THE ROYAL TIMELINE OF OZ

 

Oz Footnotes 7

 

 

 

 

Jack Pumpkinhead of Oz

 

23d book in the Famous Forty, Sovereign Sixty and Supreme Seventy-Five!

 

Story: Two years after he first came to Oz (in The Gnome King of Oz), Peter comes upon a gold coin he'd brought home from Oz, and ruminates on his adventures, wishing he could go back.  As the coin proves magical, his wish is granted, and he finds himself at the home of Jack Pumpkinhead.  After introducing themselves, Jack tells Peter his story and agrees to accompany him to the Emerald City.  Since Jack's new head is still green, they head in the wrong direction, and end up in Chimneyville in the Quadling Country.

 

There, the pair are harassed by smoke creatures who emerge out of the chimneys and form into a black cloud of soot.  Finding a candle in his coat pocket, Peter turns Jack into a jack o'lantern, enabling them to find their way out of the gloom of Soot City.

 

Heading north, they stop in at a Good Shop, but the only goodies available are good news, good advice, good ideas, good days, good nights, etc.  They're soon chased by a greedy Christmas tree who wants to take Jack's head.  The tree tosses ornaments at them, one of which Jack grabs as they escape into a cave.  It turns out to be the magical dinner bell of the Red Jinn.  When they ring it, a dinner slave brings Peter a meal.

 

Following the cave's passage, they come upon goblin lanterns and a spiked gate upon which are numerous frowning heads.  Beyond the gate is a city of cave dwellings lit by hundreds of goblin lanterns.  The Chief Scarer of Scare City approaches.  He is a 6 foot tall man with a face on both sides.  He warns them that if they don't pass the tests they'll be turned into Fraid Cats or "scared stiff."  With that, a horde of hideous beings with different colored faces and many noses rushes out from the rock-dwellings.  Along with them come the Fraid Cats which have a head on both sides of their bodies.  The king emerges.  He has a horn for a nose, a lion's mane, pig eyes and donkey ears.  King Harum Scarum the 7th frightens them with his words, and as the horde prepares to attack again, Jack rings the dinner bell, and Peter throws the food and tray.  This they repeat until the food runs out.  Peter then swings and tosses his pirate sack, which opens up and swallows the king and all of the inhabitants of Scare City.

 

Unable to find a way out, the pair meet a former prisoner, a griffin, who because he's lost his "grrr" now considers himself a philosophical Iffin.  Freed, he introduces himself as Snif, and says he's been imprisoned for five years (during which time he's forgot his original name).  He says he'll serve them for seven years.  Snif explains that the Fraid Cats and statues inside each cave represent someone who came to Scare but didn't escape.  He himself comes from the Land of the Barons, some of which are good, some who are bad, but who are always fighting.  Snif flies them out, and stops in the park of the Belfaygor of Bourne, who is one of the good barons.  They're met by the baron's mesmerizer, who runs off in anxiety.  They next meet the baron who explains that because of the mesmerizer, his red beard won't stop growing.  Also, he's upset because Mogodore of Baffleburg came and stole away with the princess, who Belfaygor was going to marry. 

 

The party agree to help, and Belfaygor accompanies the travelers atop the Iffin to the opposite side of the chasm from Mogodore's mountain.  Snif accidentally eats a shrinking violet and shrinks to the size of a cat, leaving them with no means of crossing.  Snif gets the idea of using Balfaygor's beard as a bridge, which they do.  But in the tunnel leading to Baffleburg, the tunnel tips, nearly plunging down a precipice.  Peter grabs hold of the ring of the door and secures their entrance, but then the towers along the wall tip down to shoot spears at them.  Belfaygor jumps into a tower window and lets down his beard for the others to climb up.  Reaching the castle, a horseman takes them to Mogodore.  They claim they're magicians, but Mogodore dismisses them as peddlers and has them scorned with the sauce box.

 

The night before, Mogodore had decidedagainst the wishes of his major domo Wagaragto conquer the Emerald City so as to impress the stolen princess Shirley Sunshine.  Belfaygor announces his arrival, but Mogodore's forces overpower and imprison them in the dungeon.  Snif, however, recovers from the effects of the shrinking violet and grows back to his normal size, bending the bars of the cell and effecting their escape. 

 

Following Belfaygor's beard they find and release him.  They soon discover Jack's head, along with a downward winding passage that Jack tells them leads to the Forbidden Flagon, which he'd overheard the guards discuss.  Convinced to retrieve it, they follow the passage to the hall of mirrors and then the room which contains the Fountain of Fire, within which lies the flagon.  Belfaygor uses his beard to tie up the guard while Peter uses another part to knock the flagon out of the fire fountain.  Returning, they put Jack's head back on his body, take the sauce box and head out on the Iffin for the Emerald City.

 

On the way, Jack tells Peter that Kuma Party lent Ozma his hand to help with the Hammerheads.  Then suddenly the Swingers of Swing City, a trapezist, grab Peter and the others out of the air, and swings them from one to another.  The sauce box, however, startles them and drop their captives into a net, from which they escape.   Soon enough they spot Mogodore and his army from the air, but when Peter attempts to open up the sack to swallow them, a gust of wind rips it from his hand, where it flies open upon all of them, except Jack who jumps off with the flagon just in time.  Unfortunately, Jack breaks his leg in the fall, and is unable to walk.  So, summoning the slave of the magic dinner bell, he grabs hold of him before he can disappear, and winds up transported to the palace of the Red Jinn of Ev.  Upon meeting Jack, the Jinn says he hasn't been so amused in 1,000 years.  He magically restores Jack's leg, but before he can help any further, Jack disappears.

 

In Oz, meanwhile, Ozma and her friends are playing in the palace gardens, and fail to notice the arrival of Mogodore, who with 500 soldiers takes the city, and with the other 500 storms the palace.  With Ozma and her companions tied up, Mogodore declares he will instead marry Ozma.  Mogodore goes off and returns with the Magic Belt, testing it on Scraps, who he transforms into a patchwork bird.  Scraps flies off to get help.  While they prepare the wedding feast, Bragga, captain of the guard, complains that there are no killings or hangings, but Mogodore assures him he can kill whoever he wants after the wedding.  As he's obsessed with the mystery of the forbidden flagon, Mogodore uses the Magic Belt to summon it to him, and with it comes Jack Pumpkinhead, who—first removing his head—tosses it on Mogodore, splattering it on his face.  The liquid causes him and all of his army to shrink to the size of brownies!  At that moment, Glinda, Scraps and the others from the garden arrive to discover what's happened.

 

Before Jack tells them what happened, he empties the magic sack, and out come the Scares and Fraid Cats.  Jack does it again, freeing Peter, Snif and Belfaygor.  Ozma uses the Belt to send the former back to Scare City.  Belfaygor is relieved to discover that his beard is gone, and introductions are made.  Jack tells everyone the whole story, explaining how the Jinn informed him that to avoid the curse of the flagon, he should first remove his head.  Afterwards, the group agrees to turn the festivities into a wedding feast for Belfaygor and Shirley Sunshine. 

 

The next day, as Peter prepares to return to Philadelphia, Snif decides to stay on in the palace.  Ozma and the Wizard put the magic sack and dinner bell with their other magical items, while the Wizard frees the enchanted Fraid Cats and statues from the spell of the Scares.  As regards Mogodore, Glinda explains that his people were actually Reddies, a kind of brownie from the south.  Because his great-grandfather Jair was so noble and helpful to a local wizard, he rewarded him and his people by making them human-sized.  So long as the red liquid remained in the flagon, they would remain that size.  Since their city had also shrunk, Ozma sends them back there.  Also, Peter is sent back home to tell of his adventures to his grandfather. 

 

Continuity notes:

Baron Belfaygor: After the Baron's marriage to Shirley Sunshine, they have a son named Giles whose adventures, along with his father's, are told in The Magic Cryptogram of Oz.

 

Carnival: As J.L. Bell points out in the BCF Pumperdink forum: "Much of the action in JACK PUMPKINHEAD seems to borrow from circuses and carnival rides, in fact. We have the haunted house of Scare City, the equestrians of Baffleburg, and the high-flying acrobatic Swingers.  In Mogodore's castle Peter must overcome not only the funhouse mirrors, but a tilting room that slides everybody to one side and an indoor labyrinth."

 

Chimney Villains: Not much is known of these smoke-like beings, which Thompson likens to "evil genii... who had long been imprisoned in magic bottles."

 

Dating: Internal evidence indicates this story takes place over the course of three days in the summer (Saturday to Monday) (chapter 6).  See the day-to-chronology for more details.   Peter Brown makes his second appearance here, noted in the first chapter as specifically two years after the events of The Gnome King of Oz (which the Royal Timeline dates in 1915), which would make him 11 years old, since he was nine years old in that book.  Herby the Medicine Man and Benny (from The Giant Horse of Oz) are said to have arrived "recently."  Peter returns again in Pirates in Oz.

 

Glinda: There is a question as to why Glinda does nothing to prevent or stop the battles between the barons, which take place in a mountainous region in her quadrant.  Neither does she stop the magic being openly practiced there, such as by the Chief Mesmerizer, who although Belfaygor describes him as "a good old man," is also "well versed in necromancy." 

 

Magic Sack: This history of the magic sack is never explained.  This sack is taken by Ozma and locked in her room of magical treasures.  Either this sack, or one very similar to it appears in the grasp of the White Wizard Wark, who uses it to kidnap Dr. Pipt and Margolette in "Unc Nunkie and the White King of Oz."

 

Mogodore: This is the first of Thompson's villains to attempt to conquer Oz.  Skamperoo, Wutz and Strut will follow (along with Ruggedo again in Pirates in Oz).  He and his town of Baffleburg turn out to have been actually enlarged reddies, a kind of brownie, who are reduced to their original size.  See Reddies below.

 

Red Jinn: This is Jinnicky's the Red Jinn of Ev's first written appearance, though he goes unnamed here, and his palace is not yet identified as being located in Ev.  Instead, it appears to be an exotic location: "green glass sea, whose waves broke with a melodious tinkle and crash on the beach... a gleaming stretch of glass splinters."  This is not the case when Thompson reintroduces the palace in The Purple Prince of Oz, and may indicate that a temporary spell created this effect.  This is also Ginger's first appearance and the first mention of the Jinricksha.  Jinnicky's origins under Glinda's tutelage are told in the Oziana 1977 story "Glinda and the Red Jinn."  The Red Jinn knows Ozma, the Wizard and most of the court, as indicated by his appearance at her birthday part in 1904 in The Crocheted Cat in Oz, yet he did not meet Jack Pumpkinead until this story because Jack was away on his adventures in Queer Visitors from the Marvelous Land of Oz at that time.

 

Red Jinn's Magic Umbrella: As to the Red Jinn's magic umbrella, there is some speculation that the origin of Button-Bright's Magic Umbrella traces to the Red Jinn, as J.L. Bell points out in the Pumperdink.org forum: "It's at least conceivable, therefore, that Jinnicky created the magic umbrella, and one of his Arabesque retainers took it on a trip to Europe or America, where he became one of Button-Bright's eight great-great-grandfathers. Then when the boy rode the umbrella back across the Nonestic, it came under Jinnicky's power once more, which is why he came to lose it."  The Magic Umbrella of Oz doesn't contradict this possibility, though the Ring of Time provides a new alternate origin, but one that's still based on an original unidentified origin, which may be this.  In either case, if this is Button-Bright's magic umbrella, it eventually ends up back in his home in Philadelphia, though this story had not yet been told, nor has the one the Red Jinn hints at when he says he can't lend it to Peter as he needs it himself.

 

Reddies: The back-story of Jair the Reddy, who gained the friendship of a wizard who transformed his people into human-sized (so long as the magic red liquid remained in its flagon), is told in the short story "Reddy and Willing: The Adventures of Jair," and is available exclusively here.

 

Scare City: Although the Wizard disenchants the Fraid Cats and statues, Ozma restores the Scares to their city, including, it seems, King Harum Scarum and the Chief Scarer, presumably without seeming to make provisions against their turning more people into Fraid Cats and statues.  It is possible that Ozma later spoke with them or placed a new king on the throne.

 

Snif the Iffin: A griffin whose lost his grrr.  This faithful companion who tells Peter he will serve him for seven years (which proves impossible as Peter leaves Oz again) was imprisoned for five years in Scare City, during which time he forgot his real name.  He hails from the Land of the Barons in the Quadling country.  His story continues in Phyllis Ann Karr's the short novella "Maybe the Miffin," where he meets the titular griffin.

 

Tip: According to Jack, Mombi raised Tip for "nearly nine years," (page 27) which, since Tip departed from Mombi and was disenchanted to Ozma in mid-to-late October of 1901, indicates that in 1892, Oscar Diggs the Wizard of Oz gave a one year old baby Ozma into the hands of Mombi for safekeeping from the East and West Wicked Witches.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pirates in Oz

 

Oz book 25 of the Famous Forty, Sovereign Sixty and Supreme Seventy-Five!

 

Story: Five years after being hit with the Silence Stone, Ruggedo wanders Ev a mute peddler.  Heading to the Kingdom of Rinkitink, he stops off in the kingdom of Menankypoo, where he reads a sign on the castle door seeking a "dumb king."  The Menankypoos also do not speak, though their foreheads light up with words and sentences (a kind of organic texting).  Ruggedo explains to Kapoose (the Major Dumbo) that he is a dumb king and will take the job.  As their last king has "fallen into the sea," they test Ruggedo with three dumb tests to ensure that he cannot speak, act or think.  Feigning stupidity, Ruggedo passes and is made king.  The courtiers feel confident that he won't make wars and will allow them the peace and quiet they wish for. 

 

This silent kingdom (for even the animals can't speak) makes Ruggedo lonely and bored, yet when he suggests conquering other countries, the courtiers suggest that he should walk with them along the sea (hinting at what happened to their last king), so he drops the subject and takes to walking along the seashore by himself. 

 

One day, he finds the cave of Kadj the Conqueror, and marvels at all the magical treasures, albeit locked up, within.  However, when he opens a trapdoor marked "cure for everything," a blunted axe falls, knocking him into cave's green pond and restoring his voice!  Thrilled he can speak again, but anxious that he can't find a way out of the sealed cave, he discovers a ticking sound behind a wall and opens it to discover Clocker, a being with a wooden head and face of a clock, but dressed like a Menankypoo.  A bird comes out of Clocker's head and leaves a note with Ruggedo explaining that he's known as the Wise Man of Menankypoo and was banished for putting ideas into the head of the last king.  He speaks in this manner every 15 minutes, and advises Ruggedo to hold his tongue as the courtiers will drown him if they discover he can now speak or that he knows of Clocker.  The Wise Man tells Ruggedo to leave with Kadj's Es-Cape cape through the burning fireplace. 

 

As he returns to his kingdom, Ruggedo sees a pirate ship land, and hides.  Thirty pirates emerge from the ship, round up all 600 of the island's population and throw them into the sea.  Ruggedo returns to the cave to tell Clocker what has transpired.   Clocker formulates a plan to flatter and deceive the pirates into helping them conquer Oz and the Nome Kingdom, after which they'll destroy the pirates and rule in their stead.  Ruggedo and Clocker approach the two co-ruling pirates, Peggo the Red and Binx the Bad, claiming to be wizards, and claiming to require their assistance in their plot to conquer Oz.  The pirates are impressed by Clockwork Man and agree to help, but secretly plan to destroy Ruggedo and Clocker afterwards.

 

Meanwhile, on the Octagon Isle, King Ato and his companion, Roger the Read Bird—a parrot-like bird with the head of a duck and fan tail, who reads aloud books for the story-loving king—are interrupted by 80 men of the island who loudly announce that they're leaving the king and his island because he's made no new laws, voyages, discoveries or conquests.  Followed by the women and children, they take all of the crops and treasures and depart on Ato's ship the Octopus

 

Following this event, Ato and Roger are accosted by the pirate captain Samuel Salt, who arrives demanding treasure and men.  When Ato explains how the island was just then deserted, Samuel confesses that he too had just been abandoned by his pirate crew due to being too softhearted.  Peggo the Red and Binx the Bad had taken his ship the Sea Lion, leaving him on the Crescent Moon to find a new crew and supplies. 

 

While searching for food, the three new friends discover a boy, Peter Brown, who shows them a mysterious flask he'd found when he washed up onshore after having been blown off his grandfather's friend's yacht during a hurricane off the coast of Cape Hatteras (North Carolina).  The flask reads "Do Not Open."  He explains that he's been to Oz before, which Salt knows of but has never visited.  The pirate agrees to drop him off on the coast of Ev, so that he can find his way there.  But as Peter whips up pancakes for everyone, Salt announces that Peter will be his cabin boy, Ato his cook, and Roger his lookout, much to everyone's excitement as they prepare for the journey.

 

En route, preparing to be "rough, bluff and relentless," they come upon an island ruled by the King and Queen of Shell City, the Konk and Quink.  The people, Shellbacks, are shelled like turtles, and speak an odd tongue, as well as the common Ozish.  Inviting the crew to a repast, they are shocked and angry when none of them eat any of the courses of shells they prepare, and threaten to arrest them when they discover they don't intend to grow shells.  To arouse his captain's anger, Roger drops a book on Salt's head, and his bluster causes him to knock the Shellbacks on their back where they're helpless.  At that, the pirates knock over all of the shellbacks in a similar manner, and head into the pantry to grab the food they were preparing to throw away, as well as pearls, books and supplies they find.  Salt leaves behind gold and jewels to pay for them.

 

Meanwhile, Ruggedo is furious that the pirates don't respect or listen to him, so Clocker retrieves from the wizard's cave the Hardy-Hood which prevents the wearer from any injury, and the Standing Stick (created by the witch Cinderbutton) which makes its victims unable to move.  After putting the pirates in their place, another ship comes into view, the Sea Lion, with the former residents of Octagon.  Its two captains, Sevenandone and Sixandtwo, greet Ruggedo, explaining that they left their sleepy king in search of a conqueror and warrior.  Ruggedo informs them they've come to the right place, and offers them homes in Menankypoo in exchange for fighting in the impending war on Oz.

 

The crew of the Crescent Moon, meanwhile, embarks on the island Nowhere, where live the Nobodies who have no bodies and answer no to most questions.  Hungry and angered by their belligerence, the sailors head to the Other Side of Nowhere, where they find berries and wild duck eggs.  Ato discovers stuck in a tree a talking bananny goat, who he rescues.  The goat offers him bananas which grow from the top of her head.  Thrilled, he brings the goat with him aboard the ship and calls her Breakfast. 

 

But by morning, the ship is filled with bananas, and Salt and the crew rush to throw them overboard before the ship sinks.  Breakfast is forced to keep her head out of the porthole, and Peter comforts her, telling her that they'll find an island to put her on.  But they instead run across a giant castle boat, so Peter fires off a cannon-ball, which Salt fears will hurt someone, but which causes the ship to surrender. 

 

Once onboard, Peter threatens the owner, Godorkas, the Duke of Dork, who offers them jewels and gold so long as they leave his ship.  Salt isn't happy about the situation, but Ato insists they need supplies.  Peter passes on taking any treasure and explores the ship, convinced it runs on modern electronics.  Hearing a banging, he unlocks a cupboard, and out pops Pigasus, a flying pig, the gift of the Red Jinn to Godorkas.  Whoever rides him speaks in verse, as Peter discovers.  He then shows him to Ato and Roger.  Captain Salt, meanwhile, has traded Breakfast for the items they've taken, and the Duke, who finds it hard to get bananas, tells Peter to take Pigasus as well.

 

The Crescent Moon heads north to alight on Snow Island, where they see a North Pole cat (a polar bear) upon an island of snow.  But disembarking, Peter, Salt, Ato and Pigasus sink through the snow nearly into the Nonestic, and one by one crawl out wet and frozen, where they head back to the ship and warm up with coffee.  Heading south they come to a steep and craggy mountain, called Mount Up, and anchor for the night. 

 

The next day, they decide to head to Ev, but with no wind, they're stuck.  So, Peter, Pigasus and Roger fly up to the top of the mountain and spot a summit wherein they discover a people made of water called the Cascadians.  They find an eagle's egg with writing on it, warning "Do Not Break," but Peter thinks he should break if he feels like it.  He accidentally drops the egg causing an explosion.  A giant ogre's head emerges from the rubble below, demanding to know who broke the egg.  Peter confesses, and the ogre thanks him for removing the enchantment that had kept him prisoner for 500 years.  Og, the Ogre of Ogowan (from King Kojo) explains that the witch who lives nearby shut him in the mountain to stop his snoring.  To thank Peter, he agrees to blow hard to get their ship moving, and they end up at the coast of Menankypoo, where they discover the Sea Lion and Octopus, and learn from a tied-up Peggo and Binx about Ruggedo and Clocker's plans for Oz.  Peter rides Pigasus to the Emerald City to warn them, while Samuel heads about his ship to think what to do.  Coming across the mysterious flask Peter found, Samuel opens it to discover that it raises the ship and begins flying to the Emerald City.

 

At the Emerald City, Peter and Pigasus see Ruggedo in the throne room, but as they enter, they too get caught in the spell of the Standing Stick, rendering them immobile, save to speak.  As the wooden cuckoo bird flies out of Clocker's head, Pigasus swallows him, rendering the Cuckoo Clock Man inert and the pig sick in the stomach.  Ruggedo demands to know where the rest of the magic treasures are, and when Ozma refuses to tell him, he transforms the Scarecrow into a bale of hay, Scraps into rag bag, the Cowardly Lion into an iron dog, and the Iffin into a china cat. 

 

The Crescent Moon, meanwhile, overshoots the Emerald City.  So Roger gets the idea to turn the ship around and slowly replace the cork when they arrive at their destination, a plan that works when Salt grabs Ruggedo, making him drop the Stick, and Roger removes the Magic Belt from him.  Peter introduces their rescuers and Ozma uses the Magic Belt to transform Ruggedo into a stone water jug.  Removing the cuckoo bird from Pigasus' stomach, Clocker comes back to life and makes a run for it. 

 

Ozma disenchants her friends and everyone listens to Peter and Salt's story.  She learns from the pirates left to guard the gates that Ruggedo had transformed the remaining pirate and Octagon Islanders into cobblestones.  After disenchanting them, Sixentwo begs Ato to forgive them for their conquering ambition.  Ato does, but informs them that from now on, he will travel with Captain Salt aboard the Crescent Moon six months out of the year.  Samuel is thrilled, but Ozma then decrees that he give up piracy to become the Royal Discoverer and Explorer of Oz, to "take possession of new countries and set the flag of Oz on far islands and mountain tops."

 

At the party that follows, Clocker is summoned and given to the Wizard to "replace his bad works with good ones."  Ozma saves the magic items, except the Hardy-hood, which she gives to Roger.  The Menankypoos are brought back out of the sea, along with their former king.  Salt asks to see his former pirates, and the Magic Picture reveals them sailing aboard the Sea Lion, so Samuel decides to seek out new crewmates. Ozma secretly transforms his former crew into seagulls so that they can remain at sea, but no longer trouble anyone.  Peter again asks to go home, and Ozma tells him to bring his grandfather the next time, sending him home with the pearls he found in Shell City.

 

Continuity notes:

Animal Cruelty: As is common in Thompson titles, there is a disregard for the lives of sentient animals, many who are quite close, species-wise to the books' protagonist counterparts.  J.L. Bell notes that "Duck in all its forms seems especially popular on the CRESCENT MOON.  Ato muses, "I'd rather have a roast duck, or an omelet" [ch 8]. Salt soon shoots two drakes, as Neill illustrates [ch 9]. The captain later looks for "duck eggs" [ch 11], and refers to his old pirate deputies as "trussed up like fowls on market day" [ch 16].  (In addition, Peter is unconscionably careless with the egg on Cascadia Island, which breaks with the very eggy smell of "brimstone" or sulfur [ch 15].)  Even more remarkable, the men make all those comments in front of Roger, who's rather ducky himself. Perhaps Roger sees himself as unlike those other types of birds, the way we humans see ourselves as unlike other mammals.  Still, it seems a bit heartless to make a bird read a recipe that begins, "First you take two eggs..." [ch 8].  But that's nothing to how Ato greets Pigasus: "He'll make splendid sandwiches." Peter insists, "Oh, no, he's not that kind of pig." So what sets Pigasus apart?  The power of speech isn't what saves him from the cleaver. Rather, it's his power to make others speak in verse [ch 13]."  This isn't quite reconciled, but in The Royal Explorers of Oz, the crew (and Roger) are much more sensitive and only eat meat that grows on trees and eggs that grow on plants.  This would indicate that either the characters became more concerned about their fellow neighbors in Nonestica, or that Thompson's account is inaccurate.  Given the general sensitivity with which these characters are shown to have, and the world that Baum establishes, the latter may be the more sensible conclusion.

 

Bananny Goat: This talking goat that produces copious bananas from his head claims to be the only one in existence.  Ruth Berman, in the Pumperdink forum notes that "Her ecology must take some heavy-duty magic, as she is nourished by the skins of her own bananas. Considering his heavy appetite, and considering that Bilbil isn't around in goat-form anymore, I wonder if Rinkitink might have acquired her later from the Dork. That would explain how he can be glimpsed a-goatback in Lucky Bucky in Oz."
 

Captain Salt: This is the first appearance of Samuel Salt, the kindly pirate who becomes an explorer and loves to collect specimens.  He will go on to appear in his own book Captain Salt in Oz, as well as Shipwrecked in Oz and The Royal Explorers of Oz trilogy.

 

Clocker, the Cuckoo Clock Man and Wise Man of Menankypoo: The origins of this clock-faced character, who is a kind of cyborg (as he's part flesh) are never stated, save that he gave the last king of the Menankypoos bad ideas and was exiled.  Nor does he appear again in story despite that the Wizard was to "replace his bad works with good ones" so that he'd live in the Emerald City.  His relationship with the wizard Kadj the Conqueror is also unknown, though it's possible that Kadj had constructed him.

 

Colonialism and Imperialism: Ozma's decree to Captain Salt to "take possession of new countries and set the flag of Oz on far islands and mountain tops" is essentially (and unfortunately) a model of colonialism, which is not only out of character for Ozma, but runs contrary to the major themes that Baum established for Oz, though it reflects well the conservative mindset of author Ruth Plumly Thompson.  The Royal Explorers of Oz trilogy has all but Samuel regard this as repugnant, but doesn't otherwise reconcile why Ozma would have made such a statement.  It is most likely that Ozma intended this to be understood in the most altruistic (if admittedly naive) manner possible, to spread the immortality and happiness of Oz to the countries and islands in the Nonestic, which is what happens as the deathlessness of Oz spreads.  In this way, Ozma is actually fulfilling what Lurline started so many years ago.

 

Dating: Internal evidence indicates this story takes place in the summer (chapter 9) over the course of eight days.  See the Day to Day Chronology for more info.  There is internal contradictory evidence as to what year this book takes place, as the author notes in chapter 1 that Ruggedo had been wandering voiceless since Peter hit him with the Silence Stone (at the end of The Gnome King of Oz) "five years" earlier.  That would seem to establish the date at five years after The Gnome King of Oz (which the Royal Timeline has at 1915).  But in chapter 7, Peter himself states that he's only 11 years old.  If this book was dated in 1920, according to information given in chapter 1, however, he should actually be 14 since he was nine at the time of The Gnome King of Oz.  But if his stated age of 11 is to be taken at face value, it means that Ruggedo has been wandering two or three years at most, not five (which would make it an authorial exaggeration or error as it is the author and not character who states that), and that Pirates in Oz takes place shortly after Jack Pumpkinhead of Oz.  The Royal Timeline of Oz goes with the latter character statement rather than the one made by the author, and places this book in 1917 after Jack Pumpkinhead of Oz.

 

Discrepancy: As J.L. Bell notes in the BCF Pumperdink forum: "Thompson doesn't show us how Ruggedo's army got to the Emerald City (well, she says Clocker supplied a "way-word" for crossing the Desert, but implies the army marched the rest of the way, which would have been quite a feat on the feet). She's even more vague about how Clocker made himself and the Nome King invisible. And as for what happened to that magic by the time Peter arrived, she doesn't even acknowledge the question."

 

Es-Cape: As per The Tired Tailor of Oz, the magic Es-Cape was created by Jinnicky the Red Jinn of Ev.

 

Kadj the Conqueror: A wizard of Menankypoo whose cave Ruggedo discovers.  Clocker, aka the Cuckoo Clock Man has been kept in his cave since being banished when the last king was put into the sea.  Kadj's daughter is Cinderbutton the Witch, who invented (among other things) the magical Standing Stick.  Cinderbutton makes an appearance in Umbrella Island in Oz.

 

King Ato and Roger the Read Bird: This is the first appearance of the kindly King Ato the Eighth of the Octagon Isle and his loyal companion Roger the Read Bird.  Ato will become a regular cook and companion to Captain Salt aboard the ship the Crescent Moon, as Roger will be its lookout, and both will appear again in Captain Salt in Oz, as well as Shipwrecked in Oz and The Royal Explorers of Oz trilogy.  Ato is said to be a thousand years old.

 

Imagi-Nation: This is the first occurrence of this term used by Thompson in an Oz book, and is contrasted against a "real country."  Chapter 18.  As King Ato is the one to say it, and he's known to read a lot (via Roger), it may be that he read the term in a book.  His consternation includes the fear that if they reach a "real country," "no one will believe in us at all."  This accords with the idea Thompson adds that "it is impossible to hurt or destroy beings as magically constructed" (chapter 4), an idea that was first spoken in The Giant Horse of Oz (see the note "Magically constructed") regarding the Munchkin royalty in the Ozure Isles.  This idea contradicts Baum's, which expressly states that although Oz is deathless, beings can be destroyed.  As Nathan points out, in countries outside Oz, "Evoldo, Gos, and Cor all presumably died in the ocean."  Thompson seems to regard all the (human) residents of Nonestica as some kind of fairies, but this is, again, not how Baum envisioned them.  On the other hand, she notes in chapter 2 that "in fairy countries, sovereigns are not destroyed or killed by such simple accidents," implying that perhaps more complex accidents might kill or destroy them.  Thompson seems to have been seeing through a glass darkly in several matters.

 

Og: The Ogre of Oh-Go-Wan (Ogowan) later appears in Thompson's King Kojo comic strips (and book).  First introduced here as Og (likely named after the giant Amorite king of Bashan in the book of Deuteronomy), he has been awakened by Peter Brown from a 500 year enchantment, and is charitable towards Peter and the crew of the Crescent Moon, who he successfully blows to the coast of Menankypoo, their chosen destination.  He is considerably more ogre-ish in King Kojo.

 

Peter Brown: Following The Gnome King of Oz and Jack Pumpkinhead of Oz, this book marks the final adventure of Peter (who gets his surname Brown here) in Oz.  Once again, his main priority is getting back home to play baseball, and we learn that he goes to school at Philadelphia's Blaine School.  While he has a softer side, he's characterized as belligerent and anxious to fight and employ violence.  J.L. Bell notes that "He fires a cannon at Godorkas's castle boat without orders; Thompson first says this shot was 'across the enemy's bow,' but the 'gaping hole' in the castle wall show Peter aimed INTO the enemy's bow [ch 12, 13]. And he plans to fire those guns again [ch 14]."  Given this, it is a surprise that Ozma later wants to make him a prince, but it's possible she was unaware of these details.  It may explain why Peter ultimately does not become a permanent resident of Oz.  His only later appearance is in the short story "The Two Peters (Oziana 1987), in which he's an old man reading Pirates in Oz to his namesake grandson. (Note: There is yet an undiscovered manuscript by Henry Blossom called Peter Brown.  See The Lost Books of Oz for more details).

 

Pigasus: This flying pig, upon whose back the rider spouts poetry, reappears in several stories, and has a starring role in The Wishing Horse of Oz.  As J.L. Bell notes in the Pumperdink forum, "The Pigasus of WISHING HORSE also has a power that is not mentioned in PIRATES: the ability to read the minds of his riders.  Why Thompson later decided to give the pig this power, of which there is no hint at all in the text of PIRATES," is unknown.  Nathan M. Dehoff notes in the same forum that "the magic that lets Pigasus transform words into verse must have involved some kind of direct connection to thoughts, and Pigasus could just as well be conscious of the connection." 

 

Pigusus' origins: J.L. Bell adds that "Pigasus doesn't seem to remember his origin or a life before being winged, which implies he was either formed as he is or transformed very young.  (Most enchanted creatures in Oz preserve some memory of their earlier state.)  I can imagine Jinnicky insisting that he'd do something only 'when pigs fly,' and then changing his mind and creating Pigasus to justify himself."  In The Wishing Horse of Oz, Bitty describes Pigasus as a creation of Jinnicky.  On page 53 of The Tired Tailor of Oz, the narrator says that Pigasus was "born and raised" in Jinnicky's castle, indicating that Pigasus started off life in the Red Jinn's keep, either born as a winged pig, or magically winged by Jinnicky at a young age.   The amusing short "Vice Versa" (Oziana 2002) explores what happens when the doggerel-spouting Patchwork Girl rides the poetry-producing Pigasus.

 

Ruggedo: Chapter 2 notes that Ruggedo has existed for a 1,000 years and can see in the dark (chapter 3).  At the end of this story, he's turned into a stone water jug with his face on it.  Nathan Mulac Dehoff notes that "The former Nome King is also selling sunglasses, but there is no mention as to where he got them.  I suppose he either made them himself or stole them, but this is not explained in the text."

 

Talking Beasts: While there are no talking animals in Menankypoo, Ruggedo notes that he misses the talking beasts of Oz and Ev.  However, when Dorothy first came to Ev (in Ozma of Oz), there appeared to be no talking beasts there, save for Billina.  This may reveal that talking animals across most of Nonestica is a relatively recent phenomena.

 

Untold event: In the 19th chapter, the Scarecrow explains that at the time Ruggedo and Clocker attacked, "Ozma and her councilors were... choosing a ruler for a new kingdom in the Gillikin country."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Yellow Knight of Oz

 

24th book of the Famous Forty, Sovereign Sixty and Supreme Seventy-Five!

 

Story: When Sir Hokus of Pokes decides to go on an adventure, everyone in Oz wants to participate, much to the annoyance of Hokus who decides to sneak off discreetly.  Heading into the Winkie country, where he thinks he might learn more of his lost history, he meets a night owl who tells him to mind his own business.  He's then accosted by Getsom and Gotsom, two mud guards of Queen Marcia of Marshland.  Hokus fells them with his sword and axe (though he reasons they'll regain their senses in a few hours), and then begins to attack the child-sized frog-goblins which try to pull him into the bog.  As a giant turtle approaches, however, they flee.  Hokus prepares to attack him as well, but the turtle introduces himself as Ploppa, and thinking him to be some kind of turtle-man, invites Hokus to ride upon him through the marsh.  Hokus agrees and they pass by marshlanders and stick-in-the-muds. 

 

The Queen's mudguards arrive and accost Hokus upon Ploppa's back and drag him off to meet the hideous Queen Marcia and her sister Mira, the Marchioness of Muckengoo.  The queen has vowed to marry and make a king of the first stranger to enter her domain, having lost the last one who disappeared.  Brought to an apartment to await the impending wedding, Hokus sees Ploppa out the window, but the turtle tells him to be patient.  Queen Marcia bursts in the room, but at the Knight's refusal to marry her, she begins pummeling him.  Hokus hears Ploppa's whistle and jumps out the window.  The turtle had been destroying all the stilts so that no one can pursue them through the marsh. 

 

Ploppa invites Hokus to stay with him in the swamp, but Hokus cannot as he craves adventure.  Ploppa cries, but Hokus invites Ploppa to join him, but he cannot as he needs mud.  So, Hokus says farewell, promising to visit anon.

 

Meanwhile, in Samandra, in the north part of the Winkie country, the Sultan of Samandra inquires whether his Grand Vizier Tuzzle has found the missing camel.  Over the last ten years, neither he, nor Chinda the Chief Prophet and Seer have been successful in locating him.  Chinda chides the Sultan, who 500 years ago conquered Corumbia and Corabia, for obsessing over a mere camel, and informs him that through his magic telescope he just discovered the camel is in the Emerald City.  The Sultan promotes him to Magician Extraordinary and Grand Bozzywoz, and commands Tuzzle to board the Royal Sampan—with numerous slaves and treasures for Ozma—and sail down the Winkie River to the Emerald City to bring back his camel.  The Sultan confides to his Pekinese Confido, the Imperial Puppy (who cannot speak, as true of all animals in Samandra), that it is not really the camel that he's after, but what's in the saddlesacks that was lost with the camel in a sandstorm a decade ago.

 

Arriving at the Emerald City, Tuzzle introduces himself to Ozma and explains his mission, but when they go to ask the Comfortable Camel if he wishes to return to his old master, he is nowhere to be found, and the Scarecrow assumes they are obtaining supplies for their adventure.  Tuzzle declines to wait, however, choosing to return back up the Winkie River to consult the Sultan.  Ozma goes to check the Magic Picture, but it's missing, so the Wizard decides he needs to finish perfecting his new searchlight.

 

On Long Island, meanwhile, ten-year old Speedy (Bill) and his Uncle Billy are preparing a rocket ship to go to Mars.  But as Uncle Billy ignites the flying torpedo from without, he fails to enter it in time, and the rocket goes flying off into space with Speedy alone.  Turning the wheel, the torpedo instead flies down into the earth, plummeting into the field behind Speedy's house and downward into the earth through rock strata, molten lava, and an oily sea with "phosphorescent fish and terrifying monsters."  After that, the ship hits a rock, knocking Speedy out. 

 

When he awakens, he finds himself in Subterranea, surrounded by a crowd of thin, greyish beings with metallic clothing and tall headdresses.  His words echo loud like thunder and he's warned to speak softly.  The crowd bows in obeisance when, astride a giant earthworm, comes the Shah bearing a scowling mask.  His headman Rhomba announces the Shah, noting his 10 year reign, and queries the "upperdweller" about the hole in the sky.  Speedy explains his story in detail, causing the Shah to change his mask twice, from blank surprise to boredom, after which he departs.  Rhomba tells Speedy that he can stay if he fixes the hole and works on the realm's defenses, and if not, he'll be thrown to the fire fish of Lava Lake.  Speedy protests that he can't even reach the hole, but this falls on deaf ears. 

 

Another Subterranean, Zunda, befriends Speedy, who figures his uncle will organize a search party to retrieve him.  Zunda offers him a tour of Subterranea and worms to eat, but Speedy declines the latter.  Zunda takes him to the dark Underwood, but warns him that no one ventures past Lava Lake, as the Groper lives there, a blind dragon with excellent hearing.  Speedy gets out his flashlight, anxious to explore.  All the undergrounders dive for cover when it rains sunbeams, but it cheers Speedy.  This soon changes when he hears the growl of a Groper, and he rushes into one of the caves. 

 

Inside the cave, he trips on a fallen gold statue of a princess.  When he raises the statue, it comes to life and speaks to him.  Peter identifies her from the name on her dress as Princess Marygolden, but she doesn't seem to know much else.  The Groper reappears and the two run to safety.  Speedy decides not to expose her to any further danger, and thinks the Shah might be pleased at his discovery and explain to them how she winded up there, but when the Shah arrives he puts on masks of ferocity, a lion, tiger and goblin, and Speedy runs off with Marygolden to his rocketship, and the furious underdwellers attack.  Speedy uses the parashuter, hoping it will lead them out of the hole in the sky, which it does, but then the ship departs from the original tunnel to dig its own way through the earth rock and sand.

 

Sir Hokus, meanwhile, unwittingly falls asleep under a Serpent Tree, and awakens to find himself wrapped in their coils.  Singing a heroic song, he lulls them into a hypnotic state, which allows him to escape just in time to meet up with Camy, the Comfortable Camel, who'd been searching for him since he left the Emerald City.  After traveling together awhile, Hokus goes to sleep again, but this time the field itself comes to life and starts flying across the country. 

 

The Flying Field eventually deposits them in front of a dilapidated golden castle.  Three statues blow trumpets as they enter, but searching the castle and forest reveal no sign of anyone.  Even the animals cannot speak.  Hungry, he digs through Camy's sacks and finds figs and old dates, which he devours.  Throwing a date seed at some laughing crows upon a strange vine, the vine disenchants into a jester!  The jester remembers little besides his name Peter Pun, but he wishes to accompany Hokus on whatever quest he's on.  Hokus first searches for the other date seeds, but failing in this, he leads them to the bank of a river. 

 

There, the Grand Vizier Tuzzle is approaching on a slave-rowed ship, and spotting Camy, throws a rope around his neck and hauls him away after the ship.  Because of his weighty armor, Hokus is unable to stop him, so he attempts to follow by going around the course of the river, but is just too slow to keep up.  Camy then recalls his past days in Samandra, but he cannot cry out in protest as he finds he can no longer speak.  Resolving to escape the first chance he gets, he allows himself to be brought before the Sultan.  The Sultan is at first overjoyed, but he soon grows enraged when he discovers that the hidden dates are gone.  Approaching Chinda with the news that it was the package the camel was carrying that he wanted, Chinda looks through the magic telescope and tells him that he'll find part of what he seeks in the middle of the night.

 

Speedy and Marygolden, meanwhile, burst through the crust of the earth, and find themselves surrounded by twelve thin, silver-clad, silver hooded Quix, who dance and proclaim him their king.  After their former king left them, their Book of Stars predicted that a young man would come from underground who's quick to fight, run and lose his temper, and whose name means Swift.  As Speedy matches this description, the Chief Counselor Hurreewurree pronounces him king of the Quix, but to be crowned he must first catch the castle, which like all the buildings of Quick City, move around. 

 

As they reach the castle, Speedy notices something more disturbing.  Hurreewurree and all twelve of those who found him begin growing old at a rapid rate.  But then, just as suddenly, they began growing young again, and then start growing old again.  After Speedy is crowned, the very same thing begins happening to him!  He tells Marygolden to remove his crown the moment he's the same age (he doesn't want to be too old to miss "the fun of college").  She does and he stops aging and de-aging, and they escape Quick City to a forest where nothing shoots up and down.

