world, however, Mudge lions seem fiercer (they gang up on the Cowardly Lion when he's brought in their enclosure). If Ozian lions live in the same size prides as those in Africa, there would have been around 250 prides in and around Mudge. Although it sounds like a lot, ten thousand lions is not inconceivable. In 1950, over 400,000 lions lived in Africa (see here). Why so many lions came to live in and around Mudge is not certain and may be addressed in a future story.
Magic Transportation Rhyme: How and why Mudge came to have a magic transportation rhyme is unknown. J.L. Bell, on the Pumperdink BCF digest, speculates that "it was created as a way to exile troublesome Munchkins to a desolate corner of the land. When enough bluebeards arrived, they formed a society, named it "Mudge" after the last thing they all heard, and started living off their neighbors. That would explain why these Ozians are so 'short-tempered' and created a 'barbarous country' --they were angry barbarians to begin with. It would also imply that whoever came up with the "Udge, Budge" rhyme lived far away." As revealed in The Seven Blue Mountains of Oz: Book 2, the old enemy of the Mudgers were the "Nordic" Rimmers from the north in Rimmersden, who they would fight terrible battles with. This would explain why the Mudgers are so quarrelsome and unlike their peaceable neighbors in the rest of the Munchkin Country.
Monarchs of Mudge: There is no mention of who Mustafa's father and grandfather are, or what became of them. Given that they lived after Oz became deathless, several speculations arose, including Glinda carrying out her threat that anyone leaving the borders of Mudge would lose his head (which seems unlikely), and speculation that the Deadly Desert was involved (since Mustafa knows what a tombstone is). However, The Lunechien Forest of Oz clarifies the issue of who these men were and what became of them. Mustafa's grandfather was the monarch King Mustnotta. It was he who engendered his grandson's love of lions, having first captured for young Mustafa the blind lion Avok in 1902, the same year that Glinda's warning arrived. In 1907, Mustnotta abdicated the throne to his son Prince Stabilofax. A cold man who disliked his son's pet, he kicked the lion out of Mudge a year later in 1908. Four years later, in 1912, he appears to have abdicated the throne to his son, Prince Mustafa.
Mudge: An Arabic community in the southwestern corner of the Munchkin Country near Hah Hoh Humbad (from The Enchanted Island of Oz). An arid desert, it became known for its dates, figs and cocoanuts, but when the people fell into raiding neighboring kingdoms, Glinda sent a warning from Ozma by means of a book, which said that anyone leaving Mudge would lose his head (amongst other warnings). Glinda/Ozma's warning came in 1902. At first the Mudgers were content to trade with those who came to visit them, but the king at that time (Mustafa's grandfather Mustnotta), in anger at the fact that his neighbors refused to trade anything of greater worth than the figs, dates and cocoanuts they grew in Mudge, cut off Mudge from the rest of Oz. When Mustafa came into power, he kept his people content by organizing lion hunts, and even kept a few in his tents. When his people fell to quarrelling, he grew to love his lions more than his people, and began collecting as many as he could, numbering 9,999 in total.
Notta Bit More: The clown named Notta Bit More (by his father) was going to be named Augustus Elmer More by mother. His father was also a clown. Notta Bit was the last of 12 children. He now lives on the outskirts of the Emerald City with Bob Up and Nickadoodle in a tent, and occasionally performs. He and Bob Up are the first outsiders from the U.S. to come to live in Oz since Trot, Cap'n Bill and Button Bright arrived in The Scarecrow of Oz. Notta Bit is the third clown to make an appearance in Oz. Mr. Joker from the China Country (in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz) is the first. Clakku the Clown (from The Witch Queen in Oz) is also living in Oz at this time, though he may no longer be living as a clown. As to how Notta hit upon the specific magic phrase to bring him to Oz, it may be the case that the fairies have some influence upon certain ones in the outside world. This was certainly true for Trot in The Sea Fairies, and Aunt Em believed Dorothy was marked by the fairies, in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, so a precedent is in place for this possibility.
Ozma: Like Dorothy, Ozma behaves out-of-character in this book, claiming that the witch (who is really Notta Bit) must be destroyed. How the Ozma from The Emerald City of Oz, who would not use violence even to save her kingdom, became the Ozma whose first thoughts on dealing with the witch is destruction is depicted in the short story "The Hearts and Flowers of Oz."
Stumptown: The town where Bob-Up and the clown Notta Bit More were before they arrived in Oz. There are several places in the U.S. where that nickname was applied, including Guerneville, California; Whitefish, Montana; Matthews, North Carolina; Portland, Oregon; and Stumptown, West Virginia. Bobbie-Downs is said to be from Philadelphia, though whether he was born there, or his orphanage is there, is not explicit. However, as there is no Stumptown in Philadelphia, the former may be the case, and he later came to live in Stumptown, West Virginia, which borders Philadelphia.
Un: Un is part of Oz, albeit in the sky. Why the tree ensnares people to throw there is unknown, but must be enchanted by the Uns. Their diets or habits appear to be alien to Oz, though it may have to do with their wishes, and they may be wishing for magically-produced cooked birds to eat (as opposed to live ones that they kill and cook).
Wizard Wam: This is the first mention of the blue wizard known as the Wizard Wam. He is known to have planted a Travelers' Tree in the year 1120 O.Z., a project he began with Lurline's enchantment of Oz in 1742. Wam also brought the Stone Man to life by a magic powder (the Powder of Life). He ran away from him because of his gigantophobia (revealed in The Seven Blue Mountains of Oz: Book 2: Tippetarius in Oz). Wam is later mentioned in The Wishing Horse of Oz and appears in Henry Blossom's The Blue Emperor of Oz (where he accuses the Nome King of stealing his idea for the Hotel Trees in the Metal Forest), as well as Melody Grandy's Seven Blue Mountains of Oz trilogy. The year 1120, due to having an O.Z. designation after it, represents a different calendar system than our Gregorian one, and represents 1742 A.D. The Blue Emperor of Oz helps define the start year of the Ozian calendar in 622 A.D.
Grampa in Oz
Book 18 of the Famous Forty, Sovereign Sixty and Supreme Seventy Five!
Story: When Prince Tatters' father King Fumbo loses his head in a storm, Tatters and Grampa, a retired military officer, leave their impoverished Quadling kingdom of Ragbad in search of his head. On the advice of their Wise Man Pudge, they also search for a princess for Tatters and a fortune, knowing that the boy will end up impoverished otherwise. Tatters takes his father's umbrella, and the next morning they depart.
Approaching a blue forest in the Munchkin Country, Grampa shoots a bird out of the sky, but it turns out to be an iron weathercock from Chicago, brought to life by the same storm and blown into Oz. The weathercock—named Bill by Grampa, and invited to join the party—determines to help find the princess and fortune. As they rest in the forest, they're overpowered by bandits under the leadership of Vaga. Grampa feigns wanting to join the bandits, who are glad to have a fighter, and tells them stories of his nine hundred and eighty battles, putting them all to sleep. Once they're asleep, he steals a pouch of tobacco and a bottle of magic medicine from Vaga, who'd stolen it from a wizard. Bill finds and takes a key from them, as well. When the dawn comes, however, Bill caws, inadvertently awakening the bandits who pursue them. Tatters, Grampa and Bill hide inside a hollow tree and end up falling down a magical hollow into an underground realm.
After Grampa uses the medicine to restore himself after the fall, they're astonished to find themselves in a park surrounded by a giant hedge. A gate in the hedge leads to Gorba's Garden, a name they recognize from the medicine Grampa took from the bandits. Stepping upon Gorba's Stepping Stones, they lift up and carry the travelers north to where all the bushes are shaped like animals. Within the garden, they find a sleeping young woman made out of flowers. Unlocking a nearby golden watering can with the key Bill found, they water her, bringing her to life. Her name is Urtha, and while Grampa believes she's a fairy, she doesn't remember anything and is content to simply dance and skip about. The party invite her to join them. Grampa eats one of the plants and grows a chimney on his head. The medicine cures him, and they notice a flower bed spelling out a message that Gorba will arrive at midnight, and whomever stays the night will become a lantern tree. They find Gorba's Winding Stairway, and get on, but Grampa accidentally pushes the lever the wrong way, and they wind further downwards, and, unbeknownst to them, out of Oz altogether.
Meanwhile, in Perhaps City, located on the Maybe Mountains in the Winkie country, the ruler Peer Haps, and his favored companion, the Forgetful Poet, Percy Vere, are disturbed when their High Sky prophet Abrog announces that in four days a monster will marry the princess. To prevent the prophecy from happening, Abrog volunteers to marry her himself, but the king refuses, preferring instead that she marry Perix. When they go to retrieve the princess, they discover that she's missing along with Abrog. Despite the offer of gold to whomever rescues her (the Yellow Hen of Peer Haps lays golden bricks), Perix and the other Happsies are too afraid to go down the mountain, so Percy Vere volunteers.
On her way back from the Tin Woodman's, Dorothy gets turned around when Toto starts chasing a baconfly, and ends up heading north instead. She soon meets Percy Vere, and is delighted by his forgetful poetry, which leaves the last word blank for her to fill in. Percy tells her their dilemma, and Dorothy volunteers to accompany him to the Emerald City, but a Runaway Road picks them up, intent on bringing them to work on a pepper mine. Dorothy and Percy grab hold of an overhanging branch, and escape the Runaway Road.
Grampa, Tatters, Urtha and Bill, meanwhile, are dropped by the Winding Stair, into an underground lake. Grampa gives him and Tatters some of the medicine enabling them to float, but when the water carries them to an island of fire, they take more medicine to cope with the growing heat. Upon Fire Island, they meet Prince Forge John the First, amongst other Fire Islanders who are made up of red and blue flames. Prince Forge John shows them the island, but they remain concerned that the medicine will run out and they'll burn. Prince Forge John tells them they can go to Blazes, the keeper of the volcano across the waters. A boat brings them across, and Cinders and Soot escort them inside the volcano, where Blazes, who is twice as tall as the other Fire Islanders, agrees to send them up the volcano with the boiling lava. The medicine keeps them safe as the lava soon forms a rock-like island which lands them northwest in the Nonestic Ocean. The island carries them north to the Island of Isa Poso, where a sign warns them of the dragon, Enorma, and offers a reward of half the island and the hand of the princess to whomever slays her. The island is frozen and covered in ice and snow, but Urtha's footsteps leave flowers growing behind her.
They soon encounter Enorma, whose very presences warms them up. She's curious about the travelers, but while conversing, Grampa sees that she has false teeth, and throws his snuff box into her mouth causing her sneeze and lose her teeth. Enorma cries, and seeing that Grampa intends to finish her off, runs off into the water, where she puts herself out, and dies. Grampa and the others plunder her cave, and finding a bear she had earlier hunted, cook it up for breakfast.
Thinking about the grand reward they'll get for killing the dragon, Grampa leads the party out of the cave, and runs into the King Chin Chilly and his people, who are made of snow and ice. The king is angry about the flowers Urtha made, but relents when he discovers they've killed the dragon. He brings forth his daughter who grabs Tatters hand. As Chin Chilly splits the island in two, he chops off his daughter's hand at the wrist, leaving Tatters only her hand. As Grampa and Tatters begin to get very cold, Grampa's reminded of Gorba's medicine, which restores them.
Freed from Isa Poso, their portion of the island begins to float to the east, and Urtha convinces everyone to dance and play games. Grampa strikes up the tobacco he'd taken from Vaga the bandit, and before he knows it, the smoke has turned himself and everyone else into crows. Together, they fly back to the mainland.
Dorothy and Percy, meanwhile, enter a woodcutter's home, and help themselves to his food, leaving behind a poem and Dorothy's ring. Heading south, the path begins to wind upwards, and the pair find themselves on Monday Mountain, where they're captured and roughhoused by the Wild Wash Women. After Percy refuses to marry the princess Pearl Borax, the Tubbies clean their bodies and clothes, and take them to work at the wash tubs.
The crows, meanwhile, fly over Ev and the Deadly Desert, but once in Oz, they begin to regain their original forms, and they land in the Winkie country. Bill senses an oncoming storm, and Tatters opens up his father's umbrella, which swoops up into the air, as Grampa and Urtha hold on. They're soon brought above the storm to a pink skyland. There they meet a sky shepherdess named Maribella, who shepherds baby stars to keep them from falling out of the Milky Way. The party tells them of their quest, and she informs them that there's a whole company of heads in the clouds. King Fumbo's head is amongst a hundred others, and as he's enjoying conversing with them, he's reluctant to return. Grampa insists that he must, and Tatters introduces him to Bill and Urtha. Fumbo is excited to hear their adventures and agrees to come with them. Fortunately, the Rainbow and Polychrome are nearby, and she guides them down the rainbow to the Winkie country.
Dorothy and Percy work for two days for the Washerwoman, trapped by a fence that literally runs around the perimeter, and which has one gate that stops only at the secret word of the queen. Percy finally figures out that the word is "Stop," and the pair rush down as the gate appears, and escape from their captors. The washerwomen turn over their tubs, and the soapy water runs down the mountain, taking Dorothy and Percy with it. Once free, Bill discovers them, and announces to nearby Grampa, Tatters and Urtha that he's found the princess. Grampa balks at this due to Dorothy's appearance, just as Percy balks at Tatters'. Dorothy and Percy are alarmed by King Fumbo's head, but he assures her that he's not like Princess Langwidere, and introduces her to Grampa. Apologies all around, they share each others' stories, and Dorothy and Percy agree to help find the kidnapped princess.
They come to Play City, where the men and women, Pierrettes and Pierrots, who do nothing but play, induce the travelers into various rides, amusements and rowdy games. Urtha escapes from the rough play out of the city, and up Maybe Mountain to Perhaps City, where Peer Haps, spotting her, recognizes that this is his daughter enchanted. When Tatters makes his way into Perhaps City, Peer Haps—worried that the monster is coming—marries Tatters to Urtha, who he's covered up to hide her enchantment. Grampa, Dorothy and Percy Vere arrive, as does Abrog, who tells Peers that he married his daughter to a monster, placing King Fumbo's head on Tatter's shoulders, and removing the veil from Urtha. Urtha is the princess Pretty Good. Abrog is forced to tell his story, and reveal that he is actually Gorba, who took the princess and transformed her in an attempt to make her ugly so that the monster wouldn't marry her. She instead turned into a flower fairy, so he resolved to keep her past the four days and marry her himself. The monster of the prophecy was a description of a youth with two heads, which proved to be Tatters. Grampa uses the wizard's magic potion to turn him into a mouse, and the rest of it to disenchant Urtha back into Pretty Good. The Yellow Hen lays a gold brick for Pince Tatters, and the whole party is magically sent to Ragbad by Ozma who'd been watching in the Magic Picture. Restoring King Fumbo's head, the gold bricks are later sold, and Ragbad becomes a prosperous country once again.
Contradictions and discrepancies: Putting aside the obvious historian errors, Thompson appears to have gotten this story from Ozma, or based on Ozma and Dorothy's conversations. Considering that several events in this story seem apocryphal, she either got a garbled transmission or filled in the blanks wrong.
Dorothy discovered Oz: Tatters utters this nonsensical line (from an Oz-as-history POV) in chapter 17. Oz was long ago extant before Dorothy came to "discover" it for us. This jingoistic statement was likely never spoken by Tatters, which makes Thompson's reporting somewhat suspect.
East/West: This issue rears its ugly head again when Thompson mistakes the Winkie country for the east and the Munchkin for the west. Chalk it up to Baum's map (in Tik-Tok of Oz), historian error, and the failure of the editor to catch the mistake, as the geography throughout the book is somewhat muddled. Thompson had the Munchkin and Winkie countries correct in her earlier book Kabumpo in Oz.
Jinxland: Thompson noted (in the first chapter) that the army of Ragbad abandoned their country and marched into Jinxland, forgetting that there's a bottomless gulf separating Oz from Jinxland. This is confirmed in The Gardener's Boy of Oz, which notes that the Jinxlanders haven't seen anyone cross the mountains since the Scarecrow came and went. The solution to this apparent contradiction is that the army perhaps intended to find a way into Jinxland, but actually ended up in another nearby land.