 

Speedy throws a rock at a chestnut, which when it falls down grows to immense side, and then bursts open to reveal a chestnut steed.  To Speedy's astonishment, the horse, Stampedro, introduces himself and says he belongs to the Yellow Knight, but owes a debt of gratitude to Speedy for disenchanting him.  Speedy asks him to take them to the United States, but when the horse discovers that it's a place where horses don't talk and are ordered about like slaves, he declines, suggesting instead to find the Yellow Knight who can help point them the way home.  Speedy and Marygolden mount him and ride off until Stampedro sees a basket floating down the river filled with food, which the young people eat.  Written on the basket is the name Samandra, which Stampedro remembers as the only country in Oz where the animals don't speak, and that it lies near the home of the Yellow Knight.  Just then Hokus comes into view, and Speedy wonders aloud if it's the Yellow Knight.  Stampedro dejectedly says no, for his master was young and hale in gold armor, not old and thin in silver.

 

The adventurers share their stories, as Hokus notes that the stone Speedy threw had the same disenchanting effect as the date he'd thrown, and Peter Pun remembers that Stampedro belongs to the son of the king of the golden castle, who is the Yellow Knight.  Although the horse can no longer speak now that they're in Samandra, he begins to recall more as well.  Speedy agrees to see their quest through, and figures out that whoever stole Camy knew about the magical dates, which Hokus now realizes must have been with the camel when he discovered him ten years earlier.  So, upon Stampedro's back, the four head to rescue Camy, bursting into the Sultan's palace to demand his return.  The Sultan figures out that Chinda's prophecy was true, as one date was in the "middle of the knight," and calls his spearman who surround them, but Speedy abducts his dog Confido, while Stampedro jumps out a window. 

 

Speedy finds his way up a spiral staircase to Chinda's room and peeks into the magic telescope just as he wonders where the dates are.  The magic tunnel show him they're in the forest he'd just left in a squirrel's nest in a hollow tree.  Escaping with a rope down the window, Speedy meets back up with Marygolden, Peter Pun and Stampedro.  Although Hokus is still in the castle, Speedy convinces Stampedro to bring him back to the forest to retrieve the dates.  Once he has them, the group realize they must touch an enchanted person with them.  The only problem is they can't search the forest forever.  Speedy tells them that's why he brought Confido, as the little dog knows all of the Sultan's secrets.  The Pekinese won't talk, though, until Marygolden promises to be his master and feed him chicken hearts, at which point he whispers to her the secret.

 

Planting the date seed, they await the arrival of the palm tree that will bring forth all six of the enchanted dates.  Impatiently, Speedy waits atop the mound, which shoots up like a tall oak, carrying him with it.  Suddenly, Hokus and Camy arrive, and the tree begins to shrink back into the ground as Peter Pun has gathered all the dates.  Confido tells him to eat the smallest date and bury the red seed.  Speedy does so, revealing the forest itself disenchanting as trees and bushes become knights and maidens, until the king and queen of Corumbia themselves joyfully reunite and look for their son the Yellow Knight.  They head triumphantly to the castle, but are sad to see it in ruins with no sign of their son.  Confido tells the king to eat the smallest date and throw the seed into the fire.  At that, the castle is restored to how it was five hundred years ago.  But the Yellow Knight cannot be disenchanted till morning when the queen must eat the last seed and throw it from the highest tower.  So, they have a grand feast and go to sleep.

 

When the time comes at last, the queen throws the date seed out the window, revealing that her son, Corum the Yellow Knight of Corumbia, is Sir Hokus.  No longer an old man, Corum is restored to his youthful self in golden armor.  As he and a joyful Stampedro recall that their last quest was to win the hand of a neighboring princess, off they go! 

 

Camy tells Speedy and Marygolden that they should follow, and they find him again in Corabia, which is as dilapidated as Corumbia had been.  Camy scolds him, but the former Hokus doesn't seem to remember who they are.  Confido tells them that Corabia was similarly enchanted, only not as trees and bushes, but as fishes and frogs.  Speedy then realizes that's what the extra dates are for.  Quickly, he swallows the smallest and tosses the pit into the river, transforming the frogs and fishes into people. 

 

The king of Corabia is overjoyed at being restored, and Speedy explains to him about the enchanted dates.  So the king eats the next smallest date and tosses the pit into the fire, restoring his silver castle and country.  Corum strides out, explaining that he's come to win the heart of the princess, but so have several others.  Confido says the she will not be disenchanted until the contest is won.  The king announces that under three trap doors is a seven-headed hydra, a poisonous gas, and a passageway to the princess's chamber.  All the knights, except Corum, depart back to their kingdoms.  Corum chooses the correct passage, but the king asks him to examine the others, and they turn out to be grass, a trick to ensure that the suitor of his daughter be loyal and brave.  So, he is instructed to eat the last date and place the seed on the ledge of the tower.  At once, the Princess of Corabia is disenchanted, revealing herself to be Marygolden. 

 

The king and queen of Corumbia arrive and a grand party begins.  Feeling left out and sad, Speedy and Camy prepare to leave, but the pair are given a grand honor, and the couple reassure them that they remember them and are grateful for all their help.  Camy is invited to be one of Hokus' steeds and Speedy to have half the kingdom, but he just wants to get back home.  Ozma and Dorothy arrive, finding out that Hokus had hidden the Magic Picture so they wouldn't follow him.  But with the Wizard's searchlight now perfected, they were able to.  Ozma and Dorothy greet the royal families, and are shocked to find Sir Hokus now a young prince.

 

Soon everyone is exchanging stories.  To answer remaining mysteries, Ozma summons forth the Sultan of Samandra, who is nervous to be in Ozma's presence and admits that he was the black knight who challenged Sir Hokus to combat with forbidden magic, enchanted him, and sent him to Pokes.  He also enchanted Marygolden and sent her to the Shah of Subterranea, and conquered the friendly neighboring dominions. Ozma leaves his fate to the royals of Corumbia and Corabia, but they show mercy and ask that Ozma take away his magic, return all he'd stolen and force him to remain within his domain for five hundred years. Sending him away, the marriage takes place, and Speedy is knighted by both kingdoms.  With the Magic Belt, Ozma sends him back to his home on Long Island, where Uncle Billy is not surprised to see him safe and sound and back home.  Speedy tells him his story, and Uncle Billy says he'll complete his new rocket so they can return to Oz.

 

Continuity notes:

Coincidences: As with several other Oz books, there are a number of coincidences that play into the larger story.  The Yellow Knight of Oz is particularly replete with them.  David Hulan in the Pumperdink forums points out five coincidences in the story:

1. The Flying Field dumps Sir Hokus off within sight of the castle where he was born.

2. Speedy's improbable trip in the rocket ship (leave aside the impossibility of what it did...) ends up in the near vicinity of the enchanted Princess Marygolden.

3. The Parashoot takes Speedy and Marygolden to the surface within a dozen miles or so of the castle where she was born.

4. Sir Hokus flips a date stone into a random bush and it just happens to hit the one his father's jester had been turned into.

5. Speedy similarly just happens to disenchant Sir Corum's favorite horse.

These coincidences, rather than detract from the story, can be said to reveal a kind of Providential hand who assists in righting the wrongs done years earlier.  The late Rich Morrissey, on the BCF Pumperdink forums, offers another possibility, with "the Sultan's spell containing (figuratively and literally) the seeds of its dissolution. The magic was already at work to bring enough individuals and talismans together at the place where the disenchantment could take place, and was probably at work as early as the events of ROYAL BOOK, when Sir Hokus and the Comfortable Camel (the latter bearing the enchanted dates all along, as it turned out) met and bonded with each other before moving into Ozma's palace."

 

Dating: The events of this story take place in May over the course of six days.  See the Day-to-Day Chronology for more information.  Although many date the year of this book in relation to Charles Lindbergh's famous flight, which is mentioned in the text, the reference is made by the author, not by a character, which means the narrative is not tied to the year of Lindbergh's flight.  The Yellow Knight mentions that it's been ten years since the events of The Royal Book of Oz.  See that entry for the year of this story. 

 

Flying Field: The Flying Field in the Winkie Country is the fourth sentient or sapient road/contrivance in Oz.  The first was a rolling road in the Winkie country in The Royal Book of Oz.  The second was the Runaway Road, also in the Winkie country, in Grampa in Oz.  The third is the Winding Road in the Emerald City in The Hungry Tiger of Oz.  The fourth is the Footpath in The Gnome King of Oz. The fifth will be the River Road in the Quadling Country in The Purple Prince of Oz.  The sixth will appear in Ojo in Oz.

 

Marshland: As per The Forbidden Fountain of Oz, Marshland is located in the Great Winkie Marsh.

 

Marygolden: The Princess of Corabia was enchanted into a statue for 500 years and hidden in Subterranea until Speedy stumbled across her.  As David Hulan points out in the Pumperdink forums: "Marygolden is the most fully realized female character Thompson invented to date. Peg Amy is nice, but one-dimensional; Urtha is even more one dimensional; and while Shirley Sunshine had some potential she wasn't on stage enough to really come through satisfactorily as a person. Thompson later did even better with Gureeda, Mandy, and Planetty (and in a way Jellia, since Baum really never developed her character to the extent Thompson did in _Ozoplaning_, though Thompson didn't invent her)."  Princess Marygolden appears again briefly in the upcoming The Haunted Castle of Oz.

 

Ploppa: A giant turtle that lives in Marshland who befriended Sir Hokus and helped him escape from Queen Marcia.  Ploppa is grieved at his parting from Sir Hokus, but the knight promises to visit with him again.  Whether he makes good on his promises, which seems fitting for the character, it is never told in story.

 

Quick City: After their king departed, the thin, silver-clad people of Quix consulted their Book of Stars which accurately predicted the coming of a young man from underground whose quick to run, fight and lose his temper, and whose name means Swift, descriptions which all match Speedy.  Quick City features moving buildings, not unlike Fix City (in The Royal Book of Oz) which featured moving furniture.  Even more strikingly, in Quick City, the residents rapidly age to a point, and then de-age to an infant before growing older again.  How this city got this way is unknown, but in The Tired Tailor of Oz, it appears they later find their rightful king in Quigeroo.

 

Samandra, Corumbia and Corabia: The Samandrans are "one of the most ancient races in Oz... Most of the Samandrans are more than seven centuries old," and have not aged in all that time.  Five hundred years prior to the events of this story, the Sultan conquered the two neighboring kingdoms of Corumbia and Corabia; enchanting the citizens and stealing their treasures, he left the cities to fall into ruin.  As Corum was two hundred years old at the time he left to win the hand of the Princess of Corabia, it seems that Corumbia and Corabia are also ancient and also fell under the immortality spell alongside neighboring Samandra.  Yet, as Stampedro can speak, it appears that only Samandra had non-speaking animals, a mystery that's not yet been solved.  Talking animals also cease speaking when they enter Samandra, however they do not lose their reasoning capacity and sapience.  In Toto of Oz, the Sand Witch Pita notes that only Water Magic can prevent an animal speaking in Oz.  How Water Magic was used in Samandra, however, is not yet known. 

 

Slaves: At the end of the story, Ozma doesn't seem to do much to alleviate this situation for the animals in Samandra, nor to free the slaves the Sultan utilizes.  This is in keeping with Thompson's seemingly hideous ideal that certain people were born to be slaves, for the same situation is left unresolved in The Gnome King of Oz, Jack Pumpkinhead of Oz, The Purple Prince of Oz and The Silver Princess in Oz, although this story is the only scenario where Ozma personally sees slaves, which elicits from her "curiosity."  Given Ozma's personality and high moral stance, it seems likely that she later handled the situation offscreen or in a later story.

 

Speedy: This is the first appearance of Speedy (proper name Bill) who is ten-years old and hails from Long Island, where he apparently lived with his uncle Billy, who is a genius inventor of a rocket ship that he believed would take them to Mars and back.  Speedy recognizes that he's quick-tempered, but is otherwise provincial, and is surprised that Marygolden doesn't conform to the stereotypes of females that he holds.  He develops a crush on Marygolden and keeps insisting that she's coming home with him to America, but like his prejudices, this idea is thwarted upon her final reveal.  Similar to Peter, Speedy departs Oz and returns again years later to star in his own book Speedy in Oz.  Unlike Peter, Speedy is confronted with sexual issues.  As J.L. Bell on the Pumperdink forums points out, "He and Marygolden start to talk about going to America immediately after he cuts off her skirts with his pocket knife [ch 14]. In any Hollywood movie made under the Hays Office code (imagine Clark Gable cutting Claudette Colbert's skirt), that act would have a clear symbolic meaning: sex.  Of course, sometimes a knife is just a knife. And sometimes it's what a boy uses to plant his seed in the ground [ch 17]. What's the next thing we see after Speedy does that?  A tree trunk rises out of the ground like a "great greasy pole," produces more seeds out its top, and then subsides back. On a symbolic level, Speedy's form of masculinity, and his response to Marygolden's femininity, clearly includes a sexual dimension."  Speedy's final appearance is in Ruth Waara's Umbrella Island in Oz, which provides a fitting conclusion to his story-arch by providing him, at last, with Princess Gureeda who he'd met in Speedy in Oz

 

Subterranea: Subterranea is one of nine possible kingdoms underneath the northern Winkie country of Oz (see "Underworld.")  Ruled for the past ten years by the Shah who because he's saving his voice, instead uses various masks to express himself.  Radium "stars" in the ceiling provide light.  Lava Lake boils in the dark Underwood, which is the royal hunting grounds and home of dragons.  It is filled with giant mushrooms, twisted trees and mysterious caves.  No one goes past the lake, as the Groper lives there, a blind dragon who has excellent hearing.  There are hot springs and geysers as well.  Somehow, Subterranea gets occasional "rainstorms" of sunbeams.  How this is remotely possible is unknown, but there must be an artificial sun in the level immediately above them.  Similarly, the Shah's ten years of rule is likely not measured in solar years, but this is not explicit.  The statue of Marygolden has either been in his keeping for 500 years, or one of his predecessors, though why he grows angry at its disenchantment isn't quite explicitly known.

 

Uncle Billy: Speedy's uncle from Long Island, William Harmstead, is described by Speedy as a "famous scientist," yet, as this doesn't appear to be the case, it seems likely that he either told Speedy that.  He may perhaps be more accurately described as a rogue scientist.  Given that there was no known technology able to make even unmanned landings to the moon, let alone Mars, until 1959, Uncle Billy was either many decades ahead of his time, or was able to utilize some kind of magic.  The fact that he is completely nonplussed at Speedy's return, or the story of his adventures in the Underworld of Oz, seems to indicate that the latter might be the case.  Uncle Billy appears again briefly in Speedy in Oz.

 

Underworld: The Subterranean Zunda explains that there are nine levels to the Underworld: Neath, Underneath, Low, Below, Down, Upside Down, Farther Down, Allthewaydown and Subterranea.  It is unknown if any of the Subterraneans ever visited these other realms, of if this is simply what they've been taught (as the text implies).  There is clearly magic involved for Speedy to have gone deep through the ground in Long Island, New York, and then come back up into Oz.  His passing a strata of gold, copper, coal, silver, lava, and an underground sea with phosphorescent fish and monsters demonstrates that he left the outside world and through a dimensional gate ended up in the underworld of Oz.  Whether this magic was part of his uncle's rocketship or something else (a hidden gate at the very spot the rocketship hit when it descended unto the ground) is not yet known.

 

Violence: The Yellow Knight engages in acts of violence against Getsom and Gotsom, the mud guards of the Queen of Marshland, and some Samandrans.  In the former case, he speculates that they'll "regain their senses" in a few hours, which seems to indicate that Hokus (as well as Thompson) recognizes that no one can die in Oz.  For Hokus, this seems to give him free reign to use violence as he sees fit, and he goes even beyond this, seeking out the destruction of dragons (one of which he destroyed in The Royal Book of Oz).

 

Yellow Knight: Corum, the prince and son of the King of Corumbia, is disenchanted after 500 years, the last ten of which were spent in the Emerald City as Sir Hokus of Pokes.  That he continues to be referred to by his former name Sir Hokus has much to do with how the Ozites he knew him as such regard him.  Ozma notes that his eyes are the same, and he has the same gentle manner, but it's clear that some of his more obnoxious, violence-loving traits seem to have left him as Corum.  He continues to appear in various Oz stories.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Purple Prince of Oz

 

Oz book number 26 of the Famous Forty, Sovereign Sixty and Supreme Seventy-Five!

 

Story: When Randy, a young stranger from the mountains, is caught eating the royal grapes of Pumperdink (first introduced in Kabumpo in Oz) and calls them sour, King Pompus orders him dipped in the well.  Kabumpo, the Elegant Elephant intervenes and makes him his attendant.  A week later, Kabumpo tells Randy the story of how Prince Pompadore and Peg Amy met.  In the royal hall, Kabumpo and Randy meet Kettiwig, King Pompus brother, but he takes offence at the elephant's reference to him as "brother."  The coming of the magician Nishibis soon gets everyone's attention until one of the spells makes the royal family disappear.  Over Kabumpo's protests, Nishibis proclaims Kettiwig the new king of Pumperdink. 

 

The wizard's magic nearly consumes Kabumpo, who's saved by Randy, and the elephant and boy depart Pumperdink for Follensby Forest, where they spend the night.  Kabumpo decides that rather than head to the Emerald City to have Ozma and the Wizard rescue the royal family, he will do it himself. 

 

Coming upon the hut of the evil fairy Faleero, Kabumpo decides to see if there's any food, but discovers Nishibis is there with three witches.  It is soon revealed that Nishibis is actually Faleero in disguise, and she prepares to marry Kettiwig to become queen of Pumperdink. 

 

Departing from the forest, the pair come across a soothsayer.  Kabumpo pays him a pearl and he predicts that a person of high rank is heading to the Emerald City, but that they will find what they seek in the castle of the Red Jinn.  Assuming that this is in the Quadling country, Kabumpo and Randy head south.  Choosing one of the three roads to the river, they end up swept up by a raging River Road which carries them down a waterfall and into an underground cavern.  There it subsides and Kabumpo swims for the shore.  At the back of the cavern is a metal wall, which the elephant leans upon, causing it to open into a cavern, within which is a fire fountain.  As the pair warm themselves by it, fifty-one smaller doors open in the wall, and with an explosive shot, fifty torpedoes come flying at them.  Kabumpo braces himself for his imminent destruction, but then one of the torpedoes speaks!

 

The pair meet Torpedra, Queen of Torpedo Town, a community of torpedomen and women, who have iron-clad bodies, no legs (since they can fly through some kind of propulsion system), and arms made of fire.  A torpedodo bird lives with them that has wings and claws of fire.  Kabumpo tells them their story since leaving Pumperdink, but the queen doubts its existence and the bird agrees he's never heard of such a place.  Torpedra decrees that Kabumpo will be the royal riddler, promising to riddle him and pass them through the fire fountain. 

 

After she and her subjects decide to go back into their holes to torpedoze, Randy and Kabump press against the metal door to try and escape, but the bird reveals that the door only opens once every 100 years.  When a firestorm erupts, Kabumpo orders Randy underneath him, protecting him from the fiery drops which burn away his cloak.  After it passes, Randy finds an iron ring hidden in a wall and pulls it, summoning the Dodo bird, who must obey the ringer of the bell.  They demand he show them the way out, and tapping on the north wall, a passage opens allowing them to depart.

 

The tunnel leads to Stair Way, a community of step-relations who go up and down stairs all day, ruled by King Kumup and Queen Godown.  When the king shouts "come up," the people move up the stairs, and when the queen shouts "go down," they move down.  Kabumpo and Randy continue up the stairs, despite the queen's orders, past the step-castles, and escape Stair Way to the silver mine of the Delves.  Queen Delva invites them to help dig for silver, but when Kabumpo refuses, the Queen threatens to bore them to death, and summons her army of Delves.  Kabumpo and Randy rush ahead and enter an elevator which takes them up to the Gillikin country.  Kabumpo knocks on the door of a nearby castle, but it proves to the castle of Nandywog the giant.

 

Nandywog brings them inside his castle, but treats them with hospitality, explaining that he's lonely because no one will speak to him or treat him as a fellow being because they fear him.  And at only 20 feet tall, he is the littlest giant in Oz.  As Nandywog's servant Kojo brings food to his guests, Nandywog explains that when his people cast him off Big Top Mountain, he came to Tripedalia, where live the round, ruddy and three-legged Trip-Pedals  The elephant and boy explain their journey and invite Nandywog along.  He declines, so they promise to return to visit with him again.

 

Heading south, they pass through Rubber City, where live the Squee Gees, a rubbery people who bounce about and need to be squeezed in order to talk.  They're friendly at first, but when Randy plucks a rubber flower, they grow indignant and Kabumpo bounces he and Randy out of their city.  They pass the Emerald City into the Quadling country, stopping at a Guide Post Man, who points northwest to the Red Jinn's castle.  Kabumpo ignores him, insisting it's to the south, but when Randy tells him to take them to the Red Jinn's castle, the Guide Post Man picks them up and flies them there.

 

In Regalia, meanwhile, Hoochafoo, the uncle of the prince worries about the prince, who has been gone for eight days.  The Wise Man Chalulu tries to assuage his fears, but with the abdication of the prince's fathers, they know is up to the prince to prove his worthiness to the throne and pass the seven tests, including 1. making true friends, 2. serving a strange king, 3. saving a queen, 4. displaying bravery in battle, 5. overcoming a monster, 6. disenchanting a princess and 7. receiving magic treasure from a wizard.  When the amethyst ball flashes, revealing that one of the tests has just been fulfilled, Hoochafoo and Chalulu rejoice.

 

At the Red Jinn's castle, Randy tells Jinnicky their story.  Recognizing that Faleero used red magic to enchant the royal family, Jinnicky agrees to help, but when Kabumpo attempts to buy him with a small bag of jewels, the Red Jinn grows incensed and shows them all the barrels of rubies in his possession.  Randy, however, talks him back into helping them.  As the elephant won't fit into the Jinrikisha, they decide to walk (upon Kabumpo's back).  Addie, Jinnicky's hissing adder, adds up their provisions, while Alibabble, his Grand Advizier, insists he get a haircut.  The Red Jinn finally concedes, but gives Alibabble a haircut first. 

 

Departing at last, Kabumpo races to get to the Deadly Desert.  A storm arrives, leaving a rainbow in its wake, with Polychrome on the rim.  After hearing their story, she invites them to cross the Desert over the rainbow, which Kabumpo is at first reluctant to do.  Once in the Winkie country, Jinnicky provides magic red glasses for Kabumpo's head which lead its wearer to whatever they want to find.  Kabumpo rushes along to Pumperdink, but runs headlong into a combinoceros, a creature with the body of a dragon and head of a rhinoceros.  Randy grasps his sword to protect himself, but when Jinnicky pulls the glasses off Kabumpo's head, she stops short, and Randy flies off the elephant, landing on the combinoceros's neck, sword first, overcoming the creature.

 

After a meal, Kabumpo leads them to the city of Double-Up, but the approaching band of musicians use trick horns to strike Kabumpo and Randy, and cause Jinnicky to dive into his jar.  Awaking in the city, they discover that the citizens are called Doublemen and are two-faced (a face on either side of their head, both of which speak contradictory things)  They're soon brought before King Too Too the Second, King, King, Double King, who makes them slaves and orders the Red Jinn's jar cracked.  Randy is thrown in the dungeon, but in the early morning he finds Jinnicky, who'd escaped in the might whilst they were feasting, and used his bottle of blue incense to render them insensible (a magic that only works after 3AM).  After finding Kabumpo, they depart the "hateful city," and with the glasses' magic, head to a river, where Jinnicky tosses a magic flower pot which grows into a tree that topples across the river, creating a bridge.  From there they proceed into the Gillikin country. 

 

In Pumperdink, meanwhile, after the wedding of Kettywig and Faleero, the wicked fairy banishes singing, music, dancing and games.  Even laughter is a punishable offense.  As she takes full control of the kingdom and bullies Kettywig, he comes to regret his bargain with her.  Finally, General Quakes leaves Pumperdink for the Emerald City, where he discovers that Ozma and the Wizard had left for Glinda's to celebrate her 100th anniversary as rule of the Quadlings.  So he marches there instead. 

 

Kabumpo and his friends, meanwhile, encounter an army of 11 foot wooden soldiers who fire upon them.  Jinnicky throws up a magic vase which turns into a giant protective covering.  Their master Ozwoz the Wonderful, who deems himself a wozard, invites them to his castle.  Kabumpo refuses, but Randy and Jinnicky are curious to learn about the wooden soldiers, of which Ozwoz has 2,000.  At the castle, he treats his guests well, even doing magic tricks with Jinnicky.  He agrees to trade the first of his wooden soldiers, Johnwan (John One) for the Red Jinn's magic cookie jar.  Departing with it and the controller that make him perform up to seven tasks, they arrive at last at Pumperdink.

 

The citizens gather around them, cheering, but when Kabumpo grabs Faleero, she casts a spell knocking him and Randy to the ground, where the controller accidentally activates Johnwan to pick up Faleero and march off.  Randy searches for the controller, in vain, and worries that Johnwan will fall into the Deadly Desert.  In the royal dining hall, Jinnicky takes out his bottle of yellow incense and commands the rulers of Pumperdink to reappear.  Nothing happens, though, leading him to realize they've been transformed.  They confront Kettywig, who'd been earlier locked in the tower by his wife, but he proves to have no magical knowledge. Then the Wizard, Ozma, the Scarecrow, Jack Pumpkinhead, Dorothy and General Quakes arrive.  The Wizard is concerned that the Red Jinn will have already solved the mystery, and Jinnicky is upset the Wizard will take credit for solving the case, so he and Randy depart for Follensby Forest and the hut of Faleero. 

 

In Faleero's hut, Randy lights a fire in the fireplace using Jinnicky's red incense, but as the fire starts, one of the logs starts to scream and the face of Prime Minister Pumper appears on the log.  The other members of the royal family also appear and Randy rushes to get water, but Jinnicky stops him, warning that they'll stay as half-logs forever if he does that, as the only way to un-transform those turned into wood is to burn it.  He does so, and still smoking, the royal family emerge unharmed.  Jinnicky tells them about Kettywig and Faleero's treachery.  Thinking again of Johnwan, Randy takes Jinnicky's glasses and heads off, while Prime Minister Pumper slips away and isn't seen again.

 

The Red Jinn and royal family return to the castle, where the Wizard has been attempting one spell after another.  Jinnicky insists that Randy get the credit, and he and Kabumpo leave to search for him.  Randy, meanwhile, uses the glasses to find the controller, and with it, has the wooden soldier march back.  When Faleero awakens in Johnwan's arms, Ozma transforms her into a raven.  Her ladies-in-waiting flee to her hut in the forest, and all attention turns to Kettywig who is lectured and sent home. 

 

At the party that follows, Ozma takes note of the Double-King, Dorothy of the little giant Nandywog, the Scarecrow of the Guide Postman and the Wizard of Torpedo Town.  The Wizard and Jinnicky become friends, while Pompus offers Randy a princedom and permanent place in Pumperdink.  Jinnicky goes further, offering to make Randy his sole heir, but then Hoochafoo and Chalulu burst through the windows by the magic of the amethyst ball, announcing Randy (Randywell Handywell Brandenburg Bompadoo) as Prince of the Purple Mountains and King of Regalia.  Chalulu explains that Regalian Law determines the prince must go on an adventure without aid to fulfill the conditions of the scroll without knowing the nature of the seven tasks. 

 

Randy bids farewell to his tearful companions, promising to run away to see them.  Jinnicky and Kabumpo vow to spend three months of every year with Randy in Regalia, starting in a month and a day.  With that Jinnicky departs with Johnwan (to duplicate him for his own army, after which he plans to give him to Randy) by means of the magic dinner bell.  King Pompus makes General Quakes his new prime minister and commander of his army and promises Kabumpo anything he wants.

 

Continuity notes:

Big Top Mountain: Big Top Mountain was the original home of Nandywog, the littlest giant in Oz, who was exiled from the mountain years ago.  Big Top Mountain is also known as Huge Mountain, and is the original home of the sixty-foot giant Orlando, who though hidden away in the Winkie Country by his mother, is the crown prince, as he is the fourth son of the wicked and deceased giant Enormous II, who ruled as king of Big Top Mountain until his death.  His first three sons were also destroyed due to their wickedness.  See The Seven Blue Mountains of Oz: Book 2: Tippetarius in Oz.

 

Dating: This story takes place in May (chapter 15) over the course of 11 days.  See the Day to Day Chronology for more info.  The year of this story is uncertain.  The earliest date it can occur is 1918, since it takes place after Jack Pumpkinhead of Oz, and must be at least a year after that story (1917), as Jinnicky mentions learning about its events a year laterDue to factors relating to this book's sequel, The Silver Princess in Oz, which takes place six years later, The Royal Timeline of Oz places this story in 1920.  As Princess Pajonia is four years old, this date would indicate that Prince Pompadore and Princess Peg Amy (first introduced in Kabumpo in Oz) conceived her in the tenth year of their marriage (which took place in 1910).  Also, as Glinda celebrates her 100th anniversary as ruler of the Quadlings, that places her ascension to the Quadling throne in 1820. 

 

Death in Oz: In her first full acknowledgment of Baum's conception of death in Oz, Thompson notes in chapter 13 that "In Oz there is no death.  People and animals can be overcome for a time, but not forever..."  How this bodes for those animals which she has her characters eat is not quite known, but it does go some way towards softening the violent actions of Hokus of Pokes, Grampa and others in her books.

 

Delves: The Delves later attempt to destroy the Emerald City, in A Princess in Oz, where they're identified as a rock fairy, not dissimilar to Gnomes.  Their name is somewhat of a misnomer, as they have no connection to Elves, but are under the rule of Queen Delva, and are thus named.  Unlike Nomes, the Delves eat worms and grubs, and their primary quarry is silver.

 

Faleero: This evil fairy is first mentioned in Kabumpo in Oz as an old and ugly fairy, but it is not until this story that she takes action against Pumperdink.  Faleero's back-story can be found in Nathan Mulac DeHoff's short story "The Banishment of Faleero," available exclusively here.  This is the only evil fairy to appear in any of the original Oz books, where she's also referred to as an "old witch," and is surrounded by three similar witch "ladies in waiting."  By story's end, she is transformed by Ozma into a raven.  In The Red Jinn in Oz, Faleero returns to her old human form after having spent years tracking down the magic she needs to disenchant herself.  Her companions are not the "ladies-in-waiting" from this story, but are her sister Falingo, whose also a fallen fairy, her servant Dubra (who is an ordinary human forced into the conspiracy), and her husband Kettywig.  Faleero's ladies-in-waiting do appear in the Oziana 2000 story, "The Invisible Fairy of Oz," where they're also revealed to be wicked fairies, named Claudia, Audia and Fraudia.  There, after having worked under cover as Princess Pajonia's ladies-in-waiting, they help Faleero advance the plot against Pumperdink.

 

Jinnicky the Red Jinn: First introduced in Jack Pumpkinhead of Oz, Jinnicky is given a name and starring role here.  Alibabble is first introduced, and the location of the Red Jinn's palace is noted as being in Ev.  The glass sea is retconned as being the coast of the Nonestic with none of the prior descriptive elements present.  Jinnicky says he's been "jarred" all his life, which brings to mind the Cookywitch's jarred subjects in Preservatory (in The Cowardly Lion of Oz).  Jinnicky mentions the dinner-bell found by Jack and Peter in Jack Pumpkinhead of Oz, which he says he learned about a year later.

 

Kabumpo's origins: In the first chapter, it's noted that Kabumpo was given to Pumperdink's King Pompus "Oz ages ago by a famous Blue Emperor."  The identity of this mysterious Blue Emperor is revealed in The Blue Emperor of Oz to be the former King Ozroar, who is King Pompus's brother.  Where Kabumpo originally comes from, prior to being gifted by Ozroar to Pompus, is not noted.

 

Ozwoz: Despite practicing magic in Oz, which he justifies by semantics, calling himself a wozard instead of a wizard, and the creation of a deadly army of 2000 wooden soldiers, Ozma is not shown in the text to have any concern over this.  However, the fact that there is no further mention of Ozwoz or his soldiers in the original series may indicate that Ozma, in fact, took a very serious look at this wozard and his army.

 

Prince Pompadore: Pompa goes on to appear in several stories, including his very own in Prince Pompadore in Oz.

 

Pumperdink: It appears that after several years, Prince Pompadore and Peg Amy came to live (with their daughter Princess Pajonia) in Pumperdink.  As there's no mention of Wag the rabbit, it's possible he stayed behind in Sun Top Mountain.

 

Rainbows: Long before Judy Garland's Dorothy sang "Over the Rainbow" in the MGM musical Wizard of Oz, Thompson used rainbows as means of transportation to Oz in both Grampa in Oz and this book.

 

Regalia: This Gillikin kingdom boasts a straight succession of kings over the course of a thousand years.  Randy's father not only abdicates, but abandons his family, as J.L. Bell in the Pumperdink forums notes, "'The King...has chosen to retire from the throne and pursue the life of a hermit in the mountains' [133]. We don't seem to hear anything at all about Randy's mother. He clearly has the support of his uncle Hoochafoo, who makes a good contrast to Pompa's uncle Kettywig (Hoochafoo is also the previous king's brother and possibly next in line for the throne, but he wants to see his nephew successful and safe)."  Randy's surliness early in the book can be seen as emotional turmoil from the departure of his father.  Randy returns again, six years later, in The Silver Princess of Oz.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Other Lands than Oz

 

The Year of the Woozy

 

Story: Coming soon...

 

Continuity Notes: The date is December 31.  The year is determined on several factors, the narrator's utilization of Big Band music, his note of hypercubism taking off in Tokyo and that it is the Year of the Horse. These three factors place this story on New Years Eve 1929.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two Terrific Tales of Oz

 

Betsy Bobbin of Oz

 

Story: On Betsy's birthday, Ozma lends her the Magic Belt so that she can make a wish.  Betsy thinks of her parents, lost in the tornado that destroyed them and their home in Lake Grove, Oklahoma.  Then she wishes for a doll that can do anything.  At that, her old doll Pearl appears, much to astonishment of all present.  But just as quickly, Betsy and Pearl are whisked off to Limbo.  With the Belt, however, Betsy wishes them back to Oz, where they end up in the Winkie Country. 

 

Pearl had heard a voice say they were summoned from the Silkies in Silk City.  They meet a living firelog called the Lively Fire, whom Dr. Pipt had inadvertently brought to life whilst fashioning a doll for Margolette (who didn't want a wooden doll) with the Powder of Life.  The Lively Fire can take them to Silk City, which is inside Volcano Mountain, west of the Winkie River, at the edge of the Deadly Desert.  First, however, he warns Pearl not to play with the Yellow Poppies, as they're explosive.  Crossing the Winkie River thanks to some Card Fish playing Bridge, they arrive at Volcano Mountain, and discover that a giant silkworm is blocking the entrance to the mountain at its base.  He is the one that sent them to Limbo, as he has no desire to move after a hundred years of supplying the Silkies with silk.  Betsy explains that the volcano is threatening to blow, which could destroy everyone trapped inside, but the giant silkworm doesn't care.

 

The Lively Fire takes matters in his own hands, and runs up to the giant silkworm, burning him, and causing him to roll away from the entrance.  The trapped Silkies now freed, rush out of the volcano, celebrating their rescuers.  With them comes two people that aren't Silkies.  They are Betsy's mother and father, Belle and Robert Bobbin, whose house had been blown into Volcano Mountain years earlier, and couldn't climb the walls of the mountain to escape or get past the giant silkworm.  The silkworm threatens to crush everyone, but Pearl places the yellow poppy in front of him, which explodes, sending the silkworm to the top of the volcano, which explodes with silk, and blows the giant silkworm up into thousands of small silkworms.

 

Ozma whisks them to the Emerald City, where the Bobbins are welcomed by everyone, and a home in Oz is offered them.  The Lively Fire is given a home in the fireplace of the Grand Ballroom.

 

Continuity notes:

Betsy's Parents: Established here are Belle and Robert Bobbin.  Their welcome into Oz, where they make a new home is referenced as well in Thorns and Private Files in Oz.

 

Dating: That this story takes place during Betsy Bobbin's birthday makes it tempting to place it prior to The Hungry Tiger of Oz, which begins with the end of Betsy's birthday party.  However, as that story can be set as early as 1913, placement prior to it seems unlikely as Betsy's parents say that if they were to return to Oklahoma, they would be too old to enjoy the reunion with their daughter, and that she would be "very old" as well.  As Betsy was born in 1891, she would be far from old at that time.  Therefore, this must be a much later birthday party, at a year in which her parents could potentially still be alive in the outside world, and Betsy herself very old.  Hence, The Royal Timeline of Oz places this story in 1961.  Betsy's birthday is on Halloween, as established in Masquerade in Oz.

 

Unc Nunkie and the White King of Oz:

 

Story: Just before the gypsies arrive (at the start of Ojo in Oz), Unc Nunkie recalls a recent trip to discover what became of Dr. Pipt and Margolette, who they hadn't heard from in many months.  On the way they stop at their old house in the Blue Forest in the Munchkin Country and run into Victor Columbia Edison, the old victrola that Dr. Pipt had accidentally brought to life.  Vic remembers well Ojo's poor treatment of him and stalks off, but disapproving of Ojo's rudeness, Nunkie sends Ojo to retrieve the talking victrola.  Vic explains that he visited Margolette every Saturday afternoon to play her music while her husband was out in the garden.  Then one day, Vic spied a man dressed in white with a white sack descend the mountain.  Vic has waited for Pipt and Margolette ever since.  Unc Nunkie concludes that the man in white abducted them by means of magic, and sets off to find them in the White Mountain across the Deadly Desert. 

 

Crossing into the Gillikin country, they pass through an empty valley and find themselves trapped in a kind of mirage.  Vic plays a brass orchestra, shattering the illusion, which allows them to continue.  Once they reach the desert, however, there is no way to cross.  Nunkie conceives of using a nearby rubber tree to propel them across, but the tree turns out to be a giant rubber ostrich named Oscar Higher, who explains that he is the last of his kind.  His band, who once dominated the northern edge of the Deadly Desert (robber ostriches being unaffected by the deadly sands), were mysteriously swallowed up by a hole that appeared beneath them and then filled up again.  Oscar alone escaped and is off to procure the help of Gaylette the Sorceress in the Quadling country. 

 

Oscar volunteers to take them across, and drops them at the foot of the White Mountains before departing on his quest.  As they proceed, Un Nunkie tumbles down the side of the mountain.  Then Ojo and Vic find themselves falling down a hole, emerging into a white chamber where lays the white sack of the man Vic had spotted near Dr. Pipt's home.  When Ojo goes to open the sack, he disappears inside it.  The white stranger then arrives and as Vic notices that he's made of china he puts Vic into his cauldron.

 

Unc Nunkie, meanwhile, is rescued by a Winged Monkey who flew him to the top of the mountain, where a cloud castle sits.  Two hooded guards escort Nunkie into the presence of a masked monarch who reveals himself to King Bleachard, a king made of porcelain.  Nunkie tells him of his search for Dr. Pipt, but Bleachard tells him that no one practices magic in the White Mountain since Glinda first informed them of the law.  There had been a white wizard named Wark who was discharged because he refused to stop practicing magic.  Wark suddenly reveals himself and attacks the king with the liquid of petrifaction, which he'd earlier forced Dr. Pipt to make for him after he kidnapped him.

 

Ojo, meanwhile, discovers a cotton field inside the magic sack, wherein he finds Dr. Pipt and Margolette, and helps them to escape.  Climbing out of the magic sack, Dr. Pipt discovers Vic inside the cauldron and saves him.  Pipt leads them all to the throne room, where he discovers Wark about to petrify the king.  In the ensuing melee, the liquid ends up on Wark himself, but instead of petrifying, it causes him to grow a beak and wings.  Pipt reveals that he'd forgotten much of his old magic, and instead of creating a petrifying potion made a pet potion that transforms someone into whatever animal he wishes.  With that Wark flies away, bursting through the ceiling window.  The relieved party celebrates, and the porcelain guards escort the Ozians back across the Deadly Desert by means of an ivory box that they carry.  Once there, Dr. Pipt tells Vic that he may live with them once again and play soft music occasionally.

 

Continuity notes:

Dr. Pipt: The footnote on page 33 appears to indicate that Dr. Pipt is Dr. Nikidik, however, the information itself is incomplete and can be misleading, as other sources indicate that Nikidik used Dr. Pipt's name as an alias, and in turn, Dr. Pipt did the same.  Additional sources confirm what is stated in this story that Margolette calls Dr. Pipt "Nikidik" when he is being bad.  His actual first name is Ozwald, as per Father Goose in Oz.  For more information, see "Nikidik and Dr. Pipt" in the Appendices.

 

Magic Sack: This sack is reminiscent of the one used by Peter in Jack Pumpkinhead of Oz.  Whether Wark stole it from Ozma's magical treasures, or had one which boasted similar properties is unknown.

 

Oscar Higher: The tale of this Rubber Ostrich is said in the footnote to be a tale that may be told elsewhere.  Chris Dulabone has long had on his schedule a story called The Rubber Ostriches of Oz, which may be this tale.

 

Victor Columbia Edison: The talking victrola named Vic was first brought to life The Patchwork Girl of Oz, and appears in few stories since.  He is revealed here to have visited Margolette once every Saturday (which would have been for about 15 years).  She lets him move back in with them in Bungle and the Magic Lantern of Oz, but his ill treatment at the hands of the Shaggy Man a second time (at the end of the latter story) appears to have left Victor feeling bitter towards people, as revealed in The Astonishing Tale of the Gump in Oz, and it may be that left or that Dr. Pipt or Margolette threw him out of the house again at some point.  He is helped by a girl from the Outside World, who feels sorry for him, in the book The Lonely Phonograph of Oz. He appears again in Carrie Bailey's Bungle in Oz, where he's married, and Bar Sira's "The Boundaries of Oz" (see the 1999 entry on the mainline timeline).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ojo in Oz

Oz book 27 of the Famous Forty, Sovereign Sixty and Supreme Seventy-Five!

 

Story: In their cottage just outside the Emerald City, while Ojo reads a blue fairytale book and Unc Nunkie recalls his visit to the King of the White Mountain, a caravan of Gypsies arrive with a bear chained to one of their wagons.  Unk Nunkie departs to tell Ozma, warning Ojo to stay put.  But the enticement of their music and lure of an old woman offering to read his fortune proves too much for Ojo who ends up in their camp.  When he reveals his name, however, the band picks up to leave, taking Ojo with them.  His attempt to escape leaves him battered by other children his age, and he is tossed in a wagon with the bear who tells him he's been abducted because there's a price on his head.  The bear, who introduces himself as Snufforius Buxorious Blundorious Boroso, who the Gypsies call Rufus, but who Ojo calls Snufferbux, tells him he's been a prisoner/slave for a long time, and after each attempt he's made to escape, they've starved him for a week.  Ojo promises to free him, but Snuffer warns him about Zithero, the Gypsy leader. 

 

Ojo is put to work and while on an errand to collect firewood, he finds a silver whistle, which he keeps.  Later while washing dishes for Zinaro, Zithero's wife, a band of armed bandits arrive.  Because he keeps silent, the bandit chief Realbad rewards him with a gold ring.  The bandits get the jump on the Gypsies, who they tie up, along with Ojo and Snuffer.  One of bandits threatens to roast Snufferbux until Realbad says he'll make for a nice rug instead.  Riffling through Zithero's stolen baubles, he finds a parchment offering 5,000 bags of sapphires for the one who brings Ojo to Moojer Mountain.

 

At their secret hideout, Realbad lets Ojo and Snuffer out to eat—promising not to kill the bear.  Snuffer tells him how he was abducted by the Gypsies five years earlier.  Ojo tells his tale (as related in The Patchwork Girl of Oz), but is dismayed when Realbad won't take him to the Emerald City or be swayed from his decision to hand Ojo over for sapphires.  While most of the bandits are asleep, Ojo overhears two of them plotting to take Ojo themselves and do away with Realbad.  When they go to take him, he blows on the silver whistle he'd found earlier, awakening the rest of the bandits, and summoning the great silver bird Opodok, who Ojo tells to get rid of the bandits (except for Realbad).  Snuffer then asks Opodok to take them someplace safe, which he does.  Finding themselves in a deserted locale, Realbad admits that he became an ignoble bandit because noblemen stole his possessions.  When he strikes a nearby rock, a passageway appears beneath them, and they slide inside the Crystal Mountain until they reach Crystal City. 

 

There they see a giant blue dragon guarding the gates, but they manage to sneak into the city and discover that the crystal residents have all been magically frozen.  Even the king and queen are frozen.  A large crystal ball warns Ojo that he's in danger.  When they light a fire in the kitchen in order to keep warm, the frozen cook starts to melt away to liquid.  They put the fire out and ask the crystal ball what to do to save the city.  It informs them that the blue dragon must be killed.  As Realbad departs to do that, the spell is soon lifted.

 

Upon being restored, the king and queen order Realbad's imprisonment.  Princess Crystobel, however, takes a liking to him and belays this command.  The Wise Man informs the king that they indeed had been frozen for 50 years.  The king explains to them that the princess was propositioned by the dwarf king of Snow Mountain, and when she refused his proposal, the snow dwarf sent his dragon to freeze the city.  At the behest of Princess Crystobel, King Christopher and Queen Christine consent for Realbad to marry her, but first he and Ojo and Snuffer must be crystallized.  The Wise Man attempts to crystallize Ojo first, but for some reason nothing happens, and Realbad helps them all break free out the other side of Crystal City at the back of the mountain where a river of water now runs (from Realbad having melted the dragon into water).  Swimming across it, they come to the house of a Munchkin shepherd whose out, and they help themselves to food (leaving a token of their gratitude behind).  While Realbad is napping, Snuffer convinces Ojo to take off before he wakens.  Ojo feels bad, but agrees. 

 

In the Emerald City, meanwhile, Unc Nunkie reports Ojo's abduction.  Ozma sends Dorothy, Scraps and Cowardly Lion to go after him.  She herself will go to Glinda's to consult the Great Book of Records and find who took Ojo.  Dorothy swallows the Wizard's wishing pills, but impatiently, Scraps makes a hasty wish, landing them in a forest without the magic dinner bell (from Jack Pumpkinhead of Oz) or any magical tools to get Ojo home.  As Dorothy and the Lion recount their stories (such as the one he had in Fix City in The Royal Book of Oz), Scraps finds a path called the Rolling Road, and like other self-moving roads before it, it wraps them up and takes them to a field.  But Dorothy is having trouble straightening herself out after being rolled up, and a voice advises them to just roll.  They listen and roll themselves into the Munchkin River. 

 

After getting out, a bird comes near which the Lion threatens to eat (!) but Dorothy stops him, as he has a sign that says he's a Dickey Bird and he leads them to Dicksyland where reside the queer Dicks.  To gain entrance past the gate, one must have a peculiarity about him, which the gatekeeper determines.  All the party are all considered peculiar, they're allowed entrance.  The Dicks feed their guests, who note that flowers and fruits don't grow on the normal bushes they grow on, and windows and doors are reversed on some houses.  Yet, the queer inhabitants prove gentle and harmless.  The Dictator of the Dicks, Dickus, asks if Dorothy will obey his rule, but Dorothy declines which excites Dickus whose unused to being declined, and he runs off and comes back with a horse and his right-hand man Reachard.  Reachard reveals that his arm can travel a long distance and that each of his fingers has an eye at the end of it!  Since Dorothy reasons their best course is to return to the Emerald City, Reachard sends his arm to guide them, and even stops for sleep when they do.  But when they awaken, concerned about having to cross a mountain, Reachard's arm coils around all of them, and flies them to the top of the mountain. 

 

Once there, they enter a nearby hut and meet a strange clockmaker named Mooj.  Mooj thinks they've come to trade Ojo for sapphires, but when Reachard knocks on the door, the lion decides he won't travel like that again, and looks for a place to hide.  Mooj takes advantage of the distraction and strikes them each with a magical rod that transforms them into clocks.  He then answers the door, expecting the Gypsies Dorothy had mentioned, but gets throttled by Reachard's arm who goes looking for his companions in vain. 

 

In Glinda's palace, meanwhile, Ozma, the Scarecrow and Unc Nunkie look through the Book of Records, which reveals amongst other things a "small war" between the Grigs and Twigs of South Mountain, and how the king of Seebania is trying to secure his crown, but nothing of Ojo, who Glinda feels may not be important enough for the book to mention. 

 

In the Munchkin forest, Ojo's ring starts ringing, signaling the arrival of danger in the form of a Snoctorotomus, an earth serpent able to travel through land as easily as a sea serpent travels through water.  The creature coils itself around Ojo, but just in time, Realbad (who had been following them) severs its head.  Realbad reveals that the ring he gave Ojo protects him from harm, which is why he couldn't be crystallized in Crystal City.  Concerned the serpent will soon pull itself together, they move on.  On the other side of the forest, they find a walled city called Tappy Town, where the residents communicate solely with their feet.  King Stubby and Queen Skipyfoo learn who their guests are from their footprints.  Snuffer first does a dance which greatly pleases the king and queen; then Ojo does one that amuses them, but when Realbad does a clog, they furiously kick their guests out of the city. 

 

Starting off in a thick blue fog the next morning, Realbad accidentally impales a unicorn named Ann Gora.  The dwarf Unicorners take care of the unicorns, including the Queen unicorn Roganda, who can actually blow her horn and extend and retract it.  She asks Angora what she wants in payment for her injury.  She wishes to impale Realbad, and does so five times before Roganda makes her stop, not realizing that his ring has protected him.  The dwarves invite them to share their delicious silver apples which when eaten stave off hunger for a week.  The travelers do so, but when Realbad begins eyeing the Queen's Treasure Tree, which has rubies, emerald and sapphires in its hollow center, Snuffer grows incensed and challenges Realbad to wrestle him without his ring.  Ojo, meanwhile, finishes playing with the unicorns and speaks with the queen, who admits to only knowing her immediate country.  Ojo invites her to visit the Emerald City.  As she drifts off to sleep, Snuffer comes along and snatches up Ojo to leave, despite Ojo's protests that he won't go without Realbad.  Snuffer explains that Realbad had decided to steal the unicorns' treasure in place of taking Ojo to Moojer Mountain.  Ojo is saddened by the news, but determines to find Realbad again one day and live as a bandit.

 

Reaching the foot of Bear mountain, they meet X.Pando, the Elevator Man, who serves as the elevator himself, a talent he got from his father.  As Ojo and Snuffer have nothing to offer, Pando accepts a waltz with Snuffer.  Afterwards, he takes them to the top of the mountain, where Ojo hears the ticking of clocks from a nearby hut and runs off to investigate it.  The door opens and Moojer snatches Ojo inside and locks the door.  From the window, dozens of bags of sapphire come raining down on Snuffer, who despairs to realize he led Ojo to the very place they were trying to avoid, Moojer Mountain.  Tied up, Ojo is approached by three alarm clocks.  They are the transformed Dorothy, Scraps and the Cowardly Lion, who urge him to flee.  Outside, Snuffer vainly pounds against the door when who should arrive but Realbad astride Roganda.  Realbad tells Snuffer he understands why he tied him up and fled with Ojo, and the three together break down the door and confront Mooj.  But Realbad and Mooj are familiar to each other, and the latter tells him that he sought Ojo because he is the king's son, and with him out of the way he can rule Seebania without a rival to the throne. 

 

Mooj then disappears with Ojo, leaving Realbad despondent because he knows that if he ever reveals who he is, his wife, the queen, will die.  Just then, the Wizard, Ozma and Unc Nunkie magically appear following the searchlight the Wizard brought to save Ojo.  Gathering the three clocks, they prepare to leave until Unc Nunkie, whose name is Stephen Nunkie, spots Realdbad, who is Ojo's father, and whose real name is Ree Alla Bad.  Together, they use the Wizard's "famous flying pills" to follow Mooj to Shamsbad, the capitol of Seebania, where Mooj is holding Ojo and Queen Isomere (Ree Alla Bad's wife) hostage.

 

With the Magic Belt, Ozma turns Mooj into a sparrow, frees the prisoners and disenchants her friends from their clock forms.  Realbad tells his story of how years before Ozma came to the throne, the kings of Seebania ruled the southern part of the Munchkin country.  When Ozma later arrived, Ree Alla Bad's father, the former king, and Prince Stephen relinquished their claims and returned to rule Seebania.  Through tricks and flattery, Mooj, a magician from the north, worked his way into an important position at court.  With the king more interested in hunting than ruling, Mooj was able to assume greater power until the one day the king didn't return.  Mooj took the throne, imprisoned Stephen and Ree Alla Bad (then 24 years old), and informed him that so long as he departed, never returned and never told anyone, Isomere would be safe; otherwise she would be destroyed.  To ensure he didn't interfere with his plans, Mooj pushed Ree Alla Bad into a ravine.  But he was protected from harm by a magic ring he'd gotten from a fairy at his christening. 

 

Discovered by robbers, he became one, and later their leader.  Shortly after his departure from Seebania, Ojo was born.  Stephen bribed a guard to release him.  Fearing Mooj would destroy the baby as he had his grandfather (the former king), Stephen convinced Isomere to relinquish the child to him, at which point he took him deep into the Munchkin forest where they remained for years.

 

After everyone tells their story, Ozma transforms Mooj into a drop of water and puts him in the Nonestic.  The bandits she turns into farmers by the Winkie River.  The Gypsies she banishes to Southern Europe.

 

Continuity Notes:

Animal Cruelty: Despite that Thompson herself notes in the authorial voice that "in Oz all the animals talk," (chapter 1) there is a surprising amount of cruelty and killing of animals in this book, something that Baum's Ozma would not have tolerated.  The Gypsies starve Snuffer; worse, the bandits are poachers and have several bear rugs in their hideout, as well as "the heads of deer, elk and other large animals," and they threaten to eat or make a rug out of Snuffer; Realbad himself kills a dragon, a sand serpent, and while both of those will likely come back to life, what of the two wild birds he plucks and roasts?  In chapter 13, Thompson notes: "As you probably know... no person or creature in Oz can be permanently destroyed."  She specifically speaks of the Snoctorotomus coming back to life (despite being beheaded), but how this plays out for the slaughtered bears and eaten birds is unknown.  The bear rugs aren't described as being alive.  It's possible that the dead animals in the bandits' cave had been killed prior to the enchantment in Oz and that the bandits merely took credit for the deaths to appear fierce and dangerous.  The killed wild birds might possibly have grown on trees, (though if so, with feathers).  A similar oddity of magically appearing fowl appears in the Isle of Un in The Cowardly Lion of Oz.  While this has led some, like author David Hulan, to determine that Oz must have sapient and non-sapient animals in Oz, the latter which Thompson deemed OK to kill and eat, Nathan DeHoff points out, "If it's only these 'dumber' animals who are eaten by humans, though, it doesn't explain why both Snufferbux and Pajuka were potential dinners."  As regards the treatment of Snuffer, David Hulan on the BCF Pumperdink forum notes that "Snufferbux was exhibited at "fairs throughout Oz" chained up with a collar. Nobody noticed this and let Ozma or one of the other local rulers know that an animal was being mistreated? It's one thing for something like that to go on in one of the little isolated communities that seem to dot Oz, especially in the post-Baum books, but for it to go on among a group that apparently spends its time traveling all over the country, for, IIRC, five years, stretches the bounds of belief."  An in-universe fix has not yet come be revealed.

 

Bandits: As brought out in the BCF Pumperdink forum, the motivation of the bandits makes no sense in Oz, not even by Thompson's conception of Oz.  David Hulan states: "The whole motivation of the gypsies, and later the bandits (including Realbad) is to acquire the five thousand bags of sapphires Mooj has offered as a reward for Ojo. Yet we've always been told that jewels are common as dirt in Oz, and specifically sapphires are like gravel around Lake Orizon to the extent that Cheeriobed's crown is studded with cobblestones because they're relatively rare. What value would five thousand bags of sapphires have for dishonest folk? It's like offering a reward of a truckload of gravel--without the truck."  An in-universe explanation might be that the value of the jewels was not monetary, but for some other undisclosed purpose.  Hulan goes on to ask, "What's the point of being a bandit in Oz? Everyone can have whatever he wants just by asking for it; why take it by force?  Rather than being 'the original labor-saving device,' as one historian I've read characterized group-on-group violence, it seems to be more work than acquiring goods honestly."  Indeed, Thompson seems to misunderstand or willfully ignore Baum's conception of Oz's economy as laid out in The Road to Oz and The Emerald City of Oz.  For their crimes and failure to rehabilitate themselves the bandits are later sent to an island in the Nonestic ("The Hearts and Flowers of Oz").

 

Coincidences: As with The Yellow Knight of Oz, and several books, there are several unlikely coincidences that in order for them to make sense have to be attributed to the Providential hand and/or unseen fairies in Oz.  David Hulan (on the Pumperdink forum) notes four:

1. When the gypsies come to the EC looking for Ojo, with no idea
where he might be or what he looks like, they just happen to set up
camp across the road from his cottage.

2. He just happens on the whistle that calls Opodock. (OK, Oz seems
to be practically littered with magic items waiting to be picked up,
so maybe that isn't so odd. If it weren't that whistle he'd likely
have found something else lying around that would have served the
purpose.)

3. The bandits - who just happen to be led by Ojo's unknown father -
find the gypsies in the very short interval between Ojo's kidnapping
and his delivery to Mooj.

4. Both Ojo's and Dorothy's parties converge on Mooj's cottage even
though the first actively wants to avoid it and the second has no
reason to go there.

Dating: This story takes place over the course of five days.  See the "Day-to-Day Chronology" for more information.  Due to the invention of the Wizard's "new" magic search light, this story must take place after The Yellow Knight of Oz (when it is first mentioned being invented) and prior to Speedy in Oz (where it's in use).

 

Famous Flying Pills: Aside from the Wizard's magic search light (see Dating), his other new invention is a pill that makes one glide along after something.  How they differ from wishing pills, which could achieve the same effect, isn't noted, or how they're "famous" when they've never been mentioned before, is also not stated.

 

Gay Pride: Contrary to her normally conservative views, Thompson apparently includes a gay community in Oz: the Dicks of Dicksyland are all males who are described as queer several times (a connotation to homosexuality that was in use by 1933).  "Some looked queer, some acted queer, but they were all gentle and harmless."  The community is described as one of the few (in Thompson's books) who are "content and satisfied."  Ruth Berman notes in the BCF Pumperdink forums regarding the expression "Dick with the queer hatband" (Dick wears a girl's sash around the brim of his hat), in Dicksy City "as the phrase is rather obscure nowadays, maybe I should add that 'queer as Dick's hatband' used to be a synonym for 'homosexual.'" 

 

Grigs and Twigs: A throwaway line, Thompson notes a "small war between the Grigs and Twigs of South Mountain" [p. 189-90], but nothing more is said about them, save that the Scarecrow likens Ojo to being "as lively as a Grig."  A grove of violent trees known as Twigs are encountered in Kabumpo in Oz, but these live in the Winkie country.  Another group, however, may live in the South Mountain of the Quadling country.  David Hulan (in the BCF Pumperdink forum) notes that "this is probably a reference to the old English expression 'merry as a grig,' 'grig' in this context meaning 'cricket.'"

 

King of the White Mountain: This king and the adventure that Unc Nunkie recalls at the beginning of the story is told in the novella "Unc Nunkie and the White King of Oz" (included in Two Terrific Tales of Oz).

 

Magic Belt and Lapses in Logic: There is a discrepancy in that Ozma fails to use the Magic Belt to simply bring Ojo to the Emerald City, and instead sends a party to go retrieve him.  In the Pumperdink forum, J.L. Bell discusses this:

"Of course, using the Magic Belt would destroy the tension in the novel and prevent Ojo and Realbad from meeting, much less bonding. Thompson doesn't even try to provide an excuse; she just hurries us on toward Dorothy's search party. ("Pay no attention to the belt around that woman!") She also breathlessly informs us that the Wizard is still working on his searchlight [137] even though it seems to have worked fine in YELLOW KNIGHT. But maybe that speedy approach is more effective than it would have been to pause for a lame excuse about why the Belt couldn't rescue Ojo right away.

In Shamsbad, all of a sudden, Ozma discovers what she's wearing. Boom! Mooj is a sparrow (and seemingly a non-talking, non-magical one, unlike Ugu in LOST PRINCESS). Boom! Dorothy, Scraps, and the Cowardly Lion are back [288]. Boom! Mooj is a drop of water. Boom! The bandits are farmers--whether that's a personality change or reeducation or simply a land grant is unclear [297]. Boom! The gypsies are rolling around southern Europe. Boom! The Seebanians are loyal to Ree Alla Bad (again?) [298]. Boom! Everyone's lounging in the bandits' cave [302], and Boom! the Emerald City folk go home [303]. It's as if Ozma's just gotten the Belt as a birthday gift and is eager to find out what it can do."

Mooj: This "old wise man from the north" (p. 291) is a mystery.  J. L. Bell (in the Pumperdink forum) notes several interesting things about him: "Neill seems to have come up with Mooj's nasty clock face, and I think that's what makes him such a memorable villain. Thompson says only that he's a "bent and evil-looking old Munchkin."  His motivations are also unknown.  "Not only does Mooj's interest in Seebania go unexplained, but once he has the kingdom he doesn't appear to do anything with it."  His "mischievous spells" have "secured.. the loyalty and support of all the Seebanians" (page 297/8)  Yet, as J.L. Bell notes, there appears to be a legitimate alternate reading that sees Ree Ala Bad not entirely disclosing the truth and the whole truth:

"Seebania dominated the southern part of Munchkinland. Perhaps Mooj was an agent from the Ozure Isles [which as Nathan DeHoff points out, would explain the numerous sapphires he has to offer] or another regional power (Kereteria or Wutz?) charged with taking control of Seebania. Once he'd accomplished that, he could indulge his real interest in clocks.

 

Secondly, we have to admit that OJO shows us only the Ree Alla Bad dynasty's take on Seebanian history, in which they're the good and legitimate rulers and Mooj the usurper.  Thompson's note in the front of the Reilly & Lee edition even states that she "called [Ojo] on the radio phone and begged him to tell me the whole exciting story!"

 

What if Ojo's grandfather, who was "fonder of hunting than of ruling" [291], wasn't serving his subjects? We know that Seebania's influence declined during his reign, though Ree Alla Bad insists that was because he was loyal to Ozma--who is, of course, right in front of him and has just turned a man into a sparrow. What if Mooj engineered a palace coup that the Seebanian population supported not because of spells but because they were tired of their previous king?  Shamsbad doesn't seem to have suffered during Mooj's rule.

 

That brings up a yet more disturbing possibility. Mooj seems to have kept Isomere comfortable in Seebania. She has an "apartment" [294], and we see her first  dressed in "silvery satin" [287], not rags or a gardener's smock.  She's weeping, but that's because after many years Mooj is about to transform or do away with her--though he never does. Has Isomere been loyal to Ree Alla Bad all that time?  Or might she have reached an understanding with Seebania's new king? Early in her captivity, Isomere gave birth to a baby boy--which comes as a complete surprise to Ree Alla Bad.  So here's the kicker: Is Ojo truly his son?  Why do the names 'Mooj' and 'Ojo' overlap so much?

 

I have to wonder why he still has both the rings from his christening. They protect their wearers, but warn of danger only when they're separated. They thus seem tailored for a young prince to give to his bride. Why hasn't Ree Alla Bad done so? Or perhaps he did give Isomere one ring, but she gave it back."

 

Whatever the case, Mooj is deemed so dangerous that Ozma actually transforms him into a drop of water which she places in the Nonestic, which is an effective, though highly uncharacteristic (for Ozma) form of destruction, unless the magic ensured the water molecule remained a. intact and didn't mix with all the other water molecules in the ocean, and b. sapient, allowing Mooj to retain his identity (though that itself might prove to be a form of torture). 

 

Nathan adds: "Mooj also seems to be one of the most formidable and threatening villains. When Ozma and her companions reach Shamsbad, Mooj apparently tries to enchant all of them, not leaving Ozma with much time to react, and certainly no opportunity to reason with him. It could be argued that she should have given him a trial before enacting the second transformation, but, based on his actions, I think he probably deserved the punishment he received."

 

Mooj is restored from the harsh punishment Ozma gives him (as a drop of water in the Nonestic) in "The Hearts and Flowers of Oz," and is given water from the Fountain of Oblivion.

Ojo: Ojo is noted as being 10 years old, an age he must have stayed for some years.  But his birth is noted by Unc Nunkie as being shortly after Ree Ala Bad is exiled, which is some time after Ozma comes to the throne.  As with several aspects of this story, this chronology simply doesn't work. The Patchwork Girl of Oz (Ojo's first appearance in which he's a boy, and not an infant) cannot take place any later than 1905 due to the fact that it precedes Rinkitink in Oz, which was originally conceived in 1905.  This means that Ojo had to have been born prior to Ozma's ascension to the throne.  But if that is the case, why does Unc Nunkie not say so?  One theory holds that he is keeping the truth from Ree Ala Bad for the sake of Isomere, a possibility that has several implications, as noted above (see "Mooj.")  For Ree Ala Bad to not know of his wife's pregnancy implies that he was away for an extended period of time.  Much of this revolves around Ojo actually having a different father than Ree Ala Bad.

 

As regards Ojo's personality, J.L. Bell notes in the BCF Pumperdink forum, Ojo is portrayed by both Baum and Thompson as prone to disobedience and emotionally fragility: "Ojo appears prone to more emotional highs and lows than most young heroes."

 

Racism and double-standards: It should be noted that Thompson's portrayal of the Romani people (Gypsies) is particularly unpleasant and off-putting, as she utilizes every stereotype in the book to demonize them as cruel and hateful.  As Tor.com reviewer Mari Ness notes, "they dance, read fortunes, beg, con, steal and, in Thompson’s words, have swarthy skin. They even have a dancing bear and spicy stew... I grant that Thompson, writing in 1932 and 1933, could not have anticipated the eventual fate of the Romani. But it’s difficult for me to read this without remembering the results of attitudes like the ones she displays here."  J.L. Bell adds that "Thompson had no way of knowing that in a few years Hitler's regime would be trying to exterminate the gypsies in Europe, including even their "bright-eyed" children. But her portrayal of gypsies as innately nasty and thieving, even worse than the worst bandits, was the same that spurred on Third Reich policy."  What's worse is that by contrast, the bandits, who also rob, threaten and kidnap people (including Ojo) are portrayed as fun and their lifestyle desirable (by Ojo), and they're only "punished" by being turned into Winkie farmers.  Despite having abducted a child, boasting of killing several animals, threatening to kill Snufferbux, and living a pointlessly violent lifestyle, they're allowed to stay.  Aside from this double-standard that Thompson imposes on the narrative, Nathan DeHoff points out its improbability: "It opens the question as to exactly how you could transform a bandit into a farmer, and how she would make sure these farmers never made attempts to rob anyone."  Ruth Berman responds to this, writing: "They might by then be worried enough about getting severer punishment to try putting up with becoming farmers instead of just turning themselves into Winkie outlaws."  As a large community of Gypsies exist in The Forbidden Fountain of Oz, there is evidence that Ozma regretted her decision and brought them back to Oz, providing them a home in the Fountains of Romany in the Impassable Desert, and allowing them to roam Oz.  This story is told in "The Hearts and Flowers of Oz."

 

Roads that Roll: The Rolling Road, in the Munchkin Country, is the seventh sentient or sapient road in Oz.  The first was a rolling road in the Winkie Country in The Royal Book of Oz.  The second was the Runaway Road, also in the Winkie country, in Grampa in Oz.  The third is the Winding Road in the Emerald City in The Hungry Tiger of Oz.  The fourth is the Footpath in the Winkie Country The Gnome King of Oz.  The fifth is the Flying Field of The Yellow Knight of Oz, located in the Winkie Country.  The sixth is the River Road in the Quadling Country in The Purple Prince of Oz

 

Seebania: The southern seat of Munchkin power, as contrasted by the northern seat of power in the Ozure Isles.  A conflict between them once existed, as noted in the upcoming The Talking Animals of Oz.  The former King of Seebania, Ojo's grandfather, claims to have abdicated to Ozma when she came to power, and yet disobeys one of her primary mandates by going hunting, and it is on one such trip that he is destroyed by Mooj, who takes over rule of Seebania.  How neither Glinda nor Ozma are aware of this for 19-20 years is surprising, and may have to do with Mooj's magical acumen, though other factors are possible (see Mooj).  It is also a puzzle that Prince Stephen (Unc) Nunkie doesn't go to Ozma for help, though it may be because he fears the same threat that Mooj makes explicitly to Ree Ala Bad, namely the destruction of Queen Isomere.  As regards Seebania's political power itself, J.L. Bell brings out some likely speculation as the state it was in, and the course its rulers took:

"Was the King of Seebania truly strong when Ozma came to the throne? The evidence to that effect consists only of the biased statement of Seebanian royalty and Mooj's desire to control the land (though he spends little time there). Seebania couldn't shield central Munchkinland from the Wicked Witch of the East, and Mooj's takeover went unnoticed by Ozma and Glinda.  How's this scenario instead? Seebania was in decline before Dorothy's arrival in Oz. While still prosperous within its borders, it had lost the allegiance of neighboring kingdoms because it couldn't protect them from the Wicked Witch. But her sudden death opened a power vacuum in Munchkinland.

Seebania's Prince Stephen began to campaign for the rotating Munchkin kingship, which had last rested with the missing monarch of the Ozure Isles. The prince set out on a diplomatic tour to secure or renew his friendship with powerful Munchkins, including Dr. Pipt.  The King of Seebania took on a new wise man from the north to advise him in his brother's place while he continued to indulge his fondness for hunting.  But shortly thereafter, to everyone's surprise, Glinda swooped in from the south to put young Ozma on the throne of the Emerald City.  Munchkins flocked to her cause, eschewing a king of their own... Prince Stephen retired to Seebania, where the king drew back on claiming his realm's old territory, both saying they did so out of deference to Ozma. At some point, with no one watching Seebania anymore, Mooj struck.

Social Criticism: Thompson isn't known for including social commentary in her work, like Baum did, but she did it once before (in The Giant Horse of Oz during the conversation between the Scarecrow and Benny) and here she's got two, the first, in chapter 7, which reads: "Poor people are always kinder than kings."  And the response: "So you've found that out, have you?"  The second is Thompson's surprisingly progressive views on the gay community (see Gay Pride above).  Sadly, she doesn't extend her views to include the Gypsies.

 

 

 

 

Adventures in Oz

Story: Dorothy and the Scarecrow go on a picnic, but as they have no matches to cook pancakes, they ask the Woozy to flash fire from his eyes.  The Woozy plays a trick, however, and brings the pancakes to life as the Royal Dough Dough Bird.  The bird flies off to a land of living doughnuts and cakes, where she establishes herself as royalty.

 

Continuity notes:

Dating: As there is a Royal Dough Dough bird in The Comical Cruises of Captain Cooky, it stands to reason that this is where he came from, placing this story prior to the latter in 1921.  Following The Patchwork Girl of Oz is the earliest it can take place, since that is when the Woozy came to know everyone.  The Royal Timeline of Oz places it in 1919.

 

Royal Dough Dough Bird: Brought to life by the fire of the Woozy and what appears to have been a magical dough, the Royal Dough Dough Bird instinctually knows to go to a land of living doughnuts and cakes, unnamed in this story, but created by Thompson as the Land of Dough Dough, wherein lies the Royal Kingdom of Cake (from The Comical Cruises of Captain Cooky).  This connection was solidified in "The Hearts and Flowers of Oz," where the Royal Dough Dough Bird makes a cameo.

 

Woozy: This is the one and only time Thompson or Neill utilize this character.  The answer to the question of how the Woozy brought to life the Royal Dough Dough Bird with fire from his eyes appears to lie not in his eyes, which only produce fire, but in the dough itself.  The Queen of the Flour Folk (from The Little Gingerbread Man) uses a magical dough to produce her living food people, so it appears that this is the dough the Scarecrow and Dorothy thought was simple pancake batter.

 

 

Captain Salt in Oz

 

The 30th book of the Famous Forty, Sovereign Sixty and Supreme Seventy-Five!

 

Story: 3 years, 11 months, 26 days and 12 hours since the end of their adventures in Pirates in Oz, King Ato and Roger the Read Bird wonder when the former pirate, now Royal Explorer, Captain Samuel Salt will return to fulfill his promise to take them to sea.  As they look out, the Crescent Moon sails into harbor.  Rejoicing at their reunion, Salt explains that he's been home on Elbow Island retrofitting the ship with self-hoisting sails, mechanical steering and other magical contrivances courtesy of the Red Jinn of Ev.

 

As they sail off to adventure, Salt explains that Ozma doesn't want any country "taken by force or against its will"  As they pass by an erupting volcano, Roger drops the flag of Oz into the center of the crater.  When one of the bursts of lava hits the ship, Salt discovers a fire baby in the midst of it, and puts it in a bed of hot coals.  But right behind him come the Lavaland Islanders themselves, and the Queen, who wants her baby back.  Samuel shoots the baby back via cannon, and the Islanders send him a pet salamander with a rock that contains a message in a strange language.  Samuel christens the island Salamander Island.

 

After dinner, they toss their plates into the sea, and as Salt prepare a place for his salamander Sally, the creature jumps into his pipe, delighting the captain.  The next day they come upon Patrippany Island and sail down its main river.  Samuel and Ato get on stilts to explore, but the sudden attack of crocodiles causes Ato to fall on top of a hippopotamus who rescues him and introduces herself as Nikobo.  Inquiring about her ability to speak, the crew learn that no other animal on the island speaks, and that Nikobo only began doing so five months earlier thanks to a foreign boy who arrived on the island.  As she takes them to meet him, Nikobo informs them of the fate of the savage Leopard Men, who recently took to the sea in their logs and were washed away by a hurricane.

 

The crew soon meets Tandy, who five and a half months ago was left in a cage on Patrippany Island by an unknown kidnapper who abducted him from his home in the White City.  Tandy, however, says he has no desire to depart with the bedraggled pair of pirates, though Nikobo, who'd been looking after Tandy since his arrival, tells him he should trust them.  Tandy explains that he is Tazander Tazah, King of Ozamaland.  Samuel is excited to hear that, as he's been wanting to find the fabled land and bring back one of its flying reptiles and creeping birds from the continent of Tarara. 

 

Roger goes off and returns with an axe, which Samuel uses to open the cage.  Samuel then departs and returns with rare specimens such as tumbleweed, which tumbles men down, and yellow creeping vines, which follow their prey and tie them up.  As Tandy won't go without Nikobo, the hippo decides to join the Crescent Moon, so Salt rigs up a raft that can be tied to the ship which she can ride on. 

 

On board, Roger explains to the haughty boy-king that his attitude and behavior are ridiculous and shows him how he should behave according to the book Maxims for Monarchs, "which has been used by the Rulers of Oz and Ev and the Nonestic Islands these many thousand years." (p. 141)  Roger tells Tandy that he would do best to just be a person and have fun, but Tandy has never heard of fun or play.  As his parents before him, he studied and kept himself to the White Tower of the Wise Men for ten years for safety and in fear that the prophecy of being abducted by an aunt might come to pass. 

 

As Roger teaches Tandy about ships and sailing, a sea serpent emerges whose teeth are made up of white goblins and their spears.  Ato throws hot molasses into the creature's mouth, which deters it.  When Salt discovers Tandy's illustration of the sea serpent and other sketches, he promotes him to cabin boy and Royal Illustrator.  After many happy days at sea, the crew comes to a unique crystal island with tall peaks and no seeming way in.  But as they approach, a large vessel comes roaring out to impale them.  Ordering Nikobo into the sea, the Crescent Moon's sails turn into balloons and raises the ship into the air, causing the incoming ship to miss them. 

 

Hovering above the island, the ship descends unto Bridge City where Samuel announces that they'll be free to govern themselves but are now under the protection and rule of Ozma of Oz.  Alberif, Prince of the Peaks, introduces himself and queries who his conquerors are.  Samuel corrects him and says "comrades" and lays out the benefits of membership, which means changing nothing, and awaiting food, books and merchandise from Oz.  The island can in return send its crystals and make room for settlers.  Alberif heartily agrees, saying there's room for a thousand people to settle on Peakenspire.  As Roger goes around planting Oz flags, Alberif signs a pledge to Ozma and gives the explorers a tour of the island and its many bridges.  He tells them that no one tires, grows old or gets sick, and most spend their time dancing and yodeling (which Samuel and Ato find catches on).  Departing, Samuel tells Alberif to keep an eye out for Oz airships and Alberif gifts them with two undying vines, one that grows a variety of vegetables, the other a variety of fruit.

 

No longer wishing to go home, Tandy explains the division of Tarara into Ozamaland on the east and Amaland in the west.  In his country, only the thousand nobles living in the White City of Om can read or write.  The fierce Zamas are tribesmen who live in the jungles and deserts, which make up most of Ozamaland.  Nine Ozamandarin judges make the laws for the entire country.  As his people wear white robes, they're known as the Whites.  The Amas who wage war upon grey horses are called the Greys.  Tandy wishes to put an end to their wars, which Samuel agrees he should hurry to do.  Tandy also explains that he has three aunts, all of whom were locked up in the dungeon at the same time he was locked up in the White Tower after the prophecy was revealed.

 

The next morning proves dark and foggy, and the Crescent Moon soon crashes into what they think is an enemy ship.  Samuel refuses to fire first, but it turns out to have been a tree growing in the midst of a deep sea forest.  Riding aboard Nikobo, Samuel, Tandy, Ato and Roger explore the sea forest for specimens.  After passing snarling sea lions, and failing to catch the flying fish, Roger catches a monkey fish.  They return to their ship, where Samuel sees to its care and comfort; naming it Mo-Fi, they depart once more for the open sea.

 

As they sail peacefully along, the Crescent Moon is attacked by a narwhal, a whale with the horn of a unicorn, which gets its horn stuck through the bottom of the ship and up into it like a mast.  The whale thrashes the ship until Tandy throws a creeping vine at it, trapping it.  Utilizing a diamond saw, they cut the horn off and set the narwhal free (where they are assured it will grow another). 

 

Admiring his new whalemast, Samuel comes across a hole in the sea, and decides to explore it by throwing a long rope into its center and climbing down.  The crew grow nervous, however, and Roger flies down to find him.  He returns to report that Samuel's been captured and put in an air bowl at the bottom of the sea, in a place called Seeweegia.  With the diamond saw, Tandy descends the rope down 240 feet to where the strange geometrically-shaped, transparent, jellyfish-like Seeweegians are displaying Samuel as if in a zoo.  When the saw fails to work, Nikobo plunges down the hole, puncturing both the air bowl and the vacuum of the hole, causing a tumult in which everyone rises to the surface, including Captain Salt whose taken one of the Seeweegian children as a specimen.  Back aboard the ship, he puts him in a large aquarium.

 

A storm arises, causing the crew to hoist Nikobo aboard the deck, where Tandy joins her for the ride.  Meanwhile, in the White City of Ozamaland, the nine Ozamandarins consider their plot to rid the kingdom of the royal heir—as they had Tazander's parents—by their use of a false prophecy that blames his aunts.  To get confirmation that Tazander is dead, they call forth Boglodore the Magician, who explains how five months and two weeks ago, he abducted Tandy, and with his umbrellephant, flew him to Patrippany Island and left him there with the Leopard Men.  Boglodore requests his payment, 1/10th of Ozamaland (the jungle areas), but they deny him this, and he departs with a threat to return.  The nine prepare the execution of the aunts and assumption of the throne when a ship comes into view, a thing that has never before happened.  They panic and prepare for attack.

 

As the Crescent Moon approaches Tarara, Tandy and the crew wrestle with the idea of his parting, but Samuel leaves the decision to him.  Approaching the shores of the cliff, Captain Salt announces the lost king, Tazander Tazah, who then addresses the crowds.  Some murmur about him, but an old tribesman takes to the young man.  When the nine arrive, they feign gladness, but seek to get Tandy back into the tower.  He refuses, ordering them to prepare his palace.  Didjabo, the head of the nine judges, insists that he cannot rule until he's of age, and attempts to pull him off Nikobo by force.  This lands him a punch in the nose by Tandy, to the delight of the crowd, but when Didjabo calls the guards, Ato uses the creeping vines to tie him and the Ozamandarins up, and uses the tumbleweed to stop the coming elephant and camel riding guards.  Tandy and Nikobo lead the way to the palace, inviting the old tribesman, Chunum, who is the sheik and leader of a thousand tribes. 

 

In fear of the "magicians" who arrived with Tandy, the nobles all hide in their homes, leaving the palace empty.  Samuel explains to Chunum how he came across Tandy, and Chunum reveals his suspicion of the Ozamandarins, who he believes killed Tandy's parents in an ever increasing bid for power.  Realizing they must be dealt with, the two men head back to the cliff when a large flying elephant swoops down.  The elephant, Umbo, is ridden by Boglodore who tells them his story of abducting Tandy, while secretly plotting against the Ozamandarins.  He was the one who built Tandy the cage to protect him from the Leopard Man.  He also gave Nikobo the power of speech and desire to help Tandy.  But as Boglodore and Umbo pick up the Ozamandarins to toss them into the sea, Samuel protests, not wishing to see them murdered.  Chunum, however, tells him that they won't die, but will fall to the bottom of the sea where they will be harmless.    Umbo tosses all nine into the sea and departs with Boglodore, as Chunum urges Samuel to return to the palace to release Tandy's innocent aunts.

 

Tandy agrees a couple of hundred years at the bottom of the sea will soak all the sin and wickedness out of the Ozamandarins, and then hugs Captain Salt, exclaiming that he's returning to the Crescent Moon with them, and leaving Chunum in charge of Ozamaland.  A week later, the aunts are released and Tandy and Chunum explain to the people how Tandy is leaving to complete his education in foreign parts, leaving Chunum in charge until he returns.  Ozamaland is also declared a province of Oz and under the rule of Ozma, who will eventually send settlers to help them build cities and towns.  Chunum explains too that the Greys had long desired peace with the whites, but the Ozamandarins stirred up trouble in order to be seen as protectors of the country.  Samuel, Ato and Nikobo are taken by Chunum into the jungles to procure specimens of a feathered snake and scaly fanged bird, as well as a baby camel and elephant.  Ato returns with an exotic fruit. 

 

Tandy waves Goodbye to everyone, promising Chunum to return.  Samuel looks forward to further exploration and finding a roc's egg before heading to Oz for Christmas

 

Continuity notes:

 

Boglodore: A powerful magician known as the Old Man of the Jungle, he abducts Tandy on the orders of the nine scheming Ozamandarins, and brings him to Patripanny Island with the intent of later betraying them and restoring Tandy to the throne.  His powers must have some limit, otherwise, he wouldn't have needed to work with the Ozamandarins, but he gives the hippo Nikobus the power of speech AND maternal feelings for Tandy.  He has a magical umbrellaphant named Umbo who he uses to fly from place to place and terrify his enemies.  J.L. Bell notes in the BCF Pumperdink forum that "Boglodore has the cunning to double-cross the Mandarins and lay the groundwork for restoring Tandy. Presumably he plans to win the king's favor by bringing him back at the right time, probably achieving independence or dominance for the jungle people."  Nathan M. DeHoff speculates that Boglodore may be responsible for even more than he let on: "Although unstated in the text, I wonder whether Boglodore might have been responsible for the hurricane and/or the Leopard Men's odd behavior.  Perhaps he killed off the race so there would be no danger of their harming Tandy.  Boglodore mentions nothing about this when he describes his deeds to the Captain and Chunum, however, so maybe there was some other odd force at work."  Boglodore is the only living Ozamandarin to survive the passage of time and appears again in The Royal Explorers of Oz trilogy. 