Money: Thompson again describes kingdoms in Oz utilizing a money-based system. Ragbad's fortunes rise and fall depending on their sale of goods. The story ends with their receiving the thousand gold brick reward from Peer Haps (a financial system that should technically crash since their currency is regularly augmented by a chicken), which they sell to buy supplies to restore their linen crop. From an in-story perspective, it has to be assumed that the outlying kingdoms have been allowed to continue using money for a time, perhaps so that Ozma can gradually bring them into a non-monetary based system. Nathan DeHoff, in the BCF Pumperdink forums, offers a possible retcon: "I think it is likely that, while one inhabitant of the Emerald City might well perform a service for his neighbors without being paid, a merchant coming in from Jinxland or another outlying kingdom, located nowhere near the Royal Storehouses mentioned in The Emerald City of Oz, would prefer an immediate material reward."
Snow: Thompson says that it never snows in Oz. Like most generalizations, this is contradicted in several accounts. It likely never snows in the southern Quadling countries like Ragbad, but there is certainly snow atop the various northern mountains in Oz. Thompson herself mentions a "Snow Mountain" in Ojo in Oz. As Ruth Berman notes in the Pumperdink BCF forum, "'No' claims should perhaps always be translated as 'None, so far as I know/remember, and certainly not many.'
Tin Woodman appointed by Ozma: In chapter 9, Thompson says Ozma appointed the Tin Woodman emperor of the Winkies. Yet, he was already emperor of the Winkies—who themselves chose him long before Ozma came to the throne—in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Perhaps she meant that Ozma confirmed this appointment when she came to power.
Dating: The story takes place over the course of eight days. See the Chronology of Oz for more details. There's no indication as to when this story takes place, save that it's some time after Hokus had come to live in the Emerald City. One of the Percy's poems hints that it might be early summer, so June is a possibility.
Enorma the Dragon: Despite Grampa's murder of this dragon, Thompson later acknowledges that no one in Oz can die. For example, in Ojo in Oz, she specifically speaks of the Snoctorotomus coming back to life despite being beheaded.
Gorba's Garden: This underground garden is later appropriated by the Wizard Zim in Melody Grandy's Seven Blue Mountains of Oz trilogy.
Grampa: Thompson's more violent take on Oz can be seen in the Grampa character, who shoots a bird, claims to have fought 980 battles, and tricks and kills a dragon. Grampa's battles appear to have taken place in Ragbad, possibly against the Mudgers (of The Cowardly Lion of Oz), who are noted to have raided nearby kingdoms, though other conflicts are certain possible given the amount he cites. David Hulan (on the Pumperdink BCF forum) believes these were minor in scope: "I suspect that the majority of Grampa's 980 'battles' fell more into the category of barroom brawls than what we'd think of as 'battles' in the present day. Not literally in a barroom, of course, but fights between half a dozen or so on a side, probably to a great extent without the use of deadly weapons. The only blood drawn in most cases was probably from noses and lips." On the other hand, or maybe in conjunction with this, Grampa himself states, "In my youth, young lads served in the armies of strange kings, slew monsters, and were rewarded with half the kingdom and the Princess' hand" Another incongruity with Grampa is that he's diligent in noting Ozma's law against magic, but clearly fails to regard her laws against killing living creatures, as he attempts to shoot a bird for dinner. Although it turns out to be Bill the Weathercock, the transgression still occurs, and passes without note. Thompson isn't ignorant of what Baum established, and in her following book, The Lost King of Oz, writes "All beasts and birds in the Land of Oz converse." This makes Grampa guilty of attempted murder, something Ozma does not take lightly (as per the trial of Eureka in Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz). It seems likely that Ozma had a word with him in private afterwards.
Magic Picture: In order for Ozma to hear what she's seeing in the Magic Picture, the Wizard has created a powerful radio. No mention of this radio is made in The Emerald City of Oz, which shows that the Picture is capable of producing sound, and in Tik-Tok of Oz, there is mention made of the Shaggy Man having a radio hookup. Perhaps the Wizard's radio was created to enhance sound for the Magic Picture.
Maybe Mountain: The Maybe Mountains were first noted in Thompson's Supposyville narrative poem, "The Supposyville Flag" (1918), where it is stated that "Although the exact location of Supposyville has never been discovered, it may be said upon good authority that this delightful and amazing Kingdom lies between the Maybe Mountains and the Valley of Somewhere on the Nearlyso River." While the latter locations does not appear anywhere else, Somewhere appears in the Gillikin Country (see The Enchanted Island of Oz), making it seem that Supposyville, like the Maybe Mountains, can be found in the Winkie Country. Maybe Mountain and the Tubbies appear again in the Oziana 1981 story "Adventure on Monday Mountain."
Percy Vere, the Forgetful Poet: Though only known as the Forgetful Poet, this character comes right out of Thompson's pre-Oz Public Ledger writings. The name Percy Vere has a literary precedent in Walter Crane's Pothooks and Perseverance, or The A.B.C. Serpent, although this earlier version isn't a poet (This book also features a precedent for The Royal Book of Oz's A-B-Sea Serpent.)
Play City: A Kingdom of Play was mentioned four years earlier by Thompson in her poem "Rockinghorse Hill," as a land of broken toys. They may have been repaired by now.
Ragbad: At the start of the book, Ragbad is the epitome of the literary depiction of the southern estate in 1800s novels, a formerly prosperous cotton plantation fallen into ruin and desolation. Ragbad is the fabric capital of the Quadling Country, according to The Seven Blue Mountains of Oz: Book 2.
The Master Crafters of Oz
Story: In the Gillikin country, young Remy finds himself trapped inside the Mad Box of his violin teacher Philius and looks back on the events that led to that. Remy had first acquired a violin when Philius—who makes them—tossed one out his window. Later, when Philius heard Remy playing, he dragged the boy to his house and made him play with him. Successful, he gave Remy a proper violin and made him his student. But when Remy went to touch his green violin, Philius grew angry and took out the strange Mad Box, threatening harm to the boy if he ever touched it again.
As Remy grew in proficiency, he began to tour with Philius. He even got to meet Dorothy one day when she went apple picking. But the day came when Remy entered his teacher's home and found the case of the green violin open. Mysteriously drawn to it, he picked it up and played it just as Philius came in. Philius drew forth the Mad Box, which emitted a light. Remy vanished, leaving only the glowing box and an upset Philius who was abashed at what he'd done. He thinks back and recalls it was given him by Dr. Nikidik after Nikidik had been banned from the Society of Crafters. The box adjusted to Philius' moods and even imprisoned insects that annoyed him. Although they would later somehow escape, Remy had not done so. So, Philius left to get help from Dr. Nikidik. Remy, meanwhile, began playing the green violin in his prison, and slowly put the Mad Box to sleep. In time, an aperture appeared and diving through it, the boy frees himself and runs away from Philius' house.
In the Emerald City, Ozma, Betsy, Trot, Dorothy, the Sawhorse and Tik-Tok go for a picnic on a high hill just south of the Emerald City. As Ozma and Dorothy explore the hill, Ozma confesses that she used to avoid the location because it was the very spot where Enilrul once cursed Oz (and where he sister Lurline counter-cursed it) long ago. Trot and Betsy, meanwhile, come across a sign for the Knock-On Woods that says: "Knock on woods or accept the consequences!" Just then, a boy emerges from the underbrush; it is Remy just escaped from Philius' house. He is reluctant to reveal what had transpired, but knows who the girls are.
Dorothy and Ozma return, but discover that Tik-Tok, despite being wound, isn't working. At that, a Dryad appears, annoyed that no one has paid attention to her sign. Ozma suggests she start at the beginning, so the Dryad introduces herself as Wooda Shoulda, the guardian of the Green Woods. One of the anomalous repercussions that affect the Green Wood from Enilrul and Lurline's ancient spells is that if someone says something won't or shouldn't happen, it does, unless they knock on the woods. As Trot had earlier said 'Tik-Tok will never break,' and didn't knock on the woods, he did. For this reason, the Dryads have long guarded the woods. Trot tries to say something to reverse the spell, but Wooda explains that the magic doesn't flow against the current. Ozma is at a loss, and Remy suggests a mechanical fix. Ozma uses her wand to shrink Tik-Tok down to a tiny size so they can carry him off the hill.
After a few days in the Emerald City, Ozma and her courtiers discuss how to get Tik-Tok repaired since magic will not help. Ozma concedes that she's been unable to locate Smith & Tinker. Remy suggests finding a mechanical means of fixing him, but the Wizard acknowledges it is beyond him, so the Tin Woodman suggests Ku-Klip. Putting together an expedition, Ozma sends the Wizard, Dorothy, the Tin Woodman, Scarecrow and Remy. The party make their way through the Munchkin country, across the bridge where Dorothy and friends long ago escaped the kalidahs. A golden suspension bridge now stands where the Tin Woodman's hastily constructed one once did. A plaque on it credits its construction to Johnny Dooit and the Master Crafters.
As the party start to cross, however, a kalidah rears his head. As they flee into the forest, Dorothy notices that the kalidah's body bears marks of having been reassembled, and she realizes that this may have been one of the very beasts which had attacked them and fallen into the chasm back then. More kalidahs appear, and they take the Wizard's bag and Tin Man's axe. Dorothy notes that the 2nd one is also scarred like the first, and her fears are confirmed when the two, Grimbull and Gnasher, argue about the debt she must pay for making them spend years at the bottom of the chasm in pieces. The third, Krusha, doesn't care either way, but wants to get on with it. To buy time, the Scarecrow offers them dinner music, to which they grudgingly concede. Remy begins to play the green violin, which has a soothing effect on the kalidahs, allowing the Wizard to retrieve his bag and prepare a magical repast for the kalidahs who forget their prisoners and plans, and sit to dine as the travelers escape.
Later that night, the Wizard creates tree beds for the party and then uses a purple powder upon the tree, a new invention he calls Beg Bug to wake up the tree. But the tree fears the Tin Woodman's axe. Nick assures him that he won't hurt her, but the tree recognizes him as the metal tree killer who used to terrorize the trees in the area until the witch made him rust. Nick agrees that he never considered the feelings of trees until the Wizard gave him a heart. At hearing of the Wizard, the tree grows excited, so the Tin Woodman introduces him and Dorothy. The tree introduces herself as June. In exchange for permission to sleep in her boughs, the Wizard promises to enchant her so that in the morning she can join them on their adventures.
In the morning, he shrinks to the size of a plant and sticks her atop the head of the Tin Woodman. Remy reveals during lunch what transpired with him and the violin, and mentions a green light and the words that appeared in the violin's center. The Wizard can't figure it out, but knows that no spell was cast upon it. He expresses concern about the Magic Box and if Philius is involved in illegal magic. Remy doesn't think so, but recounts some secret trips to visit a person Dorothy recognizes as Dr. Nikidik (from a description provided her by Trot and Betsy when they went to visit the Good Witch of the North.)
The Tin Woodman points out local landmarks, having originally lived in the area, including the former home of Nimmie Amee. After a few hours, they arrive at Ku-Klip's. There a duplicate of Tik-Tok greets them at the door. Ku-Klip is happy to see them, especially the Tin Woodman. He explains that the mechanical man is not as bright as Tik-Tok because although he was built from the same specs, donated to him by an anonymous acquaintance, the part of the instructions describing the brain was purposely left out lest it fall into the wrong hands. Not that the brains mattered to his client, Nimmie Amee, whose husband Chopfyt was proving difficult to train, and whose constant broken bones (apparently at her hands) took long to mend. Dorothy asks to see the schematics, and notes it was written by Smith & Tinker. Ku-Klip is forced to admit they come from the library of one who belongs to the secret Society of Master Crafters. The party explain that they've come hoping he could repair Tik-Tok. He can't, but he'll mention it to the owner of the plans at the next meeting. Or, they could track down Johnny Dooit in the east Quadling country, lending them a Finder to lead them to his home, or him to them. He asks that they deliver the mechanical man to Amee, giving them directions to her new cottage.
Chopfyt is sitting in front washing clothes, and treats them rudely. Dorothy knocks and is surprised to find Amee wearing the outfit of the Wicked Witch of the East, who she once worked for. Amee laughs, explaining that she'd inherited the wardrobe from her former employer, and that Chopfyt was behind on the laundry. The Tin Woodman again pledges to marry her and take her away from Chopfyt, but she explains that she's fine and learning to deal with Chopfyt's laziness, which is why she needs the mechanical man, who she named Nick, whose made of strong metal. She admits she'd learned well the ways of the Wicked Witch and that Chopfyt's suffered as a result. When Dorothy explains their purpose, she directs them to Dr. Nikidik.
To shorten their journey, the Wizard suggests a spell in which they can travel literally through the same dream to their destination. The Tin Woodman and Scarecrow, who cannot sleep, continue on foot to Jinjur's home. Remy begins playing his violin, which brings them all into a dream. While in the Dreamlands, heading on the path to Nikidik's house, a small child approaches Remy telling him that his music woke him up. The "Beautiful Dreamer" warns him to escape before he gets trapped in his dream, for he'd been sent there a prisoner by a witch using Dr. Nikidik's spell. Remy departs to find his friends, but they're unable to escape the dream and find themselves with the Beautiful Dreamer. The Wizard casts a spell, hypnotizing the Dreamer, so that they can escape. They promise to come back and rescue him later.
As they depart the dream, they find themselves at the home of Dr. Nikidik, who sees their arrival and sneaks up on them. He tells the Wizard that although it's the first time they've met, he saw him years earlier in Mombi's hut when he—thinking it was the Good Witch of the North—brought the baby Ozma to her. Nikidik describes how the spell he gave Mombi caused Ozma's male and female sides to split, sending the one to the Dreamland, which they now realize was the Beautiful Dreamer, and as the Wizard notes that time is different in dream, they don't have to save her since she was already saved long ago. Dr. Nikidik then reveals that he's play-acted the part of two-bit magician, and starts to grow. He then reveals himself as the Mage of the Court of Enilrul, Queen of Oz, and takes out a Magic Box. Despite Remy's warnings, the three are sucked into the box, which Nikidik then throws into the fire and watches as it turns to ash, sealing them forever! A few nearby rabbits, having witnessed the scene, head to the Emerald City.
Philius, meanwhile, approaches the Mistress of the Society to confess what he did to Remy. She tells him to see Ozma, who can save Remy, and he departs for the Emerald City. En route, he encounters the giant tortoise Pete (from The Witch Queen of Oz), who lets him ride his back. As they reach the gates of the city, Philius tells Pete his story, and Pete in turn reveals several rabbis who've been riding with them underneath his shell. The rabbits reveal that they saw Dr. Nikidik make Dorothy, the Wizard and a boy disappear with a Magic Box. Once inside, the Soldier with the Green Whiskers escorts Pete and the rabbits to Ozma's presence, and gives Philius a room to freshen up for a performance he's going to give for those who'd heard of his coming to the Emerald City. Ozma has magicked his instruments to his room, and later in the gardens, tells him that she's taken measures to help their friends. Ozma casts a spell with her wand quadrupling Philius so that he can play as a string quartet, and they have a magnificent concert.
Dorothy, the Wizard and Remy, meanwhile, appear trapped in a nebulous version of the dreamlands from which even Remy's violin is unable to effect escape. The Wizard produces a light enabling them to look around, and they spot a green line in the cloudy wall. The Wizard uses a knife to pry it open and they see a city beyond. As they try to pass through the opening, the walls tighten, trapping them. Dorothy retrieves the Finder and sets it for Johnny to find them. Remy begins to play as well, and Johnny soon appears, freeing them. Dorothy hasn't seen him since the events of The Road to Oz, and the Wizard has never before met him. Johnny admits the Mistress of the Society of Master Crafters sent him to find them, and when pressed, adds that the Society was created by this mistress to provide a contingency plan in the event that Oz ever loses its magic. Because all of the farms in Oz utilize the land's natural magic, there is a concern that there would be no food for the citizens if Oz ever became like the mortal worlds. The Society has to be kept secret to avoid attracting unscrupulous persons like Dr. Nikidik. Johnny notes that the Mistress asked them to explore the city before departing.
The City of Sorrow is grey and lonely, mazelike, with few seeming residents. There is no food, and although the citizens can't starve, they are weak, fearful and depressed. At the behest of a family with a baby, Dorothy sheds a tear, with which the Wizard creates a Singsong Tree that will provide whatever food a person asks for with a song. The Wizard notes that there are five such trees in Oz, one in each quadrant. Soon the family has food, as well as all the residents of the city who approach the tree and sing food for themselves. The young mother, Rhiannon, helps organize the citizens to benefit from the tree, while Dorothy goes around, asking everyone's story. She concludes that many arrived from the outside world through a dream, and never woke up, whereas others had crossed paths with Dr. Nikidik, who used his Magic Box to send them here. Some are from the time before Enilrul cursed Oz.