 

Dating: The narrative takes place over the course of five weeks in the summer.  See the Day-to-Day-Chronology for more details.  The story is explicitly dated four years after the events of Pirates in Oz.  There is a minor internal dating anomaly, as pointed out by J.L. Bell on the Pumperdink forums: "Everyone agrees that it's been five and a half months since Tandy was kidnapped to Patripanny Island.  However, they all agree to that figure on different days.  Tandy says he's counted "five months and a half" of imprisonment by gnawing daily marks on his cage [109].  Nikobo agrees that she started talking "five months ago last Herb Day" [98], which can't be more than five months and two weeks [216].  Then some time passes while Tandy sails on the CRESCENT MOON.  Ken Shepherd estimates it as three weeks "in order to give Tandy time to acclimatize" in his chronology of all the Oz books (in the Day-to-Day-Chronology).  Thompson certainly wrote of "days that followed" his promotion to cabin boy [168], and at least four days pass between Peakenspire and Ozamaland.  Yet on the day that the CRESCENT MOON reaches Ozamaland, Boglodore tells the Ozamandarins it's been 'five months and two weeks' since he stole Tandy, which would also have to include the 'two days' of flight to Patrippany [260].  The best factual explanation is that Thompson's report of Boglodore's conversation with the Ozamandarins is inaccurate. None of those men seem to be around at the end of the book, and certainly none is on the CRESCENT MOON. But in that case she did a poor job of recreating their conversation, and missed an opportunity to tell us how long the MOON had taken to sail from Patrippany to Om."

 

Colonialism and Imperialism: No small amount of controversy surrounds Thompson's transformation of Ozma from a pacifist into an imperialist, although there is some wiggle room between what Ozma says from how Samuel Salt interprets it.  Although only having been to Oz once, Salt and Roger justify their colonialist attitudes on the grounds that Oz is overcrowded and needs to expand its territory.  Salt is rare in that he follows to the letter Ozma's command to use no force and colonize no one who does not wish to be.  But it is a slippery slope, particularly as Sam abducts a child, the jelly-boy of Seewegia, as part of his specimens collection which he intends to bring to Oz, and his colonialist mindset doesn't appear to have been fully corrected until The Royal Explorers of Oz trilogy.  One in-universe interpretation for Ozma's speech which seems to employ Sam as a colonialist is provided by J.L. Bell on the BCF Pumperdink forums: "when Ozma said, 'take possession of new countries,' she really meant countries that were new to humans and other sentient creatures, and therefore free for the taking... Similarly, when Ozma spoke of a mission to 'set the flag of Oz on far islands and mountain tops,' she may have had in mind the way mountaineers left their nations' flags on Everest or explorers left theirs on the Poles--as a symbol of reaching that spot, not as a sign of possession.  But Salt and Roger feel they have a mandate for playing some sort of imperial game of Tag, seeing legal force in leaving a flag of Oz wherever they choose.  In this reinterpretation, the most important part of Ozma's speech in PIRATES comes at the start: 'I hereby decree Samuel Salt shall give up piracy.'  She may not care what Salt does with his time as long as he's no longer bothering innocent people. Having him fuss around uninhabited 'far islands and mountain tops' could be her way of keeping him busy."

 

Immortality in Ozamaland: Although Chunum reassures Samuel's conscience that the Ozamandarins were not killed by Boglodore, since they are immortal, it is later revealed in The Royal Explorers of Oz that there is no immortality in Ozamaland, and that in fact the nine Ozamandarins were killed.

 

Maxims for Monarchs: Noted as being "a book of great authority and antiquity that has been used by the Rulers of Oz and Ev and the Nonestic Islands these many thousand years" [page 141], it is one of the oldest books noted in the Sovereign Sixty.  J.L. points out that "Like other collections of wisdom, however, it probably grew over time to its codified state."  There is also a question as to whether "these many thousand years" signifies an exact millennium of rule in Oz, or if Roger was telling him a rough estimate.

 

Racism: Unfortunately, not atypical for Thompson's writing is the inherent racism which she weaves into the narrative.  Not only does she fail to see the abduction of the sapient Sweegia boy as reprehensible, but she depicts the Leopard Men in the typical manner that colonialists and conservatives viewed native peoples in her era, going so far as to hint that they've earned their destruction.  The biggest problem with this viewpoint in the narrative is that she doesn't support it by their actions.  J.L. Bell details this (in the BCF Pumperdink forum): "why did the Leopard Men who inhabit that island suddenly paddle away less than two weeks before the CRESCENT MOON arrived, only to be engulfed in a "great hurricane" [105]?  Thompson doesn't much seem to care about this entire people being wiped out.  The Leopard Men have a language [99]; cook some of their food [114]; fashion weapons [99], including relatively humane ones [124]; and do nothing to Tandy but try to feed him [114]. Yet Thompson and her seaman hero treat those people as nothing more than "savages" [102].  Well before spotting a soul, Salt is half-expecting 'to feel an arrow in my back' [86--compare that to Roger's supposedly civilized advice to shoot Nikobo with a blunderbuss 'behind the ear,' 94].  The Leopard Men's loss doesn't matter to anyone except Samuel, who responds 'peevishly' because he can't grab one as a specimen [105].  Why such contempt? Nikobo certainly doesn't like the Leopard Men's bellicosity, but Thompson has shown us other warring islanders (e.g., Roaraway and Norraway in SPEEDY) that don't get summarily drowned.  Similarly, though the Leopard Men are half-animal, with 'long tusks' [99] and 'brown spots all over their hides' [104], other physically odd peoples in Thompson's books get more respect.  CAPTAIN SALT sets up a dividing line between 'natives' and seemingly normal people--even those normal people who are native to where they live.  Salt wears special clothes for 'impressing the natives' [28].  The Lavalanders are 'immense and thunderous-looking natives' [58].  The common desert and jungle people of Ozamaland are 'natives,' even to the Ozamandarins who were, by all evidence, born there [258 et seq.].  The Leopard Men are among the book's 'natives' [87].  In CAPTAIN SALT 'native' appears to mean not 'of local birth,' but to be a synonym for 'physically unlike Europeans.'  Thompson never applies the word 'natives' to the 'blue-eyed, handsome' Peakenspire islanders, as exotic as they are.  Ato asks of the Leopard Men, 'Are they...black or brown?' [104]  Salt, overeager for a specimen, mistakes Tandy for a Leopard Man youth.  'It's nothing of the kind,' Nikobo contradicted him sharply. 'Can't you see he is white...?' [107--cf. 99].  Even a hippo who's been speaking English for only five months has picked up Thompson's distinction between 'native' and 'white.'"

 

Sequels: The adventures of Captain Salt and his crew continue in A Queer Quest for Oz, Shipwrecked in Oz and the three Royal Explorers of Oz books.

 

Talking Animals: Captain Salt notes that "To my knowledge, only animals in Oz, a few in Ev, and you [Roger] on the Octogon Isle have the gift of speech."  This indicates that, at this time, talking animals were limited in the Nonestic.  This gradually changes as the lands outside Oz eventually achieve the same immortality, along with talking beasts, that Oz has had for two centuries.  As regards the animals that Salt brings onboard The Crescent Moon as specimens, J.L. Bell on the BCF Pumperdink forum raises the following interesting questions: "We have to wonder whether, when Samuel Salt guides the CRESCENT MOON into the Winkie River some holiday hence, all his specimens WILL start to talk. Will the baby elephant that's small enough for him to lift and the baby camel that's small enough for Tandy [304] demand to be taken back to their mothers?  Will Sally tell Ozma everything Salt has done in her name?  Will the captain have to free all his specimens on moral grounds?  Will they face a choice of staying away from their homes or never speaking again?"  The answer to these questions is not yet known, but it may very well be a variety of responses.

 

Tarara: The continent of Tarara has Ozamaland (later elucidated in The Royal Explorers of Oz to be properly regarded as Ot'sama land, as opposed to its westernized pronunciation) in the west and Amaland in the east.  A large landmass with wide tracks of jungle and desert, it is explored in greater depth in the trilogy The Royal Explorers of OzPolitically, the country at this time is split into three groups.  J.L. Bell delineates the various factions: 

The dominant society at the start of CAPTAIN SALT is "the thousand Nobles and their families who live in the White City" of Om.  They define the laws and control the army. Only they are said to be literate and settled [201].  Though nominally ruled by a hereditary kingship, the real powers are actually Didjabo, Lotho, Teebo, and the six other Ozamandarins or Judges, ironically called 'the Nine Faithful Servants of the People' [258]. (The only other individual named in this society is Tandy's tutor, Woodjabegoodja [141].)  Both the Ozamandarins and Thompson refer to all the rest of Ozamaland's population as "natives," as opposed to these "Nobles." 

 

For at least the last ten years, the Ozamandarins have been in league with Boglodore, the Old Man of the Jungle.  He's an "immense wrinkled old native," thus labeled as from a different society or caste.  He appears "clad only in a turban and loin cloth" [260], while the Ozamandarins wear "square hats" [204].  Boglodore seems to represent a jungle society on Tarara.  We can guess how large that society is when Boglodore says, 'I was promised one tenth of Ozamaland, and I am here to claim as my share the entire jungle reach of this country' [261]. So either jungle covers about a tenth of Ozamaland, or a tenth of the population lives in the jungle.  And Boglodore seems to embody those people's hope for autonomy... 

 

The third society on Tarara, and probably the largest in terms of population and territory, are the nomadic tribes.  Tandy has grown up believing the Amas and Zamas are enemies, but he's not sure why [203].  The only differences we can see between them are that the Zamas wear white and ride elephants and camels while the Amas wear gray and ride horses.  The tribes may therefore extend across a nearly arbitrary political boundary, as we hear about in Afghanistan and Pakistan's 'tribal areas' today.  As with the jungle natives, we meet only one desert tribesman from Ozamaland: Chunum, whom Scott Hutchins noted was one of the rare favorable portrayals of an Arab (or someone generally from Muslim south-central Asia) in Thompson's works.  One dividing line among Ozamaland's three societies might be dialect. 

 

Didjabo refers to the country's people as "Zamians" [258], Boglodore as "Zamans" [289], and Chunum as "Zamen" [275].  Of course, Tandy referred to them as "Zamas" [201], so that's probably just Thompson's carelessness. [But you gotta admire the level of carelessness an author needs to come up with four different ways to refer to the same people.]  When Chunum first met Tandy, he said, 'Too long have the city dwellers ruled this great liberty-loving land'--a sign that the nomads have become restless under the Nobles [282].  The old man seems to have been speaking to many desert nomads, both Zamas and Amas. Being in Om at the crucial time when Tandy returns with no loyalty to any local faction, Chunum seizes his opportunity and attaches himself to the king. That helps him achieve probably greater success than he imagined.  By the end of the book, Chunum has Tandy's mandate to rule in the White City and Ozamaland, plus the desert tribesmen's loyalty throughout Ozamaland and perhaps across Tarara. The Ozamandarins are gone, the royal aunts cowed, and the king absent and reluctant to return. Chunum no longer fears the jungle natives' champion: "I expect Boglodore does not find this country healthy after the pretty story he has just told us," he tells Salt [292].  In sum, Chunum may now hold all the political power on Tarara.  What we see in CAPTAIN SALT, this reading suggests, is not really the restoration of Ozamaland's royal dynasty in Tandy.  It's a silent coup against the entire Noble society and their erstwhile jungle allies in favor of complete dominance by the desert nomads.  If Ozma does start sending Ozian settlers to Tarara, they're probably going to encounter some trouble."

 

 

 

 

 

The Gardener’s Boy of Oz

 

The Royal Timeline of Oz considers The Gardener's Boy of Oz one of the deuterocanonical works

 

Story: In the Quadling Country of Jinxland, King Pon seeks to rescue his father King Phearse from the bottom of a pond where he'd been buried under stones for over twenty years.  The former gardener's wife Tessy Cotta thinks he should be left there and that Queen Gloria's father, King Kynd, would be better off rescued, but Pon doesn't see how he can rescue anyone in a bottomless gulf (Kynd was pushed in there by Phearse).  Another mystery is the whereabouts of Kynd's wife (Queen Gloria's mother) Queen Tralynda.

 

In the Whispering Woods—where all of the flora whisper secrets to each of long-gone people in faraway lands, Pon heads to the home of Ricky Tick, a former courtier of King Kynd, whose wife was abducted by a Rakpat (a kind of pack rat) who exchanged her for a pillow.  Feeling his plan won't work, Tick fails to tell him that it was Pon's own father who pushed Kynd into the chasm.  Pon then goes to visit Blinkie the witch.  He offers jewels in exchange for her help in rescuing his father, but she has an abundance, and requests food instead.  He agrees.  But upon his departure, Googly-Goo offers her even more to ensure that Phearse is not set free.

 

In America, meanwhile, a young half-Indian girl named Candy Longtaw, who doesn't know who her parents are, is abducted and sold into slavery in another land.  Kindhearted people rescue her and send her back to the U.S. aboard the Dicky-Bird, but when the ship passes through the Bermuda Triangle, it's accosted by a giant talking fish who tells them he's going to eat the ship, but will allow the passengers to get off first.  As they do, they're greeted by the roilbubs, a kind of merman made up of bubble-like appendages.  They take the shipwrecked passengers to their underwater domain, where they spend a peaceful and contented time, and there Candy befriends an octopus.  The octopus warns her that in their sphere, people age in reverse and get younger.  Candy begs to depart with him and goes off to tell the Dicky-Bird's former captain Ned Dauntless to accompany her.

 

In Jinxland, meanwhile, a large crane with a globe containing King Pon and the former King Krewl (whose now known as Grewl the gardener's boy) lowers into the water, where Grewl reluctantly removes the stones covering Pon's father King Phearse.  But as they go to raise the globe, it comes off the crane and sinks into the ground, trapping the three men inside it.

 

In the underground city, meanwhile, no one else from the ship wishes to leave, preferring to grow younger in the easy life they have to growing older in a hard one.  The octopus escorts Candy and Dauntless to the top of a Great Jellyfish and warns them not to anger her.  They pass by several islands and a luxury liner, none of which are suitable to the humans or jellyfish.  But due to sunburn and hunger, Dauntless inadvertently offends the Great Jellyfish, who stings them and strands them in the water.

 

They awaken to find they've been rescued by dolphins and brought to Parrot Island, where the talking parrots have applied paneasalve to their wounds and dressed them in sun-protecting feather garments.  After they are fed, Queen Klurookuk requests a song, which Captain Dauntless obliges her with, after which the birds provide entertainment.  The next day, the queen asks Candy if she'd like to become a bird, for she has magic silver feathers which give her the power to transform others into birds.  Candy declines, but the parrot queen flies over to Ned and turns him into a parrot!

 

Arguing within the globe, Pon, Phearse and Grewl are approached by a strange undersea creature called Quam, who is a mudkitty.  Quam communicates solely through writing and learning of their plight brings the globe down to his domain where his people think it is a creature and the three people inside it its brain.  When Pon says he comes from a world up above the water that he wishes to return to, the mudkitties think he's confused and push the globe into a tunnel going down! 

 

The globe finally stops, surrounded by blue mud.  As Pon reaches to grab a crystal butterfly he sees in the mud, his father pushes him into it.  Grewl and Phearse fight in the globe, while dragonfly people called Tizzlanders fly in, tie them up, and bring them to the surface where Pon is held in honor.  When Grewl discovers that the butterfly bestows rulership to whomever wields it, and that a ruler can be challenged, he challenges Pon for the rule of Tizzland.  After Grewl wins, Phearse then challenges him, but it's decided that only one challenge a day will be allowed.  Grewl whispers to Pon to beware his father.

 

In Parrot Island, a week after Ned Dauntless was turned into a parrot, Candy is annoyed that he's adjusting well to the change and is even considering settling down with Queen Kluroorkuk.  While sulking, the gray dove Ugu (formerly Ugu the Shoemaker) settles down to speak to Candy.  She's excited to learn he's from Oz, and that the parrot queen can actually turn Dauntless back into a man, although she won't because she's been using a magic to make him attracted to her.  Ugu's there to collect her silver feathers for his kind mistress, and since they grow back, the queen is generous with them.  He tells Candy where she can find a boat, provision it, and prepare a cage, while he tricks Dauntless into joining her.  Upon meeting Dauntless, he convinces him that the queen is jealous of Candy.  This convinces him to meet Ugu in private.  Once there, Ugu tells him that he believes the queen will send Candy away upon a boat.  He brings Dauntless to the cove.  Dauntless sees Candy upon a boat and alights upon it, at which she grabs him and puts him in the cage.  Together, the three sail for the Nonestican continent.

 

After a week of fighting for the throne, Grewl and Phearse are still at it.  Surrounded by a lava lake (beyond which live unpleasant creatures, a tunnel that goes downwards only (with something deadly that lives in the bottom), mountains riddled with dead-end caves (used as homes, storage and hatcheries), Pon despairs at finding a way out of Tizzland.  But when he discovers that the Tizzlanders impose a mandatory death-sentence to anyone who lives beyond two months (due to overcrowding), he urges Grewl and Phearse to stop fighting and find a way to leave there.  But Phearse (who currently wields the butterfly) gathers the Tizzlanders about him and orders the wasp man, Big Zector, to put Grewl and his son to death immediately.  Without a proper offence, however, Zector won't do it, so Phearse settles to have them tied up for the night until the next day.  Then, he reveals to Pon that when he pushed King Kynd down the bottomless gulf, he needed a way to connect himself to the throne, and so sought to marry his son to Kynd and Tralynda's daughter Gloria... except he didn't have a son!  He paid the witch Blinkie to bring him Pon and use him for that purpose.  Pon is shocked to find out he's not Phearse's son.

 

Ugu, meanwhile, leads Candy and Dauntless to Pessim's Island, where Pessim attempts to give Candy shrinking berries.  The travelers depart for Macvelt and walk to the Deadly Desert.  Ugu admits that his mistress is practicing magic without a license, but for a good cause.  She hadn't known it was illegal until she met Ugu and intends to give it up once she achieves her purpose.

 

Meanwhile, Pon and Grewl struggle with their bonds when Big Zector and his girlfriend Zuzanna, the ladybird woman come along with nectar for them to drink.  As Zector doesn't care for Phearse, he uses his sting to help loosen their bonds.  Grewl gets the idea to hide in the tunnel in the northeast corner of Tizzland.  Pon is concerned about what might live down there.  Crawling through the tunnel in the dark, they come to a chasm and drop a rope down, reaching a soft pile at the bottom.  The carpet leads them to a large lit cavern filled with miscellaneous items.  It is the lair of the Rakpat, a magical dragonlike creature who travels the world, stealing things by exchanging them with other things. 

 

The Rakpat tells the pair that he's going to turn them into figurines and trade them.  Pon convinces him to at least bring his figurine to the Emerald City to trade for jewels, and he looks to write a note to leave for Ozma so she'll know to change him back.  But after discovering a figuring of Lanagrette, Ricky-Tick's wife, who'd been taken by the Rakpat 20-30 years earlier, Pon discovers that she'd given birth to a baby, which the Rakpat raised until it grew into a toddler and started knocking things down.  At that point, he traded the baby to an old Jinxland woman for tea.  Pon then realizes that Ricky-Tick must be his real father and Lanagrette his mother!  Grewl then tells the Rakpat their whole story.  Fascinated, he agrees to trade Lanagrette to them, but the pair have nothing of value, so Pon agrees to procure the Crystal Butterfly for him. 

 

They ride the Rakpat to Tizzland, where he transforms the raging Phearse into a figurine, which Big Zector, in the chaos, accidentally breaks along with the Crystal Butterfly.  Pon gathers up the pieces of Phearse, while Zector gets the idea that Tizzland can maintain population control and allow its citizens to age longer than three months.  Pon offers the Rakpat the globe they arrived in, which he gladly accepts.  Heading back to his home, the Rakpat forgets to transform the two into figurines, and simply tells them which tunnel to take to Oz.  There are hundreds of tunnels leading to various places, including two marked for "Subsylvania" and "Great Spirit Falls, Montoming."

 

Candy soon discovers that Ugu's mistress is Queen Tralynda, King Kynd's wife and the mother of Queen Gloria.  With the help of birds and magic, she'd crossed the gulf from Jinxland into Oz proper, and has been living in a cave studying magic ever since.  With Kluroorkuk's silver feathers and other ingredients she'd acquired over the years, she intends to attain wings to enable her to fly down the gulf and find her lost husband.  But along with these features, Ugu brings news of his companions Candy and Dauntless.  Tralynda agrees to help them cross the Deadly Desert, but Candy has already determined to cross on her own.  Fashioning sandshoes from nearby flora, and ignoring the protests of Dauntless, she crosses, making it about halfway through when the heat and exhaustion begin to take their toll.  When her right shoe gives, a speck of sand disintegrates her fourth toe.  She lets Dauntless out of the cage and tries to carry on.  When she sees a flying woman overhead, she waves, but loses her balance.  Just in time, Tralynda rescues her.

 

Pon and Grewl, meanwhile, emerge in a barren country.  A dark, noisy cloud approaches made up of black and transparent cylindrical creatures who announce themselves through discordant music as the Abandoned Chord.  They are a sentient counterpart to the sweet notes that ascend to the Music of the Spheres, and comprise sour notes which play the Music of the Kubes.  They tell the travelers that they are on the other side of the world from Oz, and demand that they sing.  Pon sings well, which angers them, as it adds notes to the Music of the Spheres, which they are trying to drown out (and have been making progress due to discordant popular music).  They are pleased by Grewl's bad singing and take him along.  To assure that Pon never sings again, one of the creature thrusts its tail down his throat, removing his voice box and leaving him voiceless, save to whisper.

 

Queen Gloria, meanwhile, has not been idle, organizing search parties, digging tunnels and building bridges, but all to no avail because Googly-Goo has been paying the witches to sabotage every effort.  She confronts Blinkie, but the witch bitterly replies there's nothing she can do.  When Googly-Goo for the umpteenth time propositions Gloria, she has her Army, Dandoodle, arrest him.  Gloria heads to the Great Gulf and spies a woman flying down it, and also sees Candy on the other side, who she begs to bring a message to Glinda.  Candy agrees, but this concerns Ugu.

 

Having presented his idea of reform to the Tizzlanders, meanwhile, Big Zector and Zuzanna are forced out of Tizzland, where they follow Pon and Grewl through the tunnel, past the sleeping Rakpat to the land of the Kubes.  There, they bump into Pon and accompany him on his rescue of Grewl, who the Sour Notes are forcing to sing.  A battle occurs, with Zector and Grewl emerging victorious.

 

At Glinda's palace, Glinda confirms to Candy that she knows of the situation in Jinxland, and is heading there with the Wizard and Ozma to rectify matters.  Candy confesses that she's an outsider, but Glinda reassures her, scolding Ugu for causing her needless anxiety.  She does, however, warn her that there is little room in Oz for outsiders, but Candy replies that she has nowhere in the outside world to go, and that she feels a strange connection to Jinxland.  Before Glinda departs, Ugu places a magic pearl (meant for travelers) inside Candy's pack, believing Glinda intended it for her.

 

Grewl reveals Pon's voicebox, which he snatched from the Sour Notes earlier, which Pon wraps up along with his mother's figurine and the pieces of Phearse.  Big Zector and Zuzanna, meanwhile, are amazed at the sight of their first sunrise.  But when the giant Tonedeaf Blowhard arrives, repairing fallen Sour Notes, Big Zector goes back to fight him, only to find himself taped up.  Zuzanna rescues him, and they head west to the border, over which Zector and Zuzanna fly Pon and Grewl.  They enter the land of Tititi-Hoochoo, and meet Flora, the Queen of Flowers.  When Big Zector begins bragging about taking over the country, she turns his sting soft and brings them before Tititi-Hoochoo, warning them that they'd best be more polite.  On the way, she tells them that there are only three ways into their land: 1. the tunnel made by Hiergargo, 2. the border fencing them from the land of the Sour Notes, and 3. a bottomless fissure.  Flora receives word that they will meet the Jinjin tomorrow and should bring with her a more recent arrival, the Prince of the White Pansies.  In the meantime, Flora restores Pon's voicebox, much to his joy and relief.  Pon meets the Prince who queries him about Gloria and Tralynda, but it is Grewl who reveals to everyone that the Prince is actually the lost King Kynd of Jinxland. 

 

Kynd is happy to see him and explains that he didn't know if he'd been pushed by one or all three of the courtiers who'd accompanied him to the gulf, or if he'd just lost his balance and fallen in, and refrains from accusing any of them to the Great Jinjin, who would certainly have punished the offenders.  The Great Gulf leads to the bottomless fissure in Tititi-Hoochoo's country, which is how he got there.  Pon tells his story, but when he gets to the part about how Phearse was sunk in the pond, Grewl and Kynd go off to discuss it in private, as Grewl is afraid of the Jinjin's strict punishment when he finds out that he usurped Phearse's rule. 

 

The dragon Qrax arrives.  Older than Quox (the youngest of the dragons in the land) at 8,972 years, he explains to Zector that a new dragon hatches every 5,000 or so years.  With the pink ribbon that Quox had once worn, Qrax explains that he can disenchant Queen Lanagrette and King Phearse, which he does, though not without warning the latter.  Pon is introduced to Lanagrette as her son.  But when she says that she had had a girl, Pon despairs that he might actually be a girl, even though Kynd reminds him that even Ozma was once a boy.  Lanagrette says she will not mind, especially given that he's married to her daughter, if he remains a boy.  At last arriving in the capitol, they are escorted to the presence of Tititi-Hoochoo, who reunites King King with Queen Tralynda, who had successfully flown into the fairyland two days earlier.  As no one has broken any laws in his land or made a judgment against another, he allows all of them to return to their homeland.

 

Ozma, the Wizard, Dorothy and numerous Oz celebrities (including Trot's mother) arrive in the Wizard's bubbles to Jinxland, along with Glinda in her swan chariot, removing the "forget spell" she'd placed over the border.  Queen Gloria is overjoyed to see them and even happier to know Pon is ok.  Inspecting the fallen bridges, the Wizard concludes that the witches have been casting sabotage spells, so they go and see Blinkie, who under duress is forced to tell them that her sisters are hiding in Ricky-Tick's house, which they made invisible, in the Whispering Woods.  Making themselves invisible, Ozma, Glinda and the Wizard surround the house and shrink it to the size of a dollhouse, capturing the fleeing witches and taking away their magic as they once took away Blinkie's.  The house becomes their prison for a time, as the Wizard builds another bubble machine for the Jinxlanders to use until a proper bridge can be constructed across the gulf.  When Pon and Grewl don't arrive, however, Glinda checks her magic bag to find that the magic pearl, which would have guided them to it, is missing. 

 

Flora makes Phearse the replacement Prince of the White Pansies, while she transports the others, according to Glinda's plan, back to where the pearl is located.  They end up at the Truth Pond in the Winkie country, where Candy, Ugu and Dauntless are.  The latter dives in, transforming himself back into a man from a parrot.  Big Zector is amazed, and Candy herself dives in to the Pond, and emerges changed.  No longer Candy Longtaw, she is revealed to be Chantilly, the long-lost daughter of Lanagrette! 

 

Glinda arrives and finds out what happened.  She forgives Tralynda for practicing magic and tells her that she could have come to her for help.  Lanagrette and Grewl tell their parts of the story, and Candy, now Chantilly, realizes that the Rakpat had traded with her "grandmother."  But as they all prepare to leave for Jinxland, Pon jumps in the Truth Pond, desperate to know who he is, but he emerges as himself.  Stopping off at Glinda's castle, Pon looks at the Book of Records, revealing at last that he is the son of Terry and Tessa Cotta, and is the gardener's boy after all! 

 

Thrilled to finally know who he is and that he has loving parents, he and the others return to share the good news with everyone.  As to punishing the wicked, Big Zector suggests making the three witch sisters permanently attractive servants of Zuzanna.  Googly-Goo he requests as his man-servant.  Grewl is offered a vice-presidency with Zector, but chooses to remain in a humble position. 

 

In time, the bridge is built across the gulf, along with a safety wall and stairs.  Bubble machines are manned on either side as well.  King Kynd is reappointed king of Jinxland, and his wife Tralynda is allowed to keep her wings, with a license to use them in cases of emergency.  Chantilly and Ned Dauntless travel Oz and its waters in their new boat The Dicky-Bird II, and are sometimes joined by Trot and Cap'n Bill.  With Glinda's help, Big Zector, Zuzanna and their new servants established Zectorland in the mountains south of Merryland.  Blinkie's home is expanded with a garden of her favorite foods, houses, pavilions and gazebos, making it a popular tourist spot in Jinxland.

 

Continuity notes:

Blinkie: King Pon hasn't known Blinkie to have done any harm in the fifteen years since she was shrunk by the Scarecrow in The Scarecrow of Oz, which indicates that Blinkie's kept the people of Jinxland unaware of her role in the events of The Ork in Oz.  As Blinkie is back to her short stature (she was restored in the latter story), this is an indication of a yet untold tale in which she practiced forbidden magic and shrank once again.  The names of her sisters are revealed to be Bilkie, Bikkie and Bittie.  By story's end, they have their magic taken from them and are transformed into pretty servants for Zuzanna in Zectorland, in the mountains south of Merryland.  One early story of the four witch sisters, and another sister who is no longer with them, is recorded in "Reddy and Willing: The Adventures of Jair in Oz," available exclusively here.

 

Bottomless Gulf: As revealed in this story, the Great Gulf in Jinxland extends through the earth to the bottomless fissure in the Land of An (Tititi-Hoochoo and the Original Dragon's country, known earlier as the Empire of the Fairy Fellowship.)  It is now surrounded by a safety wall, and a bridge spans it to Oz.

 

Dating: The events of this sequel to The Scarecrow of Oz are set just over 15 years after that story.  King Phearse believes he's been in the pond for 17 or 18 years, which dates the time of Krewl's accession to the throne to two or three years prior to the time of The Scarecrow of OzKing Kynd notes that Ozma came to the throne a few years after he'd been pushed in the Great Gulf.

 

Islands: One of the islands the Great Jellyfish passes with Candy and Dauntless appears to be Skull Island, from which the legendary King Kong hails, bringing that storyline into the Oz universe.  Parrot Island is near Pessim's Island.

 

Jinxland: Aside from the Scarecrow, no Jinxlander has seen another person cross the mountains from Oz into Jinxland.  This clarifies that the Ragbad army (from the first chapter of Grampa in Oz) did not, in fact, make it across the Gulf into Jinxland, and probably settled elsewhere (a fact that Thompson was unaware of).

 

Kube (or the Land of Sour Notes): The land of the Abandoned Chord is said to be somewhere on the other side of the world from Oz, and borders Tititi-Hoochoo's and the First Dragon's country (known at this time as the Empire of the Fairy Fellowship, but was once and will be again called the Land of An).

 

Rakpat: The methods employed by this magical dragonlike creature (of taking items, but not without replacing them with something else) are reminiscent of Pervus the Packrat in The Ork in Oz.  The Rakpat, however, appears to be a kind of small dragon with ratlike features, and his name is derived from both the packrat and the Rak, a giant and dangerous kind of dragon found in Ev.

 

Tizzland: A few valleys away from the subterranean kingdom of Mangaboo lies Tizzland.  Since it was reached through a tunnel deep under Jinxland, and the mudkitties know of it, it must have been accessed through a magical portal either in the tunnel, or the portal is the tunnel itself.

 

Trot's mother: Mrs. Griffiths is alive and well and living in Oz in this story.  This was initially contradicted by other recent accounts, however, later printings of the stories, The Law of Oz and Other Stories and Queen Ann in Oz, fix this, and indicate that she chose not to stay in Oz and went back to living in California.  She is later mentioned at a Christmas party in Oz in The Enchanted Gnome of Oz, likely indicating that she came back to Oz at some point.

 

Ugu: This is the first appearance of Ugu the Shoemaker since The Lost Princess of Oz.  He is still reformed, and will appear again in a larger role in The Law of Oz and Other Stories.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Speedy in Oz

 

The 28th Oz book of the Famous Forty, Sovereign Sixty and Supreme Seventy-Five!

 

Story: On Umbrella Island, Pansy the Watch Cat warns the daydreaming King Sizerroo that they're going to crash, which is what happens, causing the su-jester Bamboula, the Chief Couselor Kacheka and the Wizard of the Realm Waddy to convene.  Suddenly, they discover that their floating island has crashed into Loxo the giant, who snatches Umbrella Island from the air, angry that's he's been hit in the head by it.  In response to his questions, Waddy explains to the giant the history of their island.  Umbrella Island once sat off the coast of Ev, by Pingaree and Impossipillio.  Seven years and seven months ago, Waddy devised a way for the island to float by magic and mechanical means, utilizing a giant umbrella that was placed through the center of the island.  Once accomplished, they could float all over Nonestica, and had "even crossed over into the realms of Reality on the other side of the Rainbow." 

 

Although fascinated, Loxo demands in payment a child that comes running out at that very moment.  The child turns out to be the king's daughter Reeda (who they call Gureeda for her incessant reading habits).  Loxo wants her to help ties his boot laces.  Waddy gets the giant to agree to wait three months in order for them to train the child.  Loxo agrees, but warns them that if they try to escape, he will find them.  Gureeda is grieved, but comforted by the fact that her father has no intention of giving her over to Loxo.  After conferring with his counselors, the king decides to procure help from the Emerald City.  Yet, worried that he'll be shown up by the magic users there, Waddy discourages him from this course.

 

In the Grand Canyon, meanwhile, Speedy (who first appeared in The Yellow Knight of Oz) and his Uncle Billy (William Harmstead) are on an archaeological dig.  Arriving at Professor Sanderson's camp, they discover the complete remains of a dinosaur.  After laying all the bones together to get an idea of what it looks like, a geyser suddenly erupts underneath Speedy and the skeleton, fusing it together, and shooting them up into the sky, where the dinosaur suddenly begins to speak.  Speedy inadvertently names him Terrybubble (from his nervous pronunciation of terrible), and the dinosaur skeleton grabs a cloud in an attempt to stave off their eventual fall.  The cloud, however, turns out to be an island.  Terrybubble tells Speedy he lived to the age of 400 when he was attacked and killed by a mogorith (a megalosaur) in the Valley of Virtula where he lived. 

 

The pair spot a city and race towards it only to find the Umbrella Islanders engaged in a grand procession around the island (designed to keep the king's mind off his troubles).  The Islanders are terrified of the living dinosaur skeleton, but Speedy explains to the king and his court what happened and who they are.  They grow to like Speedy, though Kachewka makes secret plans to give Speedy to Loxo in place of Gureeda.  Terrybubble, meanwhile, earns Gureeda's trust, but while they go off to get an umbrella for Speedy, Pansy comes by, and upon learning that she's a cat, Terrybubble chases after her.  Gureeda is terrified, and Speedy worries that the cat's death will mean he'll have to leave the island, but Terrybubble catches and presents the cat unharmed, although furious at his treatment.  The dinosaur explains that he was merely racing with Pansy, and attempting to show Speedy that he could be every good a pet as a dog (which Speedy told him chases cats).

 

Speaking with Waddy, Speedy learns that Umbrella Island has a protective armored shield that can be activated, and anchors that keep it tethered to the sea bottom in the event of storms.  Testing the umbrella made for Terrybubble, Speedy and Waddy jump on it, and end up floating above the Nonestic.  Steering the island towards them, Bamboula comes to the rescue along with Terrybubble, who lets down his tail for them to grab.  Terrybubble's loud cheers, however, cause Bamboula to let go of the wheel, causing Umbrella Island to drop down into the sea in between two fortressed islands, Norroway and Roaraway, who are at war. 

 

Unable to escape back to the sky until the umbrella is repaired, Speedy remembers what Waddy told him, and presses the button releasing the shield, protecting them from a volley of arrows.  But when a small boat bearing Radj the Red, of Roaraway, arrives flying a white flag, Waddy sends Speedy to speak on their behalf.  Speedy tries to get Radj to stop fighting, but learns that Roaraway and Norroway have been fighting for centuries starting when one ancestor called the other a cabbage.  Speedy suggests they hold athletic contests instead, but Radj says their loss would just cause him to declare war anyway.  Speedy then asks for a cease-fire until they can leave, at which point Radj shows him his latest weapon, a tremendous water gun that could destroy Norroway if Radj chose to. 

 

Unable to sleep that night, Speedy goes to visit Waddy, whose busy trying to fix the umbrella that will allow them to escape.  He leaves with what he believes is a flashlight, but which he soon discovers is a beam that can cut through iron.  With this, he gets an idea and swims across to Roaraway Island while everyone is asleep.  There, he destroys Radj's Water Gun and returns to Umbrella Island.  In the morning, he tells Waddy what he did, and the pair celebrate until Radj and his soldiers come rowing over.  But Waddy has by then repaired the umbrella and up and away they go.

 

Days pass in peace as Speedy spends time with Gureeda, daydreams about joining the navy and bringing the schematics of the Water Gun to the U.S.  One night, as Umbrella Island hovers over Oz, Terrybubble overhears Kachewka's plot to hand Speedy over to Loxo.  Alarmed, he inquires about it to Pansy, who confirms it and warns him to take Speedy off the island into Oz.  Terrybubble, also worried about Gureeda, takes both Speedy and her, and drops off the island onto the foot of Big Enough Mountain.  There, they discover Loxo himself, peering out from a telescope.  Terrybubble turns to run, but Loxo hears him and uses his magnet to pull them in.  He's pleased to find two servants instead of one, and right away puts them to work lacing his boots. 

 

Back on Umbrella Island, Pansy reveals what occurred the previous night, and Waddy, who learns of Kacheska's treacherous plan, grows furious with him, and steers the island to above the Emerald City, where he, Sizzeroo, Bamboula and Pansy drop down off the island to surprise Ozma, Dorothy and the Scarecrow.  Discovering that Speedy and Gureeda haven't come to the Emerald City, they tell the Ozites the whole story.  At once checking the Magic Picture, they discover that Speedy and Gureeda are the prisoners of Loxo, whose green mountain sits at the center of the Quadling country.  The Wizard arrives with his magic searchlight and together they head off to confront Loxo.  When the Wizard threatens to use his powder of petrifaction, Ozma cautions him not to use violence, and Waddy, not wishing the Wizard to get all the credit, rushes off and returns with a cake and drink, which he offers Loxo as a toast to their bargain.  Once Loxo eats it, he shrinks down to human size.  Rather than be angry, he claims to be relieved since it is lonely to be a giant, and now he can find a dairy-maid to marry.

 

A big celebration ensues on Umbrella Island, as everyone meets Terrybubble and the Umbrella Islanders.  Speedy considers staying, but remembers his uncle and the Water Gun weapon he wants him to build for the U.S.  Leaving a note for Gureeda to look out for Terrybubble while he's away and promising to some day return, Speeedy whispers to Ozma to send him back home, where he is soon telling his uncle the story of his adventures. 

 

Time passes, and Waddy brings Umbrella Island into the mortal worlds, as Terrybubble looks down over the edge hoping to find Speedy to bring him back.

 

Continuity notes:

Big Enuf Mountain: The mountain in the center of the Quadling country... "is in the exact center of the Quadling Country and this mountain, settled by a band of Emerald City dwellers and planted with seeds and shrubs brought from the capital, retained all the verdure and charm of our  own countryside.  Later, I understand the giant Loxo drove off these peaceful  settlers and took the mountain for himself. Your Watch Cat doubtless  mistook the capital of the Quadling Country for the Emerald City." [281]  The implication of these words is that either: 1) Big Enuf Mountain was an outpost of Oz's capitol (as J.L. Bell speculates) or, 2) if the "Emerald City dwellers" refer to the ancient Oz capitol where now sits the Emerald City, that Big Enuf Mountain was the ancient capital of the Quadling country. 

 

Dating: Story takes place in May (Chapter 6) over the course of eight days.  See the Day-to-Day Chronology for more info.  It specifically takes place two years after the events of The Yellow Knight of Oz (in 1919), as Speedy's Uncle Billy is two years into an attempt to rebuild the rocket that first took Speedy to Oz.

 

Encyclopedia of Giants: It is not known who wrote or published this book in Oz, but Loxo the giant and his magic magnet are mentioned in it. 

 

Kachewka and Waddy: These counselors to the king are set-up as villain and hero, though each is a bit more of three-dimensional and not entirely one or the other.  As J.L. Bell notes in the Pumperdink BCF forum, "Like Akbad in GIANT HORSE, [Kachewka's] a thin, long-nosed, sharp-tongued, faint-hearted, pointy-bearded advisor willing to sacrifice a child from America to save his island kingdom."  However, it's worth noting that "turning Speedy over was far from Kachewka's first plan to deal with Loxo.  Early in the book he suggests going over the giant's bruised head to Ozma and asking her to save Gureeda [57].  Only because of Waddy's jealous insistence of handling the problem himself does the giant remain a threat [59].  The wizard is jealous not only of the Wizard of Oz, but also of "the Grand Grumboleer," as he calls Kachewka [261].  In other words, the unsympathetic counselor is rational, willing to seek help from the proper authorities, and concerned about the greatest good for the largest number; the sympathetic wizard is emotional and acting on purely personal motives."  This may be why "Thompson lets her antagonists off lightly.  Loxo shrinksbut to what might be a happier size. Kachewka retains his post after being 'gently reproved' [293]"

 

Loxo: Loxo is the largest described giant in Oz, able to pick up Terrybubble "between his thumb and forefingers." As J.L. Bell notes in the Pumperdink forum,  Once Loxo gets the boot-lacers he wants, he's quite happy... He really isn't a traditional fee-fi-fo-fum giant.  But by the end of SPEEDY Loxo performs two major sins in Thompson's Oz books: he keeps white children as slaves, and he's rude to Ozma ["Save your breath, Lady"--285]. So we know he's going down...  Considering that all Loxo wanted was servants to help him dress--something Sizzeroo's and Ozma's palaces supply for the favored few--this seems quite unfair. Fortunately, Loxo sneaks off, and we can only hope he fulfills his hope to marry a dairymaid [290, 292].  As per the Oziana 1991 story, "A Cozy Castle in Oz," that's exactly what comes to pass, as Loxo marries a peasant from Grapelandia, a duchy on the foothills of Big Enough Mountain, and works the vineyards there.

 

Magic Mirror: According to Fred Meyer, who writes in the afterward of the 1992 International Wizard of Oz Club edition, Thompson wrote "Magic Picture" in the original manuscript, and it seems to have been mistakenly changed by Reilly & Lee editors.

 

Metal Melting Flash: This magical item, which Speedy first thinks is a flashlight, predates the lightsaber of Star Wars lore by forty-three years.

 

Norroway: This warring counterpart to Roaraway presents an actual alternate (though archaic) spelling for Norway (such as found in the fairy tale "The Black Bull of Norroway," found in several collections, including Andrew Lang's).  The real Norway, of course, isn't implied in this story, as Norway exists in the Outside World, and is employed simply to provide yet another pun.

 

Searchlight: This is the third book to mention or feature the Wizard's invented searchlight.  It was first invented in The Yellow Knight of Oz.

 

Speedy: Speedy first appeared in The Yellow Knight of Oz.  His actual name is William, and he might share the surname of his uncle, Harmstead.  His parents died on the South Seas Islands when he was two, and he came to live with his scientist uncle Billy in Garden City, Long Island.  The summer after Speedy's first trip to Oz, he spent at camp, noting that "scientists... did not like to be disturbed."  Regarding his character, J.L. Bell aptly notes in the Pumperdink forums that "Like several of Thompson's other male heroes, Speedy is secretly attracted to the form of masculinity presented by bellicose villains.  He thinks 'how splendid this Sea King [Radj] looked in his high helmet and red armor.'  Even while fearing Radj's water gun, Speedy 'could not help feeling a certain admiration for the big, bluff ruler' and gives him a 'friendly, vigorous wave.'  Despite having just told the king 'you do not care much about good sportsmanship' [195], the boy nonetheless decides the ruler is 'pretty sporting' for making his threat so obvious. The king in turn offers him the rank of 'fifth in command,' just as the Nome King offered a general's rank to Peter [193-200]."

 

Sequel: Speedy finally returns to Oz, Gureeda and Terrybubble in Ruth Waara's Umbrella Island in Oz.

 

Umbrella Island: It took Waddy seven months to build the umbrella and steering mechanism to fly Umbrella Island, which only begins flying seven years prior to the start of this story in 1914.  Before that, it was a traditional island off the coast of Ev, by Pingaree and Impossipillio.  What name it originally went under is unknown, but their source of currency was silk worms.  It is home to 769 people prior to Speedy's arrival, as well as several animals (presumably talking ones since none are surprised by Pansy and Terrybubble's speech).  It's foliage changed to a more tropical one when they took to the sky (and one that seems to grow umbrella like flora).  Umbrella Island can travel at 160 mph (p. 293), and also has the unusual distinction of being able to fly beyond the "dream-like mists and rainbows surrounding all fairy countries" to the outside world.

 

Water Gun: This weapon developed on Roaraway Island for Radj the Red, can destroy an entire island.  The main reason Speedy leaves Oz is not so much because he's worried about his uncle, but because he wants his uncle to build the weapon so that they can give it to the U.S. military.  Speedy's militaristic attitude is noted several times in the book, such as when he first discovers the war between Roaraway and Nooroway and tells Gureeda, "This is no time for books... What we need is guns... bombs or cannon or air ships."  This is not atypical for Thompson protagonists, but is an unpleasant and notably un-Baumian trend that Thompson repeats.  As Tor.com reviewer Mari Ness notes: "Coming from a boy who earlier in the book had bravely risked his life to deactivate those same weapons to prevent a war, this decision is particularly distressing. Speedy could, after all, ask Ozma to bring his uncle to Umbrella Island. But the weapons issue is a real one, presented by Thompson as the right, and only patriotic choice. Speedy of Oz may have been written six years before Hitler marched into Czechoslovakia; nonetheless, the Japanese invasion of Manchuria, the rise of fascism in Europe, and the ever-present threat of the Soviet Union had left Thompson, at least, convinced that the United States and its citizens needed to focus on war preparations. (It somewhat foreshadows some of the later Oz books that would be printed with notes urging young readers to buy war stamps and war bombs.)"  Speedy's wish to have his uncle build this weapon for the U.S. fails to come to fruition, as no such weapon was known to exist in the years following his return to the U.S., and Speedy fails to mention it again in Umbrella Island in Oz. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Wishing Horse of Oz

 

Oz book 29 of the Famous Forty, Sovereign Sixty and Supreme Seventy-Five!

 

Story: In the southern part of the desert of Noland, in the Kingdom of Skampavia, King Skamperoo finds himself dissatisfied with the harvest he collects in taxes twice a year from the seven governors (supervisors) who represent the seven counties in the country.  He begins fantasizing about conquering a nearby land, but Zixi of Ix is too "pleasant and friendly," same with the King of Merryland, who his marauders had met when they went in to steal and "make trouble." 

 

When two supervisors begin arguing over an emerald necklace that had been acquired by a merchant, who got it from a traveling peddler, who'd come from Oz, Skamperoo demands the necklace, as well as the other two the merchant has, telling the governor of the region that he'll alleviate his tax burdens if he brings them to him.  Fascinated by Oz, he has Pinny Penny, his prime minister tell him tales of Oz, and his eyes gleam when he learns that only a single soldier represents the Army of Oz.  Pinny Penny warns him that Ozma has powerful magic at her disposal and encourages him to forget Oz. 

 

But when the governor arrives with the merchant and the other two necklaces, Skamperoo becomes obsessed with them.  The merchant, however, will not leave, demanding that since he sold his house, business and possessions to acquire the necklaces, the king must provide him a suitable position or he will raise an army against him as a thief.  Skamperoo relents, suggesting he remain as entertainer and storyteller, but the merchant confides to him that he is a magician named Matiah and can only discuss it in private.  This ruse is an attempt to get Skamperoo alone where he will behead him and take back his necklaces.

 

The king meets him in a small cactus garden, where Matiah convinces him to hand over the necklaces in order that the king make a wish, close his eyes and count to a hundred.  As Matiah goes to leave, the king's wish comes true and a horse from Oz arrives out of thin air, startling the false magician.  Matiah tries to wish himself to Ev, but nothing happens, while the horse introduces himself to the king as Chalk.  The king is shocked by the horse's ability to speak, a fact Matiah attributes to his being an Ozian horse, and Skamperoo determines to keep the magic a secret from Pinny Penny by claiming it's the merchant's horse. 

 

To buy time, Matiah tells Skamperoo that he can only grant one wish a week.  During that time, he attempts to figure out how the magic of the necklaces work, reasoning that the wisher must not wear them.  But he makes a wish and nothing happens, deepening the mystery and his frustration.  He convinces the king that the gems of the necklace need cleaning, hoping to uncover some secret about them, and discovering that one of the three necklaces has a diamond clasp.  But when Skamperoo tells him what his next wish is going to be, he's astounded by the brilliance of the plan, and adds some helpful details of his own. 

 

As the king retires for a nap, Matiah studies the big volume on Oz in his library.  But Skamperoo awakens with an idea and sneaks off to question Chalk about the necklaces.  The horse knows nothing of them, but tells him that Matiah is a fraud, which Skamperoo believes.  Having taken a liking to the king, Chalk instructs him to hand the necklaces on his ear and wish to be on his back.  The magic works and Chalk tells Skamperoo to tell him what his next wish was going to be.  He is disappointed by what he hears and asks if he really wants to leave his people high and dry.  So, Skamperoo makes a wish for Pinny Penny, and astride Chalk's back, disappears into thin air before Matiah notices he's gone.

 

In the Gillikin country, meanwhile, Joe King explains to High Boy (both from The Giant Horse of Oz) that they're going to a gala spring festival to celebrate the "discovery" of Oz by the Wizard and Dorothy.  All the kings and queens from all four quadrants are making preparations.  In and around the capital, Notta Bit and Bob-Up (from The Cowardly Lion of Oz) prepare a circus tent, while Happy Toko (The Royal Book of Oz) sends fireworks.  The girls in the palace look forward to seeing Sir Hokus, Ojo and Unc Nunkie, Urtha and Prince Tatters (Grampa in Oz).  The Hungry Tiger, in charge of the reception committee for the animals, anticipates the needs of Hank the Mule, Kabumpo the Elegant Elephant, the Doubtful Dromedary, who lives at the palace, along with his old friend the Comfortable Camel, who will be arriving with the Yellow Knight, Marygolden and Stampedro (all from The Royal Book of Oz and The Yellow Knight of Oz), Snif the Iffin (Jack Pumpkinhead of Oz), Roger the Read Bird who will march with King Ato and Captain Salt (Pirates in Oz and Captain Salt in Oz), Snufferbux (Ojo in Oz) and a blue dragon that Cheeriobed is bringing (The Giant Horse of Oz). 

 

The celebration arrives and all the Ozian royalty march in the parade, the king and queen of Ragbad, Prince Tatters, Urtha and Grampa (Grampa in Oz), the king and queen of Seebania with Ojo, Unc Nunkie and Snufferbux (Ojo in Oz) well as Glinda, the Wizard, Jinnicky, Benny (The Giant Horse of Oz), the Soldier with the Green Whiskers, the students of Professor Wogglebug's college, Samuel Salt's crew and others (Captain Salt in Oz).  Ozma, Dorothy, Betsy and Trot march as well.  After Dorothy and the Wizard are given their medals, Omby Amby's beard turns red.  The Wizard and Jinnicky, believing magic is afoot, go to consult their books on red magic.  The Scarecrow also suspects something.

 

Dorothy takes the precaution of swallowing one of the Wizard's wishing pills, and wishes that if anything happens she'll be able to save Ozma and Oz.  She soon discovers that each of the quadrant rulers are missing, and asks the Scarecrow what's become of the Wizard.  The Scarecrow replies that he's never heard of any wizard!  When she asks Corum and Prince Pompa where Ozma is, they say they don't know of any Ozma.  Rushing into the throne room, Dorothy discovers a white horse atop the throne with a fat man atop the horse.  Dorothy runs to tell everyone, but Herby and Betsy suggest she needs to lie down.  Kabumpo lifts Dorothy on his back so she can glimpse the Emperor of Oz, Skamperoo. 

 

Dorothy is horrified and escapes to the gardens where she encounters Pigasus (Pirates in Oz) who requests that she take a ride upon him.  As soon as Dorothy gets on his back, he remembers everything and tells Dorothy that everyone is under a spell to forget Ozma and the missing royals of Oz, as well as all the magic users.  He suggests they consult the Magic Picture to find out where they'd been taken, but the Picture is gone along with all the magic treasures Ozma and the Wizard had kept.  Dorothy suggests they head to the Winkie country where the people might not be under a spell, and might raise an army to force Skamperoo to tell them where their missing friends are.

 

Towards the evening, Pigasus takes Dorothy to a comfortable farmhouse to sleep.  Concerned about the farmer (he's had problems with farmers in the past), he wakes Dorothy early to depart.  Walking for a bit, they meet a fisherman, but he too is under the enchantment.  They also meet a ferryman, but all he knows is stories of their Emperor Skamperoo.  Disgusted, they press on, attempting to reach the Deadly Desert, fly over, and maybe seek the help of Kaliko or Evardo. 

 

Deciding to walk through a forest, they soon find that it grows dark very quickly, and before they know it, Pigasus is being held back by a member of the Invincible Black Watch.  Though it is too dark to see him at all, the guard is perfectly able to see them, and notes from their color eyes that they're not black like everyone else is in the forest.  So, he determines to take them to see the witch of the Black Forest Gloma.  First, though, he dips them into a nearby stream, after which they can clearly see into the darkness, but the thing that Dorothy notices is that she's black from head to toe, as is Pigasus. 

 

Soon enough, Dorothy comes to see how beautiful everything is, including Queen Gloma.  Surrounded by black leopards and ten axe-wielding foresters, Gloma jumps up in terror, upbraiding General Blotz for bringing her "most dangerous and mortal enemy" before her!  As the foresters surround Dorothy and Pigasus, threatening to behead them, Dorothy approaches the queen and explains that they arrived by accident and merely wish her help in departing.  But Gloma identifies Dorothy as the destroyer of the east and west witches.  Dorothy explains that they were bad witches and that she has no intention of harming her.  When a star on Dorothy's head begins to glow, Gloma stops her men from harming her, but when they threaten Pigasus, Dorothy angrily threatens to turn all of them into insects.  The queen orders them taken to the dark room in her palace.

 

The room is bare save for a stool and a crystal.  Pigasus inquires whether Dorothy really did kill two witches, and she explains that both were by accident, and that the glowing star on her head must be from when she first met the Good Witch of the North.  Pigasus insists they find a bucket of water, but Dorothy objects, believing Gloma to be good.  Pigasus points out that the fact of her beauty won't stop her from trying to destroy them.  Bearing out his words, the room soon darkens and someone enters, striking the crystal in succession.  Each time a different danger occurs, a fountain of fire, a twisting mass of black snakes, a choking green smoke and a hail of silver arrows, but each time Dorothy and Pigasus prove invulnerable  Gloma ceases her magic and invites Dorothy to destroy her, pleading that she only leave her people in peace, as they had never harmed a soul.  Dorothy reiterates that she didn't come to kill her, but is seeking a way to rescue Ozma, recounting the story of everything that has occurred.

 

Gloma is abashed at her actions, but Dorothy forgives her, and asks if she knows of Ozma.  Gloma explains that she knows nothing of what is going on in Oz.  When the Wizard arrived, she ruled by right and inheritance the southern part of the Winkie Country.  The Wicked Witch of the West, though claiming the whole land, had only brought the north and central portions under her control.  The entire south under Gloma was free.  But when word came that a mortal had arrived and destroyed the east and west witches, Gloma assumed she'd be next, so with any who'd remain with her, she went into hiding in the black forest.  There, with her magic, she turned her subjects, castle and herself black.  She admits she's come to love that color more than all the colors of the rainbow, and that they'd been happy and content all these years. 

 

Gloma invites Dorothy to share with her the history of Oz since that time, which she does.  The queen consults her crystal, but discovers that her black magic is useless against the green magic that was used to enchant her friends, however, she gives Dorothy a black box with a powder that can turn any city black, blinding them while allowing Dorothy and Pigasus to see.  After sharing a hearty repast with Gloma, General Blotz, Gloma's pet jackdaw and the foresters, Dorothy comes to enjoy their company, but then requests that Gloma transport them to Ev.

 

Dorothy and Pigasus arrive at the back door of the underground Gnome Kingdom.  King Kaliko's chamberlain Shoofenwaller informs him that the Long Eared Hearer has heard two people approaching the back door.  Kaliko looks through his expectacles and discovers Dorothy and a winged pig.  Shoofenwaller escorts them to a comfortable room, and in the morning Kaliko sees them.  Dorothy explains what's happened and asks for Kaliko's army to help.  He is reluctant to do this, however, and explains that since everyone believes that Skamperoo is their rightful emperor, they will fight for him.  Still, he concedes that if another king were to send an army, he would follow suit.  He also sends for his wizard Potaroo.  The wizard has a magic spyglass wheeled in by four Gnome wise men.  Looking through the telescope, Potaroo reveals that Ozma and the other rulers are hidden in Thunder Mountain in the north.  Before sending them off with food, Kaliko also grants them a box of stumbling blocks.  

 

In Skampavia, meanwhile, Pinny Penny suddenly becomes king when Skamperoo departs, and his first act is to exile Matiah from the realm.  Dorothy and Pigasus fly to the coast of Ev, stopping amongst the dunes to eat and rest.  Dorothy awakens to find they're surrounded by a horde of sandmen called Dooners.  Pigasus is bound, and when she goes to untie him, the Dooners pellet her with sandballs and tell her that she and the pig invaded their sacred domain and will be turned into sandwiches for the sand crabs.  Dorothy tosses the stumbling block at them, causing them to fall down and stay off-balance, while she unties Pigasus.  Upon departing, the Dooners are restored and the stumbling block returns to her possession. 

 

Flying along the coast they're then accosted by what appears to be a giant snake that shoots up and coils around them.  But the snake turns out to be the shooting tower of Bitty Bit, the Seer of Some Summit, who is riding atop his tower in search of a sea serpent.  Inviting them back to his castle, he leads them to a cozy room lined with books and explains that because he's a seer he already knows who they are, and that Pigasus is the creation of the Red Jinn.  Ozma, he tells them, and the rest of the royals are safe, but in a trance at the bottom of Lightning Lake at the top of Thunder Mountain.  Bitty Bit offers to take them there via his tower, but after breakfast the next morning, he explains that they need to instead go to the Emerald City to retrieve the lost wishing emeralds of Lorna the Wood Nymph.

 

In the Emerald City, meanwhile, Skamperoo enjoys the festivities and company of the Ozian celebrities who were enchanted not to remember their missing comrades.  But that night, someone steals into Skamperoo's bedroom and makes off with the necklaces.  Chalk believes that Matiah somehow crossed the desert and took them.  He is correct, but when he searches the palace he doesn't locate Matiah's hiding place underneath the cellar in the underground caves that had been discovered and excavated by Ruggedo (Kabumpo in Oz).  Matiah tests out his theories on the necklaces, but to no avail.  He'd crossed the desert through bribing an eagle to whom he promised three wishes, and, in a nearby forest, the eagle awaits his payment or the punishment of Matiah if he doesn't deliver.  Convinced the necklaces must be worn by another, he abducts a kitchen boy from above and begins the experiments again.  But then everything turns to darkness.

 

Bitty Bit, Pigasus and Dorothy, who are responsible for the darkness with Gloma's magic, finds Chalk and Skamperoo and leads them into the laboratory where, restoring the light, they confront them about their treachery.  The kitchen boy then interrupts, explaining his abduction by a madman under the cellar.  But seeing the necklaces on him, both Skamperoo and Bitty Bit dive for it, frightening the boy.  Bitty Bit gets it to Pigasus who flies out of harm's way. 

 

Unable to figure out how to work it to restore Ozma, they demand that Chalk reveal their magic secret.  This he won't do unless they grant him two wishes.  They don't trust him, but Chalk explains that just as she loves her mistress, he loves Skamperoo, and besides that, they'd done no harm to anyone save to give Ozma and the others a chance to rest for awhile.  After some consideration, Bitty Bit agrees to their terms, and Chalk is given the necklace.  Skamperoo repeats his words, wishing themselves five wishes upon their return to Skampavia.  The second wish is to be reserved for later.  Chalk then whispers to Dorothy the necklaces' secret, and then handing them to her, he has Dorothy wish their return to Skampavia.  At that they disappear.  Bitty Bit next wishes that Skamperoo's spell over the inhabitants of Oz is dispelled and that Ozma and the others be released and restored to the palace.  The Wizard, Ozma and the others are unaware of the passage of three days since they were first enchanted.  Dorothy and her friends tell the story, which shocks everyone present.  Grateful for his help, Ozma invites Bitty Bit to stay, though for the love of his castle he declines, promising to help should they ever need it. 

 

Looking backwards to the history of the necklaces, the seer informs them that the emeralds were first collected and strung into necklaces by the Wizard Wam for the Dwarf King of the Green Mountain.  He presented them to Lorna the Wood Nymph who'd promised to marry him, but upon receiving them she turned him into a frog and returned to her forest.  But a squirrel stole the necklaces and buried them for the winter.  A woodcutter's son later spotted them and, as emeralds are common in Oz, traded them to a peddler for a new axe.  In time, the peddler made his way to Skampavia, where because gems are rare, Matiah traded everything for them.  Since by law, every subject must render the king 1/3 of everything he raises or owns, the necklaces came to the king who insisted on having all three, causing Matiah to pretend to be a wizard to get them back.  Though thwarted by Skamperoo, he made his way to Oz and retrived the necklaces, losing them again when the darkness of Gloma's spell allowed the kitchen boy to escape, and Matiah to hit his head in pursuit, knocking himself out.

 

With the necklaces on Dorothy, Ozma wishes Matiah to forget them and become a good citizen of Skampavia.  She wishes the vengeful eagle turned into a sparrow.  But before she can deal with Skamperoo, Bitty Bit tells her that he'd looked to see what wishes Chalk would request and found them all to be good and wise.  Later after their resumed celebration, when Ozma puts the necklaces in the safe, Dorothy explains that their secret is to wink with both eyes on the sixth count.  In Skampavia, meanwhile, Pinny Penny is happy to see his king again, and has changed some laws, taxing citizens only 1/20th of their earnings.  Chalk and Skamperoo tell their story, but Penny is concerned that with these wishes they'll leave Skampavia behind.  But Skamperoo surprises him, telling him that Penny himself shall make the wishes.  His first is to make the king of the country always wise and generous as Ozma; next, that the people make the country, rich, happy and prosperous; and last, that the climate and soil become mild and fertile.  Chalk wishes that they never be separated, and they save one wish for a future time. 

 

Continuity notes:

Chalk: There is some confusion as to Chalk's origins.  He seems to think that he was magicked out of thin air, but also that he was an Ozian horse.  Nathan M. DeHoff on the Pumperdink BCF forum notes: "Chalk knows that Skamperoo brought him into existence, but also that he comes from Oz.  If his existence really began in Skampavia, there is no way he could be 'from Oz.'  Perhaps he was an Ozian horse whose memories of Oz were erased when he was summoned by magic."

 

Crime and Punishment: For a change, the story's antagonists aren't transformed, memory-wiped or destroyed.  J.L. Bell postulates: "For many of her villains, Thompson has Ozma or someone else punish them with transformation, captivity, or near destruction. Only a few so far are allowed to remain not only intact but actually on their thrones: Mustafa, the Sultan of Samandra, and Skamperoo.  What distinguishes this group from the unlucky majority (J. Glegg, Irashi, Gorba, the pirates, etc.)?  Thompson hints that each of the exceptional three is more childish than evil (Skamperoo is "like a big bad baby" [29]). But their actions, objectively measured, seem just as bad.  How does Skamperoo taking over Oz differ from  taking over Seebania?  I think the three exceptional villains earn their lenient desserts because they:

1) are already kings.
2) don't try to marry any princesses by force or stealth.
 

In Thompson's plots, it seems, a commoner or lesser noble usurping a king's place and/or forcing himself on a princess becomes guilty of a "capital" crime.  Unlike Baum, she rarely deposes an established ruler, no matter how much he's oppressed his people or preyed on neighbors... Ozma does punish one creature for his actions in WISHING HORSE, though he's done no wrong to her or anyone else that we see.  Matiah "bribed a red eagle with the promise of three wishes" to carry him to Oz [251]. After Bitty Bit speaks of the giant bird's "exceedingly fierce look in his eye," Ozma turns the eagle into "a harmless sparrow" [288].  Neill provides quite a scary picture of this eagle in star-spangled overalls [252], but we never see him do anything that deserves transformation."  Bitty Bit, however, is able to clearly see that the five wishes Skamperoo was going to make were wise ones, he likewise may have seen that the three wishes the red eagle was going to make were wicked ones.

Dating: Due to the fact that Samuel Salt and Ato had not reunited in the four years from the end of Pirates in Oz to the start of Captain Salt in Oz, The Wishing Horse of Oz (which features them together in a grand Oz parade) must takes place afterwards.  Some have made a case that Skamperoo's spell caused them to forget, but as everyone else under that spell saw their memories restored, this theory seems unlikely, not least of which because its sole purpose is to keep the chronology in line with the books' publication order (something which Thompson's internal chronology argues against in other books).  The narrative presents an anniversary celebration of the Wizard and Dorothy's "discovery" of Oz.  It's not initially clear exactly whose anniversary it is, as each is sharing it with the other, but the enormity of the celebration would indicate a milestone year for either Dorothy or the Wizard's arrival, 25 or 50 years, respectively, indicating that a 1921 or 1923 date is the correct one.  Because the text notes that the celebration takes place in the Spring, and because it must take place prior to Captain Salt in Oz, which takes place in the summer of 1921, the indication appears to be the 1923 celebration based on the 25th anniversary of Dorothy's "discovery" of Oz in 1898.  If there was a gala celebration for the Wizard in 1921, it's unknown, and there is the possibility that that date was overlooked or kept a relatively small celebratory event, which may be why Dorothy insists on sharing her 25th anniversary celebration with the Wizard.  This also works thematically, as the narrative is centered around Dorothy's quest to save Oz, it would seem appropriate that it marks the anniversary of the first time she saved Oz.

 

Dorothy's color blindness: An unfortunate characterization in this book has Dorothy grieved over being turned black.  As J.L. Bell points out on the BCF Pumperdink forum: "becoming black strikes Dorothy and Pigasus as a terrible fate.  As soon as Dorothy sees her new skin color, she 'began to weep bitterly' [154], and she continues to cry for two more pages.  When was the last time Dorothy cried in the Oz books?  Perhaps as far back as WIZARD!  And Thompson ties Dorothy's reaction directly to her blackness--it's not said to be delayed sadness over losing Ozma or frustration at becoming a prisoner, it's because she sees that even her tongue is black...  It takes a while for Dorothy to realize, "maybe there's no harm in being black" [168].  She's even able to say, when 'she did not want to hurt Gloma's feelings,' that 'black is a perfectly beautiful color' [179].  Some of Thompson's best descriptive writing in her Oz books is her picture of Gloma's ebon realm.  Nonetheless, Thompson also assures us that the Black Foresters weren't born black, and Dorothy's response to Gloma's remark, 'I turned myself and my subjects as black as you now see us,' is 'What a shame! What a pity!' [176].  Despite her characters' declarations that black can be beautiful, Thompson and her version of Dorothy still seem to assume that black skin is very unfortunate."  While we can recognize that this is due to Thompson's own parochial mid-1930s views, in-universe, it has to be understood that the black that's being discussed in the narrative is not the brown skin color of African Americans, but in fact, pitch black. 

 

Dorothy's blindness to good and evil: Dorothy is portrayed with an immature understanding of good and evil, as Bell points out: "According to Thompson, Dorothy assumes that a good-looking person must be good.  Dorothy even starts thinking Gloma might be nice because 'her name sounds rather pretty' [156].  Similarly, Dorothy begins to change her mind about General Blotz because 'he is not bad looking at all' [156].  Thompson writes that Gloma looks 'much more like a Queen than a witch,' as if one could tell both queens and witches by sight [159].  This pattern of statements maintains Thompson's usual linkage (especially in females) of traditional beauty with goodness."  This thankfully changes by the next book, Handy Mandy in Oz, where the king and wizard Wutz are noted by Mandy as looking "so nice," and yet is one of Oz's most ruthless villains.

 

Doubtful Dromedary: This camel (who first appeared in Kabumpo in Oz) still lives in the Royal Stables at this time.  The Comfortable Camel, his companion, has been living with Prince Corum in Samandra since the events of The Yellow Knight of Oz.  He'll find his own master a few years hence in The Magic Cryptogram in Oz.

 

Good Witch of the North's Kiss: Not since The Wonderful Wizard of Oz has the protective kiss given by the Good Witch of the North to Dorothy been utilized, and there is some speculation as to exactly what kind of protection the kiss affords.  It is clearly not from accidents, as Dorothy is tripped up in the Wicked Witch's castle.  It also doesn't appear to protect her from magical spells (at least not non-lethal ones) as Dorothy is successfully transformed by Kiki Aru in The Magic of Oz and by  in Ojo in Oz.  On the Pumperdink forum J.L. Bell notes that: "If the kiss protects Dorothy just from being intentionally physically harmed, then it offers a limited defense for a traveler in a magical country.  Even in WIZARD, the Good Witch's kiss comes into play only with the Winged Monkeys, then under the magical control of the Wicked Witch of the West.  Some other characters see the mark, but it doesn't deter the Kalidahs, counteract the Poppies, or otherwise smooth Dorothy's way in that book.  Then it disappears from the series until WISHING HORSE, when the kiss protects Dorothy from the spells of another witch in Winkie Country, and also turns out to protect pigs she happens to be squeezing.  Another wrinkle in trying to understand this charm is that, while the Wicked Witch of the West is by definition wicked, both Dorothy and Thompson reject that label for Gloma.  The black witch doesn't seem to be exercising "the Power of Evil"—yet the kiss thwarts her nonetheless.  The Monkeys' understanding of the wish's moral underpinnings may be too stark.  At the same time, Gloma seems to be trying only some of her spells: those intended to destroy Dorothy physically. She could probably send Dorothy far away since she later proves she can do such magic [184].  Had she chosen to transform Dorothy, the precedents imply that she could have succeeded.  But she chose the spells to destroy Dorothy—not really confirmation of blameless intent."

 

Gloma: The Black Witch of the Black Forest once ruled over the southern part of the Winkie country, a part that she notes the Wicked Witch of the West (Thompson says East, though she is again mixing up the east and west designations thanks to the ill-conceived designation in the Tik-Tok of Oz map) had not taken control over.  Given that the Wicked Witch of the West was fearful of the dark, Gloma could have used her "black" magic to keep Mordra at bay.  Gloma also notes that she came to power by "royal right and inheritance" (page 175).  So, she is queen by "right" of succession.  Whether her forbears were also wizards, witches or magicians, or whether she learned witchcraft on her own is not stated.  The fact that she chose to go into hiding when Dorothy arrives, rather than seek out the aid of Glinda or the Good Witch of the North is an angle that has not yet been explored.  As regards her powers, J.L. Bell, on the Pumperdink forum, notes that they are: "among the most visually striking and scary that Thompson ever described: 'red hot sparks'; 'a hundred, huge, hideous, black snakes [with] green glittering eyes lighting up the room'; 'a shower of silver arrows'; and 'a cloud of choking green smoke' [172].  The phosphorescent green eyes reappear later on the Dooners [220], so Thompson must have had them in her mind—perhaps in her nightmares."  Despite Gloma's attempts to destroy Dorothy, Dorothy proves rather magnanimous, stating on page 174: "You thought we were going to destroy you, so, of course, you tried to destroy us. That was fair enough and I don't blame you."

 

Green Magic: There appears to be a discrepancy with the use of green magic.  On the Pumperdink forum, Nathan M. Dehoff notes that: "Gloma identifies the emeralds as being "green magic." This is appropriate for green gems, but the fact that they work in Skampavia seems to contradict Mombi's statement in LOST KING that green magic only works in the Emerald City territory. My guess is that green magic just has to ORIGINATE in that area (or possibly another "center" of green magic, if any others exist).  There is really no reason to believe that Wam was NOT in the green area when he made and enchanted the necklaces."

 

Parade: There are some curious factors about the gala parade, including an implication that there is an abundance of horses, as Ragbad and Seebania arrive in open coaches.  On the Pumperdink forum, Nathan DeHoff notes that it's not explicitly horses, and J.L. Bell adds that "on page 104 Thompson refers to 'Royal Equipages,' implying that horses were pulling every vehicle.  Ruth Berman counters that while this is likely so, "it wouldn't actually have to be specifically horses for all royal equipages.  I have this picture in my head of a friendly Kalidah who promises faithfully not to eat any of the spectators if allowed to come be in the parade and pull a float and be cheered by all.  For a Special Effect, maybe the Queen of the Mice could send a thousand or so mice to pull one, and the Scarecrow and Tin Woodman could show off their special skills in fast-order rolling of grass into strings and knot-tying and mouse-harnessing. (Perhaps with little teeny mouse-collars for each, so's they can pull hard without getting choked.)  Llamas, anyone?"  This seems the most in keeping with how Baum depicted Oz.

 

Princesses: Trot and Betsy Bobbin are noted, on page 86, as being "princesses in their own right."  This same expression occurs again on page 162 of Handy Mandy in Oz.  While Trot is a Princess of Sky Island (see Sky Island) and an honorary Princess of the Munchkins (The Giant Horse of Oz), Betsy has never before been referred to as a Princess before, and it may be that Ozma offered her that title some time prior to the events of this book.

 

Road to Oz: Akin to the way Baum brought in characters from his prior books, Thompson has a host of protagonists from her prior Oz books appear in the Emerald City for the gala celebration.  Even Happy Toko, though he doesn't appear, gets a mention.  J.L. Bell, on the Pumperdink forum, also notes who isn't mentioned (and presumably doesn't arrive): "At the top is her father Pastoria, along with Snip, Pajuka, Humpy, and the rulers of Kimbaloo.  The lost king is even supposed to be living in the capital. Neither Carter Green or King Evered of Rash make the scene. The Iffin from JACK PUMPKINHEAD is on hand, but that book's happy couple are no-shows. The Pumperdink royal family attends, but not King Randy of Regalia."  This is a point noted in The Silver Princess of Oz. "Thompson breaks her usual pattern of mentioning characters from her most recent book by leaving out the Umbrellians.  And of course she continues to ignore many of Baum's second-tier celebrities, even those whom he left living in Ozma's palace: Button-Bright, the Shaggy Man, the Frogman, the Tin Soldier, Cap'n Bill, and so on."

 

Size of Oz: Based on the calculation of how large Skampavia is, Nathan M. DeHoff and J.L. Bell have come up with a possible size for Oz that seems reasonable: "Adding up the county tax collectors' territories on page 19, I get only 218 square miles as its total area. As Nathan DeHoff notes, the usually reliable Pinny Penny says Oz is "about fifty times as large" as Skampavia [30].  That would make Oz around 11,000 square miles, or the equivalent of 88 miles by 125 miles.  By comparison, the state of Massachusetts is 10,554 miles, making Oz larger than that state by 446 square miles.

 

Skampavia: Since the text notes that Skamperoo's "father or grandfather picked out this pesky little country," (page 20) and that Skamperoo has marauders who snuck into Merryland to steal and make trouble, it might be assumed that Skamperoo's father or grandfather basically invaded the country and began ruling over its inhabitants.

 

Soldier with the Green Whiskers: There is no explanation as to why Omby Amby's beard turns from green to red, cluing Dorothy in that something is wrong. On the Pumperdink forum, Tyler Jones cites it as a possible magical glitch while J.L. Bell postulates: "This hints at some deeper order of magic protecting Oz, which we never hear of before or since. Dorothy's wish--'Whatever happens, help me to save Ozma and Oz' [113]--seems like an odd response from her, and unconventionally phrased to boot."  What it seems like is a prayer.  David Hulan suspects that it was an intentional wish by Skamperoo designed to get the rulers of Oz out of the public eye so they could be spirited away.  Atticus Gannaway attributes it to the kiss of the Good Witch of the North.

 

Thunder Mountain: The location where Ozma and the other enchanted royals were sent by Skamperoo.  Lightning Lake, where they were magically asleep under, and the mountain itself are one of the "unexplored places" of Oz, as Dorothy and Pigasus, though traveling to it, never end up going there.

 

The Wishing Necklaces: The origin of these emerald necklaces made by the Wizard Wam for the Wood Nymph Lorna is explored in detail in Book 1 of The Seven Blue Mountains trilogy: The Disenchanted Princess of Oz: chapter 20.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Silver Princess in Oz

 

 

32nd Oz book of the Famous Forty, Sovereign Sixty and Supreme Seventy-Five!

 

The Royal Timeline of Oz recommends the Empty Grave Retrofit version of this book edited by Adam Nicolai, which eliminates the racism present in the original edition of this book (a list of textual changes is included in the back of that version).

 

Story: As young king Randy grows weary of the formality and of court life in Regalia, he blames his father for having retired to a cave and leaving the burden of rule to him.  Uncle Hoochafoo suggests that Randy get married, but he declines.  Much to his delight, Kabumpo arrives, bursting through the gates.  Kabumpo notes that it's been six years since he's seen Randy, and that he is now 16 years old (though technically 20, as he'd remained 10 years old for four years).  Randy asks him why he didn't come six months after their adventures in The Purple Prince of Oz, as he'd promised, but Kabumpo cites the difficulties in taking a break from court life, something Randy can relate to, noting that earning the crown had been more fun than wearing it. 

 

The pair decide to sneak away from the kingdom and enjoy a vacation with Jinnicky.  Waiting for the appropriate time when Uncle Hoochafoo won't catch them, they head north by northwest to the Deadly Desert, unsure of how to cross it, but convinced a solution will present itself.  The pair find themselves, however, on an unfamiliar road that leads to a cleft upon a steep rock.  Entering it, they note a sign for Gaper's Gulch and the Most Snorious Gaper.  Unsure what that means, they proceed forward and meet a sleepy guard named Wink, who tells Kabumpo to follow the arrows.  He passes forty Winks, each of whom shoot an arrow into the back of his legs.  Randy removes them and keeps them. 

 

Randy soon falls asleep and Kabumpo grows drowsy, and as he enters Gaper's Gulch he can no longer keep his eyes open.  He awakens some time later to find forty Wakes attempting to bury him.  The custom of the Gapers is to lie dormant in the ground for six months from January to June, after which they're dug up good as new, and then eat from July to December.  Kabumpo escapes the pit he's in and trumpets so loudly he frightens away the Wakes and rouses from slumber Sleeperoo and the other dormant natives of Hiber-nation.  Kabumpo demands Randy be restored to him, explaining that they do not sleep as the Gapers do.  Sleeperoo sends Snorpy and Torpy (Wakes who are awake in the winter and spring) to guide them out of the gulch.

 

Coming finally to the edge of the Deadly Desert, they spot several heads flying about with a sign leading to Headland, which is at the northwestern tip of the Gillikin country.  The sign reads: "no bodies allowed."  As the travelers approach, the heads grab a coil of wire in their teeth, with which they attempt to behead Kabumpo and Randy!  As they tighten the noose around Kabumpo's neck, Randy remembers the darts the Winks had shot into Kabumpo's legs and hurls them at the Headman, putting him to sleep.  Randy continues throwing darts at the rest, putting them all to sleep. 

 

Venturing on, they encounter a hail and rainstorm so severe that Kabumpo puts on a waterproof to protect him and Randy.  But the wind picks him up (along with Randy who hangs on to the waterproof) and blows them across the Deadly Desert.

 

Finding themselves in Ix, they seek refuge in a farmhouse, but having never seen an elephant before, the residents of the village flee in terror.  Kabumpo procures food, while Randy leaves them a pearl in exchange.  As Kabumpo is giving Randy a hayride, a smoking black horse comes from the sky, startling the travelers.  Breathing fire, he burns all the hay from Kabumpo's back and rushes to get in the water.  The horse communicates through smoke messages, and writes out a greeting, introducing himself as Thun the Thundercolt, steed of his mistress Princess Planetty from Anuther Planet.  With his trunk and legs, Kabumpo spells out greeting in return, and Thun leads them to where his mistress is waiting.  Planetty is able to speak the language, although she utilizes some unfamiliar words and expressions.  She explains that they had been traveling across a netway to a zorodell when a storm overtook them.  Frightened, Thun sprang upon a thunderbolt which transported them to Ix.  She and Thun cannot stay as they must bathe in the Vanadium Springs every week or they'll stiffen and cease to move.  Kabumpo then realizes the urgency with which she must return to her planet before she becomes a statue, and realizes that Jinnicky might be able to help her.  Planetty agrees to join them.

 

Coming to a wooden walled city, Thun burns a hole through the wall and they enter Box Wood, a city of people who go about wearing boxes at all times to prevent them from spoiling and withering away.  Fearful for the intruders, they immediately box Thun in an iron box.  The Box Chief Chillywalla explains that their boxes are the best grown anywhere.  In fact, their entire country is covered by a giant wooden box.  Chillywalla agrees to show them the way out, but en route, the travelers discover that the boxes that grow in abundance throughout the country each contain valuables, from chocolates to jewelry, breads, cakes, suits, clothing, and even cigarettes [a reflection of the era this story was written in], but the boxers throw them all out when collecting the boxes, which is the only part they value.  So Randy and Kabumpo start collecting the items inside the boxes.  All is well until Randy notes aloud that people in Regalia throw out the boxes and not the items inside.  This enrages Chillywalla, who calls his people to box the travelers.  Kabumpo, however, bursts through the wall on the far side of Box Wood, allowing them to escape.

 

Planetty—who they also call Netty or Anetty—explains that on her planet there are no families or houses, and she's enamored of the life in Oz they describe, so that she no longer wishes to return home.  Randy assures her that with Jinnicky's magic, she won't have to.  Exiting the forest, they enter a field of feathers which begin mercilessly tickling Kabumpo and Randy (though it has no effect on the Nuthers).  Thun gets the idea to tie Kabumpo to him, so Planetty finds a chain, enabling Thun to pull Kabumpo out of the deadly field of feathers.  Arousing from his ordeal, Kabumpo pledges to a be a fellow friend and warrior to Thun, who rejoices.  A sign soon informs them that they're in Ev, but it comes with a warning to beware Gludwig the Glubrious, causing Randy to suspect that it was this Gludwig who planted the field of feathers.

 

As they reach the shore of the Nonestic and the castle of the Red Jinn, Planetty is amazed.  But when what seems to be a parade of scimitar-wielding warriors arrives, the travelers discover they're in danger.  A fierce battle erupts with Planetty standing on Thun's back hurling her staff which turns the warriors (60 in all) into statues.  Kabumpo trumps and falls upon men while Randy throws boxes at them.  The army disperses, but the Headman informs the group that Jinnicky is at the bottom of the sea.  Randy apologizes for putting Planetty in danger, but she explains that on her planet they also have "bad beasts and Nuthers" which they subdue with their voral staffs.