The Wizard realizes that they can't all be brought to Oz because they'll be out of their time and unable to reunite with their families. They must go through the wall closest to the outside world. Rhiannon recognizes the description and leads all of the city's residents to it, explaining to them that they might get to go home. The Wizard and Johnny Dooit set up amplification and ask Remy to play a fast, loud song called "Cyclone," which with magic conjures up a cyclone that breaks through the wall to reveal a kaleidoscope of colorful localities. Rhiannon guides those who came from the outside world through, and finally goes herself. The wall soon closes as Ozma with the Magic Belt brings everyone else to the Emerald City. Two days later, Ozma enchants the Magic Picture to search through time and locates Rhiannon living in Wales with a young child. Renowned for her role in their escape, she goes down in history as a witch.
Ozma explains to her listeners that Nikidik was the consort of Enilrul during the time she ruled Oz as a beautiful fairy, before she became grief-stricken and mad, and cursed Oz with an undying spell so that all could taste her misery and be unable to escape having been turned into "dreadful shapes." Nikidik had been the Vizier of the court and master of human magic. Contrary to the advice of her court, she made him her consort and soon grew isolated from all but him. Though she was always a dark fairy, when Nikidik proved false and made a bid for power, she went over the edge into madness. He changed his form, kept his magic to a minimum and hid himself in the Gillikin wilderness for centuries. The Wizard and Ozma feel Nikidik should be brought to justice, so contacting Enilrul in her farmhouse through the Magic Picture, Ozma says the word Nikidik.
Dorothy and Remy, along with the Sawhorse and Jack Pumpkinhead travel to Jinjur's house to meet with the Scarecrow and Tin Woodman. When Dorothy sees Jinjur teaching needlework to her girls, she soon figures out that she's part of the same Master Crafters society that Johnny spoke of. Jinjur confirms, explaining that they might need to know how to make clothes in the event Oz's magic ever fails. As the tree June enjoys the company of the knitting circle and is anxious to return to her original form, the party agrees to plant her across the road from Jinjur's home. There, Remy plays a song and she grows back to her former height.
Nikidik, meanwhile, watches as Ozma stands before his home holding an ancient Magic Box. With a golden magnet he pulls the box to him, preparing to ensnare Ozma in it. But then a bony hand emerges from the box to grab Nikidik and pull him inside. He begs Ozma for mercy and she promises that he will not die or suffer pain, and will have time to reconsider his ways.
Back in the Emerald City, Ozma and the Wizard question Philius about the green violin. As he is about the discuss with them the secret society he belongs to, the blacksmith Jomo comes in to assist his fellow associate, explaining that the two of them, along with Johnny Dooit and Ku-Klip belong to the Society of Master Crafters. They had earlier expelled Nikidik for mixing magic with science. Dorothy then concludes that since he's a smith who loves to tinker, he's Smith & Tinker. Jomo agrees that he's Tik-Tok's creator. Back on his blacksmith shop, he shows them how to repair Tik-Tok. He explains that he had been a copper-worker living in Ev when Kaliko had him build a clockwork man that Roquat could order about and abuse, but when Tik-Tok was complete, the Nome King learned that he was indestructible and does what he's told, he wanted an army of them built to defeat Oz. So, he departed with Tik-Tok to the Wheeler country and a secret laboratory he had there. Leaving Tik-Tok locked up there, he escaped to Oz with the aid of Johnny Dooit. With repairs to Tik-Tok concluded, Dorothy winds him up, but nothing happens.
Ozma travels to the outside world to see if Enilrul will provide a magical fix for Tik-Tok who'd been magically damaged upon the old hill that Enilrul had once cursed Oz. But she will not. Days later, back at the palace, Remy continues to avoid Philius, afraid of his displeasure at having taken the violin. At a memorial for Tik-Tok, who will be placed in the gardens, Jomo and the Wizard press Philius on the nature of the green violin. He explains that he'd been meeting in secret with Nikidik after he'd been excommunicated from the Society in a glade on a nearby hill, the very hill where Enilrul once cast her spell and where Tik-Tok had ceased to function. He'd built a fire of the green wood, but Nikidik stamped it out inexplicably, telling him only that he needed a burglar alarm after others broke into his home (in The Witch Queen of Oz). Reflecting on his behavior, Philius gathered some of the green wood and fashioned a violin out of it, which turned out to be magical as he suspected. After Ozma and Dorothy euologize Tik-Tok, the Wizard asks Remy to play a piece. This is the first time Philius has seen Remy since the incident. The music carries far and revives Tik-Tok from the enchantment of the Knock-on Woods by the very magic of those woods.
Ozma allows Philius to keep the green violin, but he gifts to Remy, determining that his work with the Society is more important. Jomo makes the same decision. After Ozma puts the Magic Box containing Nikidik in a safe place, Dorothy departs for Glinda's with the Sawhorse to look in the Great Book of Records for further answers, and reads about a great event in the distant past in which Lurline, Enilrul and Nikidik, the Mage of the Fairy Court and consort of Enilrul, walked the lands bestowing blessings to all who they came upon.
Finally, the Mistress considers the importance of secrecy for the Society she created, not only to keep membership to scientific minds without hurting the feelings of some, but to ensure that no magic be brought into the group, which would defeat its purpose. As she jots her notes down, Jellia Jamb takes comfort in knowing that she and her fellow members are doing a great service for Oz.
Dating: The narrative takes place roughly in the course of ten days. Scarecrow notes that he visited the field that had been his home "not so long ago," an indication that this story takes place some time after The Royal Book of Oz. Due to the absence of information as to the whereabouts of Smith & Tinker, the story must also take place prior to Smith's return in "Button-Bright and the Knit-Wits of Oz" and Tinker's return in The Lost Queen of Oz (not yet published). Additionally, the Wizard's mode of transportation reveals that he doesn't yet have the wishing pills, which were originally Nikidik's, the secret of which he likely obtained from his home, indicating that this story also takes place prior to The Lost King of Oz.
Enilrul: Further details as to Enilrul's curse indicates that she turned many of the populace of Oz and the lands beyond into "dreadful shapes," explaining where so many of the grotesques in Nonestica might have originated. This story also indicates that while Enilrul was always a dark fairy, Nikidik's betrayal pushed her over the edge into madness. In the outside world, where she now resides, Ozma notes that she hasn't aged.
Nikidik: Dr. Nikidik is revealed to have been a far more powerful, but human, wizard from ancient times, a vizier of the fairy court and later consort of Enilrul, who when he tried to usurp her power, was forced to go into hiding for centuries, disguising his appearance and abilities so that he is seen merely as a half-rate magician. To this he further added obfuscation by utilizing Dr. Pipt's name and sobriquet as the Crooked Magician. See the Appendices for more information. Given Dr. Nikidik's later appearance and disposition in Wooglet in Oz, it's clear he was rescued by Ozma from the Magic Box and given water from the Fountain of Oblivion to drink, after which he was sent back to Taker's Island until the events of the latter story.
Smith & Tinker: In order to keep this story within the context of the greater historicity of Oz, some elements within this book need to be re-interpreted. Oz history has revealed that the genius inventors Smith & Tinker are, in fact, two individuals (see, for example, Mr. Tinker in Oz, "Button Bright and the Knit-Wits of Oz," and the forthcoming book The Lost Queen of Oz). The blacksmith/coppersmith Jomo claims that the name Smith & Tinker refers to him, a smith named Tinker. A retcon provided by two Oz scholars indicates that Jomo is an artificial construct of Smith & Tinker, their greatest invention at that time, who they programmed to believe is a smith named Tinker in order to keep their enemies at bay when Tinker went to the moon to live and Smith faked a suicide. Those who are around Jomo believe him because he has an enchantment placed on him that causes anyone who gets in close proximity with him to believe what he says and accept at face value. When they withdraw from him, the new memories linger for awhile, but fade in time, and the real Smith & Tinker are remembered, but not Jomo. Then when they get around Jomo again, it happens all over again. Jomo's presence may explain why Ozma fails to think to simply use a wish from the Magic Belt, or why the Wizard doesn't think to bring him back to Kaliko for repairs as he had in "Tik-Tok and the Nome King of Oz".
Ozma and the Beautiful Child: To be revealed in Jeff Rester forthcoming book Death Comes to Oz: rather than a contradiction of the switcheroo spell Mombi used to switch Ozma with Tippetarius (revealed in The Seven Blue Mountains: Book 1: The Disenchanted Princess), the dreamchild is Mombi's back-up plan. Mombi used Nikidik for the "key" spell to place a part of Ozma (the so-called Beautiful Child) in the Dreamland. In the event that the switcheroo spell was undone, this contingency plan would keep her in control. Mombi was unable to "cash in" on the key due to the fact that she was caught and made to drink from the Forbidden Fountain, forgetting about the Beautiful Dreamer and the "key."
Rhiannon: For this to be the Rhiannon of legend and myth, as the story indicates, it must mean that she lived sometime before or during the 1100s when the earliest stories of the Mabinogian are thought to have been written. This is consistent with the time in which Nikidik was active as the Vizier of the Court of Enilrul.
Wizard's history: Lewin's description of the Wizard's act in giving baby Ozma to Mombi is divergent from Hugh Pendexter III's Oz and the Three Witches and Melody Grandy's Seven Blue Mountains of Oz trilogy. Nikidik claims the Wizard believed he had arrived at the house of the Good Witch of the North to hand over the baby, though Baum makes it clear in The Marvelous Land of Oz that the Wizard visited Mombi three times, handing the baby over to her in the third visit, and making it is highly unlikely that Oscar thought she was the Good Witch of the North. Because it is Nikidik speaking, it's possible that this is his interpretation, or something Oscar had said. Because we know Mombi didn't trust the Nikidik (in Oziana 2015's "The Malevolent Mannequin of Oz"), it's also possible she gave him false information or magically confused him so as to not recall the events correctly.
The Lost King of Oz
Note: 19th book of the Famous Forty, Sovereign Sixty and Supreme Seventy-Five!
Story: In the button kingdom of Kimbaloo in the Gillikin country, the boy Snip peers in at the kitchen window, only to discover that their cook Mombi is preparing to kill the goose Pajuka, who seems to know her. Snip learns that Mombi is the witch who enchanted the former King of Oz, Pastoria, and his Prime Minister Pajuka. Mombi, however, cannot undo the spell, as she's lost all knowledge of witchcraft. When she discovers Snip spying, however, she captures him, and Pajuka insists she not harm him, but to instead restore the lost king of Oz, who had once allowed the witches free rein in Oz. Liking the idea that he might even reward her, she agrees to depart Kimbaloo with Pajuka and Snip, whose ordered to carry her bag, but she struggles to remember what she did with him.
Pajuka knows that he'll remember the king, even enchanted, when he sees him, and recalls to Mombi that they had been in the greenwood near where the Emerald City now stands when Mombi enchanted them. Mombi realizes then it was green magic that she'd used, and determines to head to the Emerald City to steal the Magic Belt to restore the former king. While Mombi continues trying to get her powers back, Pajuka bonds with Snip, explaining that part of the spell Mombi had cast prevents him from talking to Glinda or anyone in power about who he is, or he'll disappear entirely.
In a dark forest the next day, the travelers are attacked by a Weenix, a bear-like creature with the head of a walrus. Mombi throws pepper from her bag at it, and the creature flees, sneezing and in tears. Entering a park clearing, they're knocked down by six Hoopers, thin, ten-foot tall people who can roll themselves into hoops. Snip uses a stick to push them away, but King Rollo appears, demanding they leave. When they learn Mombi's a witch, however, they slink off. The travelers next pass by the Laughing Willows who mock them.
Coming to an inland sea, Mombi notes that water kills witches, so grabbing a can of the strongest gelatin in Oz that her took six years to collect, she throws it into the water, turning it into a harmless gelatin. Crossing the sea, Mombi knocks on the gate of Catty Corners. A cat guard brings them in, except Snip, as no boys are allowed, but Mombi protests that he's her prisoner. Upon discovering she's a witch, the guard goes off to tell the Queen. Hundreds of cats as large as Snip run to greet Mombi, but they're all soon escorted to the Queen, a Maltese, who is happy enough about Mombi, but determines to make dinner out of Pajuka and sport out of Snip. Imprisoning them, the Queen tells Mombi that she has no plans of letting her go either. Cleverly, Mombi says she's a famous cook and will prepare the goose for her dinner, along with an appetizer of rice cream pudding. Into that dish, Mombi puts a baking powder she'd been collecting for 20 years. Once the cats all eat it up, they're rise up into the air to float amongst the clouds until it rains, allowing Mombi and her prisoners to escape.
Meanwhile, at the palace, while Ozma, the Scarecrow, Sir Hokus, Betsy, Trot, Scraps and Hank wonder what's taking Dorothy so long to get back from Perhaps City, a golden goose quill appears out of the blue, and begins writing a message: "Go to Morrow today." The Wizard and Tik-Tok arrive. Recognizing the location, the Wizard pops a wishing pill in his mouth and wishes the group to Morrow. The ancient, decaying castle of Morrow frightens Scraps, but the Wizard and Sir Hokus go off to explore, while Ozma struggles to remember where she knows the place from. Hearing a noise, Scraps jumps on the dining room table, triggering a spring that rises the table up, revealing a silver casket. Sir Hokus and the Wizard open it, revealing a green robe of the King of Oz, causing Ozma to remember that this castle was the hunting lodge of her father that he once brought her to to hide from Mombi. The tag on the robe says that it was preserved by Lurline so that whomever puts it on the enchanted king and uses the spell from the Green Book of Magic will disenchant him. Otherwise, without the robe, disaster will befall them. Ozma explains to Trot that she is descended from Lurline, who is her fairy godmother and Queen of the fairy band. They determine to walk home, but unsure of where they are, go to an empty red house before departing the Quadling country.
Dorothy, meanwhile, leaves her friends in Perhaps City, and begins the trek home from Maybe Mountain, recalling rhymes from the Forgetful Poet. Scooping up silver dust from the road, she thinks back to the U.S. and wishes to see what it's like. At that, she's instantly transported to Hollywood, California. There, she witnesses a group of men on horseback throw someone off a cliff. She investigates and discovers that it's a dummy. She wishes it to life, and he begins to tell her what's going on, and it dawns on her that he's a motion-picture dummy. She examines his tag for names, but only sees letters and numbers, and decides to call him Humpy. But then, she begins to burst from her clothes, as she grows to the age she would be if she had stayed in the outside world (which is 21). She then wishes she was back in Oz, and is. She wishes she knew how it all happened, and receives a card explaining that Wish Way was at the foot of the Maybe Mountain, and that she'd put some of the wishing sand in her pocket.
Dorothy and Humpy come across the Back Woods, where an angry horde of woodsmen scream at them backwards and hold backwards banners, telling them to go away. Dorothy writes a backwards note, explaining who she is and how she wants to pass through. They agree, but then laugh at her when she can't enter the back woods. Dorothy realizes it's a trick, and goes backward forward, and successfully enters. Coming to a river, they encounter the Scooters, who ride the river on sails. The Scooters help Dorothy and Humpy across. As Dorothy tells Humpy about life in the Emerald City, Humpy spots a snake and hits it. It turns out to be Kabumpo's snout, and he indignantly flings Humpy into the air. Dorothy runs up to the Elegant Elephant and explains everything. Kabumpo is traveling to the Emerald City to stir up some fun because life in Pumperdink has become dull since Pompadore and Peg Amy married, and since Dorothy and Humpy are going that way too, he agrees to carry them.
Mombi, meanwhile, tricks Snip, and as he gathers water from a well, she throws him down it. Snip falls into a bucket, which moves sideways on cables through an underground tunnel, then up another well. Waking in the morning, he finds himself surrounded by invisible people asking him why he's showing his face. Snip runs to the first house he sees. A tailor emerges, grateful to see a face, but hides him from the Blanks. Suddenly, his ears fly in the room like butterflies, and he explains that his name is Tora, and he's been a prisoner of Blankenburg for many years, and cannot leave due to some kind of invisible barrier. He agrees to help Snip escape through another well (the Fare-well), but Snip determines that he should escape with him, and as they come to the barrier, Tora is able to go through. The Tired Tailor of Oz becomes the Retired Tailor. Escaping through the well, the pair exchange stories, and Tora explains how Blankenburg became invisible when the vain Queen Vanette (or Vanetta) discovered a hidden pool that turned her face invisible, and feeling jealous of the younger beautiful girls, made a law forcing everyone to bathe in it and becomes invisible as well. The water wouldn't work on Tora, however, and as he was old already, they let him be.
As Snip goes to get breakfast from a nearby breakfast bush, Kabumpo, Dorothy and Humpy come across Tora. After no little confusion and awkwardness, in part due to Kabumpo's rudeness, the travelers introduce themselves and tell their adventures, after which they agree to travel together to the Emerald City to warn Ozma of Mombi's plan. Stopping at a steep mountain unsure of what to do, they discover Mombi and Pajuka walking right through it! Pajuka is overjoyed to see Snip again, but then spotting Humpy, he determines that this is his old master, the lost king of Oz! Mombi snatches him away, but Kabumpo catches her and threatens to step on her. Tora intervenes and says that Mombi is needed still to disenchant the king. Discovering that the mountain is but a shadow mountain, they go through it as well, heading south towards the Emerald City. The Palace, they later discover, is empty. Mombi reads the spell on the back of Humpy's cloak, but is unaware that it requires the cloak found in Morrow to work correctly, and produces the counter spell that plunges the palace deep underground.
On their way to the Emerald City, Ozma and her company receive another message from the golden quill, telling them that the king is in the palace. Excited, they rush forward, only to find that there is no palace, only green grass! As they examine the grounds, the palace rushes up again, catching them all on the roof. The Scarecrow jumps down to get a ladder and helps everyone in. Turns out Snip had used Mombi's baking powder to cause the palace to rise again. Ozma and the company make introductions, and the Wizard obtains the Green Book of Magic to try and disenchant Humpy. Placing the cloak over Humpy's shoulders, he recites the incantation Mombi had used, and which is noted in the book, but it does nothing. The group gather to discuss their adventures. Tora suggests that perhaps Humpy is not the king. They determine to try whomever fits the royal robe, and start with Sir Hokus. Again nothing happens. Then the Soldier with the Green Whiskers. Again nothing. Snip then gets the idea to try it on Tora, and doing the spell himself, Tora transforms back into Pastoria, the lost king, and Pajuka into his human form. Ozma and her father embrace, and Pastoria explains that even Lurline couldn't undo the spell Mombi had cast.
At the feast that follows, Pastoria abdicates to his daughter, and resolves to open a tailor ship in the Emerald City, with Humpy and Pajuka as helpers. Pastoria also invites Snip to join him, to which he joyfully agrees. After the royal procession, Ozma wonders what to do with Mombi, who is in the cellar, and Dorothy suggests putting her out with water. Ozma asks her father, who defers to her, and Ozma agrees, sending the Scarecrow and Sir Hokus to do the deed. They return with Mombi's shoes.
Catty Corners: There is no reason given as to why these particular cats should hate boys, unless they all come from past abuse situations. Oddly enough, they're all described as being the size of Snip. It also seems odd that Snip would find them "hateful" for eating goldfish when he appears to have had no problem with his people preparing to eat a talking goose. The in-universe retcon has to be that Snip was, indeed, shocked to discover a talking goose in Mombi's kitchen (as opposed to one from a goose-bush). Also, either the goldfish in Catty Corners, like the fish the Scooters eat, are plant-based "fish," or they're all breaking the law. There is also no word if Ozma had a talk with the Queen of Catty Corners later over her intended murder of Pajuka and Snip.
Contradictions and Discrepancies:
Blankenburg: As Tora comes to Blankenburg before Queen Vanetta discovers the water of invisibility, it would seem the town had an ironic name. More likely, however, they changed the original name of the town after they accepted their invisibility.
Money and stores: Again, Thompson introduces a kingdom that has a monetary-based economy, and yet claims that there are no stores in Oz! Kinda Jolly made a fortune in buttons, his wife in bouquets, and these are collected in coins. As note in The Cowardly Lion of Oz, it must to be assumed that the outlying kingdoms are allowed to continue using money for a time until Ozma gradually brings them into a non-monetary based system. That Thompson says there are no stores in Oz is odd for a country that uses money. Thompson wasn't the only one to make false generalizations; Baum did it as well with the "no horses in Oz," statement, or when he said that Toto was the first dog in Oz and Billina the first chicken (The Wonderful Wizard of Oz describes a dog, hen and rooster in the Emerald City).
Ozma's memory: Ozma claims she remembers the Morrow hunting lodge as "where we used to hide from Mombi when I was a little girl!" She shouldn't remember anything, since she was no more than a year old when the Wizard gave her into Mombi's hands. However, given that she's a fairy who remained an infant for 149 years in Oz, we can accept that she might have developed some memories in that time.
Eureka: Dorothy mentions having a white kitten, except that Eureka has been pink for some years now. Perhaps, the elements that turned her pink (the piglets and tixies) wore off, though if so, it seems she later becomes pink again (perhaps by choice this next time).
Courtiers: Though never mentioned before, it's stated that Ozma has 49 courtiers, 39 footmen, 37 handmen, twenty-six serving maids, ten cooks, and a "flock" of pages. Two of those courtiers are introduced in The Rundelstone of Oz.
Enchantment: As to when Mombi enchanted King Pastoria and Pajuka, recall that the Wicked Witches are still in power during this time, and that Mombi was essentially sent by them to get the king out of the way. She does this successfully. So then why do the Compass Witches not then come and take over Morrow (then the capital of Oz) and rule all of Oz. The answer must be because that's the time when the Wizard arrived in Oz. Oz was essentially saved by the arrival of Oscar Diggs. Now, an argument can be made that Mombi enchanted the king a few years earlier and that the only reason the witches didn't take over was because there was another threat to their power. This response falls to the "untold story" scenario, and while legitimate, it doesn't address the main issue. Unless the unknown threat to their power remained a threat for decades, there was nothing stopping the witches from taking over Oz. One could argue that the witches were fighting amongst themselves, but that seems like a stalling tactic that fails again to address the issue that when the Wizard arrives in Oz, Mombi is in the north, and the two East and West witches in their respective domains.
Execution and mischaracterizations: As Gehan (of the BCF Pumperdink forums) explains, "Dorothy states in 'Wizard of Oz' that she does NOT want to kill anyone, even for the sake of returning to Kansas. In fact, she gets shocked and terrified when the Good Witch of the North says that her HOUSE dropped on a Wicked Witch who held the Munchkins in bondage for years, and she actually apologizes. Yet in 'Cowardly Lion', she immediately throws a pail of water on Notta Bit More, thinking he's a witch thanks to his costume, and even in Lost King, she's the one who suggested that Mombi should be put out with a pail of water. Then Ozma states in The Emerald City of Oz that no one has a right to kill anyone no matter how evil they are, and yet in Cowardly Lion, she states that a wicked witch MUST be destroyed, and she doesn't stop ONCE to think about melting Mombi away. Both acts are very Un-Dorothyish and very Un-Ozma-ish." This very out-of-character, even cold-blooded execution of Mombi, as suggested by Dorothy, ordered by Ozma, and executed by Sir Hokus and the Scarecrow has since been retconned and explained in a Baum-consistent way in David Tai's sequel, "Executive Decisions" in Oziana #38. (As to who the Mombi is that was met in Bucketheads of Oz, see that entry.) Tai's explanation of events is, in fact, in keeping with Thompson herself, who states in The Hungry Tiger of Oz, that Ozma had "never hurt anyone in her whole gentle life..."
Hollywood and Trot: Dorothy is said to know of Hollywood from Trot, although Trot came to Oz two years too early (in 1908) to have known of it, though she may have discovered it in the Magic Picture (since she'd have been keeping an eye on her mother). Baum himself didn't move to Hollywood until 1910. Thompson incorrectly identifies Trot's home as San Francisco. San Diego is much closer to Baum's description. The Glass Cat of Oz postulates that it's Laguna Beach. Dorothy might have learned further about Hollywood from Baum himself, who she'd earlier befriended, met, and told her story to (in the Ozmapolitan 1904)
Kimbaloo: Despite her portrayal of the royalty of Kimbaloo as jolly and cozy, the fact that King Kinda Jolly and his wife have purchased a talking goose to eat demonstrates a villainy that Thompson overlooks. It also demonstrates that she picks and chooses from Baum what she wants to follow, and Oz as a vegetarian realm isn't one of them despite the fact that she notes in the story that "All beasts and birds in the Land of Oz converse." From an in-universe perspective, one would have to argue that the Kimbaloo royalty thought they were purchasing a "goose" from a Goose Tree, and not an actual goose. Or that Ozma later paid them an official visit to discuss these serious matters.
Lurline: After Pastoria was enchanted by Mombi, Lurline gave him enchanted ears, and likely put a spell on him so that the water of invisibility in Blankenburg didn't affect him. She appears to have chosen not to tell Ozma the whereabouts of her father when she met her in The Mysterious Chronicles of Oz and The Magic Carpet of Oz, possibly so that she'd grow into the leader she was meant to be without always deferring to her father. The time also allows Pastoria to find and fall in love with a trade that he prefers to ruling.
Mombi: The text in this book and The Marvelous Land of Oz appear to indicate that Mombi was a woman who learned magic. J.L. Bell, on the BCF Pumperdink forum, stated: "Toward the end of LAND, Glinda tells Mombi, 'I shall merely ask you to drink a powerful draught which will cause you to forget all the magic you have ever learned.' This implies that one becomes a witch by learning certain magic, and forgetting that magic makes one cease being a witch. As Mombi replies, 'Then I would become a helpless old woman!' Thompson reflects that in LOST KING when she states, 'Mombi had forgotten every witch word she had ever known' . Yet, in this story, Mombi drinks coffee, which certainly contains water, and does not melt—even though she fears when she's near the Inland Sea that she will melt. This seems to indicate that the gossip around Oz that water melts all witches may have informed Mombi's concern about water. Dorothy certainly thinks as much (see The Cowardly Lion of Oz), but witches like Coo-ee-oh demonstrate that that's not the case. As "Executive Decisions" shows, however, Mombi cannot have been melted with water and the upcoming short story, "The Gillikin Witches of Oz" further demonstrates why.
Morrow: Morrow is listed on the Haff & Martin map, though this location is only an old lodge used by the Royal Family. Morrow the capital is not located on the map, as it had been destroyed the East and West Witches shortly after the Wizard came. It was towards the center of Oz on the Winkie border.
The Scooters: This odd group claim their sails grow when they eat fish, and yet, as with Thompson's other contradictions in this area (where she insists upon changing Baum's conception of Oz), fish are noted, along with all animals, to be sapient beings in Glinda of Oz (page 146 and 224). So, perhaps there are underwater "fish" corals.
Wishing Pill: The Wizard identifies the Wishing Pill as Dr. Nikidik's, clarifying for many that the pills are the invention of Nikidik, and the powder of life is Dr Pipt's, confirming that the two are separate individuals. See the Appendices here for more details.
Wish Way: This is the second Wish Way that appears in Oz, and Dorothy discovered both. The one in this story is at the foot of the Maybe Mountains, and Dorothy recalls the time she was on the first one, which is west of Sun Top Mountain, by the Deadly Desert (from The Royal Book of Oz).
The Hungry Tiger of Oz
Note: Oz book 20 of the Famous Forty, Sovereign Sixty and Supreme Seventy-Five!
Story: In the kingdom of Rash in Ev, the tyrant and usurper Irasha (later called Irashi), the Pasha (king) of Rash, grows concerned that his prisons are filled up. His chief scribe, Ippty—whose hand has fingers made up of a pen, pencil, eraser, sealing wax and candle—recommends executing them as the "ancient countries" did, throwing them to wild beasts. As there are no animals in Rash, and Irashi is concerned about the beast turning on him, Ippty suggests bringing one of the civilized wild animals from Oz, specifically the Hungry Tiger. Fizzenpop, the Grand Vizier, objects to this plan, but they ignore him, and Ippty takes his magical hurry-cane to Oz.
The Hungry Tiger is at Betsy Bobbin's birthday party when Ippty shows up, and, in secret, seduces him with talk of being able to legally eat wicked criminals. Before he knows it, the Hungry Tiger is whisked off to Rash and deposited in the prison courtyard, where he regrets his rash actions, and now fears actually going hungry. By days' end, they throw in a prisoner, a singer who had annoyed the Pasha, but after hearing his sad song, the Hungry Tiger refuses to eat him, and instead finds a hidden cave underneath a tile where he hides him.
In Oz, Betsy hears someone hawking fruits and vegetables, and runs out to get strawberries for Ozma. She's shocked to discover that the peddler is a creature made from various vegetables, who calls himself Carter Green. He takes root if he stands around for too long, so Betsy and he walk and talk, but as she prepares to depart, a winding road, which they'd inadvertently walked on, picks them up and takes them far away to a sandy road. Betsy finds a package with sandals called Quick Sandals, which she gives to Carter Green so that he doesn't take root. But the sandals have a mind of their own, and with Betsy in tow, they're whisked across the quicksand and then across the Deadly Desert to a pink city and castle. Not trusting kings, Betsy warns Carter away, but he insist they make the best customers. Another person in the city warns him that the Pasha is in a foul mood, but Carter ignores him too. Irasha sends him away, but the Vegetable Man begins to root in the soil, enraging the Pasha who has him and Betsy thrown in prison to be eaten by the tiger.
Betsy and the Hungry Tiger reunite, and she introduces him to Carter Green. The guards soon throw another prisoner in, this time a barber who accidentally nicked the Pasha's face. Betsy assures him he's in no danger, and he explains the situation in Rasha. The real ruler is Asha, who retired to study radio in an unknown country. He is the brother of the current king, Irasha, who seized the throne, and hid his son, the Scarlet Prince, who is the rightful heir.
By nightfall, the Hungry Tiger hides them all in the cave underground where the singer is, but the guards come and bring a small package, a child. The Hungry Tiger roars furiously, and they depart, but he reassures the child that he's in no danger. Just then Fizzenpop, the Grand Vizier, throws himself into the prison in an attempt to offer himself up instead of the child, who is Prince Evered. The Tiger reassures him, and Fizzenpop explains that the only way out is to find the missing three magical rubies. Each ruby was embedded in the royal scepter until Irashi hid them. They protected the bearer from injury in the water, air and earth. The Hungry Tiger takes the boy underground, but when he doesn't come back, Fizzenpop explores and discovers that they're not there. Hatching a plan, he calls for the guards and informs them that the Hungry Tiger had magically escaped.
Having heard that the prince was alive, the barber had excitedly pounded on the walls, only to have it open into a sliding tunnel, which they all fell into. They land on goose down, followed by the Hungry Tiger and Prince Evered, who introduces himself as Reddy. With a square moon in the sky, they sleep, and awaken to read a sign that says "Down. No Uppers Allowed." They proceed towards the city, discussing the rubies when Carter pulls out a ruby he'd found in a potato. It has the signature R of Rash, and he gives it to Reddy, who is happy, and determined to find the other two.
Spotting the city of Down Town, the Hungry Tiger crashes through the gates, scaring the citizens, and into a restaurant where everyone flees. Betsy and the others join him in eating everything present until police come and throw a net over the thieves. The police bring them to a bank rooftop where the king, Dad, sits with the Queen, Fi Nance, reading his paper. The charges are listed, and the Queen demands instant payment on ninety-nine dollars and '68 cents, but everyone is astonished because she's made of money, her face and hair of gold, hands and feet of silver, and her dress made from paper currency. Also, they have no money, which makes the Queen irate. Dad suggests they earn some. Betsy is to become a cash girl, Reddy an office boy, the barber and singer will remain doing what they do, although the Queen thinks he sings like a jackass! The prisoners are brought to the center square, where stands the Indus Tree, from which everyone picks their business. The barber picks a new razor, while the singer picks a harp. As Carter finds a wheelbarrow, and Reddy a sword, the Hungry Tiger discovers a way out, a subway to Up Town. There is no train in the subway, just a passage they follow to a door marked Cave Inn.