 

Bursting into the throne room they encounter Gludwig, who is a tall man in a red wig with red lashes, smoking a pipe.  Before Planetty can throw her staff, Gludwig releases a trap door in the floor, tumbling all of his would-be conquerors into the cellar.  Investigating their prison, they discover many of Jinnicky's used up and semi-used potions, of which Randy snatches up two that look good.  Another thing he finds is a handbag that has actual hands, and this he gifts to Planetty.  There is also a large drum in the cellar, and as the Nuthers have neither seen nor heard a drum beat before, Kabumpo beats it.  This results in the release of Ginger, Jinnicky's loyal servant of the bell who had been shut up in the drum by Gludwig for seven months.  Ginger informs them that Gludwig had been a trusted officer and manager of the ruby mines, but he convinced his miners to become an army of rebellion and march upon the castles.  They drove everyone out, sending Alibabble and the members of court to work the mines under Glubdo, Gludwig's brother.  Jinnicky was pushed into the sea.  As "the best part of Jinnicky's magic," Ginger couldn't be destroyed, so he was shut up in the drum.  While Ginger thinks how to proceed forward, Planetty and Thun grow tired and lie down to rest.  To the horror of Randy and Kabumpo, they turn into statues, deprived of the Vanadium Springs needed to keep them alive!

 

Meanwhile, on Nonagon Island, a nine-sided island inhabited by only nine fishermen, a fisherman named Bloff who'd "never... seen anyone in his life but... Nonagon Islanders," fishes Jinnicky out of the sea.  The Red Jinn is glad to be rescued and greets them, but only Bloff's hungry and abused cat Nina shows any consideration towards him.  Jinnicky tries to depart from the intractable man's hut, but he attacks him, insisting on taking his jar.  Jinnicky resists, and Nina assists him, attacking her abusive master.  In the melee, a magic dinner bell is dislodged from Jinnicky's sleeve, and ringing it brings Ginger, Kabumpo and Randy.  Bloff flees, while the Jinn has Ginger bring everyone food, including Nina who Jinnicky adopts. 

 

Jinnicky is informed of Planetty and Thun's crisis and thinks he can replicate the Vanadium Springs in his lab once he gets his castle back from Gludwig.  But Gludwig has been testing out Planetty's staff on the palace dog and several servants, turning them into statues.  With Ginger's help, Jinnicky, Randy and Kabumpo descend into the castle and enter the bedroom where Gludwig is sleeping.  Gludwig overhears them, though, and as they enter, he flings the staff at Randy.  But much to everyone's surprise, it passes right through him!  Randy then grabs the staff and uses it on Gludwig, turning him into a statue, which Kabumpo throws into the garden.  Randy searches his pockets for a magic charm, and comes across the potions which he'd gotten in the cellar.  Jinnicky tells him that they're what saved him.

 

Jinnicky announces his return and pardons those who joined with Gludwig, except Glubdo whose already fled, and the army that had attacked Randy and his party.  These are left as statues in warning to others who might think of rebelling.  The other miners claim to be glad to return to the mines, as Jinnicky's policies include short hours, high pay and nice cottages along the sea (though whether this is a newly adopted policy or something Jinnicky already had in place isn't clear).  Hours later, the Red Jinn announces his success in having restored Planetty and Thun, but he is upset that their restoration has come with a price.  They are now like people from Ev and Oz, and can no longer survive on their original world.  Thun also can now speak and hear, and breathes cold fire.  Planetty is no longer metallic but flesh.  Randy is overjoyed at the news and asks Planetty to be his queen, and with Thun, to live with him in Regalia.  She accepts.

 

After a month-long wedding celebration, Randy, Planetty, Kabumpo and Thun leave the Red Jinn's castle for Regalia, where Randy sees through on his promise to restore the kingdom.  Kabumpo also begins to spend almost as much time with them as he does in Pumperdink, having adventures traveling through Oz with them.

 

Continuity notes:

Anuther Planet: Despite its exotic customs and rituals, Anuther Planet bears some strikingly earthly origins.  Its two known inhabitants are a horse and a young woman, who aside from their surface metallic skin, look and behave like their earth equivalents.  The horse breathes fire, which is unique, and speaks through smoke, but utilizes the English language when doing so.  This can probably be explained by the same magical contrivance that makes it so that nearly everyone in and around Nonestica speaks English (even if they have another language).  There is the very alien concept of being born from and needing to bathe in Vanadium Springs in order to stay alive, though even this has terrestrial origins in that Vanadium is a hard, silvery grey metal that occurs naturally in minerals and fossil fuel deposits.  In the BCF Pumperdink forums, Scott Andrew Hutchins brings out that "Vanadium has a melting point of 3434 °F, which means that not only must Anuther be extremely hot, it would seem Planetty would have to be so as well in order to move and be soft to the touch."  J.L. Bell counters that "No passage says that they're the temperature of molten vanadium, only that they enjoy baths in that substance. Thun breathes hot flames and has a fiery mane, but Randy actually touches him without injury" [page 145-6]. 

 

Vanadium derives from Norse mythology, a fact that Ruth Berman explains: "vanadium" comes from the Old Norse Vanadis, which is another name for the goddess Freya, one of the Vanir (the elder gods who allied themselves with the Aesir). Seems an appropriate element to choose for a celestial princess.  The silent Thun would seem to be named ironically for what his hooves don't do over the pavement early in the morning." 

 

There are wild beasts on Anuther Planet that the staff needs to tame, and if death doesn't happen, assuming they always go back to their springs weekly (sonestorily), perhaps they fear the beasts because they can damage their bodies to some level of discomfort, though it is probably reparable.  Maybe the planet itself is the king, and all the Thunderhorses and Nuthers are his children.  The children are obviously intelligent enough to distinguish vanadium from non-vanadium, to recognize day and night on their planet, and to have designed a seven-day period similar to ours." 

 

In Lurline and the White Ravens of Oz, Anetty explains that the people once believed in a pantheon of gods led by Kthonthus, who is the equivalent of Zeus (or Odin), and who live in a mountain above the clouds.  Kthonthus is said to have created Anuther Planet and determined that it was so wonderful that none would ever leave it.  A goddess determined to create another wonderful realm, and stole the gifts of the other gods to do so.  She created Atlantea, and when her theft was discovered she was exiled there.  Although the people no longer believe in the gods, deeming them and fairies as myths, they still hold to the traditional view that it's wrong to leave the planet.  For this reason, Anetty explains she would be punished if she ever returned.

 

Not a Planet: Nathan M. DeHoff notes that Anuther Planet may actually be another realm (as in a "nether" realm) and not quite a planet.  "It's possible that Anuther Planet is located in the sky far above Oz, as Kabumpo seems to think, and as some of the stars (like the one into which the Flyaboutabus crashes in COWARDLY LION) are, but that would make the 'planet' designation a misnomer.  This would make it another 'skyland,' along the lines of Sky Island, Un, and Stratovania.  It certainly wouldn't be possible for a thunderbolt to travel from another planet to Oz (whether or not Oz is on our Earth, which is a much debated topic in and of itself).  Even a comet wouldn't enter another planet's gravitational field and then return to space.  If Anuther Planet really IS a planet, then the thunderbolt must have had some magical powers that aren't indicated in the text.  An odd feature of Anuther Planet is that its week has seven days... On their planet, it has more significance, though, because it indicates how often the inhabitants must take vanadium baths. Of course, we have no idea how long the days are on Anuther Planet, and Kabumpo's assumption that they are the same length as ours might have been way off. On the other hand, Planetty and Thun both adjust quite easily to the days in Ix, which might be a hint that their days are about the same length."  J.L. Bell adds that: "the atmosphere Planetty and Thompson describe is unlike Earth's: 'skies were grey and leaden, and the various states of slate and silver strata arranged in stiff and net-like patterns' [113].  That implies Anuther Planet is not within the airy atmosphere of Atmos Fere, Sky Island, and the like.  If Planetty's atmosphere is isolated over her own realm, like the suns above the Mangaboo land, then she could come from almost anywhere, including subterranean Earth, and only BELIEVE that she fell through space.  Yet again, we have to consider that some astronomical disturbance of an unknown sort has transported Planetty and Thun to Earth, as well as disturbing Earth's atmosphere near part of the Deadly Desert.  Though Planetty in her language and understanding presents that event as a 'thunderbolt,' that might not correspond to the atmospheric thunderbolts we experience on Earth."

 

Boxwood: A large community of beings who live under a giant box, and who wear boxes to protect them from withering and dying.  There is no indication of what Chillywalla, the Box Chief, or the Boxers look like under their boxes, or even if they're human, animal or some kind of sapient plant.  Whether or not the Boxers' fear of spoiling (and hence dying) is a legitimate concern (which it wouldn't be in Oz, given that even vegetable people such as Carter Green don't spoil, but they're not in Oz but Ix) or one built on fear isn't explicit in the text.  If the Boxers do spoil, the boxes they wear, and even the giant box that covers their country, would only slow the process, not prevent it entirely.  If it is a psychological fear, it is a deep one, as the very notion of throwing boxes away (which Randy notes people do in Regalia) is horrifying and repellant to the Boxers.

 

Dating: This book takes place over the course of four days in the Spring (from May 7—10, page 213), after which a month is spent in celebration.  See the Day-to-Day Chronology for more details.  The narrative occurs six years after the events of The Purple Prince of Oz, according to the age of the protagonist, Randy, who in the latter story, was 10 years old, and in the former is 16.  The narrator also notes that six years have passed, confirming the dating.  The Royal Timeline of Oz places the events of the latter book in 1920, which gives this story a date of 1926.  The Silver Princess of Oz is also dated three years after the events of The Wishing Horse of Oz, as Kabumpo remembers seeing Jinnicky at the gala celebration recorded in that book (page 121).  There is another interesting seeming discrepancy, which J.L. Bell points out regarding the end of The Purple Prince of Oz: "At the end of PURPLE PRINCE, Jinnicky promises Kabumpo that he'll be back to Pumperdink in "a month and a day" so they can go on to Regalia.  In SILVER PRINCESS, Randy says to Kabumpo, "You promised to visit me six months after I was crowned" [33]. Is it possible that the first visit took place, but Kabumpo never returned five months later?"  This appears to have been the case and represents a story untold, or a story with not much to tell.  "After all, the Regalians would surely have wanted a holiday for their new king's coronation.  On the other hand, SILVER PRINCESS gives us no sign of Johnwan, whom Jinnicky was supposed to bring back on that occasion, or the back-engineered wooden soldiers the Jinn had been hoping to make.  Perhaps Jinnicky ran into more difficulty with that job than he expected, and in embarrassment put off his and Kabumpo's visit to Regalia, first for a few months and then indefinitely."

 

Field of Feathers: This unusual field of deadly tickling feathers appears to derive from the Deadly Poppy Field, though with a twist, since in Ix at this point, people can presumably still die.  Nathan DeHoff, on the Pumperdink forum, notes that Gludwig may not have been responsible for its existence: "After seeing Gludwig's sign, Randy and Kabumpo guess that Gludwig 'was the fellow who planted those feathers' (p. 168). Later on, however, we learn that 'in [Gludwig's] whole seven months in the castle he had not discovered a way to use any of the Red Jinn's magic, nor been able to cast a single spell or transformation' (pp. 226-227). This implies that Gludwig didn't plant the feathers, and leaves open the question as to who DID plant them."  Opal Sound responds, noting that as indicated by the sign, Gludwig did plant the feathers: "My guess is that the feathers were already magically activated when brought there, and all Gludwig had to do was let them out of the bag, so to speak, but he was incapable of making such feathers himself."  Ruth Berman adds that it "Might have been a failed experiment of Jinnicky's that he'd been meaning to plow over before being interrupted by insurrection?  Either Jinnicky or Zixi (or maybe less well known people, like Kadj the Conjuror or Cinderbutton the Witch) could have planted them in error in working on something else and not realized what had grown?  Or, depending on how rigidly not discovering a way to use any of the Red Jinn's magic is interpreted, it might leave room for Gludwig to find a packet of seeds labeled 'quick-growing! protects against cutworms and other invaders!  Caution: dangerous to invaders' and plant them?  Strictly speaking, that would be using the RJ's magic, but if 'use' is interpreted as meaning learn how to replicate or control it, maybe not?"  J.L. Bell reasons that the feather plants may simply be a naturally-growing plant, not unlike the poppies of the Deadly Poppy Field, and that Gludwig merely cultivated this naturally growing plant to protect his usurped realm from intruders.

 

Gludwig: As with most of Thompson's characters, Gludwig isn't given much motivation besides greed and power, and even the hints that he is motivated about righting the wrongs done to laborers and slaves is undercut by his casual disdain for those servants he has in his care once he's in power.  There is also no indication as to why he wears a red wig.  The short story "Gludwig and the Red Hair," which builds on the idea put forth by the author in his "retrofit edition" of The Silver Princess in Oz that the slaves were magically-created gravel men (avoiding the racism present in the original version), answers these mysteries, and indicates that the solution lies in the wig itself.

 

Planetty: The titular silver princess is enamored of Nonestican life and very quickly decides she'd rather stay there than go back to whatever passes as a home on Anuther Planet.  Her title is harder to comprehend, however, as J.L. Bell notes on the Pumperdink forum: "In one sense, Planetty resembles Dorothy in WIZARD: both have animal companions who impetuously dash the wrong way at the wrong time, causing their mistresses to take a long journey to a magical realm.  But Planetty is also a princess. Kabumpo, with his nose turned up for royalty, recognizes that immediately [101], even though it's not clear how one gets to be a princess of Anuther Planet.  Planetty's not born to a ruler [152], and she doesn't speak of responsibilities or benefits she's missing back home.  We can assume that all of Anuther Planet is one society since Planetty makes that assumption about Earth ["planet of Oz"104]."  While she mentions countries, she "doesn't mention political or geographic sections of her home planet.  But maybe everyone there is a princess."  Planetty mentions that "people are all the same" on her planet, which would argue against her being some kind of royalty, unless everyone born of the Vanadium Springs is royalty, or if the word princess simply means young woman in her dialect.  Opal Sound notes that Thun may be referring to the notion that she is a princess to him.  Bell adds that "Whatever the zorodell is which Planetty and Thun were on their way to, we know it is an event" or a place, and that "social interaction is implied.  Perhaps the social interaction is like a party, but lighter in nature.  After all, Nuthers don't even seem to reproduce.  The springs make them, and that's it.  In Lurline and the White Ravens of Oz, Anetty admits that she's not a princess at all, and only pretended to be one.  In fact, she and Thun were longtime friends who worked as security officers.  When they passed by Oz in the ship they were working on, they took the chance to jump off escape Anuther Planet, which is frowned upon by their traditional society.  Planetty and Thun appear again in The Magic Dishpan of Oz and Lurline and the White Ravens of Oz.

 

Racism and slave labor: The Silver Princess of Oz is one of the most criticized of Thompson's books due not only to its racism and cruel stereotypes (the latter in large part due to Neill's illustrations), but because she has the story's white protagonists and heroes crush a black slave revolt.  As J.L. Bell notes in the BCF Pumperdink forum, "Thompson uses the term 'slaves' to refer to Jinnicky's miners [180, 183], even as she also says they were paid and housed [238]. Thus, she presents the situation as BOTH a slave revolt and a labor dispute. But resistance to slavery is a dispute over labor, so those two things aren't really opposed."  So vicious is her treatment of Jinnicky's revolting slaves that she has the Red Jinn keep them as statues in order to warn others of the dangers of rebellion.  For this reason, the Royal Timeline of Oz recommends the Empty-Grave Retrofit Edition of this book created by Adam Nicolai, which reflects far more closely the values of Oz as embodied by Baum and the protagonists he created.  In this version, the slave revolt is not one of blacks, but of gravel men that Jinnicky created to expand his castle.  This book also contains the Oz short story "Gludwig and the Red Hair."  There is still an issue of slavery present in even this version of the text, but that issue is dealt with in other works, specifically Carrie Bailey's Bungle in Oz

 

Racist Predecessors: Noting the historical precedent for such a tale, J.L. Bell notes that "I think it's useful to look at SILVER PRINCESS's depiction of Jinnicky's slaves through the lens of the 'Lost Cause' myth of U.S. Southern history which prevailed in Thompson's time. In that image of the past, American slaveholders were kind and generous to their human property, and American blacks were better off working for rich white landowners as slaves or sharecroppers than becoming independent farmers and workers.  Thompson applies the same model to Jinnicky's kingdom: the savage, foolish, and easily frightened black characters don't realize how good they had it working for the Jinn.  They're led astray by a malicious lighter-skinned official (as in BIRTH OF A NATION), but in the end are grateful to return to their old boss.  And Jinnicky publicly displays the lifeless bodies of some uppity rebels in order to keep the rest quiet.  As troubling as that narrative is to us now, it wasn't an uncommon depiction of race relations in the U.S. in the late 1930s, and was therefore easy to apply to a good guy in the Nonestic world... by the next time Thompson wrote about Jinnicky, in YANKEE, she seems to have discarded the term 'slaves.'  While not fully erased in the decades right after WW2, 'Lost Cause' ideas were no longer so prevalent in American culture. (It's conceivable that Thompson used the old terms when she wrote YANKEE in the early 1960s and received more editorial advice when the Oz Club published the manuscript in the 1970s, but I prefer to think she'd made the change herself.)... So we'd have to believe that Alibabble, Randy, Kabumpo, or others convinced Jinnicky to change his mind about what to do with the petrified soldiers--and that Thompson not only didn't report that change of heart but wrote favorably of the Jinn's initial harshness. And for most of us today, we do HAVE to believe something like that to retain our fondness and admiration for Jinnicky. As I found when trying to reimagine the relationship between Jinnicky and Ginger (in "Dearest Mother," published in the 2001 OZIANA), that requires some noncanonical and wishful thinking. But wishfulness is part of fantasy, after all."

 

Randy: Revealed in The Purple Prince of Oz, Randy's full name is "Randywell, Handywell, Brandenburg Bompadoo."  Kabumpo appears to make sense of this lengthy name when he refers to Randy as "Randywell Handywell of Brandenburg and Bompadoo" (italics my own), indicating that his last two names are place names, likely the towns where his mother and father hail.  As king Randy appears again in Lurline and the White Ravens of Oz, where he intends to convert an Ozoplane into a vehicle for space exploration.

 

Regalia: Gathering information on this country from The Purple Prince of Oz and The Silver Princess of Oz, J.L. Bell pieced together what is known about this kingdom: "PURPLE PRINCE said Regalians were "much given to feasting, celebrations and gay processions." SILVER PRINCESS elaborates: the small kingdom has daily judicial courts, a 'weekly court reception' [18], and 'seventy-seven national holidays' [17].  Some of these holidays might be the 'numerous celebrations for national heroes' [19], and it would be nice to know who those folks are.  There seem to be a separate 'Purple Guard' and 'Highland Guards' [30-1] marching for review; since the latter muster in the evening, they might be a militia.  The Regalian economy appears to be traditionally agricultural, based on raising goats [as on Mount Mern?—17, 19, 31] and growing grapes [31].  In PURPLE PRINCE we first saw Randy amid the grape groves of Pumperdink.  Since Regalia has the 'largest and most luscious grapes in Oz,' it's no wonder that the young wanderer wanted some—and found them more 'sour' than he was used to.  From our first look at them, Thompson has said Regalia was 'a proud, pompous, and regal little kingdom.' Here she makes a big deal of this: Regalians are 'proud and independent,' 'superior,' 'top-lofty,' and 'stiff and unbending' [18]—which makes one wonder why Kabumpo didn't fit right in.  Even Uncle Hoochafoo, who spent PURPLE PRINCE worrying about his nephew, is here portrayed as snobbish and 'tempery' [31]—again, rather like a certain elegant elephant. Everyone seems to want to serve Randy, however; unlike other young Thompson royals, he suffers from smothering care rather than treachery or want.  The only Regalians we met in PURPLE PRINCE were Randy; his uncle 'Hoochafoo, the Foolish'; and Chalulu the Wise Man. The latter two figures seem to be combined in the Hoochafoo of SILVER PRINCESS. He's still equally devoted to his nephew and Regalian custom, but he's also become the king's main advisor, without the dithering."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rosine and the Laughing Dragon of Oz

 

History: Written by L. Frank Baum's son, Frank Joslyn Baum, the infamous The Laughing Dragon of Oz was originally submitted to Reilly & Lee as Rosine in Oz.  When they rejected it, he submitted it to Whitman as Rosine and the Laughing Dragon, although as that story was too long, it was cut in half by Whitman to fit into its ‘Big Little’ format, and re-titled The Laughing Dragon of Oz.  Following its publication in 1934, Reilly & Lee sued Whitman for copyright infringement.  Whitman settled out of court, agreeing to print no further copies after the original pressing had sold out.  This also quashed the intended publication of the second half of the story, which would have been released as a sequel entitled, The Enchanted Princess of Oz.  In recent years, however, a few pieces of art (by the original artist Milt Youngren) were recovered.  Then in 2006, after seventy-two years out-of-print, the complete manuscript of Rosine and the Laughing Dragon of Oz was prepared for publication by Books of Wonder, with a new cover by Denis McFarling, but at the last minute, it was cancelled.  It is believed that the copyright holders Roger S. Baum and his sister blocked its publication, though why they would do so is not known.  Some years later, a privately printed and distributed hardcover appeared, which included the original uncut version of the story, with a few modern editorial emendations, plus Frank's short story "Jimmy Bulber in Oz" (originally published in Oziana 1974).  As of this time, no plans are known to be forthcoming for an official release.  This summary is based on the full-length Rosine and the Laughing Dragon of Oz

 

Story: On her way back to the U.S. to stay with her aunt in California while her father constructs a railroad in a foreign land, young Rosine and her pet monkey Jim comfort each other while flying on a small passenger plane.  When a dangerous storm erupts, the plane's side door rips open, and the winds tear Rosine and Jim out of the plane.  After falling for a time, their descent slows and they land gently upon a pleasant looking landscape.  There Rosine hears a deep voice laughing and threatening her from behind a grove, but when she sees the speaker she laughs, for it is a large-headed dragon with peppermint teeth, a long neck and the body the size of a cat.  He explains to her that he only scared her because he believes that's how dragons are supposed to behave.  He comes from the Dark Forest of Oz and was sent on an errand by Princess Cozytoes, who was abducted and enchanted by old Zoru the Wicked Witch of the Dark Forest.  The only problem is he's forgotten what the errand was.  He'd like to find her so she can be disenchanted, but doesn't know where she is.  Rosine says she's lost too and needs to find her way to California.  The dragon suggests asking someone in town.

 

Just then, an old man comes over and introduces himself as Cap'n Bob.  He was the keeper of a lighthouse in Rocky Point when a storm overtook him and the lighthouse, depositing him on the shores of this town.  He notices that the dragon is made up of painted cardboard.  As they head towards town, the town disappears, and the dragon spreads his small wings and takes off, warning them of the Posties.  Cap'n Bob then bumps into an invisible being, which laughs and says a magic word making them visible.  They are the Posties and are essentially mailboxes with faces with posts for bodies.  They accuse them of trying to invade Oz and arrest them.  The Posties explain that ever since the enchantment of Princess Cozytoes, they bring prisoners to old Zoru to try to appease her in the hopes she'll release the Princess.  Marching them across the Quadling Country, they come to a sign marking the way to Twinlet Town and the Dark Forest, but just then Rosine notices that Jim is gone and begins to worry.  The Posties dwindle down to two, no longer in fear of losing their prisoners as the road they'd traveled on was a literal one-way road which disappears after they traverse it. 

 

Taking the route through Twinlet Town (which also goes to the Dark Forest), Rosine and Cap'n Bob find Jim again, and he startles them by speaking, explaining that in Oz all animals can talk.  He'd found the Laughing Dragon and procured from behind his fish-scale a bag with two magic pills.  The pills turn into letters, which Rosine is instructed to place in the mailbox mouths of the Posties, forcing them to deliver them.  One letter is addressed to the Wind-Satchel Man in the Valley Mountain of the Munchkin Country.  The other is to the Glow-Man on Coneland Island in the Winkie Country.  Moving along, Cap'n Bob nearly trips on a Golden Owl, who tells him his wings and feet have been glued together ever since he fell of a mantle in the castle in Toofie-Town.  Princess Cozytoes repaired him, but the glue dries in the shade and is only pliable in the sun. 

 

At the gate of Twinlet-Town, a sign reads "Ring for the Bo-Kay."  Not certain what this is, they ring.  Jim, meanwhile, slips away into an opening in the gate.  A bouquet of flowers with two faces answers and reluctantly lets them in, but he's concerned they're not complete, as everyone in Twinlet-Town is a twin.  They're escorted to a large double-castle, passing by doubles of every beautiful plant and flower.  The flower-people in the double-throne room are wilted out of sadness for having lost Princess Cozytoes.  She rules this region of the Quadling Country and had been a friend of the Wizard of Oz, but since she's been missing a long time, they've sent out queries all over Oz, and no one has of yet seen her.  They are concerned the Dark Witch has done something with her. 

 

With permission to stay the night and drink fresh water, Rosine and Cap'n Bob head outside.  But as they near the tear-pools, an alarm goes off, and hundreds of flower-people come to tell them those pools are forbidden for they are made up of all the tears cried by children in the outside world.  They're escorted to their room with twin-beds and fountains with pure water, which fill them up so they're no longer hungry.

 

In the Dark Forest, meanwhile, old Zoru prepares a brew while Jack, a young boy she enslaved and enchanted to forget his former life, creates a man out of oranges.  She summons him into her hut where she's brewing an invisibility liquid, but when she startles him he accidentally knocks into it, spilling it out the window.  Angered, she spanks him and heads out to collect the Quee-berries she'll need to make another batch.  Unlike other witches, her spells last only seven years before having to be renewed, and her last batch is running out.  After cleaning the hut, Jack walks outside and is greeted by the Orange Man he'd made, now alive thanks to the potion he'd spilled.  Jack is confused, but the Orange Man assures him that they should leave the hut.  If the witch catches them, he should pick an orange from his right arm to become invisible.  As they grow back instantly, it won't harm him.  The oranges from his left arm will help him regain visibility.  Together they head off. 

 

After taking a rest, Jack goes into a clearing to find the Orange Man trapped by sapient strips of noodles called the Noodlers.  The Queen says she is the only egg noodle amongst her people in the Noodler Glen and fears that if she lets anyone leave they'll bring back eggs, making her superfluous.  The Orange Man encourages Jack to eat an orange and slip by invisibly.

 

Jack wanders through the Dark Forest, but as it begins to get too dark, he finds a clearing with a Navajo rug that he can sleep on.  As it has a big hole in it, Jack determines to fix it with the needle and thread he'd taken from Zoru's hut.  He makes progress, but then the Golden Owl appears, followed by a strange light that comes and goes in the night.  The owl tells him that he and Wriggly have gotten used to it.  When Jack inquires who he's speaking of, the rug speaks up.  Wriggly-Rug explains that the Nomes had encountered him one day while he was sleeping and after enchanting him to remain still took him for their amusement.  After they were done with him, the Blue Dragons found him and flew him over the Dark Forest where they dropped him.  Falling on a prickly bush, he got torn and ceased to live until now thanks to the thread Jack used to repair him.  Princess Cozytoes had been given thate Thread of Life by the fairies, but she accidentally dropped it near her palace, where the witch Zoru found it and brought it to her hut, and there Jack got it. 

 

Jack tells his story, and the owl and rug agree that the Glow-Man might be able to help him.  They explain that the light he saw was from the Glow-Man who lives on Coneland Island in the middle of Milkshake River, and it means he's preparing to go on a journey.  But Jack can't make it on foot and there is no bridge to the island.  Since Jack fixed up his hole and brought him back to life, Wriggly-Rug agrees to fly him over. 

 

Wriggly and the Golden Owl drop him off at the Glow Home of the Glow Man, where a being that looks like an ice-cream cone answers the door and escorts him to the Glow Man, who is made of glass and also shaped like a cone, and is essentially a living light bulb.  He explains that he's on his way to the Rocky Cavern of the Laughing Dragon after receiving a letter from a Postie that Princess Cozytoes is missing.  Jack tells his story of bringing the Orange Man to life and that he needs to rescue him from the Noodlers.  The Glow Man recalls a similar incident with a Pumpkin and a powder (The Marvelous Land of Oz), and agrees to help.  He introduces him to Quackie the Yellow Duck, a friend of Princess Cozytoes, who will accompany Jack and lay eggs to punish the Queen of the Noodlers.  After the Glow Man departs, Quackie shows Jack to the freezer button, which creates a bridge of ice on Milkshake River, allowing them to depart Coneland Island.

 

Meanwhile, the next morning Cap'n Bob and Rosine awaken and are shown to the gate leading out of Twinlet Town, where a road leads eventually to the Palace of Princess Cozytoes.  On their journey, Cap'n Bob cries out for help and then sinks out of sight, but Rosine doesn't see a hole and can't figure out what happened to him.  Just then the Queen of the Sky Fairies spots her and comes down to help.  To find Cap'n Bob, she summons the Laughing Dragon and asks him to summon Flash, the King of the Lightning.  Sending sparks from his silver eyes into the heavens, the Laughing Dragon creates a message in the sky, and then putting his tail in his mouth, swallows himself and vanishes.  Suddenly, with a burst of lightning a small man appears with long, spiky grey hair and a pointy grey beard.  It's Flash, and he then summons Zipper, a lightning bolt, which can carry them all across Oz to search for Cap'n Bob. 

 

Flying overhead, Rosine thinks she sees him in a forest, but when she leans over she falls off, dropping slowly into the private garden of the Most Royal Hi-Burner of Candleland, who is a living candlestick holder with a burning candle about the size of a man.  He won't allow Rosine to leave, fearful that if she tells her subjects about his private garden, they won't allow him to have it.  King Candlestick brings her to his Private Sorcerer in a high and narrow castle.  Yet, while the doorway is tall, it is only six inches wide, so King Candlestick forces the girl to eat what appears to be a stone.  Reluctantly, she puts it in her mouth and turns into a candlestick!

 

The sorcerer Waxie ignores Rosine and the king, engrossed in his own work of reading the messages of a spider spinning sentences on the roof.  The king grows angry at him, but Waxie explains that he's just learned that the Jap O'Lantern is coming to his kingdom.  Having run out of candles for his lantern head, the Jap O'Lantern intends to take more from Candleland to last him the next year.  The subjects are overjoyed at his arrival, for they want to go with him, but as Waxie explains, the king doesn't like being left with so few subjects to rule over.  Exiting the castle, Rosine sees the Jap O'Lantern, who has a large Japanese lantern head with a painted-on face and a wiry body wearing a kimono.  He can only select 366 candles, one for each day of the year, and each one he chooses rejoices.  He picks Rosine too, but she explains that she's really not a candle.  She tells him her story, and he postulates that it may have been the Ruby Imp who took Cap'n Bob.  He is going to see the Laughing Dragon who can restore her to her original form and save Cap'n Bob. 

 

With his candles in tow they walk past farmhouses and fields where the people wave greetings at them.  Near the mountains, they come to a diamond-studded golden door with a sign that reads Slumberland.  The Lantern Man tells Rosine that she should get a pass from Princess Cozytoes to visit it one day, for it is the realm where children from the Great Outside World who are good and thoughtful during the day are brought over by the Sky Fairies at night to play.  It is presided over by King Morpheus and the Fairy sorceress Seelight, who gives each child the Kiss of Forgetfulness when they leave.  It is said that only one child has ever been able to remember his time in Slumberland despite the kiss, and it is hoped that one day when adults become wiser, there will be no need to give the Kiss of Forgetfulness. 

 

Passing around the mountain, they come across S.V. Breezy (Swift Velocity) the Wind-Satchel Man, who'd received a letter from a Postie to meet Princess Cozytoes in the Golden Castle.  He's currently having trouble reigning in his four winds.  He wishes Glinda was there, as she has a way with the spirits of the air and has been known to cause a windstorm, or even the King of the Wind Demons, who would be helpful.  But then he catches the North Wind and the East Wind and puts them in his satchel.  But Northie escapes and in the process puts out all the candles, which Jap O'Lantern has to relight before they can move on.  So, saying farewell to Breezy, they move on towards the Dark Forest.

 

Rosie expresses her concern about Zoru to the Lantern Man, who reassures her that she's only a fifth class witch and mostly harmless, and he doubts she had anything to do with Princess Cozytoes' disappearance.  She's also the one who brought him to life.  After local children had fashioned him, Zoru who had just come back from visiting a crooked magician with the Powder of Life, sprinkled some of the powder on him.  Rosine wonders if the Powder of Life will disenchant her, so he goes into Zoru's hut and takes a can that says "double-distilled magic powder," and sprinkles it over Rosine's head (without saying the magic words since she's already alive).  With that, she returns to her former self. 

 

Overjoyed, they move on and come to Noodler's Glen.  They arrive just as eggs are flying about the excited Noodlers who are transforming into Egg Noodles.  Passing through, they comes across Jack, the Orange Man and Quackie, who Jap O'Lantern knows.  They introduce one another and decide to travel together to get to the Palace of Princess Cozytoes.  Jack and Rosine get to know each other, and he tells her his adventures and the Thread of Life that brought Wriggly-Rug back to life.  Seeing a ribbon attached to it, she fashions a necktie out of it, which she places around Jack's neck.

 

As they talk, Rosine and Jack lose sight of their group and are unable to find them.  So they stop to rest and hear a terrible roar.  Out comes an alligator-like creature made of different colored tiles.  He threatens to eat them, but when Jack stands up to him he relents and cries that he can never hurt anyone.  He's looking for his friend the Laughing Dragon, and Rosine mentions that they've met.  Cotta the Tile Animal tells them the Laughing Dragon is happy living near the Princess' Palace, but he dreads and worries about the Magic Ribbon that the Sky Fairies made for the Princess, which has the power to make a perfume shoot out of the dragon's nose if the person wearing the ribbon is in danger and unties it.  Although the Princess lost it, the dragon still frets about it.  Although Cotta doesn't know the way to the Golden City, he shows them to a Toofie-marker, which when they sit on it, transports them to Toofie-Town, which he says is the happiest place in Oz. 

 

The village is bright and pretty and the houses and fence look as if built in the shape of teeth.  A girl gatekeeper answers, explaining that they'd been expecting them as they keep records of all the children in the world.  She sends them on the path to the palace of the magician Professor Dy, who Princess Cozytoes made chief of the town.  At the palace, the professor's wife brings them to his room where he is working on little teeth.  A horn echoes a child's cry and rolling out of it comes a small tooth.  His wife writes down the number magically projected and goes to look it up in a file, revealing it had belonged to a six year old boy.  When a child loses his first set of teeth, the tooth fairies who work for Princess Cozytoes send it through the horn to him, where he stores and keeps track of them.  He's been doing this for 500 years.  Rosine can't see any sense in doing that, but he dismisses her as a mortal girl who doesn't understand important things.  Later, Cotta admits to her that he'd gotten in trouble with Princess Cozytoes a long time ago when he made a dangerous magic solution, so to keep him out of trouble, she sent him there to do this work, which he believes is important. 

 

The three talk so much, they take a wrong turn out of the town and end up strangely on top of a mountain.  Looking around the dangerous height, Cotta comes across a bamboo slide that narrowly descends down the mountain.  Cotta points out pieces of carpet for them to slide on and volunteers to go first.  Rosine goes next, followed by Jack.  Sliding down, she is dismayed to find herself going all the way down into a hole in the ground into an underground cavern lit by many jewels.  Cotta tells her and Jack that they are in the Underground Palace of the Ruby Imp, who if he catches them will enchant them so that they never leave.  The Ruby Imp and his minions arrive, and accepting no excuse for their being in his domain, threatens to transform them into objects that he'll hide in his throne room.  When Cotta springs at the Ruby Imp, he transforms him into a stone arrow.  Jack warns him not to harm Rosine, or Ozma will deal with him.  Furious he grabs at the boy, undoing his tie that Rosine had made for him, and transforms him into an ivory elephant.  Then, he turns his attention to Rosine, transforming her as well.  Satisfied, he puts his ornaments in his throne room.

 

The Laughing Dragon, home again and upset he had forgotten the errand his Princess sent him on, starts emitting a violet perfume, a signal that he has to search out the wearer of the ribbon whose in danger.  He goes to the palace to get help from the maid Fuss-budget, who tells him to look in the Magic Reflecting Pond.  There, in the center of a circle of Cypress trees, sits the Magic Reflecting Pond, which reflects everything that happens in the parts of Oz ruled by Princess Cozytoes, and there the dragon sees the magic ribbon and the Ruby Imp transforming Rosine into a golden rabbit. 

 

Knowing what he must do, the Laughing Dragon goes to sleep.  Fuss-budget, however, worries and goes to tell the guard Private Horse-feathers all she'd learned.  Just then, the Glow-Man arrives, explaining that he got a letter from a Postie, and when he didn't find the Laughing Dragon at his home, he came to the palace.  S.V. Breezy is right behind him, having also received a letter from a Postie from the Princess.  The Laughing Dragon soon joins them and tells them what he saw in the Magic Reflecting Pond.  They agree to help free Rosine and head off for the Ruby Imp's Underground Cavern.  The Laughing Dragon leads the way to the throne room, but the Ruby Imp is prepared and drops a fishnet on him, trapping him.  The Glow Man and S.V. Breezy hide until the master of Coneland Island comes up with a plan.

 

With a copper wire, the Glow Man sets up an electrical current throughout the cavern and then confronts the Ruby Imp.  He turns on the current, shocking the imps until their leader surrenders to his demands and releases the Laughing Dragon.  They also demand the return of the girl and her companions, but one of the imp soldiers finds and disconnects the wires, and the imps overwhelm them.  But then the Wind-Satchel Man appears and releases his winds.  The North Wind and the other winds toss the imps around, knocking off the Ruby Imp's Magic Cap, which he uses to transform his victims into ornaments.  The Glow Man grabs it and the Dragon demands the ornaments be brought forward.  Learning how to use the cap, the Glow Man pushes the third ruby on the left and turns the cap.  At once, the ornaments begin turning into their true selves and Rosine and the Tile Animal Cotta are restored.  But to everyone's surprise, the Princess Cozytoes appears as well!  When Rosine asks about Jack, who has not reappeared, Princess Cozytoes tells her that she is Jack, enchanted by the Wicked Witch of the Dark Forest Zoru.  The Magic Cap was powerful enough to disenchant her and restore her memory.  The Laughing Dragon remarks that Zoru's been trying Mombi's old tricks.  Rosine gets another surprise when Cap'n Bob appears, having also been transformed by the Ruby Imp.  Departing, the Glow Man throws the cap away near the entrance to the Ruby Caverns. 

 

The Glow Man and Wind-Satchel Man depart the group for Coneland Island, and the Princess asks the Dragon if he accomplished the errand she sent him on.  He admits he forgot what it was, and she tells him it's to invite the Golden Owl to her palace. So swallowing his tail, he departs once again. 

 

On their way to the Golden City, Princess Cozytoes acknowledges that things in Oz can be strange, and are even stranger in her realm.  They come across Wriggly-Rug who tells them that she must hasten back to the Royal Palace as the people, concerned that she won't ever return, are selecting a new ruler.  Also, Glinda, discovering her disenchantment in the Great Book of Records, has arrived to speak with her on a matter.  So, although reluctant to leave her friends, she departs on Wriggly's back. 

 

Cotta leads the way down the road through a small grove of trees and then peaceful meadows and valleys.  But all of a sudden, hot steam arises from out of the ground all around them.  Underneath the clouds of steam arise ovens with hands, legs and faces.  One of them, Queen Hardknot of the Graters accuses them of violating their sacred ground, and having never heard of Princess Cozytoes, takes them prisoner.  She explains that while she is constructed with firelogs that never go out, her people must use wood from trees to keep their fires burning, for they are made to take food out of their ovens each day to survive.  But the small grove was once a great forest that is shrinking.  The Queen demands they either help her with her problem or become slaves helping to cut down trees for the Graters.  Rosine suggests they simply move, but the Queen replies that it would not be fair to move unto another's property to take their trees.  When the noon-bell strikes twelve, the ovens open their grates and remove the cooked trays of food, which they place in the trees' branches.  Then, magically, a tray of uncooked food appears inside them, and they start again the process of cooking it.

 

The little monkey Jim, meanwhile, had lost all track of time playing with his new bird-friends near Twinlet Town.  When he sees again the Golden Owl (now on his way to Toofie-Town), the owl asks him where Rosine and Cap'n Bob are, which the monkey is ashamed to admit he'd forgotten.  Exasperated, the Golden Owl tells him they were last seen on the road from the Ruby Imp to the Golden City, and gives him a feather to contact him in case they're in trouble.  Jim finds them waiting for the food to cool in the grove of trees, and climbs over the branches to Rosine, who is overjoyed to see him again.  Jim apologizes for having spent so much time with the birds of Twinlet Town, and begins to rub the golden feather that the Golden Owl had given him to summon help.  Jim then jumps away as the feather vanishes and leaves in its place a large spider.  Rosine jumps too, but Cotta laughs, explaining that it's only Spelwor, the spider Rosine saw in Candleland.  The spider tells her he's been summoned to help, so he jumps in the trees and begins spinning a web.  The words tell them that if they eat the food from any oven, that oven will cool off, so they should eat the food from three adjacent ovens to allow them a path to escape.  After the spider casts a web into the sky, he climbs up it and disappears.  Jim jumps into the trees and tosses the food down to them and, famished, they begin to eat.  When the queen catches sight of them, she shrieks because the fires begin going out in the Graters.  Worried that they will go out forever, she leads them off to the grove to refill their ovens with logs.

 

Freed, the party pass through the mountains where they see a flickering light.  Soon, Rosine spots Jap O'Lantern and the Orange Man and runs over to introduce them to Cap'n Bob.  The Orange Man inquires about Jack, and Rosine tells him he was really a girl, Princess Cozytoes.  The pair are headed to the home of the Lantern Man, whose candles are beginning to burn low, but they plan to visit with the Princess on another occasion.  Rosine asks whether he thinks she'll be able to send them home, and Cotta says he doesn't know, but Glinda might, and Ozma and the Wizard have invited some to live permanently in Oz.  He suggests that she and Cap'n Bob consider it.  Bob says he has nothing for him in the outside world, and no family except his brother Bill who he hasn't seen in years, but Rosine assures him that it was no accident they both came to Oz, and that she's his family. 