At that, the cave dumps them down a dark passageway into the dominions of the Nomes. With his wizard's exspectacles, Kaliko sees the near future, and knows they're coming, so he sends Guph to invite them to lunch. Betsy hopes that Kaliko is still king, recalling that she'd been present at his coronation, and happily greets him, telling him of all their adventures. At the mention of the rubies, however, Carter sees Kaliko remove and hide a ring from his finger. After lunch, the party is escorted to their rooms, but Carter secretly listens and discovers Guph attempting to get Kaliko to steal the other ruby and kill the guests. Kaliko is reluctant, and they go off to consult the wizard. Once they've departed, Carter sneaks out and steals the ruby ring, along with the exspectacles. But putting them on, he sees Guph impaling Reddy on the head with a pickaxe. After accidentally breaking the glasses, he wakes the others and tells them of Kaliko's treachery. Kaliko had, in fact, withdrawn, and allowed Guph to do what he will. Guph attacks, slamming the pickaxe into Reddy's head, but with no damage. The other Nomes attack, but again the magic ruby protects Reddy and his friends, who fight back. The Hungry Tiger, with everyone on his back, runs through the tunnels and leaps over a cliff, which turns out to be a fire-fall.
Saved by the Rash Ruby, they emerge unscathed (except for Carter Green who lost his ears in the fire) in a farming country in Ev, where Carter picks a few "ears" of corn. They fail to heed a sign warning them to beware ants, which turn out to be gi-ants, one of whom scoops up the Hungry Tiger, thinking it's a kitten. Betsy, Reddy and Carter follow, but the giants enter Immense City, and the way is barred by a giant stone gate. When a giant pigeon takes Reddy, the Vegetable Man conceives of a desperate plan, but then the door opens.
Meanwhile, as Ozma goes looking for Betsy in the garden, a balloon-man, four times the size of an ordinary man, swoops down in iron boots, picks Ozma up, leaves the boots, and soars back into the sky, proud of himself for obtaining proof that people live below the clouds. The Airman is oblivious to Ozma's pleas, and after introducing himself as Atmos Fere, tells her the lecture and banquet alone will take years in the Cloud Country. Grievously, for she had "never hurt anyone in her whole gentle life," Ozma punctures him. Losing air, they begin to sink back down to the earth. Ozma weeps at what she'd done and admits it to Atmos, who forgives her. Just then, they're met by an iron worker named Rusty Ore, who has a bellows in his shop. After reproving him for abducting Ozma, he fixes Atmos up and makes him a pair of iron boots so that he can see more of Oz. They thank him and depart, crossing the Deadly Desert with the iron boots. But as a storm approaches, Ozma hurries him on, wishing there was a house nearby (forgetting she has the Wizard's wishing powder in her pocket, she causes a dog and his doghouse, to appear instead).
Reddy, meanwhile, escapes from the pigeon into the house of the giants whose daughter has the Hungry Tiger. Reddy makes his way into her playroom, and as she takes the tiger out to play, he plays for a bit with her toys before she returns. He follows them into her bedroom where the Hungry Tiger is demoralized by his experiences with the giant girl Elma. But Reddy discovers that the giants are frauds. When they take off their wigs, they shrink down (with the wigs) to normal size! Reddy then takes the wig and grows to giant size, and taking the Hungry Tiger with him, leaves Immense City, calling for Betsy and Carter. Betsy thinks a giant has come for her, but when he takes off his wig, she sees that it's Reddy, who explains everything that's happened.
As they head off for the Deadly Desert, the Hungry Tiger tells Reddy to use the wig to grow to giant size and look for a roast-beef bush. But he spots instead Ozma and Atmos Fere. They greet each other warmly and exchange stories. Everyone is fascinating by Atmos Fere, whose fascinated by everyone! When he hears about the missing ruby, he pulls out one which he got from a skylark near his airhome. It turns out to be the missing ruby.
The travelers head to Rash, where they storm the castle. With the protection of the three rubies, Irashi and Ippty can't harm them, but when their army attacks, Reddy puts on the wig and shoots up into giant-size, terrifying everyone. Fizzenpop shows up, and Reddy shrinks back down to explain what happened. Fizzenpop rings the bells and announces the return of the rightful prince and heir. Reddy ties up the usurpers. After dinner, Atmos departs with the usurpers to the skies, figuring to drop them off on a lonely island when his lecture is done in a decade or so. After goodbyes, Ozma wonders how they'll all cross the Deadly Desert now, but the Grand Vizier tells them about the hurry-canes. Reddy agrees to join them for a month, and gives Fizzenpop the wig to rule in the meantime. In five minutes, they're all in the Emerald City, and the celebrations and stories begin.
Airman: Atmos Fere comes from the Cloud Country, which appears to be above the clouds, as he's never been in a storm before. Yet, his air castle must be low enough in the atmosphere that a skylark is able to reach it. It may be that he can raise or lower his air castle (he has air current bushes that he tends). Atmos has a friend in the Moon (possibly Zeph, who he mentions earlier) that he visits. It's he who made him his first pair of iron boots, enabling him to land on earth to discover if it was inhabited. All Airmen have floating ribs. Atmos is engaged to an heiress.
Betsy Bobbin: This is Betsy's only starring role in a book, other than Greg Hunter's novella "Betsy Bobbin of Oz" (from Two Terrific Tales in Oz) and it's revealed that she hails from Oklahoma. Her familiarity with cities and subways, however, points to her having lived elsewhere. See "Dating" below for a discussion on Betsy's birth date.
Big Wigs: The fake giants of Immense City must have discovered it or taken it over from real giants who once lived there, as the trees, birds and homes are all giant-sized.
Carter Green: The Vegetable Man's transformation into a living vegetable person is highly suspect. He had been a Winkie farmer who sold his wares to the various royal families in Oz. Every night, however, he came home with unsold fresh vegetables. Not wanting them to be wasted, he ate them, and gradually became the Vegetable Man, and yet was still able to carry on his business (which he seems a bit obsessed about). There seems to be a large part of his story yet untold. In the Thompson play "A Day in Oz," it's revealed that Carter met Ozma at Glinda's a few days before coming to the Emerald City.
Coincidences and Rubies: "Regarding the story's dependence on numerous coincidences, Rich Morrissey, on the Pumperdink BCF forums, writes: "Though Thompson didn't specifically say so, she once or twice seems close to implying that the magic of the rubies themselves is at work to bring them back to their rightful owner. At least, that's the only reasonable explanation for what's otherwise one of the wildest collections of arbitrary coincidences I can recall in an Oz book... that Carter's ruby was responsible for the road and the sandals sending him in the direction of Rash, that it continued to lead Reddy and his party in the direction of the Nome King who had the second ruby, and that the one Atmos Fere had brought him to Earth not once but twice, right in the vicinity of Reddy and the other two." This assessment, which likens the Rash Rubies to the One Ring (only with that object's malevolence), goes a long way towards explaining the coincidences.
Dating: The story takes place over the course of six days. See the Day to Day Chronology for more details. According to Campbell & Terry's Masquerade in Oz, Betsy Bobbin's birthday occurs on Halloween, indicating that this story runs from the 10/31 to 11/5 (Guy Fawkes Day).
Hungry Tiger: The Hungry Tiger's secret desire to eat live people comes to the fore and is actually conquered in this book. That it wasn't entirely a whimsical notion, even with Baum, is indicated in the short story Baum wrote for The Little Wizard Stories, "The Cowardly Lion and Hungry Tiger of Oz."
Hurry-canes: This magical transportation device appears in its first in-universe chronological appearance in 1842's "Gone with the Hurry-Cane." According to The Tired Tailor of Oz, it was created by Jinnicky the Red Jinn of Ev.
Kaliko and Guph: While Kaliko's treachery can be laid at the door of General Guph's influence (recall that he was the warmongering influence who gathered the Erbs in The Emerald City of Oz), Kaliko's portrayal is closer to his ambivalent character in Rinkitink in Oz than that of earlier books. Whether or not Ozma addresses this treachery is not known, but this is the last appearance of Guph in the Sovereign Sixty. When the Nome Kingdom is again visited in The Wishing Horse of Oz, Kaliko's chamberlain is Shoofenwaller. Guph returns to usurp Kaliko's throne in The Red Jinn in Oz.
Ozma: Thompson finally returns Ozma to the way Baum wrote her, as someone who had "never hurt anyone in her whole gentle life." This points to her actions in the prior book (The Lost King of Oz) as appropriately retconned by the peaceful resolution depicted in Oziana 38's "Executive Decisions."
Wishes: J.L. Bell (on the Pumperdink BCF forums) notes that: "The Wizard was experimenting with Dr. Nikidik's wishing pills in The Lost King of Oz. In HUNGRY TIGER he's got his own 'new wishing powders' that he's 'anxious to try' [34-5], and one of them turns out to work for Ozma . Presumably he later packaged those powders in pill form, making "the Wizard's wishing pills" that figure in so many more of Thompson's books." In The Tired Tailor of Oz, it's noted that it takes the Wizard seven days to make a batch of these pills.
The Forgotten Forest of Oz
History: Adventures in Oz (where The Forgotten Forest of Oz was collected) is Book 54 in the Sovereign Sixty (and Supreme Seventy-Five)!
Story: In the Forest of Burzee, Queen Zurline holds court over the first trial of the wood nymphs ever held there. Summoning forth the wood nymph Nelanthe, Zurline asks her what the Law of the Forest is. She responds that it includes tending the trees, protecting them from fire or blade, and resisting the deadly advance of mortal civilization. Zurline then accuses her of breaking the law by allowing a mortal to kiss her three days earlier and hiding it from her. Despite the pleas of Nelanthe's friend Nebelle, Queen Zurline takes away Nelanthe's immortality and banishes her from Burzee.
Nelanthe runs in despair until she collapses in grief, where she's found by the King of the Trolls. When he hears what's happened to her, he's dismayed and offers to make her his queen so that she can live in luxury as befitting one so beautiful. With nowhere else to go, she accedes, and a few hours later marries the Troll King.
As the months pass, Nelanthe becomes bitter as she broods over Zurline's unjust treatment of her. As Queen of the Trolls, she summons a council and proposes waging war upon the Forest of Burzee. While acknowledging that they're natural enemies, the trolls fear they could never overcome their magic. But Nelanthe proposes a night attack with fire from their dragon allies in the lava pits below the volcano. The trolls see this as an opportunity to get the dragons under their power since they know they hate the wood nymphs as well.
By the next full moon, all is ready, but Nelanthe is having second thoughts. Torn by bitterness, she seeks a way to forget the past, and comes across a means in a book that discusses the properties of the Fountain of Oblivion.
Later that night, Toto hears something and wakes Dorothy. Checking the terrace, she's surprised to see a giant bat. Toto grabs the creature's harness, and in trying to get him back, Dorothy grabs on as well. The bat flies off with the pair of them attached. Returning from the castle of the Tin Woodman, the Scarecrow and Sawhorse see their friends attached to the giant bat and pursue them to the edge of the Deadly Desert and beyond! The Sawhorse reminds the terrified Scarecrow that they're made of wood and straw, not flesh, and can't be harmed by the Desert.
Nightshade, the giant bat, brings the Water of Oblivion to his mistress, the Queen of the Trolls. She suggests that his passengers should have been dropped over the Deadly Desert, but Dorothy tells her that Ozma would punish her if she did. Nelanthe brings them to her quarters, concerned only with the forgetfulness that the Water of Oblivion will grant her. Dorothy figures out what she's doing, and stops her, explaining that it's forbidden to drink. Angrily, she turns to strike Dorothy, but Toto bites her, revealing sap instead of blood in her veins. The troll guards arrive to escort their queen to the army.
Climbing up to the crater where the bat flew, the Sawhorse gets stuck when a boulder opens up. The Scarecrow goes beneath him to break his fall, but when the boulder shifts again, they become trapped underground. They follow a light which leads them to the troll castle, where they overhear the plans to destroy Burzee. The Scarecrow explores a vent and discovers his friends on another floor. Atop the Sawhorse, they burst in, startling the guards. Grabbing the Water of Oblivion, Dorothy, the Scarecrow and Toto ride off on the Sawhorse's back to warn Burzee of the imminent danger.
The dragons in the lava pits respond to the summons of the King of the Trolls, but a messenger comes to inform him the Queen's prisoners escaped. The King is furious at Nelanthe, knowing that Ozma could spoil the plans he's cultivated for years. He reveals to his wife that he was the mortal she kissed, disguised so as to lure her out and learn about Burzee's weaknesses. Realizing that he's the real reason for her banishment, she determines to stop him. As Dorothy has taken her Water of Oblivion, she hops on Nightshade and flies off after the Sawhorse, spotting him just as the Scarecrow and Toto fall off. Pursued, the Sawhorse attempts to jump a wide chasm separating Burzee from the lands outside, but Nightshade grabs him before he falls and carries him to the other side where they escape into the forest.
Nelanthe decides then that she must stop the army, and flies off to tell the dragons that the Troll King has deceived them and wants their domain for himself. The Troll King calls her a liar, and a blast of fire from one of the dragons silences them. But when Queen Zurline arrives with her army of wood nymphs, the dragons believe that Nelanthe was right and turn on the trolls, burning the army with fire.
Zurline thanks Dorothy and the Sawhorse, but Nightshade swoops in and Nelanthe grabs the Water of Oblivion. The nymphs command the trees to grab the fleeing bat. Nelanthe tells Nightshade to flee as she falls to the ground. The wood nymphs are shocked to see Nelanthe and even more upset to know she's dying. Nebelle pleads with Zurline to restore her immortally, but she's reluctant because of the law. But when Toto and the Sawhorse arrive with the news that it was her who turned back the army, Dorothy determines to give her the Water of Oblivion. Nelanthe refuses it, realizing she wants only her forest home. Zurline decides that she cannot abandon her to death regardless of the law, and restores her as an immortal Daughter of the Forest.
Burzee: Queen Zurline notes that this is the first trial in Burzee, but more accurately, it must be the first trial of a wood nymph in Burzee, as the fairies Nelebel, Faleero, and Falingo were tried in Burzee and punished by exile (see "Nelebel's Fairyland," The Purple Prince of Oz, "The Banishment of Faleero" and The Red Jinn in Oz). Burzee is shown to be surrounded, on the northeast side, by a wide chasm. This provides a means of protection from the lands outside. It is unknown if a similar chasm protects them on the west and/or south.
Dating: The narrative takes place over the course of months, though Dorothy's actions occur in the span of a night. As Dorothy has only a passing familiarity with Burzee, this story likely happens early on, perhaps a short time after The Magic Carpet of Oz, when Ozma first went to Burzee.
Deadly Desert: For the first time, it's shown that neither the Scarecrow nor the Sawhorse can be harmed by the Deadly Desert, as the Sawhorse points out that they're not made of flesh, and can't be overcome by the fumes or the burning sands.
Trolls: The troll nation was decimated by the dragons of the lava pits, who lived at the bottom of the volcano they both lived in, when the dragons came to believe they were deceived by the King of the Trolls (also presumably dead), who coveted their domain. Trolls are uncommon in and around Oz, and this very well may be the reason why. Shanower's initial conception of the trolls was a literal demonic race, but the occasional benevolent troll does pop his head from time to time in Oz, most notably Tekrouri from Bucketheads in Oz, who had been rejected by his tribe for being different. Whether his tribe hails from the same one as shown in this story, or another, is not known. The trolls, as depicted here, are much more akin to Nonestica's ogres and goblins, than the large, violent and dim-witted beings of the Old Norse and Scandinavian folk tales, or of even J.R.R. Tolkien's legendarium, which derives directly from these sources. In my estimation, they are a branch of the same tree that brought forth the ogres, orcs and goblins, which may be why they're noted as being the natural enemies of the wood nymphs and residents of Burzee. It is not known why the lava dragons would hold a similar antipathy. See "Betsy Bobbin in Yartralia" and "The Orange Ogres in Oz" for more information on ogres and goblins.
The Giant Horse of Oz
22nd book of the Famous Forty, Sovereign Sixty and Supreme Seventy-Five!
Story: In the Sapphire City, one of the five islands that make up the Ozure Isles, which is the capitol of the north Munchkin country, and secluded from the rest of Oz by the Munchkin Mountains, King Cheeriobed receives a dire message from Quiberon, the dragon/fear-fish that guards the Lost Lake of Orizon: Send a mortal maiden in three days or be destroyed. Quiberon had been sent by Mombi years earlier when she kidnapped the King's wife, and he has since eaten up all of the giant sea horses that the people once rode and made all 1007 Munchkins prisoners in their own island. Since then, everyone in Oz has forgotten their existence.
Each of the Islanders take turns serving Quiberon, and the last, Jewlia, had read him stories of Ozma and the three mortal maids that have befriended her. Cheeriobed is advised by his Soothsayer Akbad to pick the Golden Pear, reserved for the prince in times of danger, but the king refuses. His son Philador suggests letting him find a way out of the Ozure Isles to procure help from the Good Witch of the North, but Cheeriobed won't hear of it.
Philador then confides to his friends, the blue gulls, and they tell him to return later that evening. As his father and advisors discuss the problem, Philador sneaks out and is met by a giant blue gull, Mo-gull, who is king of all the land and sea birds. He agrees to take him to the Good Witch of the North. Akbad, meanwhile, makes his own plans, and takes the Golden Pear. This grants him magical wings, which he commands to take him to the Emerald City.
In Boston, shopkeeper Dan has repaired a suit he bought second-hand and puts it on for his niece's wedding. En route, he discovers a black book in the pocket, and reads aloud some of the strange words and phrases. At that, the statue of a public benefactor, which stands behind him, comes to life! Throwing the book into the bushes, he runs away at top speed. The statue begins looking for an umbrella. Procuring one, he inadvertently terrifies a woman. A mob soon gathers, throwing things at him. A truck runs into him, and firemen shoot water from their hoses at him. Pursued by the mob, he runs and accidentally falls down a deep hole that construction workers had accidentally blown into the ground.
The living statue lands in a field, where he is met by the Scarecrow, who begins to converse with him. The statue doesn't understand why people would treat his so respectfully when he wasn't alive, but attack him violently when he was. The Scarecrow tell him things are different in Oz, and names him Benny. He gets Benny to agree to accompany him to the Emerald City, where the Wizard will turn him into a "real person," which is what he longs to be. Their conversation is interrupted by a strange bird which seems to attack them. Running, they lose the bird, but bump into a miffed Trot. Trot is introduced to them, but after the Scarecrow tells Benny his story, Akbar—the strange bird that had earlier frightened them—arrives and abducts Trot, who he intends to bring to Quiberon. Benny and the Scarecrow grab and cling to him, and five hours later, Akbad deposits them before a cave on Lake Orizon in the Ozure Isles, where he explains the she must serve Quiberon and save the Islanders.
Quiberon arrives and tells Trot that she must polish his scales, comb his hair, sweep his cave, and tell him stories. Quiberon goes off to nap, warning them not to escape. Benny discovers an exit from the cave through a waterfall, but as they head through it, Quiberon discovers their departure and pursues them. The dragon gets stuck in the narrowing passage, as his quarry reaches Cave City. A sign proclaims that they need three rocks for admittance, but they can't locate any, so the Scarecrow determines that the secret is that they must rock with laughter. His seemingly doubtful plan works, and they're admitted into Cave City by a merman on crutches.
Returning to Sapphire City, Akbad is confronted by the king who wants to know where his son is. Thinking Quiberon must have eaten him, he lies and says that he delivered Prince Philador to Ozma in the Emerald City, where he took a mortal maiden for Quiberon. When asked why he didn't ask Ozma for help, he secretly reproaches himself for not doing that very thing, but lies and says that Ozma and the Wizard will shortly arrive and restore the lost Queen. Cheeriobed, however, can't abide the idea of the mortal maiden getting hurt, and travels to the dragon's cave with his men. Akbar attempts to fly to the Emerald City, but the wings will no longer take him beyond the shores of their land, nor will they even come off.
Philador, meanwhile, arrives at the hut of Tattypoo, the Good Witch of the North, but too late. After a conversation with her pet dragon Agnes, who had been inquiring about Tattypoo's past, the Good Witch of the North—who was unable to recall her own past—went to look at the Witch's Window in the attic, which is able to see into the past or future. But she and Agnes fall into it, leaving behind only their two-tailed cat.
Tattypoo's slate instructs the boy to go to the Emerald City, so after a meal and sleep, he begins to pack items and look for some magic he can take along. In so doing, he knocks over a bottle of potion, and out from it forms a man—Herby, the Medicine Man, whose been reconstructed with a medicine cabinet built into his chest. Herby explains that he had once been a standard pharmacologist until he realized that so few people got sick, and so he began collecting herbs to treat other maladies such as impatience, bad temper and rudeness. While collecting herbs, he met Mombi, who mistakenly thought he was stealing from her. She pushed him into his cauldron of cough medicine, liquefying and bottling him. After that, she kept him in her hut. Philador fills him on Mombi's history, letting him know that she'd since been defeated by Tattypoo (who took over Mombi's hut). To repay Phil for rescuing him, Herby agrees to accompany him to the Emerald City. He takes a jump rope and the witch's thinking cap, which gives him directions to the Emerald City.
They soon come to a river and figure out how to use the rope to cross; then they climb a mountain, where discover Joe King, a six-foot tall Uplander, who is taking a break from his kingly duties. Hearing Phil's story, he agrees to assist him and summons his horse, High Boy, a giant purple horse who can telescope his legs high or low, and whose tail is an umbrella. They escort Phil and Herby to Joe's castle in Up Town, where they meet Queen Hyacinth. Walking outside the castle when a storm comes up, Phil and Herby mistakenly put their umbrellas up, rather than down (which is how it works in Up Town), and are swept off the mountain, where they lose the Good Witch's thinking cap. High Boy manages to find them and agrees to take them to the Emerald City.
In Cave City, meanwhile, the merman introduces himself as Orpah, the former keeper of the sea horses, who were devoured by Quiberon when Mombi installed him in Lake Orizon 20 years ago. At that time, he tried to defend them, but was thrust into this cave by the dragon. The Cave Men who live in the cave, however, are Shadow People, living silhouettes from the cave wall, whose king dislikes physical bodies and tries to turn any intruders into shades like them. Orpah proves immune, but the others are summoned before the enormous shadow-king who orders Ozeerus to melt them down into shadows by the blue ray. Benny steps forth to become the first shadow, but the blue ray can't function on stone, and blows up, creating an escape route through the cave wall. Orpah gets Trot, while Benny carries the Scarecrow through the bottom of Lake Orizon to the surface. Orpah goes off to tell Cheeriobed the latest news, while Trot and the others agree to go back to the Emerald City to inform Ozma.
On their way, the encounter Roundabout Way, marked by a curving pathway. There the Scarecrow leads them into a giant dome, wherein they're tumbled round and round. The Round-abouties ask them to join as they revolve merrily around, but after dancing, circling and spinning through two concentric circles, they end up in the last circle, a Merry-Go-Round. Trot asks the ring leader to let them out, but when he refuses, she leads her friends to a door, and up a spiral staircase. From there, they slide atop Benny down the roof of the house, shooting over a forest, to freedom.
Benny and the Scarecrow discuss why people try to make others like themselves, while Trot tells of her adventures in Sky Island. Soon, however, they bump into High Boy, Philador and Herby. They all exchange stories, and decide to ride High Boy to the Emerald City together. Trot notes that she's been ten years old for years, just like Philador.
The party soon find themselves in Shutter Town, where the residents wear shutters over their faces. The Out Keeper runs off, warning the town of bandits and thieves, and advising the king to come down his chimney. The travelers cross the town and, taking some of Herby's energy pills to make it through the night, arrive at the Emerald City.
Meanwhile, Cheeriobed and Orpah reunite for the first time in 20 years, and exchange stories. When a boat arrives carrying a woman, they think it's Ozma, but it turns out to be Queen Orin. Quiberon arises behind her boat, yet before he can harm her, Akbad flies over and snatches her away. Quiberon follows and crashes repeatedly against the castle walls. At the Emerald City, the travelers meet Ozma, the Wizard and the rest of the celebrities, and inform them of what's transpired. Looking into her Magic Picture, Ozma sees what's going on at Cheeriobed's castle, and the Wizard uses one of his wishing pills to whisk everyone there. Instantly, with a black powder, he transforms Quiberon to a silver and bronze statue. Orin then comes forward to announce that she is the former Good Witch of the North.
Orin explains that 25 years ago, Cheeriobed arrived at the castle of her father, King Gil of Gilkenny, to ask for his daughter's hand in marriage. King Gil agreed, and preparations for the festivities began. Mombi happened upon Gilkenny and learned of the event to come. She'd unexpectedly fallen in love with Cheeriobed and transformed herself into a beautiful princess, promising him that if he married her, they would rule not only the Gillikin land, but that of the Munchkins as well, implicitly threatening to do away with his father. Cheeriobed refuses her, so Mombi resumed her natural shape and threatened to have vengeance.
That night, Cheeriobed's father, King of the Munchkins vanished. Orin and Cheeriobed married as planned and moved to the Ozure Isles to become rulers of the Munchkins. For three years they were content and safe, but then, two years after their son Philador was born, Mombi returned upon a giant black eagle and seized Orin, taking her to her hut in the mountains. There, she performed the spell that would turn Orin into an ugly old witch. At that, Orin forget who she was and how she became that way, and lived for months in the woods without home or shelter. Then, coming upon Mombi at some evil enchantment, she stopped her, and proved to be a better witch. Driving Mombi out of her hut and forest, she took possession of her hut, and at the behest of the Gillikins, became the Good Witch of the North, ruling as Tattypoo, until Agnes urged her to look out the Witches' Window, where she regained her memory and prior form (as did Agnes, who was her maid-in-waiting). She then headed back to the Ozure Isles.
As the stories come out, it's discovered that Akbad had not brought Philador to the Emerald City, but had been treacherous instead. Orin reminds Cheeriobed that he did save Orin, and they pardon him and dismiss him from court. The Wizard removes his heavy wings, and he is content to move into a cottage on the island.
After spending the night, Cheeriobed mentions how he wishes he had his seahorses back, so the Wizard secretly uses his wishing pills to restore them to life. The Wizard then uses his magic to move Quiberon to the mouth of the cave, and back to the Emerald City they all go.
After celebrating, Benny decides based on Trot and the Scarecrow's advice not to be transformed into a living man, but to stay as he is. Ozma invites him and Herby to live in the Emerald City, the latter as Court Physician. After more celebrations, the Wizard checks the Magic Picture for Cheeriobed's father, the former King of the Munchkins, but finding nothing, concludes he must have been destroyed. Ozma then makes Cheeriobed and Orin King and Queen of the Munchkins. His first act is to make Trot a Princess of the Ozure Isles, and the Scarecrow notes that she is now twice a princess. Ozma then appoints King Joe and Queen Hyacinth rulers of the North, and High Boy rushes off to tell them the good news. For ten days, Cheeriobed, Orin and Phil stay in the Emerald City before returning home.
Agnes: Thompson provides no explanation as to why Mombi enchanted Orin's maid-in-waiting into a dragon. On the BCF Pumperdink forum, J.L. Bell explains, "Thompson... simply says the amiable dragon walked into the witch's hut on the same day it changed hands from Mombi to Tattypoo . That coincidence may point to this explanation: Mombi, seeking revenge for her humiliation by Orin, flew to Gilkenny. There she sought out the maid she'd seen with Orin before her wedding and changed her into a monster. Finally, she used magic to send the resulting dragon back to her old cottage--Gilkenny doesn't seem to be near that home . Either Mombi was willing to enjoy a private revenge on her rival or she hoped the dragon would destroy Tattypoo. In any event, Agnes's essential goodness, like Orin's, foiled Mombi's plan. Alternatively, Mombi might have enchanted Agnes three years before while trying to gain information about Orin and Cheeriobed. Or Agnes may have been just one of many people Mombi enchanted during her career as a tyrannical witch. It would be a mighty coincidence indeed if Agnes happened to reunite with her old mistress on the very day of Mombi's defeat, but Thompson has relied on mightier coincidences."
Benny: Benny's descent to Oz through a large hole made by construction workers in Boston reveals either that Oz is under Boston, or, more likely, that Benny was guided to a magical portal, probably part of the spell the passerby had read that brought him to life. Benny is the third inanimate object to uncharacteristically and magically come to life from the outside world and come to Oz, the others include Bill the Weathercock (from Grampa in Oz) and Humpy the Dummy (from The Lost King of Oz). While Baum established that most magic doesn't work in the outside world, he also contrasted that with the times it does, such as in the animation of John Dough, and the magical powers displayed by the visitors from Queer Visitors from the Marvelous Land of Oz.
Dating: This story takes place in the month of May, over the course of 13 days (the first three of which comprise the story's action). See the Chronology of Oz for more details. The dating within this book can only make sense in light of The New Chronology. The narrative is explicitly dated two years after the events of The Lost King of Oz, and is placed in 1912 for the following reasons:
By the time the Wizard brings baby Ozma to Mombi, Mombi has already been deposed by Orin. Otherwise, Orin would've discovered Tip when she defeated Mombi and took over her cottage. In Jack Pumpkinhead of Oz, Jack says that Tip was with Mombi for about nine years when Tip was disenchanted back to Ozma. Thus, Mombi's defeat by Orin can happen no later than 1892, which is nine years before Ozma is disenchanted in 1901 (in The Marvelous Land in Oz). As these events occur 20 years prior to the events of The Giant Horse of Oz, this gives us a date for that story at 1912
Thompson notes that Mombi was "ruler in the north" during that time, which is 1892, up to the point when Orin defeated her. Yet she was not ruler when the Wizard arrived over twenty years earlier in 1871 (see "How the Wizard Came to Oz and What He Did There"). This indicates that Mombi was deposed TWICE, once by the former Good Witch of the North (Locasta) just prior to the Wizard's arrival 1871, and then again, after she regained her magic skills and took back rule of the North, by Orin in 1892.
Chronology of events in The Giant Horse of Oz
Orin's chronology is a bit misleading. She says that "25 years ago" Mombi first threatened them, and that this was when Cheeriobed's father disappeared. She then says that she and Cheeriobed married immediately, and that they had three years of peace. Afterwards, when Philador is two years old, Mombi returns and kidnaps her, but there is no indication as to when exactly Philador was born, except for what Orpah says. Orpah repeats that when Philador was two, Quiberon arrived and began eating the seahorses, at which he attempted to defend them and was thrust into a cave. He twice says that he's been in that cave for 20 years. That gives a date for Mombi and Quiberon's arrival in 1895. But why then does Orin say that she had only three years of peace and not four? It may be because the year that their son was born was one of anxiety about Mombi's revenge, and they were fearful that she would do something to their infant.
It's revealed in the forthcoming short "Tommy Kwikstep and the Magpie" (from The Lost Tales of Oz) that in fact Mombi had performed a switcheroo spell on Orin and Locasta, attempting to do away with the power of the latter while hiding the former. This spell backfired as Orin received Locasta's powers. When she was disenchanted, Locasta again received her powers, but chose to retire.
As regards Herby who says he's been, "shut up in that bottle for thirty years" , some readers have seen a problem with the fact that he knows about Ozma, her magic and the Magic Picture, events that occurred after he was bottled in 1901-2, and interpreted that as meaning he was off in his estimation. He does admit that after remembering "distinctly" being liquefied and bottled, he afterwards remembered nothing. The fact that he specifically states how long he'd been bottled may simply indicate that, offscreen, Philador told him about Ozma in connection with the events in the Ozure Isles, and very likely filled him in on the year, the Magic Picture and other commonly known events in Oz.
Geography and Topography: The Winkie country is described, accurately this time, as being in the west. Lake Orizon is, interestingly, a body of salt water.
The Good Witch of the North: In Jack Snow's The Magical Mimics in Oz (1942), a different Good Witch of the North appears who Snow was going to write a story about. This was likely Locasta. The truth about the Good Witches of the North will be revealed in an upcoming story.
Gulls: The Grand Mo-Gull, aside from being yet another pun, is described as being "The king of all the land and sea birds," a role that's generally given to the eagles. It's possible that what is meant is kingship over birds who traverse land and sea. The narrative features a discrepancy, as noted by J.L. Bell in the BCF Pumperdink forum: "The Ozurians have heard about Mombi's fall from power from the blue gulls . They even have books with pictures of Trot [26, 35] and the Scarecrow . But those same gulls haven't carried any complaints about Quiberon to Ozma or Tattypoo. And Philador, whom the birds regard as a friend worthy of help [31, 40], never thinks to ask them to." One explanation may be that the friendship with Philador and the gulls is recent. The birds also don't note their friendship with anyone else from the Ozure Isles, and if there is a history of hunting them, this may explain it.
High Boy: The titular giant purple horse with telescoping legs and umbrella tail appears again in the Oziana 1992 story, "A Christmas Tree for Dorothy." High Boy has another high horse similar to him in the Gillikin Country on Tip Top Mountain, in The Merry Mountaineer of Oz.