 

Saying goodbye to the Orange Man and Jap O'Lantern, they descend into a valley and then ascend up a mountain pass, but it leads them to a wall.  After searching for another way around it, the Golden Owl appears and tells them that the wall is an illusion to protect Incense Valley.  But as they pass through it, the incense proves to have a soporific effect, and one by one they fall off of Cotta and fall asleep.  As he runs off to get help, he falls into a deep pit.  Thankfully, the Laughing Dragon is nearby and sees them, but not even his booming laugh will awaken them.  The Wind-Satchel Man, who just left the home of the Glow Man, overhears the laugh and goes to inquire why the Dragon is in Incense Valley.  The Dragon tells him, but then S.V. Breezy explains that they are overcome by the smell and that even he cannot enter the valley without falling prey to it.  The Laughing Dragon wonders why in Oz there are Deadly Poppy Fields and Incense Valleys.  Mr. Breezy releases the North Wind, pushing away the incense and allowing Cap'n Bob, Rosine and Jim to waken and escape the valley.  Hearing a noise, the Laughing Dragon goes to investigate and finds his friend Cotta down a hole.  Once free of it, Cotta says goodbye and departs with S.V. Breezy who is returning to his home in Valley Mountain.  With "perception of distance and time... askew," they don't realize how near to the Palace they are.  Coming to a river, the Dragon has them put on boat shoes with which they sail down the river to a tunnel.

 

At the palace, meanwhile, the Princess and Fuss-budget discuss Glinda's visit, which has to do with Rosine and something she read in her Great Book of Records, for which she's consulting Ozma.  The two worry about Rosine and her companions, who should have arrived by now, and check on them in the Magic Reflecting Pond.  Thrilled that they're almost there, they go outside to greet them and escort them in.  Rosine asks about being sent home and her father, but the Princess tells her that the Sky Fairies have already sent a message to him and her aunt doesn't even know she left her father.  At that, Rosine decides she'd like to live in Oz and Cap'n Bob agrees he'd like to as well.

 

Continuity notes:

Cap'n Bob: As the story reveals, this former lighthouse keeper is the brother of Cap'n Bill, who he claims he lost "years ago." [195]  He doesn't mention his other brother Cap'n Joe, the former prisoner of Zog (from The Sea Fairies), likely because he presumes he'd died even earlier.

 

Dating: The story takes place over the course of three days.  The year cannot be accurately discerned, but there are clues.  It is some years after Cap'n Bill disappeared from the outside world, which places these events after The Scarecrow of Oz, but before this story was written in 1930.  Another clue is the fact that the witch Zoru has gone some time in the past to see Dr. Pipt and obtain the Powder of Life.  Given the date, was Dr. Pipt secretly back to working on the Powder of Life?  Or was this a batch from the same time period in which Mombi obtained a batch?  And if so, it takes place earlier and means that Jap O'Lantern has been alive for some time.

 

Glow Man: The living light-bulb might possibly hail from Electra City (The Blue Emperor of Oz) and/or have been built in Silica (The Hidden Princes of Oz)

 

Imitation: There are several imitative elements that Frank Baum borrowed from his father's books, some of which are only present in the original, uncut manuscript.  These include:

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The Ruby Imp and his transformations in the Underground Caverns mimic the Nome King and his transformations in Ozma of Oz;

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The Magic Cap mimics the Magic Belt;

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Princess Cozytoes' transformation into Jack by the witch Zoru mimics Ozma's transformation by Mombi;

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The creation of the Orange Man mimics the creation of Jack Pumpkinhead;

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The Magic Reflecting Pond mimics the Magic Picture;

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Twinlet Town mimics the Kingdom of Twi from The Enchanted Island of Yew.

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The Incense Valley mimics the Deadly Poppy Field from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

  

    The newly edited version of the manuscript includes dialogue from various Ozian characters who recognize some of these parallels, which goes a long way toward lending credence to their existence.  The Ruby Imp and witch Zoru are utilizing tricks from the Nome King and Mombi, respectively, which as copycat crimes demonstrate, is not unrealistic.  The other parallels are mainly incidental, but no less interesting.  For Princess Cozytoes to have a magical pond that works in much the same way as the Magic Picture is telling of the trust the fairies put in her.

 

Magic Reflecting Pond: While not present in the original manuscript, in the published version, this "Magic Pond" appears not in Princess Cozytoes' Palace, but in Twinlet Town, where it was placed there by the Wizard of Oz.  That begs the question as to whether the Magic Reflecting Pond in the original version was also intended to come from the Wizard, and this is not a question that is easily answered.  It may have come from him (or Glinda or Ozma) or may have been with Princess Cozytoes for years, not implausible given that she appears to have ruled there for five centuries, if Professor Dy is to be trusted.

 

Manuscript Changes: The published version features less than half of the chapters of the original, but there are more significant changes than it would seem by the oft stated notion that the manuscript was simply cut in half.  In fact, the manuscript was largely rewritten and repurposed to provide an ending for the published version, and that ending is itself different than the ending in the original unpublished version.  The published and unpublished versions are essentially the same until the end of chapter 11.  Chapter 12 of the original edition picks up with the boy Jack and the witch Zoru and recounts his adventures for five chapters.  In the published version, the story continues with Rosine and Cap'n Bob, but not in the same way in which the unpublished manuscript picks up with them in chapter 17.  In the Whitman book, the Laughing Dragon awakens the pair in Twinlet Town to tell them he's had a dream that Princess Cozytoes is in the Underground Caverns of the Ruby Imp.  This is completely different from the original version which builds up the mystery of what happened to Princess Cozytoes, and which features Rosine having several adventures where she meets friends and enemies who help or hinder her progress until she stumbles into the Ruby Imp's cavern and is enchanted by him.  In Chapter 13 of the published version, the Laughing Dragon lead Rosine and Cap'n Bob to the Underground Caverns, but apart from their appearance (in the original it is the Wind-Satchel Man and the Glow Man that he leads) his actions and dialogue are the same as they are in Chapter 25.  In Chapter 14, it is Rosine, not the Wind-Satchel Man who remains uncaught, and it is her pet monkey Jim who saves the day with the satchel of the Wind-Satchel Man, who never appears in this version of the book (but which Jim says he met in Twinlet Town).  Jim plays no role in this scene in the original, and doesn't come back into the story until chapter 28, where he is helpful in a very different way.  His appearance in the published version is a deus-ex-machina that brings the story to an abrupt halt.  The original is more clever and craftily written. The published version also does away with the revelation of Princess Cozytoes, which although similar to Ozma's enchantment, is still much more interesting.  Another change is Cap'n Bob's attitude.  In the published version, he doesn't mention his brother Bill and unreservedly wants to go home.  There's also none of the emotional bonding that develops or is expressed between him and Rosine in the published version.  Only in the postscript of the published version is there mention of the Jap O'Lantern, the Orange Man, the Glow Man and the Hi-Burner of Candleland, but how Frank Baum would have repurposed them in The Enchanted Princess of Oz is puzzling, as the thrust of the original version was the search for Princess Cozytoes and the adventures of Jack.  Even if he'd repurposed Jack, which he would have had to, that still would have left a story without a through-line, which without a complete rewrite would force him (or the editor) to relegate each chapter to a series of unconnected adventure.

 

Princess Cozytoes: Missing for over a month [155], this important ruler of the southwestern quadrant of Oz governs under Glinda.  Other than her enchantment by the witch Zoru, there is little known about her apart from the following: she is well-loved by her subjects; she governs with the same pacifist ideals as Ozma, avoiding punishment in favor of rehabilitation (e.g., Professor Dy, Zoru, the Ruby Imp), and maintains good relations with not only those in her domain, but with the Wizard, Glinda and Ozma.  There is an indication that she has ruled there for at least 500 years [139], as this is the number of years Professor Dy says he's been keeping track of baby teeth, but whether we can rely on him for accuracy is in question; Princess Cozytoes is the one who gave him that assignment, and if what he says is true, it means that she's been governing at least five centuries.  That would make her the oldest extant ruler in Oz and the one for whom the least has been told, leaving one to wonder what her role was in the prior centuries, e.g., during the rule of the Wicked Witches of the South, during the time of the kings of Oz, during the time when Glinda emerged and came to power, etc.  Unlike Glinda, she doesn't appear to have powers of her own, save what tools and devices the Sky Fairies have given her, such as the Magic Thread, the Magic Ribbon and possibly the Magic Reflecting Pool.  To this end, she's not breaking Ozma's prohibition against magic.

 

Ruby Imp: As with Zoru, Princess Cozytoes appears to leave the Ruby Imp to his own devices.  His Magic Cap is even left at the entrance of the cave by the Glow Man, which seems odd and unwise given all the harm that the Ruby Imp has done with it.  It is likely that Baum had more stories planned, which perhaps may have utilized the Ruby Imp.  Their later history is recounted in the Oziana 1997 story, "The Forbidden Cave of Grapelandia." Following the events of the North Wind's attack, the Ruby Imps head to the surface to the surface for a few years to thaw out.  There, they met the Duchess of Grapelandia, who in exchange for the magic of transformations, allow them to move to the caves in Big Enough Mountain, where they live for under a hundred years. In The Three Imps of Oz, author Chris Dulabone cleverly indicates that the imps from "Ozma and the Little Wizard of Oz" are the subjects of the Ruby Imp. 

 

Sequel: It appears that Frank Baum was planning a series, as he leaves the book off with at least three possibilities for a sequel, the witch Zoru, who is not dealt with in the story, the Ruby Imp, who is also not dealt with, and more tantalizingly, Glinda's discovery of something in the Great Book of Records (besides the disenchantment of Princess Cozytoes and arrival of Rosine and Cap'n Bob in Oz) that has caused the Princess to be "somber." [211] This could be an impending attack on Oz, but whatever it is it appears to involve Princess Cozytoes, as Glinda goes to speak with her before speaking with Ozma.  That the manuscript leaves off without indicating what this specifically was leads one to the reasonable suspicion that Frank Baum was setting up a sequel (this is not "The Enchanted Princess of Oz," which only came about as a title when Whitman had to cut out over half of the original for their published version).  Had Reilly & Lee accepted his manuscript or allowed Whitman to publish his stories once a year, as Thompson had suggested they should do, with her proofreading them, sequels would likely have come to pass.

 

Sky Fairies: This particular branch of faerie plays a large role in the life of Princess Cozytoes and the events that go on in the southwestern quadrant of the Quadling Country.  They also extend their role beyond this area as they're responsible for bringing the spirits of children in the outside world to Slumberland and back home.  In many respects, this active role resembles the duties of the fairies of the Land of An, where Tititi-Hoochoo governs (see Tik-Tok of Oz), moreso than the fairies of Oz, whose function is primarily that fairyland.  Flash, the King of the Lightning, appears to be a Sky Fairy.  The King of the Wind Demons that the Wind-Satchel Man mentions might also.  How the Sky Fairies relate to the Cloud Fairies and the Rain King (the Rainbow's brother) is not yet known.  The existence of sapient North, South, East and West Winds (the North Wind also appears as a prisoner in The Hidden Valley of Oz) indicates that these beings govern only this particular fairyland.  The Sky Fairies are responsible for creating the Magic Ribbon and possibly the Magic Thread, both of which they gave to Princess Cozytoes.  The Queen of the Sky Fairies even descends to help Rosine, which indicates that they continue to play an active role in events, though not to the degree that they actively seek out the missing Princess, which indicates the kind of remoteness one usually finds in fairies.

 

Slumberland: The place where children who behave kindly and thoughtfully go to at night.  How Slumberland relates to the Kingdom of Dreams has not yet been explored.  Slumberland is ruled over by King Morpheus and the Fairy sorceress Seelight, who gives each child departing Slumberland a Kiss of Forgetfulness so that when they awaken they don't remember their journey there.  This was not always the case, but as the adults in the outside world failed to believe their children, the policy was changed to prevent heartache.  There appears to be more to this story than what the Jap O'Lantern tells young Rosine, and it's clear that the use of the names Slumberland and Morpheus and the one dreamer who remembered his dreams are references to Winsor McCay's Little Nemo in Slumberland.  This effectually brings those strips, which ran from 1905 to 1914 and 1924 to 1926 (and McCay's son's strips in 1937, Nemo in Adventureland, and Eric Shanower's 2014 comic-book series, Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland) into Oz continuity.

 

Zoru the Wicked Witch of the Dark Forest: As with the Ruby Imp, there's no indication as to what becomes of her after Princess Cozytoes is disenchanted.   There is also the matter of the Jap O'Lantern, who she directly made and who holds her in kind regard.  The Lantern Man does not mention serving as a slave to her, and considers Zoru a "harmless" "fifth degree" witch.  He doesn't even think she's responsible for Princess Cozytoes' disappearance, and although he's wrong on that count, it adds some nuance to her character.  Old Zoru is featured in the 1934 short story "Jimmy Bulber in Oz," which was published forty years later in Oziana 1974, and which paints her in a less benevolent light, as she creates a homonculi to light up the Dark Forest for the purpose of luring people into her lair.  The magic "life charms" that she creates to bring Jimmy Bulber to life very likely contains some of the Powder of Life that she is shown to own.  She appears again in the forthcoming novella, The Wizards of Silver and Gold in Oz.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Ice King of Oz

Story: While having breakfast, Dorothy and Ozma receive a note delivered by albatross from the Ice King, who wishes to send a delegation to form an alliance with Oz.  Not much is known of him or his realm, save that he's a magician who rules an ice continent at the southern end of the world.  Ozma is not inclined to refuse any offer of friendship, and sends a return message via the albatross.

 

Over the next few weeks everyone prepares for the visit.  Finally, on Thursday morning, the delegation of ice imps arrives via magic.  Chief Advisor of the Ice King, Popsicle, introduces himself to the court (who consists of Em, Henry, the Wogglebug, Jack, Tik-Tok, Sawhorse, Tin Woodman, Scarecrow, Glinda, Dorothy, Toto, Billina, Shaggy, the Wizard, Valyn, Button-Bright, the Nine Tiny Piglets, Hungry Tiger, and Cowardly Lion) and unveils a life-sized ice statue of Ozma, made magically so that, like the ice imps, it cannot melt in the sun.  The second gift is even more surprising: an engagement ring for Princess Dorothy.  Shocked, Dorothy declines, and Ozma adjourns the proceedings.

 

The next morning, Ozma is late for the Grand Tour of the Emerald City, and Jellia tells Glinda and Dorothy that she's not in her rooms.  The Scarecrow comes running to tell them the ice delegation is gone.  Glinda leads them to the Magic Picture, which shows Ozma in a block of ice being carried by the ice imps in an ice cavern.  Glinda promises that she and the Wizard will find a way to challenge the Ice King's power and that they'll reconvene in the evening.

 

At the council that evening, the Wizard explains that things are more difficult as the Ice King's domain is protected from foreign magic spells and enchantments by his own Ice Magic, which Glinda and he are unfamiliar with.  The only way to save Ozma is to send a band of travelers to rescue her, and they can have no magic with them.  The council selects Dorothy, the Scarecrow and Tin Woodman to depart in the morning.  After everyone leaves the chamber, Jellia Jamb douses the candles, but one of them starts groaning!  This brings everyone back in the room, and Jellia explains that since they'd run out of candles, she procured some from the Wizard's workshop.  The Wizard notes that they once belonged to the Wicked Witch of the West.  Suddenly out from the candle bursts a short, fiery haired man made of wax.  He introduces himself as Flicker, and hearing that Dorothy had melted his captor and enemy, pledges himself to her.  He had once been a human candle maker, and famous in the Winkie Country for his long-lasting candles.  After the Wicked Witch enslaved the Winkes, he was forced to make candles only for her, but after she demands an order he can't fulfill in time, he lashes out at her, and she turns him into a candle that could only be disenchanted by burning.  He suspects that he'd been a candle so long that the spell can't be broken entirely.  Glinda asks if he'd like to accompany Dorothy on her mission the next day, and he gladly agrees.

 

Early the next morning, Glinda and the Wizard conjure up a magical flier that will take them as far as the Ice King's realm, after which they'll have to walk.  The trip is a long one, and by dawn the next day, they arrive at the desolate and frozen lands of the Ice King.  Before they can land, however, the flier crashes against an invisible barrier, depositing Dorothy and the Scarecrow at the edge of cliff.  Thanks to the Tin Woodman, they're saved, but not knowing in which direction to travel, they choose one at random.  After many miles, they come upon a seal who confirms they're heading towards the Ice King's palace, but tries to warn them away from it.  Dorothy then notices that Flicker's shrinking down.

 

A blizzard overtakes them, but they trudge on until hitting a giant wall.  The Scarecrow discovers an alcove, which Nick enlarges, allowing them to enter a cave.  While the Scarecrow oils Nick, Flicker goes off exploring and returns with the news that there's a light in the tunnel ahead.  Following it, they come upon a wide cavernous opening.  Below them is the throne room with hundreds of ice imps.  The Ice King is on his thrown.  Ozma, frozen and blue, sits beside him.  The king is in the midst of speech in which he tells his people that due to their discontent with the unchanging surroundings, he's brought Ozma, the former queen of Oz to brighten their lives.  As Flicker looks for a way down, the head from his head cracks the ice they're on, and they go sliding down to crash amongst the ice imps.  Dorothy and the Scarecrow rush to save Ozma, but she resists them, and deeming herself the Ice Queen, declares that she has no memory of them or Oz. 

 

After the imps capture everyone, Dorothy offers herself to the Ice King in exchange for Ozma, but he tells her it's too late and intends to keep Ozma and destroy them.  He brings an ice stalagmite down on their heads, but Nick wields his axe furiously, protecting them.  The Ice King counters by freezing the temperature.  Nick and the Scarecrow freeze over, but Flicker uses his fiery head to keep Dorothy warm.  The Ice King then causes the ice floor to crack open, beneath which is freezing water.  Dorothy flips into it, but manages to climb the stairs before the throne, warning the Ice King that no matter what he does to them, more will keep coming.  Angrily, Flicker leaps upon the Ice King in an attempt to melt him down, but the candle man only ends up shrinking himself.  Yet his sacrifice proves not to be in vain, as the Ice King discovers that his heart's been thawed out, and with it, his conscience returns.  Suddenly, he restores the throne room, unfreezes Dorothy's companions, and releases Ozma from his spell.  Ozma thanks him for freeing her, and her graciousness motivates him to want to inspire his own subjects with the same warmth.  He then transports them home.

 

The next day, Glinda is able to half Flicker from shrinking any further, and he contents himself to remain small.  Ozma and Dorothy hope the Ice King's heart will remain thawed and that he always remembers the importance of love and truth.

 

Continuity notes:

Dating: No specific internal date is given as regards the month or year.  That the Wizard and Glinda conjure up a flier to take Dorothy and company to the realm of the Ice King, instead of using an Ozoplane, indicates that this story likely takes place before the Wizard's invention of those.  Similarly, the illustration of Flicker in The Wicked Witch of Oz (which takes place in 1931) is another clear indicator that this story must precede that one.

 

The Ice King: Ruling over the southern continent of the planet, the Ice King is no mere magician, but an immortal earth spirit who utilizes an uncommon form of magic called "ice magic."  How his heart became frozen is yet unknown, though the author believes it happened gradually over time.  He is the first cold personage to propose to Dorothy.  The second is Jack Frost in the Oziana 1987 story "The Blizzard of Oz."

 

Expanded, alternate versions: Two different versions of this story had been planned, the first going back to 1979, featured a larger cast of characters, including Polychrome, Jellia Jamb, Jack Pumpkinhead, Scraps and others.  The second was a non-Oz version with different protagonists. Although the first version was never completed, and can't be considered the canonical one, Shanower released some expanded material from it at Munchkin Con 2005.  The following is printed here with his permission:

The rescue party visit a kingdom of living clouds who in authentic Oz book style want to turn the Oz characters into clouds by using a large and alarming machine called a Cloud-Press, which is a large slab of marble over which a metal grille is lowered, squeezing flat anything caught between the two sections. Here’s an excerpt:

“Those cloudies mean to use THAT on us?” cried Jellia Jamb.

“Don’t worry too much.” Jack Pumpkinhead tried to comfort her. “You won’t be killed ’cause you live in Oz.”

“He’s right,” added Scraps. “You’ll soon be as thin as a piece of paper with little bumps all over you where the holes in the grille are.” Then she danced around saying:

“Jellia Jamb, it won’t be awful
To come out looking like a waffle.”

At this point poor Jellia started to cry.

 

The Polychrome storyline went as follows:

 

"As Dorothy and Company are traveling across the snow from their landing to the Ice King's palace, the Northern Lights appear in the sky. In the Oz world, I figured the Northern Lights were similar to Polychrome and her sisters and are Polychrome's cousins. Polychrome happens to be visiting these cousins at the time, sees Dorothy and co., and joins them on the rest of the adventure. When the Ice King uses his magic to try to stop Dorothy and company, one of the things he does is make bright, piercing lights appear in order to confuse and blind them. Polychrome dances among the lights and weaves them into gentle patterns, foiling the Ice King. After they rescue Ozma, Polychrome rejoins the Northern Lights."

 

 

 

 

The Red Jinn in Oz

 

Available as a free download here.

 

Story: Dorothy tells Ozma that since the Scarecrow has never had a birthday party before, they should throw him one.  The Cowardly Lion suggests they call it a Makeday party; Ozma adds that it should be a surprise, while Dorothy envisions a straw-ride and costume party to be held on the day she first met hima thursday, to be held after Betsy and Trot return from Sapphire City.  Then, they'll surprise not just the Scarecrow, but everyone.

 

In the middle of the night, Dorothy is awakened by a flash, but figuring it to be the Wizard, she goes back to sleep unaware of the plot at work.  In a hut in Follensby Forest, in the Gillikin Country, two old crones stir a potion, while a thin man sits by and a screeching raven circles above.  The evil fairy Faleero, who'd been turned into a raven by Ozma (in The Purple Prince of Oz) has spent years gathering the formula she needs.  Diving into the cauldron, she reemerges as her former self, a bent old woman.  Kettywig, Faleero's husband, reminds her that she's going to need all four of them for their plan to work, with him impersonating the Wizard, she Ozma, her sister Falingo Glinda, and her servant Dubra Jellia Jam.  With a golden powder, Faleero casts the enchantment and the conspirators are transformed into replicas of the people they intend to replace.  Falingo and Kettywig worry that Faleero's temper is going to spoil things, but she assures them she won't, though she intends for Ozma to suffer. Untying their giant vultures, they fly off to Pumperdink to exact the first part of their revenge.

 

Dorothy wakes up, anxious to check in on the Scarecrow in the Magic Picture, but when she enter Ozma's room, the Picture is missing. At breakfast, Ozma seems off, scolding Dorothy for having gone into her room. Dorothy concludes that she must not feel well (though she's never been sick before) and invites herself along with the false-Wizard to see the false-Glinda, but once there, she is again taken aback at Ozma's tone when she prohibits her from reading the Great Book of Records.  Heading back to the Emerald City, Dorothy brings up the Scarecrow's impending party, which irritates "Ozma," who tells Dorothy there won't be any more parties and to go away and stop bothering her.  Heartbroken, Dorothy confides in the Lion who comforts her.  Popping what she thinks is a peppermint, but is really a Wishing Pill, she wishes she knew what was wrong. Instantly, her and the lion are transported magically to Glinda's, where Dorothy reads in the Great Book of Records that Faleero has impersonated Ozma, Glinda and the Wizard. 

 

Together they forge a plan, and after they return to the Emerald City, the next day, Dorothy tells the Lion they should ask the help of the Red Jinn, but to get to Ev they have to use the tunnel the Nomes once dug underneath the Deadly Desert. The Lion thought it had been filled in, but Dorothy explains that it was only closed at this end.  Going to the garden of the Forbidden Fountain, Dorothy and the Cowardly Lion start digging in various places, but can't find the tunnel.  In their last attempt, however, the Lion uncovers a large rock, under which lies the tunnel.  The Lion suggests that rather than arise suspicions, Dorothy should ask the Ozma-disguised Faleero if she can visit Ojo in Seebania.  Glad to be rid of her, Faleero consents.  Packing food and matches, Dorothy returns to the tunnel where the Lion anxiously awaits her.  Terrified of the pitch black, they lower themselves into the hole and pull the stone back over them.  Quickly lighting a torch, they begin their journey.  Reminding the Lion that the tunnel alights in the Nome country, Dorothy wonders if they could enlist the aid of Kaliko, but the Lionrecalling his devious behavior when Skamperoo conquered Oz (in The Wishing Horse of Oz)thinks it best they say nothing of the real reason for their journey until they see Jinnicky.

 

All of a sudden, the Lion trips on a wire, dousing their light and flinging Dorothy off his back.  They are greeted by Be Low, captain of the king's guard of the City of Low.  As no light is permitted, Dorothy and the Lion can't see him but for his glowing eyes.  He tells them that all Lowers float and that he must escort them to his Imperial Lowness.  Following Be Low they pass through a door where the glowing eyes of the king and others greets them.

 

Back at the Emerald City, meanwhile, Faleero finds it difficult to get along with any of the court regulars, and ends up insulting Betsy, Trot, Cap'n Bill and others.  Cap'n Bill wonders if they've outstayed their welcome.  The girls conclude that Ozma must be worried about something but they all agree to give her a wide berth until she asks for their help.  But when Scraps, Button Bright, the Soldier with the Green Whiskers and Shaggy Man go missing they become convinced something's wrong.

 

In Low, the king proclaims that to leave is against the Law, and that they'll feel much better once they've been removed from their clumsy bodies and become a Lower.  Dorothy protests and the Lion leaps at the king, but to no avail.  Dorothy then lights a match, which sends the Lowers scampering.  They find themselves in a large chamber.  The Lowers hide and mock them from behind a curtain.  There is large wooden door out, but Dorothy can't open it.  Frustrated by their threats to get them when the lights go out, Dorothy threatens to burn down their "castle," which frightens the king who offers to help if they shut the light.  Dorothy doesn't trust him, but the king tells her that light destroys them, so it is the only way.  Dousing the light, they're met by Hel Low, who guides them out of their domain. 

 

Exhausted, Dorothy rides the Lion who looks for a spring of water, which he'd seen every mile or so on the journey so far.  But after five miles, Dorothy awakens and the Lion has found no water.  Feeling the heat, she realizes they're now under the Desert.  The pair eat and sleep.  Awakening some time later, they hear what sounds like a waterfall, but is actually a firefall that prevents them from crossing.  A giant fire serpent then enters the fire river and the pair flee before he can see them, but too late.  The creature shoots down the tunnel after them, but he reveals himself to be friendly, even offering to let them swim in his lake. 

 

He is a Glow Worm named Glimmer (or Glim).  White, with pearl-like scales and a pearlescent inner glow, Glim had heard of Dorothy and the Cowardly Lion from his friends, the Rock Fairies.  Glimmer is about a mile long, but isn't sure.  He often visits his tail, which he says gets lonely.  After the Lion tells them the true purpose of their journey, he agrees to help them.  As they travel upon his head over the river of fire, Dorothy invites him to the Emerald City, where she promises to have him measured.  He likes that idea, and as there are many passages leading to the surface he promises to take her up on her offer.  When Dorothy inquires about the other passages, Glim explains that after the Nomes' attempt to conquer Oz failed, and the tunnel was abandoned, "many creatures moved in... there are as many creatures living under the Earth as upon its surface."  The Glow Worm explains that none of the Underlings associate with the Lowers, which is why a road was built around their little kingdom.  Dorothy inquires if all Underlings like fire, but Glim says that they're all different, and some live far below in caverns of ice, or in water.  Hearing of water, the Lion asks him to take them to some, which he does, though he's surprised they drink the substance.  Dorothy and Lion meet the Delvers, who are a branch of beavers who once lived above ground, but after years of predation (due to having light coats and a preference for working at night), they were invited by Glim to make their home underground.  Soon, other residents come to meet the newcomers, including Blazer, a tiny, flame-colored bat, and Shiner, a great fiery fish who lives in the lake.  They depart and come across Glimmer's tail, which is made up of gold rattles which chime like bells and play tunes.  

 

Dorothy and the Lion invite Glim to come with them to the Red Jinn's castle but he insists he must polish his scales before he meets with Ozma.  He takes them to the end of the tunnel in a matter of hours.  After saying goodbye, they emerge in the Nome King's mines, where the Nomes stop work to approach them.  Dorothy requests to see Kaliko, but the Nomes seem suspicious and unfriendly, and they soon find out why.  Guph (last seen in The Hungry Tiger of Oz) has usurped the throne and made Kaliko a mine worker.  The Nomes ask Dorothy if she might conquer Guph whose almost as bad as Ruggedo had been, but the Lion assures them that they'll ask Ozma to intervene when they return to Oz.  Kaliko guides them to the surface and points them in the direction of Jinnicky's castle.  It is dark by the time they reach the ocean and they sleep upon the sands.

 

In the morning, the Lion brings Dorothy to a dinner-pail tree and they eat.  By nightfall they approach the red glass castle of the Red Jinn, and after getting him to stop talking, explain to him what's become of Ozma and the others.  Jinnicky determines to undo Faleero's mischief, but when the Lion tells him that Pumperdink has been turned into an ant hill and its people into ants (and Kabumpo a pinching bug), Jinnicky calls Alibabble to gather his things and get him a haircut.  As he studies his magic books, Dorothy and the Lion are escorted to their rooms and fall off to sleep.

 

The new morning the Jinn informs them that because Faleero only uses red magic, which he invented, he feels certain he can undo her spells.  Jinnicky knows Guph won't let him back into the tunnel, as Guph had earlier attacked his people.  As the Jinnricksaw won't hold the Lion, Dorothy suggests they ride in a cart which the Lion can pull, and their journey begins.  Later, when the Jinn lies down to take a nap, he shrinks the cart and all the magic in it so that no one can steal it. Putting it in her pocket Dorothy and the Lion explore and discover a valley of beautiful flowers.  Dorothy goes to pluck one, but it proves unbreakable.  Suddenly, the flowers start growing and moving towards them, and before long have wrapped them up.

 

Back at the Emerald City, Ozma finds Betsy in her room and throws her, Trot and Cap'n Bill out of the Palace.  The girls are nonplussed and discover a sign in the throne room proclaiming that anyone not employed in the Palace must leave.  Singing, dancing and parties are now forbidden.  Everyone in the city must have gainful employment and give half their income to Ozma.  She has also formed a new army and intends to impose martial law.  Trot determines to see Ozma to find out what's going on, but a guard prevents her.  She gets by him anyway, but when Ozma sees her she smacks her across the cheek.  Trot departs, telling her friends that she knows now that it's not Ozma.  The three leave the city, heading south.

 

The flowers deposit Dorothy and the Lion on a hill in a lovely but "strange, rosy land."  The cross a spongy, springy ground to the castle only to notice that it has no doors.  They try walking around it and Dorothy calls out to anyone in the vicinity.  With no answer they walk away, but turning around they see winged men issuing from the windows.  Dorothy hops on the Lion's back to flee, but they're caught and flown back to the castle.  Dorothy's captor tells her not to fear, and asks what she's doing in the cloud country of Cumuland.  She tells him who she is and where she's from, and he replies that his name is Boag and that King Gip wishes to see them.  Unfortunately, the king is not as friendly or kind-hearted as his people.  Boag explains that thirteen years ago, the sky country of Cumuland was ruled by Gip's brother, who was loved by the people. When their son was but an infant he and the queen disappeared. Gip took over, and became crueler over time. When Prince Rory neared the age of 12, one year ago, he disappeared as well.

 

Brought before the king, Dorothy and the Lion demand to be released, but the king refuses, so the Lion and Dorothy accuse him of spiriting Prince Rory away. He orders them put in the dungeons, but the guard Taggle refuses, so he's ordered imprisoned as well. When the Lion proves intractable, Gip uses his scepter to render the Lion immobile, but when he tries it on Dorothy it doesn't work, so he has her and the Lion carried off to the dungeon.

 

Boag and the other guards leave them free to roam the dungeon, which is just part of the castle's basement that's been blocked off. They believe Rory is somewhere in it. Dorothy comes upon the cart that Jinnicky had earlier shrunk. She tells Taggle of their quest and then finds the magic Dinner Bell and summons Ginger.  He makes Jinnicky's magic jars normal sized again, but doesn't know how to use them. He does waken the Lion and shows Dorothy how to shrink the bottles again so she can transport them when needed. He also gives her a key that will fit any lock. Dorothy and Taggle go to sleep while the Lion explores.

 

In the morning, the Lion reports that he found nothing else in the dungeon. The guard Hob arrives and explains that the basement, of which the cells are but a small part, once encompassed game rooms, pools, a ballroom and dining room. But the dungeon is cut off from them by a locked door. Dorothy uses Ginger's key to unlock the door and they begin searching the ballroom and adjoining corridors the rest of the day. 

 

They search again the next day. 

 

On the third day, the Lion discovers a secret passage. Dorothy finds the seal and uses Ginger's key (which transforms into a skinnier key) to open it upon a flight of stairs going down. It leads to a winding passage that takes them to a room where they find Gip threatening and pleading with Prince Rory to give him the magic ring his father had bestowed on him, which prevents him from being harmed. Rory refuses to hand it over, so Gip tells him he's never returning.  After he leaves, the Lion follows him while Dorothy and Taggle release Rory with the magic key.  The Lion reports that Gip returned upstairs and suggests they take Rory back to the dungeon, where Dorothy requests Ginger bring him food.  Rory tells them that he'd been abducted by Gip just before his 12th birthday when he told his uncle he was old enough to rule. But he was tricked into going downstairs by the promise of a letter from his father, and there he's remained for a year.

 

The next day, Hob comes and is rejoiced to see his prince. He tells other loyal guards and together they escort Prince Rory to the throne room. Gip is horrified to see him and attempts to use his scepter to immobilize them, but Rory's ring protects him and all who touch him.  Gip then summons a fire-breathing dragon.  Dorothy pulls out one of Jinnicky's jugs and wishes he was there. Jinnicky appears, grabs another jug and hurls it down the dragon's throat, defeating him.  Rory then captures Gip's scepter and the false king jumps out the window, pursued by the guards.  Taggle places Rory on the throne. This is followed by a celebration.  Gip is brought before the king bound and gag, but Rory doesn't wish to return cruelty for cruelty and has the Red Jinn turn him into a pink bat which is set free.  As Rory himself can no longer fly due to being cooped up in a cell for so long, the Red Jinn gives him a potion which restores his wings, and he flies happily about.

 

The next day, after the coronation and celebration, Rory determines to go with Jinnicky, Dorothy and the Lion to help them with their troubles at the Emerald City. When Cumuland arrives there, Rory and the guards fly Dorothy and the Lion to the surface. Jinnicky suggests that in order to make them suffer, Faleero has likely kept Ozma, the Wizard and Glinda close by in some enchanted form. After searching the grounds, Jinnicky spots three fish in a small fountain, one green, one red and one black. Dorothy knows there are no fish in that fountain, but before her friends can be restored, she and Jinnicky hide as Faleero arrives. She tells the fish that she's declared war on the Winkies and imprisoned the Tin Woodman along with many others. When she leaves, Jinnicky takes the fish out of the pond, sprinkles them with a gold powder, wraps them in a kerchief and burns it up. The spell restores them to their true forms. After many grateful thanks, the Wizard acknowledges that it was clever of Faleero to turn them into fish, as no one expects fish to have anything much to say.

 

Earlier, Betsy, Trot and Cap'n Bill made it to Glinda's palace where they tell the false Glinda all their suspicions. The next day "Glinda" admitted that it was Faleero disguised as Ozma, and flies them back to the Emerald City in the Swan Chariot. Falingo then chides Faleero for letting her temper get the better of her, revealing to the Ozites that she too is an imposter. Faleero determines to transform them into statues, but Kettywig interrupts her to report that the people have revolted and are storming the gates, Ozma, the Wizard and Glinda amongst them.  Cap'n Bill tackles Faleero and tosses the Magic Belt to Rory, who flies it over to Ozma. Jinnicky tosses the contents of a silver flagon at the imposters, restoring their original forms and revealing to the crowds who they are. 

 

Marching the usurpers to the Forbidden Fountain, Ozma makes them drink and forget who they are.  Ozma sends the three back to Follensby Forest. Back at the palace, Dorothy identifies Jellia Jamb as Faleero's servant, but Dubra protests that she was forced to do it and shows them where the Magic Picture's been hidden.  With it, they're able to find all their missing friends. Ozma gives Dubra a drink from the Fountain and sends her back to her mistress.  She also sends a note telling Guph to restore Kaliko to the throne.  Jinnicky, meanwhile, restores Pumperdink and its citizens.  As Dorothy notes that the next day is Thursday, they continue their preparations for the Scarecrow's Makeday party.

 

Continuity notes:

Cumuland: This is one of many sky countries in Nonestica. See the Appendices for a complete list.  Unlike Sky Island and Umbrella Island, there is no mechanism that guides it.  The ground is made of a solid-form of cloud, which floats to and fro.  It can, however, be directed, though through what means is not revealed in the text.

 

Dating: The story takes place over the course of 14 days, two weeks from Wednesday to Wednesday. There is no indication as to what exact year the events of this story take place other than that it is a number of years after The Purple Prince of Oz.  Because there is no Barrier of Invisibility mentioned, as there is in the main tunnel in The Shaggy Man of Oz, it must be before The Magical Mimics of Oz, which prompted Glinda and Ozma to restore the Barrier of Invisibility after it had been down for many years.  The Royal Timeline of Oz has placed this story 10 years after the events of the latter, in 1930.

 

Faleero: Faleero's origins are told in "The Banishment of Faleero," which is her first chronological appearance. She is first mentioned in Kabumpo in Oz as an old and ugly fairy, but it is not until The Purple Prince of Oz that she takes action against Pumperdink.  Her companions in this story are not the "ladies in waiting" from the latter.  One is her sister Falingo, another apparently fallen fairy; the second is Dubra, her servant.  Faleero's husband Kettywig serves the role of fourth conspirator here.  In the Oziana 2000 story, "The Invisible Fairy of Oz," however, her three ladies-in-waiting are introduced, after having been working undercover in Pumperdink as Princess Pajonia's ladies-in-waiting.  They are Claudia, Audia and Fraudia.  They restore Faleero's memory (after Ozma erases it in this story) and advance the plot to take over Pumperdink.

 

Glimmer the Glow Worm: One of the more charming characters introduced to Oz (or rather the tunnel connecting Oz to Ev) after the Sovereign Sixty, Glim is a mile-or-so-long fire serpent, called a glow worm because his interior lights up, likely due to the fire and lava he consumes and spends his time in.  Glim is exceedingly friendly to all creatures great and small, and has made numerous friends in his underground realm, including the Delvers, flame bats and fire fish.

 

Great Book of Records: According to the narrative, the Great Book of Records highlights events in Oz in red lettering.

 

Lowers of Low: As with the Shadow People (or Cave Men) who live in the Ozure Isles (in The Giant Horse of Oz), the Lowers appear to have discarded, or were created without, physical bodies, and seek to make intruders cast off their bodies and become shades like them.  The Nobodies of the Island Nowhere (in Pirates in Oz) also don't have bodies.  It is not known if any of these fear (or are harmed by) the light as the Lowers are.

 

Scarecrow: This story marks the first celebration of the Scarecrow's birthday, which they call a "Makeday."  The Tin Woodman's first publicly celebrated birthday is planned in A Refugee in Oz.

 

Tunnel under Oz: The tunnel underneath Oz and the Deadly Desert, which the Nomes dug in The Emerald City of Oz, was, according to that book, closed up: "Ozma used the Magic Belt to close up the tunnel, so that the earth underneath the desert sands became as solid as it was before the Nomes began to dig.” However, in this story and in The Shaggy Man of Oz, it is still there, and now adjoined to numerous underground passages that branch off it.  This is explained here when the Lion says to Dorothy that he believed Ozma had closed up the entire tunnel (as she said she was going to do), but Dorothy clarifies this and tells him that Ozma only plugged up the end of the tunnel. This may be because of what the Glow Worm Glim said, "Many of these [creatures] made their homes in the tunnel; and when I came, it was already crowded.  Since then the tunnel has been greatly enlarged, and the side passages made for the benefit of those who wish to spend some of their time on the Earth's surface."  It's likely that not wanting to disturb these creatures or the new homes they were building in and out of the tunnel, Ozma likely decided to leave it be, but closed up the side on her end. As regards security risks, it appears that because a maze of passageways and inhabited chambers surround the tunnel, it's hard to stay on the original path, particularly as rivers of fire cross some passages.

 

 

 

 

 

The Hidden Valley of Oz

 

History: 39th book the Famous Forty, Sovereign Sixty and Supreme Seventy-Five, and the first penned by Rachel Cosgrove (later to add Payes to the surname), who would later see The Wicked Witch of Oz published (by the International Wizard of Oz Club).  This is the first and only book illustrated by Dirk Gringhuis.

 

Story: Jonathan Andrew Manley, or Jam, son of the famous Professor Manley, builds a large collapsible kite and ties a crate to it.  Bringing along his father's white rat and some guinea pigs, he heads to the top of a hill, imaging traveling to far off places when a sudden gust of wind lifts up the crate.  Jam holds on and climbs in as it flies higher and higher.  Eventually he falls asleep.

 

He wakes up to the crate crashing on the hillside of a purple valley.  To his surprise the rat and guinea pigs start conversing with each other.  The rat says is name is Percy the Personality Kid; the guinea pigs are Pinny and Gig.  He puts them in his pockets and Percy on his shoulder and heads down the valley where he runs into a group of small men wearing purple.  They flee at first, but then ask him if he's a wizard come to save them from the giant Terp the Terrible.  The boy says he's from Evansville, Ohio and is lost.  The men have never heard of it and tell him he's in the fairyland of Oz.  Perch, Pinny and Gig agree since they were never able to speak before.  The men are slaves in a jam factory and surrounding vineyards.  Terp lives on the jam and muffins which grow on a tree in his castle courtyard, where they're guarded day and night by a two-headed beast (with one head always awake) who only allows Terp near.  They suspect Terp's powers come from the muffins, but they can't escape the Hidden Valley because the plains surrounding it are guarded by the fierce Equinots.  The birds have told them of a Woodman who lives in the Winkie country who might be able to chop the tree down and send Jam home.