Magically Constructed: King Cheeriobed makes an odd statement that "We who are magically constructed can be destroyed without pain, but a mortal can be hurt." "Magically constructed" is another way of saying supernaturally created. Ozians don't die, but in every way, they act and behave as typical human beings. Cheeriobed's statement, however, indicates that at least as far as he believes, those at his council (since the Ozurians are described as the "race of Munchkins") weren't born, but made. Yet, they're not fairies, and don't correspond to any of the magical types that Baum discussed, nor even any group in fairy lore. This idea is repeated again by Thompson in Pirates in Oz, where she states regarding the Menankypoos that "it is impossible to hurt or destroy beings as magically constructed," and is reiterated by Ato on page 50 of Captain Salt in Oz, who says "We mayn't be killed, being of magical birth, but we can jolly well be singed, fried, boiled, and melted. And after that who'd care to be alive?" While this doesn't appear to harmonize with Baum's indication that Oz's inhabitants are deathless, but not indestructible, as he often used destruction as the single way someone in Oz can die, there may be a race of magically constructed/born human-like beings in Oz, whose rules differ for them. It's certainly possible that Cheeriobed misunderstood Lurline's enchantment and what that means for them. In The Lavender Bear of Oz, it's indicated that there are magically constructed babies in Merryland brought by storks to parts outside that realm (the Scarecrow believes it's the Outside World, but it very well may be Oz and other fairylands).
Munchkin King: The mystery surrounding Cheeriobed's missing father still hasn't been solved. The Wizard's assumption that because he couldn't find him in the Magic Picture means that Mombi destroyed him doesn't hold much water when one considers that several times enchanted characters have failed to show up in the Magic Picture, not least of which was Ozma's own father. There is another darker possibility that Cheeriobed allowed or conspired with Mombi to do away with his father so that he'd become King of the Ozure Isles in exchange for marrying Mombi, which may better explain Mombi's revenge upon him with Orin. This story will be told in the forthcoming Mombi of Oz. Cheeriobed's father's name is revealed in the forthcoming The Talking Animals of Oz as King Phillipos.
Orpah: The merman Orpah is clearly of a different race than the Sea Fairies, a fact that is brought out in The Royal Explorers of Oz trilogy, which notes that Orpah (and his descendents Arko and Orpa) are Pisceans from the line of the Sea Serpent Inko.
Ozurians: These number 1,007 and are described as a "tall fair-haired race of Munchkins."
Politics: This book ties up the political power of both the Munchkin and Gillikin countries, though there has been a lot of criticism of Ozma handing over the Gillikin country to a couple she hadn't even met in person at that point, particularly when Orin's father King Gil of Gilkenny seems the more likely candidate. On the BCF Pumperdink forum, J.L. Bell comments that: "the names Gil and Gilkenny seem to be connected to authority over the larger region. Perhaps Gilkenny at one point dominated the whole north. Perhaps Gil's family was simply making a claim for that authority. In any event, the Gilkenny dynasty seems like a better place to look for a ruler of the Gillikins. But perhaps these problems are actually related. If the Gilkenny dynasty has come down to Orin (and indeed she has governed the North as Tattypoo), that means there's a very real possibility of Philador having a claim to rule both Munchkinland and the Gillikins. That would be a power base to rival Ozma's. She might have moved quickly while she had Cheeriobed's gratitude, establishing another family as rulers of the North--a family whose isolation would make them little more than ceremonial monarchs. In sum, Ozma's unfathomable appointments may have been a savvy way of consolidating her power."
Gil of Gilkenny is apparently still alive, as J.L. Bell points out that the disenchanged Agnes: "immediately set off for my father's castle, to tell him the good news." Orin and Agnes seem confident that King Gil is probably still alive and ruling. That means they received no news to the contrary while the Good Witch of the North was overseeing the north. But we never hear more about Agnes or Gilkenny in this book.
Quiberon: Typical for Thompson
stories, the dragon/sea-serpent is demonized, despite not being
necessarily evil. On the BCF Pumperdink forum, J.L. Bell explains: "Though
Quiberon is rough, demanding, and violent, his function is clearly to
isolate the Ozurians, not to harm them. He lives on the fifth Ozure island
by himself. He doesn't destroy all he could. "Not caring for land food
Quiberon had never molested the keepers of his cavern" . He
doesn't eat Orpah when he seems to have been able to . He doesn't
sink the boat Orin arrives in [235-6], but rather seeks to abduct her to
keep as his groomer and storyteller for a few years.
Roundabout Way and Roundabout: There are some striking resemblances between the Round-abouties from this book and the Roundheads of Roundabout in Merry Go Round in Oz, and it seems likely that they are one in the same. Roundabout Way may represent a kind of recreation center or vacation spot for the otherwise hardworking Roundheads (who might also be called Round-abouties), who blow off steam by dancing around in circles. Nathan DeHoff notes on the BCF Pumperdink forum that Roundabout is " similar to the community of the Round-Abouties that Trot, Benny, and the Scarecrow visit in GIANT HORSE. Despite its idiosyncracies, however, Roundabout is a relatively realistic city with a fairly successful economy, while the Round-Abouties apparently don't do anything but dance around in circles (i.e., the McGraws' take on the "round" theme is more developed and realistic than Thompson's). I actually asked Eloise about the similarity at a Munchkin Convention, and she said she hadn't read GIANT HORSE before writing MERRY GO ROUND."
Witch's Window: This magical device, lost over the mountain pass near Uptown, never appears in a story again, surprising if in fact it can see into the past and foretell the future. There is also a question as to why Mombi didn't use it to see what was coming. One can probably conclude that the window isn't terribly reliable, or may reveal things that are so vague as to be useless. Nathan Mulac DeHoff, on the BCF Pumperdink forum notes that: "I would guess that the Witch's Window either shows very general information without specifics, or else visions out of context. Either way, it probably would not have supplied enough details to tell Mombi (or Tattypoo) exactly what was going to happen in the future."
The Merry Mountaineer of Oz
Story: The Awful Ogre of Ogodown: In the southern Munchkin Country, atop Mount Mudge, is a village of Mountaineers. The Mudgekin Jandy tends goats, but longs to get away and explore. But when his merchant father Jandar doesn't return, the chief Mudgkin Mooja determines that everyone should stay at home, and Jandy is sent to live with his cranky, taciturn uncle.
One day, while rescuing his reckless goat Butter-Boy, Jandy finds a bottle that reads Quok's Famous Flying Flask. He knows of the Quadling wizard Quok from his father's stories. When he uncorks the bottle, he finds himself hurtling through the sky at a terrifying pace. Realizing he needs to put the stopper back on, he descends in the Gillikin Country. He loses the bottle, but as proceeds into a beautiful forest, he accidentally steps on the tail of a skinny tabby named Fraidy Cat, who has run away from her cruel master who demanded that she catch and eat mice. Being frightened of them, she was looked down upon by him and the other farm animals. Jandy says she can accompany him to the Emerald City, where he's going to ask to be sent back home. There, she can meet the Cowardly Lion, whose famous timidity should surely encourage her. Fraidy loves the idea and they go along until they depart the forest and enter a valley with a giant castle, where a sign reads: "Ogodown". They plummet down the edge of the precipice into the valley where a cow tells them that it's called Ogodown for Ogwog who runs the village. Before they can depart a giant ogre with one red and one green eye snatches them up, throws them in his sack, and brings them to his castle.
The next morning, he informs Jandy that he is to assist the cook, while the cat can scratch his back. Jandy meets Koko the Cook, who tells him that Ogwog the Ogre has a magic Wish Word that he once got from a witch (a friendly witch, p 144) he saved from a Gunderzatch, which he uses to transform anyone who opposes him into bric-a-brac (the word also enchanted the edge of the valley so that it collapses when people go near it). The valley had been a happy place before the ogre arrived and stole the castle of Old Soochafoo the sorcerer, who went on to live in Zamagoochie in the north.
After Ogwog is fed his lunch, he demands something new for dessert, else he'll turn Koko into a cookie jar. The chef despairs because he's run out of recipes, but when Jandy goes to his room in the tower he discovers behind an old tapestry Soochafoo's old magic workshop. Though most of the books are in Sorcerish, he finds Soochafoo's Secret Recipe for Very Special Shortening Bread. Jandy and Koko spend the afternoon preparing it, but when the ogre eats it, he shrinks down to the size of a child, and they realize what was meant by shortening bread. Koko determines to leave before he returns to his normal size in seventy-seven minutes. He grabs a knap sack, while Jandy goes upstairs to pack and grab some items of Soochafoo's, including a picnic basket, looking-glass, small iron box, dinner bell, sack and envelope. Together with Fraidy Cat, they depart.
Stopping at the edge of valley, uncertain how they'll climb the cliffs, Koko inquires about the letter Jandy packed, and they discover it contains an all-purpose password, QWXTYZGL, which must be pronounced correctly. Koko does so, and they disappear.
Dorothy, meanwhile, is bored in the morning summer heat. With Ozma helping out the Munchkin King, Dorothy determines to go to Glinda's, who she hasn't visited in awhile, so the Cowardly Lion volunteers to take her. Several hours later, they stop to grab food from a Box Lunch Tree. Glinda, meanwhile, checks her Great Book of Records (as she does in the morning, at midday and at night) and notes only that a young giant girl from Big Top Mountain lost her wooden soldier that her father had made her when a boy giant flung it over the side. Dorothy and the Lion, meanwhile, discuss how despite his cowardice, the Lion's been in many dangerous adventures. He explains that when there's danger, there's no time to be afraid until the danger's past. Off the road, Dorothy spots a sign that warns to "Watch Out For the Wild Flowers!" Assuming it means to avoid stepping on them, she and the Lion enter the gate, where giant flowers grow in abundance. Suddenly, the wildflowers wake up and begin growling and baring their teeth/thorns at them; the Dandy Lions, Tiger Lilies and Snap Dragons all snap and snarl viciously. Departing quickly, the rush off to Glinda's.
High Times On Tip Top Mountain: Having successfully pronounced Soochoofoo's password, they end up out of the valley and in a forest looking for food when Koko notices that the picnic basket magically provides food. After a hearty meal, they wonder if the other items are magical, and as Jandy picks up the dinner bell, Ogwog catches up to them. After threatening to transform Koko and harm Fraidy, Jandy swings the Dumb Bell on his head, rendering the ogre speechless for seven months, seven days and seven hours. Unable to utter his Wish Word, the ogre departs.
Determining to use the sun to get to the Emerald City, the come to a sign outside the forest which offers travelers to take the High Way. They do, and the road races off with them on it until it reaches a mountain, at which point it starts to ascend to its top. They find themselves at Tip Top Mountain, where they're greeted by the Uppity Bob-Up, servant of her High and Mightiness, the Queen Upsy Daisy. He leaves them in the hands of the court jester Hi-Jinks, who leads them into the castle to meet the Grand Tip-Topper (whose in charge when the Queen's away). The majordomo proves to be pompous, but the Queen who suddenly arrives on her high horse (whose legs are three times longer than the average horse), proves far worse. After looking them over, the Queen of the Uppities summons her only daughter, Princess Tip Topsy, who upon seeing Koko declares him her dream man! Despite his desire to remain single, the wedding is set for the coming Tuesday.
Trying to figure out how they'll escape the castle before he's forced to marry the Princess, Fraidy Cat tells them to see if they have any magic that will help. Jandy pulls out a silver looking glass, which has an inscription promising to show the user exactly what he's looking for. Koko tries it and shows him dumping everything out of his knap sack and departing. He does as instructed and watches as the knap sack goes over the head of a guard, putting him to sleep. The Nap Sack was also Soochafoo's and has the power to put people and beasts to sleep for two hours. The mirror then shows them the way out, a door behind the queen's throne room. Jandy leads them there, where it goes out unto a ledge, below which is a steep mountain. Jandy spots a red umbrella, suspecting it may be their means off the mountain. Koko opens it, realizing then that it's Quok's Para Shoot, as it rockets them across the sky.
The Wooden Soldier of Oz: When Dorothy awakens for breakfast, Glinda is packing to prevent yet another conflict between the Hoppers and Horners. Telling her and the Lion to make themselves at home, she flies off on her forty-swan chariot, and the Lion suggests they read the Great Book of Records. Dorothy then reads briefly of the escape of Koko, Jandy and Fraidy Cat from Tip Top Mountain in the Gillikin Country to land at the foot of Big Top Mountain in the Quadling Country. Dorothy and the Lion had read the night before how the people of Ogowan were looking for Koko to make him their king now that the ogre was gone. Since it's not too far, the Lion suggests they go there and invite them to Glinda's.
After riding for some time, the Lion grows tired and Dorothy suggests they slow down. They avoid most of the villages and towns, but come to one called Cross Town. They soon discover that the short-tempered people, all of whom are short, dress oddly because they're sent from all over Oz due to their crossness. Dorothy likes the idea that all the grouchy, grumpy people are sent there so as to not disturb anyone else but others like them. Mr. Grumbler, the guardian of the gate, explains that because they can't agree, each person takes a turn ruling, and their current is Uncle Grouch who lives in the big house with his cat Sour Puss, housekeeper Miss Crotchety and Lord High Complainer, Mr. Grump. As they pass through the town to get out the other side, they're beset by the angry sounds of arguing and bitterly complaining. Once out, they take a shortcut through a cornfield to get to Big Top Mountain, but grow concerned by what sounds like fireworks.
As Jandy, Koko and Fraidy begin to scout out a place to sleep for the night, they come across a friendly wooden soldier caught in the brambles. He explains he lived with the eight-year old giant girl Blombolina on Big Top Mountain (where most of the giants in Oz live). Her father, the giant wizard Toddywoz, had carved and painted him and brought him to life with the Powder of Life, which he'd obtained many years ago by trading with the arguing brothers Nikidik and Pipt. Concerned about getting him out, they search Soochafoo's treasures, pulling out the Strong Box, which gives the person who sniffs its contents the strength of a giant for ten minutes. It works, and Jandy rescues Woody the wooden soldier, who leads his rescuers to a hammock tree for the night.
The next morning, they come across a small town in the midst of a cornfield, but are alarmed by the sound of small explosives, but they discover that the corn is popping into buttered popcorn. Yet what starts out amusing for Jandy becomes dangerous as the popcorn starts to cover them and Fraidy, and they rush to escape. Fraidy shrieks when he sees others in the field with them, but Jandy realizes that it's Dorothy and the Cowardly Lion. As she explains they'd read about them in Glinda's Book and came to meet them, popcorn begins to bury them, so Jandy takes a bag he finds in the basked and throws it into the air where it begins sucking up all of the popcorn, allowing them to escape the Pop Corn Field. The sack soon returns to Jandy, and he tells them it's Soochafoo's Guaranteed Bottomless Grab Bag.
They walk to a nearby cottage nestled under a shoe tree with a sign that says Handy Man, hoping they can wash up there. But when they enter, they're surprised to discover that Andy the Handy Man has eight arms! Andy provides them with food and bathrooms, while he washes and dries their clothes, grooms the two cats and repaints Woody. When he's finished he invites them to tell him of their adventures, which they do, while the Cowardly Lion encourages Fraidy. Andy then directs them in the direction of Glinda's, and advises them to take the Footbridge.
No Joy in Mudville: On the road, the party of six get to know each other, and Koko hopes that Jandy will come to live with him in Ogodown as a prince. The boy admits it would be hard to go back to Mudge after all the adventures he's had. They come to the village of Mudville. A Mud Guard escorts them through the town of mud-brick huts, to the Lord High Muckety-Muck, Muddle, who takes them to see her Mudgesty Queen Muddalinda. But first the Big Dipper must turn them into Mudmen by dunking them in the Mud Pits. The Lion objects, and the Queen overhears, explaining that it's healty and good for their complexion. Dorothy politely declines, and as they edge their way out of the town, Muddle summons more guards, so the party runs for it. Even Fraidy puts on a brave face, much to the Lion's delight. Once they escape, Koko and the Lion decide they're not entering any more strange towns.
The next morning, they come to a dark river, which Woody volunteers to test to see how deep it is. But when he tries, he bounces into the air, and they discover it's a Rubber River. Wondering how to cross a river made of liquid rubber, Koko suggests the para shoot, but Fraidy hisses and growls and protests so vehemently, he gives up the plan. Walking further along the river, they come to the Footbridge that Andy had suggested they use. A sign tells them it travelers north. They discover when they mount it, that it literally travels north—on six feet (which serve as its posts)—to the Emerald City, a gift to the Quadlings from the Wizard. They arrive just in time for an outdoor luncheon set by Ozma, with everyone eager to hear of their many adventures. Ozma disenchants all those that Ogwog had enchanted and removes the spell from the edge of the valley. Glinda, meanwhile, having made peace again between the Hoppers and Horners, joins her friends in the Emerald City. That night, Woody stays up with the other magical creatures who don't sleep. The next morning after breakfast, Ozma sends Jandy, Fraidy and Koko, the King-in-Waiting to Ogodown, which Dorothy and the Cowardly Lion look forward to visiting at some time.
Dating: Story takes place over the course of five days, Thursday to Monday, in July or August, though no explicit year is provided. The reaction of the Cowardly Lion, and later the rest of the court, to Andy the Handy Man suggests they've not yet met Handy Mandy, which would place it before Handy Mandy in Oz. Yet, as Grampa is mentioned, it's clearly after Grampa in Oz, which gives us a date-range. The Royal Timeline of Oz currently places it in 1913.
High Horse: The high horse of Queen Upsy Daisy of Tip Top Mountain, in the Gillikin Country, is a homage to High Boy, the purple horse who can telescope his legs high or low, and whose tail is an umbrella, from The Giant Horse of Oz.
Nikidik and Dr. Pipt: This story has the two rivals as twin brothers, who after arguing who really made the Powder of Life, split up and went their separate ways. This is, of course, the story Woody tells him, and should be considered highly suspect as he wasn't created when the event happened. For more information on these characters, see the Appendices.
The Sorcerer Soochafoo and Zamagoochie: Although not much is known of this Wizard, he was apparently good-natured and prolific in his Gillikin castle in Ogodown before the ogre came and drove him to Zamagoochie, where other sorcerers and magicians fled after Ozma came to power. Zamagoochie was first mentioned in The Gnome King of Oz.
Quok: Even less is known of this Quadling wizard, who Jandy's father Jander had met in his journeys. It is also unknown if there's any connection between the wizard and the country Quok.
QWXTYZGL: The sorcerer Soochafoo apparently created another hard-to-pronounce word, and likely based it on PYRZXGL (from The Magic of Oz), for his magical transportation spell.
The Gnome King of Oz
21st Oz book of the Famous Forty, Sovereign Sixty and Supreme Seventy-Five!
Story: In the Winkie Country of Patch, which produces different colored cotton to make patchwork quilts, Queen Cross Patch the Sixth literally goes to pieces, something that commonly happens to the Quilties of Patch. Since she will need to be kept in a scrap-bag for 10 or so years until she returns to life, the Prime Piecer and Chief Scrapper have to find a new ruler. As the queens work six times as hard as everyone else, the Quilties all go into hiding. Piecer and Scrapper take out the Royal Spool of Succession, which unwinds to the person next to take the throne. This time, however, the golden spool winds right out of Patch, where the pair have never gone.
They follow it far, ending up on the Wizard's hundred-footed footpath, which runs them directly to the Emerald City. There, the spool again unwinds and stops at the feet of Scraps, the Patchwork Girl. Piecer and Scrapper bag her, and take her back on the footpath, directing it back to Patch. As Ozma and Dorothy are discussing curtains for the palace, they don't notice anything amiss.
In Patch, Scraps is furious, but she's then told she's a queen and settles into her role. She soon discovers, however, that the queen does most of the work in the kingdom, and steadfastly refuses to work until Piecer and Scrapper tell her that the Scissor Bird will cut off her head if she refuses. Scraps complies until they leave. She then opens a chest to discover Grumpy a small brown bear, who was a companion of the last queen. As the two discuss plans to escape, someone approaches their door.
In Philadelphia, Peter's grandfather tells him to buy a balloon, but the balloonist sells Peter a magical balloon in the shape of the bird, which flies Peter away from Philadelphia to become a present to Queen Luna of Balloon Island. The bird explains that the balloon man is really Sandaroo, the Lord High Bouncer of Balloona, who chose Peter to be an airrend boy. When the bird explains that the queen intends to put a hole in Peter's back to blow him up, so that he too can float, Peter chooses to let go of the balloon-bird. He lands in the Nonestic Ocean, and swims to a nearby island.
Peter ends up on Ruggedo Island where he's confronted by the former Nome King, who has been exiled there for five years, and is in a bad mood. An unusual phenomenon at sea causes it to bottom-up, revealing a pirate ship, which Peter and Ruggedo board. After another "sea quake," the sea rights itself. Exhausted, Peter eats and sleeps. He and Ruggedo then go exploring and turn up a treasure chest, allowing Peter to have the gold coins. Peter finds the diary of Polacky the Plunderer whose ship (the Blunderoo) they're on. In it, Polacky discusses his capture of treasure from the islanders of Ashangabad, and the magical casket of Soob the Sorcerer that he stole. Searching the ship, Ruggedo finds Soob's magic box, and uncovers three items in it: the Flying Cloak of Invisibility, the Silence Stone, and the elevator plant bulbs, which Peter thinks are onions. Ruggedo takes the cloak from him, but fails to get it to work because it's torn.
They soon reach Ev, where Peter helps Ruggedo swim to shore. Once again in the Nome King's dominions, Ruggedo boasts of having powerful magic and forces Kaliko off the throne, appointing him to his old position of Royal Chamberlain. He makes Peter general. Summoning Potaroo, the Royal Wizard, Ruggedo orders him to mend the Flying Cloak. Potaroo tells him that Nome magic will not mend the cloak, and that only in Patch, in the Winkie country of Oz, can it be repaired. Determined to conquer Oz, they head to the Deadly Desert, where Ruggedo examines the other two magical items. After planting the magic bulbs, they sprout up giant stems, with leaves that fit Peter and Ruggedo. The plant grows, carrying the pair across the desert and into the Winkie country.
The pair head to a house where they're greeted by a hand and foot. The foot kicks Ruggedo away, while the hand brings Peter into the house to meet its owner Kuma Party, who warns him of the wicked nome. After allowing Ruggedo in, Kuma explains that he is the son of the wizard Wumbo who practiced magic in Zamagoochie in the Gillikin country, and has always had the ability to detach his body parts and send them to do his will since early childhood (a trait he credits to his father). Ruggedo asks for directions to Patch, and Kuma sends his hand to guide them.
Reaching Patch, the hand flies off (leaving a note in Peter's pocket), and they meet Piecer and Scrapper who escort them into Scraps' room. In exchange for mending the cloak, Ruggedo offers his "slave" Peter, and prepares to fly off to the Emerald City. Peter, however, tells the cloak to take him to Zamagoochie instead. After the nome is sent off, Peter tells his story to Scraps and Grumpy, and together they devise a plan for escape. Peter retrieves the note from Kuma, which tells him if he needs help to write the directions on paper and throw it into the air.
After preparing breakfast the next morning and sorting through old clothes, they come across the Sandman's Nap Sack, which they use to put the Scissor Bird to sleep. Using Kuma's note, they summon his hand, which armed with a club, leads Scraps, Peter and Grumpy out of Patch, before departing again. Peter asks Grumpy to come back with him to Philadelphia to be a mascot for his baseball team, but Grumpy declines his offer, claiming to be Scraps's bear, and noting that he couldn't be a person outside of Oz, just a bear.
Accidentally departing from the path, they descend down a slippery hillside made of soap and into a community of soap-people called Suds. They take the travelers to meet with the Sultan of Suds, who has them taken to the Sultan Shampoozle. He tries to figure out what kind of soap they are, but when they explain they're not, he insists on turning them into soap. They jump out a window and run past a sudsy lake, where they take a giant bar of soap, and use it as a boat to depart Suds.
They enter a wilderness called Bewilderness where the trees, rocks and bushes dance around them, tripping them up. They make their way to an Oztrich named Ozwold who says he'll take them to the Emerald City so long as they care of his egg. They come to a tall yellow wall, with a piano as a gate. Scraps plays it, allowing them entrance into Tune Town, where it's against the law to be out of tune. Residents cannot walk and talk, but must only sing and dance. Scraps sings a conversation to Queen Jazzma, who allows them to eat at their Viol Inn. There's nothing edible there, but a Tunester tells them to get out of Tune, they must get out of tune. So, they begin screaming discordantly, and find themselves magically out of Tune.
Finding a tree with cantaloupes (and umbrella attachments), they eat and tell Ozwold their story. Seeing their urgency, he races off in such a brisk pace that he runs over the Bookman, a man with the body of a book that contains all kinds of stories that he enjoys sharing with people. Peter, Grumpy and Scraps ask for various stories, but Ozwold, incensed that they would waste their time with Ozma in danger, carries them off, with Scraps inviting the Bookman to come to the Emerald City. Soon enough they find the road of yellow brick.
Meanwhile, in the luxurious Crystal Cave in Zamagoochie (in the Gillikin country), Wumbo the Wonder Worker casts an enchantment to speak to his footstool, clock and armchair, but the latter tells him that someone is sitting in him, at which Wumbo commands him to trap the intruder. Casting another spell, he makes visible Ruggedo. Ruggedo demands to be let go, but determining that he's a liar, Wumbo decides to hold him prisoner until he can find the spell to make him tell the truth. But Ruggedo knows his spell over him will only last four hours, and Wumbo falls asleep as that time passes, allowing Ruggedo to escape. When he awakens, his son Kuma's hand is at the door with a note explaining what had transpired. Wumbo writes back, telling Kuma to send his hand to the Emerald City with a note warning Ozma of Ruggedo's plot.
At the Emerald City, Dorothy and the Scarecrow plan a party for Ozma on her return from Glinda's, but the invisible Ruggedo plays tricks on them, as well as on the Cowardly Lion and Sir Hokus. As Ozma arrives, so does Kuma Party's hand, along with Ozwold, Scraps, Grumpy and Peter. Seeing the Oztrich's egg, Ruggedo leaves to hide in the Hungry Tiger's stall. Meanwhile Scraps tells her story and Ozma places the Magic Belt and other magical items underneath the egg. But after the egg hatches, Ruggedo grabs the belt! Peter uses his baseball skills to throw various things at Ruggedo, preventing him from commanding the Belt. Finally, he throws the Silence Stone, which renders the Nome unable to speak. Kuma's hand grabs him, while the Wizard casts a spell to make him visible.
After the party, Ozma offers to make Peter a prince, but he requests to go back to Philadelphia so that he can practice for the coming game. Ozma sends him back with bags of gold from Polacky's treasure chest. The Wizard, meanwhile, discovers a golden thread which leads to the seamstress Susan Smiggs, the real ruler of Patch, who is sent to become their queen, though Ozma promises to revise their laws so that she's not their slave. Kaliko is restored as Nome King, and Ruggedo who can't speak for seven years, is dipped in the Fountain of Oblivion (again.)
Ashangabad and the Treasure: Little is known of this country in the Nonestic other than that the pirate Polacky plundered its treasure, and that Soob the Sorcerer is from there. It is placed west of Boboland on the Haff/Martin map. It is also not known why Ozma doesn't return to them the treasure Polacky had stolen years ago. Oddly, she gives their gold to Peter implying it's real gold from the real world (as opposed to Oz gold, which Thompson implies is unreal). In Jack Pumpkinhead of Oz, however, it's discovered that some of the gold is actually magical, which contradicts the whole point. As J.L. Bell notes, perhaps Ozma merely means that they wouldn't make the journey (much as the Silver Shoes and Magic Belt wouldn't). Ashangabad is noted as having a monarch, and he appears at King Evardo's birthday, in The Tired Tailor of Oz.
Blunderoo: How Polacky the Plunderer's ship came to be shipwrecked is unknown. So too why the captain left his magical devices and treasures behind. There are no skeletons on the ship. It is also a puzzle how it can be seaworthy after rotting for years at the bottom of the sea. It is not filled with water, nor, apparently sports a leak, which despite the assertion that he was a "real" pirate, indicates some kind of magic at work.
Bookman: The Bookman may be from Bookville (The Hidden Valley of Oz), yet is much nicer than the residents who live there, which may explain why he is wandering about. He does not appear in another story.
Dating: The story takes place over the course of four days, likely in the summer since it is baseball season, after Peter has finished the fourth grade (5-B represents the first semester of the fifth grade, which he'd be going into and would, as children do, identify himself as in). See the Day-to-Day Chronology for more info. Ruggedo states that it's been five years since he was stranded and exiled at the end of Kabumpo in Oz, which The Royal Timeline of Oz has listed in 1910. Thompson's author's note would seem to make this event take place in 1926, but it's felt that much of Thompson's notes are best looked upon as exaggeration and poetic license. It may well be that Dorothy gave her the information via telegram after filling in the blanks with Glinda's Book of Records on events none of them would have known about (e.g., Wumbo).
Footpath: If the Wizard's magical foot-path travels 35 miles in under a minute, that means it's moving at 2100 miles-per-hour, which seems unlikely (given that anyone traversing at such a speed wouldn't last very long) and should be chalked up to hyperbole. The footpath appears again in The Magic Bowls of Oz.
Grumpy: The little bear Grumpy, although attaching himself to Scraps, does not appear in any other story. He makes a cameo in "The Hearts and Flowers of Oz," where he's shown to have befriended another bear that doesn't appear in any later Oz story, Snufferbux (from Ojo in Oz).
Location: Thompson again confuses the Oz map, placing the Winkie country in both the east and west (in chapter 10).
Nap Sack: This magical accoutrement of the Sandman's is either returned to him at some point, or kept with Ozma's magical items in the Emerald City.
Oz: Oz is here described as being oblong (like the maps), and is said to have 705 countries. The Emerald City is again said to have a population of 57,318, as in The Emerald City of Oz. To this Thompson adds "nearly a hundred celebrities," bringing this to a total of 57,417. The lack of population growth, even if attributed to people moving out (or joining the ranks of celebrities), underscores the fact that her stories must take place much closer to the time of Baum's than originally believed.
Oz Book: Peter notes having read an Oz book, though it's identity is not noted. Ruggedo wasn't in it (Peter identifies Nomes as "underground elves"), and he knows of Dorothy (whose living in Oz) and Ozma, but not Scraps.
Ozwold: The Oztrich Ozwold, his wife and newly-hatched child do not appear in any other story.
Patch: The kingdom of Patch first appeared in The Philadelphia Public Ledger, in January 1921, in the story "Land O'Patch," and deals with the exploits of King Cross Patch, who is the offspring of a fairy and a Witch.
Peter Brown: Oz's first main protagonist who is a boy from the outside world (as opposed to Zeb and Bob-up who were companions of other main protagonists) makes his first appearance here, and is nine years old, and a fan of baseball. He won't return to Oz for another five years until Jack Pumpkinhead of Oz. His final appearance will be in Pirates in Oz, which will give him the surname Brown, and which takes place either five years after this story, or two, depending on whether you go with the narrator's description of Ruggedo's five years of wandering, or Peter's own statement that he's 11 years old in that story (note: The Royal Timeline goes with the latter). David Godwin, on the BCF Pumperdink forum, notes that the newspaper in Philadelphia which Peter sees his grandfather reading, and which states "Philadelphia Boy Finds Treasure and Saves Oz," must have been a custom one he had made for Peter.
Ruggedo: Ruggedo cannot swim, and it's said that Nomes dislike water as much as cats.
Silence Stone: This sexist and abusive magical item was thrown by "the ancient Emperors of Oz to keep their wives quiet in times of war." The effect lasts seven years. As revealed in "The Search for Soob," it was the first magical creation of Soob the Sorcerer, who made it for an ancient emperor to silence his wife who had better ideas than he did. After his successor abused the stone to silence all opposing voices, Soob confiscated it and brought it to his home in Ashangabad, where it was later stolen by Polacky the Pirate.
Suds: Not much is known of this racist community of soap people and soap dwellings, other than that they're a kind of Arabic-styled country obsessed with cleanliness, and who own (black) tar-soap slaves.
Tune Town: The Royal Timeline of Oz postulates that Winkie community of Tune Town was initially established by the royals of the Scale Domain (such as the Clef Kingdom, which lies adjacent to it), both of which are from Ruth Plumly Thompson's short story "The Singing Monarch." Queen Jazzma is likely a relation to the King and Princess of that story, though whether a daughter, younger sister, or cousin of the king is not known. It is also postulated that Musicton (from the Invisible Inzi of Oz), located in the Munchkin Country, was similarly established by a prince, princess or noble from the Cleft Kingdom/Scale Domain.
Zazagooch: Noted as the loudest snoring animal in Oz; it may be related to a Gooch, which is an expression Kabumpo often uses, and is uttered by the King in "The Little Gingerbread Man" as being a kind of bird. Possibly, it has its origins in the Zamagoochie country.
Return to the Royal Timeline