 

All of a sudden Terp arrives.  At over 50 feet tall, he sees Jam and determines to punish him for not working.  When the boy tells he's not one of his slaves and that his name is Jam, the giant wonders what flavor he is and determines to eat him for breakfast with a muffin.  Jam is carried to the giant's castle tower and sees the two-headed guardian, it's body like that of an elephant, its tail like an alligator and its heads that of a wolf and owl.  Percy thinks of a way out and climbs out the window, appearing later with a vine in his mouth.  With some reluctance, Jam ties it around his waist and jumps out the window, swinging down to just above the ground.

 

On escaping, Percy becomes obsessed with the idea of tasting a muffin and sneaks over to the tree.  The owl-head, which is awake, fails to notice him until he plucks a muffin off its branch, and by then it's too late as Percy dashes off with his prize.  Jam, meanwhile, has had to move forward into the plains, but the sound of horses soon overcome him.  The Equinots, who are centaurs, catch him and explain that since no trespassers are allowed on their land he is now their stable slave.  Just then, Percy catches up with Jam and discovers what's going on.  When the guinea pigs suggest he eat the muffin, he does so and begins to grow to ten times his size, which frightens the Equinots away. 

 

The party stops at the house of a kindly Gillikin family, who offer them food and a place to sleep.  In the morning, they assure them that the Tin Woodman will help them and the Winkie Country is only a few hours walk.  But Pinny and Gig have decided to stay with the farmers' children who've fallen in love with them.  The Gillikin and his wife tell Jam to visit again.  Jam and Percy depart and after a few hours come to a river across from which lies the Winkie Country.  Percy instructs Jam to hold onto his tail as he swims across, but the current proves too strong and they're swept up to an island, where they dry off. 

 

After they proceed inland something swoops over their heads and they look up to see hundreds of kites with faces.  A red kite asks why Jam's kite doesn't speak, so Percy suggests that Jam draw a face on it.  As soon as he does, the kite winks to him and greets them.  The kites explain that years ago the Wicked Witch of the West, while flying overheard on her broom, discovered the children flying their kites and took them away, bringing them to this island and tying them up on the trees.  They've been trapped there ever since.  Jam and Percy proceed to untie them, and in gratitude, they carry the pair over the river.  Jam wonders that their former children will now be adults, but the kites assure them that in Oz everyone stays at whatever age he wishes.  The kites drop them off at the castle of the Tin Woodman and fly off to their former homes.

 

Jam, Percy and his now-talking kite enter the courtyard, where the guard assures them that the Tin Emperor has the kindest heart in all of Oz.  Leaving the kite there, they enter and are greeted by the Tin Woodman, who feeds them and listens to their adventures, recalling his own with Mrs. Yoop.  "The North Country seems to be the place where most of the giants of Oz live" (110), he says.  But when Percy suddenly begins to shrink, he eats another bite from the magic muffin, causing him to shoot back up to his former size.  Nick then figures out that Terp is an ordinary man who made himself into a giant.  Jam asks about going home, and Nick agrees to bring Jam to the Emerald City where Ozma and the Wizard can help.  Percy also hopes they enchant him so that he can stay large and not be dependent on muffins.

 

The next day, Jam releases his kite to go off with the other kites and make a new life.  Dorothy and the Scarecrow arrive at the castle, where they're introduced to Percy and Jam.  As Ozma is away visiting Glinda, it's decided to go to the Hidden Valley first to rescue the people from Terp.  Percy and Jam also meet the Hungry Tiger and Cowardly Lion, and Dorothy reassures them that they're friendly.   The group depart, with Jam upon the Hungry Tiger's back and Dorothy on the Lion's, and they listen to all their stories. 

 

The party enter a forest and before long hear a terrible commotion.  Before them appears a leopard whose spots keep changing to various shapes and colors.  He begs the large cats not to attack him, as he's just fled his home because the animals there distrusted and hated him because he was so different.  The Scarecrow remarks that often people think something is wrong with those who are different.  The party reassures him that they too are different and that such a state is preferable to being ordinary.  They invite him to join them, cheering up the Leopard with the Changing Spots, who Jam nicknames Spots.  Spots has never had any friends or adventures before, and as they travel on he gets to hear all their stories.

 

The next day the travelers come to a sign marking the way to Bookville or Icetown.  The Tin Woodman admits there are a lot of unexplored places in the Winkie forests, and they agree to try Bookville.  Down a trail and around a bend, they come to a giant bookcase filled with books, but someone warns them away.  Seeing no door, Percy climbs up, but again the warning repeats and something pushes him off.  This happens a few more times before Nick Chopper concludes that the books must be doing it.  They soon reveal they're alive and serve their king, who demands to see them.  With that, a section of the bookcase opens, and they're met by a Guide Book to take them through the village.  They pass by sections of detective books, flower books and children's books. 

 

At the Royal Palace, the palace pages escort them to the Book of Royalty, who is haughty and provokes Dorothy to remind him that the Tin Woodman is their Emperor.  The Royal Court calls them imposters and the king says he has no ruler besides himself.  He calls for a trial and the law books, but as the party have no title, they will have no defender.  The Rhyming Dictionary, who is the court jester, comes in and with his poetry warns them to get out while they can.  The judge calls for a jury who deems them guilty of treason.  In punishment they are to be pressed and bound, the Scarecrow's clothes used for paper and the Tin Woodman melted down for the printing press.  They're then put in prison.

 

Percy comes up with an idea and begins gnawing a hole in the back of the prison.  To cover up the sound, the Tin Woodman suggests everyone sing whatever songs they know.  Percy gets out and bumps into the Rhyming Dictionary who agrees to help them.  Getting the guard to pursue him, Percy jumps him, gets the key and then frees his friends, putting the guard in prison.  The Rhyming Dictionary leads them to a wall surrounding town, opens a section, and allows them out. 

 

The next morning, Jam tells the Dictionary the object of their adventure.  He's not sure he's up to that, but also doesn't want to return to Bookville, so Spots decides he'll take him to the Emerald City.  Dorothy tells him to find Scraps, who'll welcome them.  The remaining party make their way to Icetown, a village of snow and ice with houses like igloos and residents who are living snowmen.  The guard tells them that visitors are not allowed, but the Scarecrow insists and they pass through.  The Scarecrow soon slips in the ice and slides down and around a bend.  When they go to find him, he's gone.  Nick Chopper calls out to him, but is answered by the howling wail of the North Wind, whose been made a slave of the Snowmen, and warns them away.  When they say they won't go without their friend, he laughs.

 

Heading to the largest igloo, they enter through a tunnel and find the Scarecrow secured to an icicle next to the King of the Snowmen, and when they go to release him a wall of ice appears between them.  The king explains that the law dictates that trespassers must be punished, and if he fails to carry out his duty he'll be replaced by another who will.  The Lord High Freezer is summoned to turn them into snowmen, and they're brought to a small igloo called "the Freezer" that's even colder than it is outside.  The Scarecrow comes up with an idea to build a fire and offers up his own straw (a sacrifice Nick remembers him making years ago to the Hippogyraf)  So long as his head and clothes are intact, he can be re-stuffed later.  When the Tin Man lights a match, the North Wind blows it out, so the group huddle around and the straw lights up.  The North Wind blows angrily, causing the flames to fan and melting a hole in the igloo, allowing their escape. 

 

On their way out, Dorothy assures Jam that even though there are some odd ducks, and that "some of these remote places don't even known that they are a part of Oz... the good are in much greater numbers than the bad" (220). Coming to a Winkie farmhouse, the friendly couple invite them to a repast while the Scarecrow is re-stuffed.  At the end of the road, they come to a river that divides the Winkie and Gillikin countries.  Nick begins chopping logs to construct a raft, but he hears odd groans.  Once the raft is complete, the oars move of their accord.  As they sail down the river, the whole raft rebels against them.  Figuring out that it was a magic wood, the Scarecrow tries reverse psychology and proclaims aloud that he wishes the rough ride will continue and hopes they don't reach the opposite shore.  The raft then does the opposite, and the party is able to disembark from the raft, as it goes sailing off merrily by itself. 

 

Heading back to the Gillikin farm, the farmers are happy to see Jam again as well as to meet the famous Ozites.  Pinny and Gig and the others gather to hear their adventures, and after a good night's rest they head out again. 

 

Back on the plains, the Equinots come riding to enslave them, but the roar of the Cowardly Lion and Hungry Tiger, led by the fierce Percy make them turn back to their homes, where they learn to stay henceforth.  After conferring, the Tin Woodman concludes that the Gillikins will rise up against their oppressor once they see they've come to help liberate them.  The Scarecrow comes up with a plan to lure Terp away from his castle, and Jam and Dorothy go forth to recruit Gillikins.  They soon find one who agrees that Terp was angry at the loss of Jam and searched far and wide for him.  Percy shows them exactly what the muffins do, and they realize Terp is just an ordinary man.  Concerned that he'll destroy the village when he discovers the tree chopped down, the Gillikin suggests they lure Terp to the smokestack, from which he won't be able to escape. 

 

The plan set, the Gillikins tell Terp that Jam was spotted in the hills, so he rushes off to find him.  The Tin Woodman approaches the Guardian of the Tree, with his axe spinning in the moonlight.  This hypnotizes the beast as the Scarecrow plants the suggestion in his mind that they are harmless.  Breaking its chain, the beast departs, allowing Percy to grab a few muffins.  Nick then chops down the tree.  Terp, meanwhile, is told that Jam has been spotted in the smokestack, where they can't reach.  So, Terp climbs in, and they seal the door shut behind him.  Once he realizes what's happened and that his secret's out, he weeps, but the people celebrate their freedom from the cruel tyrant.  Over the next few days, Terp shrinks, and the heroes prepare to head to the Emerald City.  The Gillikins will teach Terp to live as they do, if he'll behave.  The trip to the Emerald City is pleasant and once they arrive, Spots, Scraps and the Sawhorse come out to greet them.  On hearing of Terp's defeat, Scraps is glad that there's "one less wicked giant to contend with." (293)

 

After Ozma meets Jam, she shows him his parents in the Magic Picture.  Reassured they're ok, he enjoys the banquet in his honor and the Rhyming Dictionary recites a poem about their adventures.  The next morning, the Wizard gives Percy an elixir to drink that will keep him large-sized.  He gives Jam a new kite and crate, which he can use anytime he wishes to return to Oz.  Then with a wishing pill, he sends the boy home to be reunited with his parents.

 

Continuity notes:

Bookville: In the BCF Pumperdink forum, Nathan M. DeHoff notes that "In The Gnome King of Oz Peter and Scraps met a Bookman, with a book for a body.  The people of Bookville have books for heads instead.  Similar idea, but different in execution.  That's not to mention that the Bookman is friendly, and the people of Bookville rude."  It's possible that the residents of Bookville were more varied than those few the reader meets (e.g., the royal pages aren't even complete books), so it remains a possibility that the Bookman was once a citizen of Bookville that had escaped for the same reasons that the Rhyming Dictionary later did.

 

Dating: The story takes place over the course of 11 days.  See the day-t0-day chronology for more details.  Internal evidence indicates that this story takes place in the summer.  There is no other indication as to what year this takes place, save that it must be some time after the Wizard invented the Wishing Pills.  It has been placed in 1930 due to the following factors: Oz Footnotes 8 takes place 12 years after the events of this story.  In it, the Gump notes that Ozroar was abducted and enchanted by Mombi during the christening of Prince Pompadore.  Prince Pompadore was born in 1892 (28 years before the events of The Purple Prince of Oz in 1920.)  The Gump says it's been 50 years since Ozroar was abducted.  50 years from 1892 brings The Blue Emperor of Oz to 1942.  12 years prior to that is when The Hidden Valley of Oz takes place, therefore, 1930.  Although somewhat unconventional to place a story so far back from when it was written, it is not without precedent.  More importantly, there's nothing to conflict with it taking place in this earlier time frame.

 

The Guardian: Terp's unnamed two-headed guardian makes an earlier chronological appearance in "Kabumpo and the Rain King," available here.

 

Ingenuity and Hypnotism: As J.L. Bell points out (on the BCF Pumperdink forums), Hidden Valley is filled with examples of characters who use their minds to get out of difficulties, rather than relying on magic or a deus-ex-machina.  "In one way I think Cosgrove shows a stronger sense of plot than her predecessors. When they're trapped on the live raft, the Scarecrow and his companions *trick* it into taking them where they want [223]. The Scarecrow and the grape-gatherers *trick* Terp into going inside his factory's smokestack [245, 255], knowing that without the muffins he'll soon become ordinary and harmless. In both situations the heroes figure out their antagonists' desires and weaknesses, then take advantage of those to achieve their goals.  We rarely see that sort of solution in the Oz books. Instead, conflicts are usually resolved with overwhelming magic or other force and/or lucky breaks...   That said, I thought the Scarecrow's idea to use of 'mass hypnotism' to overcome the guardian of the magic muffin tree comes out of a deep left cornfield [263-6]. The Scarecrow has only a cursory notion of hypnotism, and no apparent experience with it; he seems to think it's part of regular sorcery. The idea that a circle of light would make the beast's brain susceptible to personality-changing suggestions is, well, optimistic. There's some logical problem-solving in that scene as the
characters realize their vulnerabilities (shining in the moonlight, dealing with two heads) and figure out solutions. But it still seems like a stretch to me."

 

Jam: Jam returns to Oz 12 years later in Henry Blossom's The Blue Emperor of Oz.

 

Kite Island: The "hundreds" of sapient kites stranded on Kite Island (likely named after they were stranded there) reveals yet another living race of normally non-sentient objects in Oz, akin to Loonville's balloon people, Thompson's Balloon Island and Karyl Carson's living balloons in Jodie in Oz.  Why the Wicked Witch of the West (who, for the first time is described as riding a broom) would be so incensed by flying kites that she'd take the time to tie them up on an island is not known, and seems on the surface to be a bit too mustachio-twirling for her.  Perhaps it was a lesser witch that they assumed was the Wicked Witch, or maybe there's more to the story than meets the eye.

 

Manley Family: Jam indicates that he lives on Terrace Place in Evansville, Ohio.  As Nathan DeHoff and J.L. Bell reveal (on the BCF Pumperdink forum), Evansville exists southeast of Cleveland, near the Pennsylvania border, in Trumbull County, a rural area with an Amish community. "Which brings up the questions of why the Manley family was living there, and where did Prof. Manley teach? Youngstown State University?"

 

The North Wind: In Icetown, the North Wind reveals that he's been made a slave of the snowmen.  Yet his behavior is odd for one whose working against his will.  He often laughs cruelly at the heroes, which would seem to suggest that his story is a lie.  Yet, as J.L. Bell reveals he "knows of their escape plan, takes pleasure in trying to thwart it, yet doesn't warn the snowmen [214]."  This would seem to support the notion that the North Wind is indeed a prisoner, and while he is somehow bound to enforce Icetown's laws, is hoping they'll actually escape.  Such an interpretation would mean he has a rather unusual sense of humor.  In Oz, the North Wind is the servant of the Wind Satchel Man, as noted in The Laughing Dragon of Oz.  Whether or not this is the same North Wind as the ones represented in George MacDonald's At the Back of the North Wind, the Norwegian fables "East of the Sun and West of the Moon," and "The Lad Who Went to the North Wind," and other fables and stories, remains to be seen.

 

Original Beginning: The original first chapter of this storycalled Rocket Trip to Ozwas excised by Reilly & Lee and published in Oz-Story Magazine #6, by Hungry Tiger Press.  It features Jam getting to Oz via a rocket ship his father built.  Payes rewrote the scene on the advice of the editor and to better tie it into the kites chapter.  According to Payes, Reilly & Lee told her that they "wanted to change the way Jam got to Oz as they had rejected another manuscript which also used a rocket ship."  That manuscript was The Dinamonster of Oz, by L. Frank Baum's youngest son Kenneth Gage Baum (which was later published by Bucketheads of Oz).

 

Percy: The giant white rat that started off as a lab rat in Jam's father's laboratory is considered by J.L. Bell the "chief hero" and "problem-solver" of The Hidden Valley of Oz until the Scarecrow arrives.  Percy also stars in Payes' follow-up, The Wicked Witch of Oz and in "Percy and the Shrinking Violet," in Oz-Story Magazine #1.  In Ray Powell's original version of The Raggedys in Oz, Percy accidentally revives Ruggedo and is punished by being sent back to the outside world as an ordinary rat.  The second edition of that book altered that unlikely scenario, so that Percy is forgiven.  The latter version is considered the canonical one by the Royal Timeline of Oz.

 

Slavery and Conformity: The running commentary throughout the narrative is the evils of slavery and the superiority of being different.  This is expressed through Terp, a slave-owner, the Equinots, who seeks to become slave-owners, the King of Bookville, who tries to make trespassers into books, and the Snowmen of Icetown who seek to make trespassers into snowman.  The point is underscored by the community that Spots the Leopard with the Changing Spots comes from, who have banished him because they don't trust a creature so different than themselves.  He thankfully comes across those for whom noncomformity is natural, the Scarecrow and Tin Woodman, who give him a comforting speech on the benefits of being different.

 

Spots, the Leopard with the Changing Spots: This unusual and endearing character reappears in Rachel Cosgrove Payes' "Spots in Oz," which appeared in Oz-Story Magazine #3.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Wicked Witch of Oz

 

  Book #49 in the Sovereign Sixty and Supreme Seventy Five!

 

History: Originally called Percy in Oz, Rachel Cosgrove Payes' follow-up to The Hidden Valley of Oz was penned in 1950 and would have seen print then as book 40 in the Oz series were it not for the indifference of Reilly & Lee's then-owner Frank O'Donnell.  Thanks to the efforts of the International Wizard of Oz Club and Eric Shanower, who's illustrations grace these pages, this book is available for everyone to enjoy! 

 

Story: When the Hundred-Year Alarm Clock wakes her up, Singra, the former Wicked Witch of the South before being put to sleep by Glinda, begins brewing red ink tea and searching for her hidden Magical Musical Snuff box.  The alarm clock suggests looking under the carpet, and there she finds it.  Snorting a pinch of its contents and sneezing three times causes the box to do the witch's bidding.  First she orders breakfast; then she inquires about her cousin witches, the Wicked Witches of the East and West.  The snuffbox tells her that due to the intervention of a moral girl named Dorothy, who is now a Princess of Oz living in the Emerald City, both have been destroyed.  Dismayed, Singra spends the night plotting revenge on Dorothy.

 

Glinda, meanwhile, prepares for her vacation to see Queen Zixi of Ix, but first checks her Great Book of Records.  With nothing of great significance to report, she departs upon her swan chariot, while Ozma rides in the Sawhorse-pulled Red Wagon back home.  Only then does the Book report that Singra has awakened.

 

Peering through her Handbook for Witches and Sorcerers, Singra discovers a spell to transform a mortal girl into a piece of cheese.  The two ingredients she needs are Red Dust, sorcerer's variety, which can be found in Glinda's palace, and straw from a live man, which the snuffbox tells her can be obtained from the Scarecrow that resides in Oz.  On her way, she asks the snuffbox if there are any potential dangers ahead, and he gives her a riddle about her downfall coming from one who was short but is now tall.  Ignoring it, she moves on, reaching a brook where once long ago she'd rescued a water nymph in exchange for a wish to be impervious to water. 

 

When Ozma reaches the Emerald City, she invites the Scarecrow to keep an eye on the Great Book of Records and he agrees to travel in the morning.  He and the Sawhorse depart before dawn and soon reach the palace.  Reading through the recent entries, he discovers that Singra has awakened and stolen the Red Dust from Glinda's workroom.  Summoning the maid to unlock the workroom in the high tower, the Scarecrow enters, unaware the Singra had been forced to spend the night there, having followed the same maid into the room earlier that night.  To Singra's amazement the very Scarecrow that she needs enters the room.  Catching him unaware she ties him up and takes the straw she needs for her spell.  Telling a maid on her way out that the Scarecrow wishes to remain undisturbed, she departs for home.  (No one suspected she was a witch because there are no more known witches in Oz at this time).  There she makes her potion and heads off for the Emerald City, spending the night in a farmer's barn.

 

The next day, Percy the giant white rat greets Dorothy and Trot in the gardens, and on his way out bumps into Singra.  The witch asks him where she might find Dorothy and he tells her.  But as Dorothy has just gone back into the palace, Singra thinks the girl is Trot.  Pretending to be an Ozade maker, Singra convinces her to try a new flavor of the popular beverage.  Upon drinking it, Trot turns into a piece of green cheese.  Catching sight of this, Dorothy confronts her and the witch learns her mistake.  Grabbing the cheese, she runs off as Dorothy cries for help.  Percy answers the call.  Explaining to him what happened, she follows the rat as he uses his nose to track the cheese until a Munchkin couple with their own basket of cheese leads them astray.  Getting back on track they head south to the Quadling Country and spend the night at a kindly woman's house.

 

Staring off early the next day, they enter a forest where they pick up the scent, but also hear music.  Following it they come to a bandstand where the Rubber Banda band of musicians literally made of rubberare playing.  They invite the pair to play with them, but they tell them they're not made of rubber and are on a mission.  Pulling Percy's whiskers the rubber musicians discover that they're telling the truth, and insist on playing them a song.  The pair concede for two songs, and after expressing their appreciation they depart and proceed deeper into the forest. 

 

Percy and Dorothy stop off for lunch, where they're met by a strange man named Leon the Neon whose made entirely of neon lights.  He tells them he was an ordinary Quadling man until he won a 1st place prize for best hen.  The prize was an electrical kit that he determined to assemble.  After he completed it, however, he tripped, throwing the switch as he fell upon the electrified apparatus.  Ever afterwards he was made of neon lights.  Sad at first, his light heart soon caused him to accept the situation and move on.  Dorothy and Percy invite him to join them.

 

Moving on, Percy catches a whiff of honey and tracks it down to a tree.  As the honeybee flies off, Dorothy and Percy help themselves (Leon no longer eats), but before long an angry swarm rushes upon them.  The bees call them thieves and refuse to accept Dorothy's excuses.  They herd them to a giant beehive larger than a house in the forest, where the Queen Bee will determine what to do.  The Queen Bee demands they must pay with labor for stealing their honey.  Percy protests, but bees surround him threatening to sting.  The bees lead them to a giant kitchen where they're put to work cleaning honey out of bottles and dishes.  Later, the prisoners are brought into a small six-sided alcove where they're sealed in for the night.

 

Percy tries to gnaw his way out, but a bee lands on his nose in warning and seals it back up.  So, he gnaws a hole into Leon's room, and together they plan an escape.  Leon suggests he gnaw the back wall, and doing so leads to an empty room with a doorway.  This leads around to the throne room.  Percy gnaws a hole into Dorothy's room and awakens her.  Leon shuts off his lights so that the glow doesn't alert the bees, and together they escape.  Singra, meanwhile, makes her way home, where she searches for a place to hide the cheese, knowing it's her bargaining chip.  Finally, she thinks of her well.  After draining it of the red ink, she wraps the green cheese in a cloth and hides it in the well's bucket at the bottom.

 

The next morning, Leon brings Percy and Dorothy strawberries and buns from a bun bush.  He finds it odd that in the country she and Percy came from only fruits and nuts grow on trees.  They move into a forest, Percy still following the scent of cheese until, after a time, the scent is overpowered by honeysuckle.  Lost in the forest, they decide to press on.  They meet a hummingbird who offers them refreshment.  The bird leads them to the stump of a tree covered in honeysuckle and surrounded by hundreds of hummingbirds.  Three goblets filled with a red liquid sit atop the stump, which the hummingbird offers to them.  Leon cannot drink, but Dorothy and Percy do, and the nectar causes them to sprout wings!  Without realizing it, they spring into the air. 

 

Dorothy figures out how to steer herself and teaches Percy, yet they can't seem to lower themselves beneath the treetops to rejoin Leon.  The birds, meanwhile, explain to Leon that if Dorothy and Percy don't continually drink of the enchanted nectar they'll lose their wings.  Concerned they'll fall out of the sky, Leon tries climbing a tree, and when he gets above the tree line, he glows as brightly as he's ever glowed before.  He catches the eye of Percy and Dorothy who fly near and reveals the impermanence of their wings.  They tell him of a hut they've spotted, and joining hands, Percy and Dorothy carry Leon till they're above a straw stack near the hut.  There, the magic wears off and they fall unto the stack. 

 

Unharmed but thirsty, Percy goes to the well to draw up some water, while Dorothy knocks on the door.  Much to his surprise, Percy draws up the bucket which hides the green cheese.  Leon informs him that that must mean the hut belongs to the Wicked Witch.  Dorothy has already been invited into her dark house and when she realizes, too late, that her host is Singra, the witch throws a magic  net over her, turning her into a statue!  Leon knocks, pretending to be a lost traveler on his way to the Emerald City, and is dismayed to see Dorothy frozen in stone, but Singra gives him directions as well as a ransom note to give to Ozma.

 

After a time, Singra goes out to make tea, and then discovers the missing cheese.  Upset, she inquires of her snuffbox, which tells her a rat has taken it.  Convinced he's eaten the cheese, she worries that Ozma will punish her, but consoles herself that at least she has Dorothy to bargain with.  In the palace, meanwhile, Betsy tells Ozma that she's worried about Dorothy and Trot who've been gone for over two days.  Ozma's sure the Scarecrow would have alerted them if anything untoward happened, as he's reading Glinda's Book regularly, but she checks the Magic Picture and discovers that he's tied up and Dorothy's a statue.  Inquiring the whereabouts of Trot reveals only Percy and a strange man made of neon tubes.  Summoning the Wizard and the Magic Belt, she wishes Dorothy to the palace, but the Wizard says he might not be able to restore her, as it seems only Singra can break the enchantment. 

 

They go with the Sawhorse to Glinda's and free the Scarecrow, who tells them what happened.  The Great Book of Records informs them everything that's transpired since Singra first woke up.  Not sure where she is, the Wizard suggests returning to the Emerald City to retrieve his Magic Searchlight, which will lead them directly to her, but on the way they discover Percy and Leon on the road.  They're glad to see them and hand over the green cheese.  After reading the ransom note, it's decided to retire to the palace and summon Singra to them.  Back at the Palace, Jellia Jamb dusts Dorothy's statue and discovers webs all over it, which she inadvertently pulls off, releasing Dorothy from the spell.

 

Awakening the next morning, Singra is shocked to see the statue of Dorothy missing, but before she can inquire of the snuffbox where it went, she is magically transported before Ozma and her friends in the throne room.  After Ozma ascertains that it was indeed Singra who was responsible for their troubles, she orders her to disenchant Trot.  Dismayed, Singra throws the snuffbox to the floor, explaining that it lied to her.  Curious, the Wizard inquires how it lied, and she has it recite the message about one who was tall that is now small that will be her downfall.  Percy laughs, explaining that the message referred to him as he was once small.  Ozma brings Singra's magical apparati to her with the Magic Belt, and Tik-Tok picks up the Hundred-Year Alarm Clock, recognizing it as a creation of Smith & Tinker.  The clock confirms that he is and that Singra acquired him in a trade long ago.  Glinda set him 100 years ago when she put Singra to sleep.

 

Knowing she's been defeated, Singra concedes to Ozma's demands and restores Trot.  After that, Ozma pronounces her judgment, indicating that Singra must drink from the Fountain of Oblivion then go to sleep for another 100 years.  Singra complies.

 

Continuity notes:

 

Dating: The story takes place over the course of six days.  The existence of the Wizard's Magic Searchlight (p.281) definitively places this story after a good portion of Thompson's run, as the Wizard perfected the Searchlight in The Yellow Knight of Oz.  As Percy is in Oz, this also places it after The Hidden Valley of Oz.  The Royal Timeline of Oz places it a year after that story in 1931.  This is an earlier date than many generally conceive, but it works in context with what's known of Singra, a Wicked Witch of the South who never attained actual power in the South because she had to contend with Glinda.  Therefore, until further evidence comes forth, a shorter period of time for Singra's activities in the Quadling Country seems more likely than a longer one.

 

Electricity: Leon the Neon further underscores the fact that Oz has electricity, and it is revealed in "The Adventure of the Cat That Did Not Meow in the Night" that Oz has had it since 1880.  Additionally, Oz has a power plant located in the southwestern Munchkin Country called Electra City (see the entry in The Blue Emperor of Oz).  Nathan M. Dehoff notes (in the BCF Pumperdink forum): "Leon specifically states that his house did not have electricity prior to his receiving the kit.  Electricity is not unheard of in Oz (the palace has apparently been using it at least since the Wizard's time), but it doesn't seem to have spread to the rural areas of the country."

 

Handbook for Witches and Sorcerers: From this book, Singra finds the ingredients to turn Trot to cheese and Dorothy to stone.  On page 189, the author notes that the spell she cast over Trot "was a special enchantment known by only a few witches.  It was very possible she, herself, was the only one who could free Trot from the spell."  The Wizard later seems to confirm this as he needs Singra to disenchant Trot.  J.L. Bell, in the BCF Pumperdink forum notes of this book that "It's not necessarily a /printed/ book, which would indeed imply some mass distribution. It could be a hand-copied manuscript that Singra inherited, assembled, traded for, or stole. That's what books have been for most of human history, after all. In the 18th century, gentlemen assembled "common-place books" by copying bits from literature, their  own thoughts, useful information, etc. Many household cooks still assemble recipe books, which would be quite like witchcraft notebooks.  Eric Shanower's illustration of Singra's book shows Gothic writing, which could be either handwritten or the old-fashioned printing type modeled on that style of handwriting. If the book were handwritten, then Singra could have reason to believe the knowledge of that spell was rare, but of course she couldn't be certain."

 

Magic Belt: As is the case with several books, there are inconsistent uses of the Magic Belt.  As Nathan DeHoff notes in the BCF Pumperdink forum: "Ozma uses it to bring Dorothy, Singra, and the WWS's magical tools to the palace.  On the other hand, she never thinks to use it to transport herself to Glinda's palace (instead using the Red Wagon for that purpose), or to bring either Trot or the Scarecrow to the Emerald City. Whether she just doesn't think of that, or the Belt has some limitations we don't know about, is never really addressed."

 

Punishment: It seems excessive for Ozma to have made Singra both drink of the Waters of Oblivion, thereby erasing her memory of who she is, AND put her to sleep for a hundred years.  With past offenders, she's done the former, sometimes multiple times (as with Ruggedo), and oftentimes with success.  So, why erase Singra's memory--rendering her harmless--only to then rob her of an additional hundred years?

 

Rubber Band: This group of musicians made of rubber are familiar with other rubber people and animals (as they think Dorothy and Percy are like them).  One well-known rubber being is Para Bruin, the Rubber Bear from John Dough and the Cherub.

 

Singra, the Wicked Witch of the South: The narrative establishes a familial connection between three of the Wicked Witches. Singra is a cousin to the East and West witches.  Shanower has also stated that the unnamed Wicked Witch of the South in The Enchanted Apples of Oz is her sister.  See Appendix H: "Names and Relations of the Wicked Witches" for more information.  The Royal Timeline of Oz calls her Angra.  Angra is the first Wicked Witch of the South (see The Enchanted Apples of Oz).  It's not known exactly when Singra took power after her sister was put to sleep by Glinda, but given that she fantasizes about ruling the Quadlings, "thinking about how nice it would be to rule the south country of Oz," (p. 195) it can be discerned that she's never ruled it before.  As Glinda came to rule the Quadlings in 1820, it seems reasonable that Singra did not become Wicked Witch of the South until after that time.  On the other hand, it's also possible that she took over immediately after her sister was put to sleep in 1802, but never managed to wrest control over the south in the ways that her sister and cousins had over their respective lands.  This either indicates that Singra was given a ceremonial title or that the title Wicked Witch itself does not necessarily require that one has dominion over the land, but rather that she is the sole authority in the land in connection to the compass witches.  There may be other witches, and they may be wicked or otherwise, but they are not part of the quadrumvirate of Wicked Witches.

 

Singra's power and personality: It's clear that Singra is less powerful than her sister Angra had been, and the fact that she doesn't seek her whereabouts tells us much about their relationship.  She is also far less vicious than her sister.  She never seeks to destroy her opponents, but rather to create a bargaining chip for herself so that she can attain power (e.g., ruling the southern quadrant).  Yet, when she's caught, she concedes to disenchant Trot, when she could have refused.  As to her magical abilities, Singra relies on having to put together ingredients to create magical objects to use, rather than having any innate power of her own.  She also doesn't seem to know what the Fountain of Oblivion is, or has forgotten what it is, pointing to a possible insular existence (since the Fountain goes back centuries).  Her desire to punish the killer of her cousins appears to indicate either a dependency on them for her own status and power, or even a possible close familial connection.  There is a question as to how Singra knows of the Emerald City since she had been asleep during its construction.  Nathan M. DeHoff postulates several possible answer: "Perhaps Singra made some additional queries of the Magical Musical Snuffbox that weren't recorded by Payes...  For that matter, it's
possible that the settlement in that area could have had the nickname "Emerald City" before the Wizard arrived, although it wasn't officially called that until later."  Singra had a wicked wizard associate named Kizzo (which appears to be a nickname), but of him nothing is known.

 

Spiders and bees: While many of the insects in Oz are of the standard non-speaking variety, some are sapient, including spiders "In Oz even the spiders can talk" (p.77), and bees (chapter 12).  Dorothy has run into bees before, including the non-speaking ones the Wicked Witch of the West used to attack their party in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (and which, according to The Ork in Oz, came from outside Oz) and the friendly Spelling Bee in Dorothy and Old King Crow.  She herself was turned into a bee in The Magic of Oz.  In The Medicine Man of Oz, the Ozians run afoul of giant talking ants, and another party comes across normal sized talking ants in Wooglet in Oz.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ozoplaning with the Wizard of Oz

 

 

33d Oz book of the Famous Forty, Sovereign Sixty and Supreme Seventy-Five!

 

History: 1939's Ozoplaning with the Wizard of Oz was the last book written by Ruth Plumly Thompson until 1972 when the International Wizard of Oz Club asked to publish her Yankee in Oz, an Oz book Thompson had written many years earlier, but which Reilly & Lee rejected. (She would return to Oz one final time in 1976 with the book, The Enchanted Island of Oz, for a total of 21 Oz books.)  To capitalize on the success of the upcoming MGM musical The Wizard of Oz, Reilly & Lee saw fit to include the word Wizard in the title of Ozoplaning with the Wizard of Oz, and to reunite the original cast of Baum's first book.  It is the first and only time she utilizes the Tin Woodman as more than a cameo.  The narrative's polygamous tyrant (who is treated not in a childish way, but as a serious threat), the violent actions of the usurper Bustabo (who also is not played for laughs), and the science-fiction elements, demonstrate a more sophisticated kind of book than Thompson generally wrote, as if she were stretching out to other audiences, or perhaps recognizing that her audiences were growing older and that in order to compete with the more sophisticated fantasies of the day, her stories would have to mature as well. 

 

Story: The Wizard and Jellia Jamb prepare a party to celebrate Dorothy's first trip to Oz, which will include a miniature replica of her original farmhouse.  Seven table settings are provided, and Jellia informs the Wizard that the Guardian of the Gates will not attend, as he hasn't left his post in 40 years.  Also, Toto has gone with Ozma to visit Glinda.  The Scarecrow, Tin Woodman, Cowardly Lion and Dorothy soon arrive, and as Jellia is also a guest, the Wizard has Fredjon serve them dinner.

 

After reminiscing for a time, the Wizard shows them his latest invention, a spy glass that he calls a Tell-all-escope, which announces information regarding whatever or whoever it is one is looking at.  As Dorothy looks at the wizard through the spy glass, it tells her a summarized history of him.  The Lion doesn't want his history revealed, but the Wizard has other plans.  He takes them outside the gates of the city into the woodland.  There he shows them to a glass building, inside of which are two Ozoplanes, built from magic and the science of aeronautics, which he calls the Ozpril and Oztober.  The Wizard assures the Soldier with the Green Whiskers (whose birth name is said to be Wantowin Battles) that they're not for war but travel and exploration of the unknown regions of the upper air.  He plans to present them to Ozma for their first flight, allowing for four passengers in each plane, including the group now present.  The Wizard explains that they lift off by means of a magic gas that inflates the balloons atop the fuselage until reaching their chosen altitude, at which point the balloons are deflated and the ship continues on its own power.

 

To show them the interiors, the Wizard leads the Scarecrow, Dorothy and Lion into the Ozpril, while Nick, Jellia and the Soldier go into the Oztober.  Dorothy is impressed by the relatively spacious interior, but the Lion, remembering his prior experience on the Flyaboutabus (The Cowardly Lion of Oz) determines he'll not be flying!  But as the Wizard is shwoing the Scarecrow how the push-button controls work, the Oztober suddenly takes off!  Worried that they'll crash, he powers up his ship and takes off after them. 

 

Unbeknownst to them, the Soldier with the Green Whiskers, having had too many pickles, cramped up over the control panel, hitting numerous buttons.  The Tin Woodman finally figures out how to undo this, but not before the ship is zig-zagging in the atmosphere with Jellia about to be thrown out.  Nick takes control and determines to make his way back to where they lifted off, but he feels the need to practice flying first in order to make a safe landing.  As he flies upwards, however, he encounters strange and fascinating sights, including a crescent-shaped lavender island, where he decides he'll practice landing.  All he manages to do is crash through a frozen cloud, however.  As Jellia Jamb gets out the transparent air helmets and altitude pills they'll need, bizarre creatures like octopi, only with spikes and spines, begin to surround and ram against the ship.  Nick maneuvers out of the area with the spikers in pursuit and soon escapes the "airimals," as he calls them. 

 

5200 miles in the air (as recorded by the hypsometer), the Oztober finds a place to land on the planet Stratovania, which is ruled by Strutoovious the Seventh, the Strut of Strat.  As they prepare to disembark, they hear a cat's cry and discover the Wizard's "Kit-Bag of Magic," which is to be used in times of emergency.  Nick has Jellia bring it along, but he's determined to win the friendship of the strange airlanders with kindness. 

 

Across the waters of the Half Moon Lake, Strut is amazed to find that it was not a dragon that invaded, but odd-looking aliens.  The parties meet around the lake, where Nick announces Ozma's claim on the realm and offers free citizenship in Oz.  When a furious Strut approaches, eyes flashing red, Nick tries to assure him they've come in friendship.  Strut is at first amazed that they can understand one another, but promises to blow them to atoms if they attempt to leave.  He proclaims himself "Supreme Ruler of all the Upper Areas," and orders his twenty Blowmen warriors to kill them, but suddenly he stops them and takes off Jellia's helmet.  He then touches her hair.  The altitude pills protect her from losing oxygen, but as Strut strokes her hair he says she is "very pretty."  He summons his messenger Hippenscop to summon the Queen, intending to present Jellia as a servant for her, and kill the rest.  The Soldier fires his gun with marbles, but Strut knocks him and Nick down and takes Jellia.  As he prepares to destroy her friends, Jellia opens the kit-bag, pulls out a trumpet and blows three notes, releasing a green gas that causes all of them to feel great cheer, including Strut and his wife Queen Kabebe.  The queen is not as enchanted about Jellia, however, and as Strut invites them all to be their guests, she pinches her.  Wantowin slaps her fingers, causing her to take notice of him. 

 

In the Royal Pavilion, Jellia is placed on the Star Throne as their chosen "Starina."  The guests are offered air-ade and confections of wind pudding.  The drink causes Jellia to float.  When Strut asks the Tin Woodman whether they come from above or below, Nick launches into a lengthy description of Oz, which reminds Strut of the Tin Woodman's earlier attempt to claim Strat for Ozma.  Failing to take the hint, however, Nick continues, describing Ozma's wealth, treasures and magic, such as the Magic Belt and magic fan (from The Royal Book of Oz).  Furious, Strut declares that he's greater than any Belowlander and that Oz is actually Ohs, in the Ozone, and belongs to him.  He claims Ozonia for himself and orders the Tin Woodman to take him to Oz aboard the Ozoplane.  Calling his 20 Blowman, he leaves Jellia behind with the Soldier and several guards who are ordered to protect her from harm.  He promises to return to her with riches and "Ohsma" who he will make into another Starina.  Into the Ozoplane they go with a thousand warriors following them atop their flying sticks.  To Nick's surprise a map of their route from the Emerald City appears atop the controls, a magical contrivance of the Wizard intended to help pilots return home, but it thwarts the Tin Woodman's plans to divert Strut.

 

Wantowin, meanwhile, goes off to explore, while Jellia, remembering her new station, orders her guards Jennenrump to bring her amusement and Hippenscop to bring her two of the flying staffs.  While they're gone she recovers the kit-bag just as Junnenrup returns with a Piper, whose fierce playing draws a large crowd.  Jellia dismisses him and goes off looking for a private place to examine the contents of the bag.  She trips on a crystal bar that she failed to see, but instead of falling down she flies up and lands in a tune tree.  Some of the trees growing notes dislodge, releasing arias and chords.  Wantowin goes running by screaming, chased by Queen Kababe wielding a rolling pin, three Blowmen and a hundred citizens.  The Soldier trips on the same bar and flies up to Jellia in the tree, explaining to her that the queen has claimed power and wants them dead. 

 

Jellia comes off the tree and assumes an imperious air, demanding that the guards protect them as commanded.  But afraid to defy their queen, they take them to the edge of the cliffs and prepare to blow them off.  Just then, an Ozoplane comes into view.  Convinced Strut has returned, they run off, but Wantowin sees that it's the Ozpril.  When the Wizard, Dorothy and the Lion disembark they hear the ordeal their friends have been through, plus the alarming news that Strutoovious has gone with Nick and a thousand warriors to conquer Oz!  When the Queen and her Blowmen find them, Jellia gets an idea and tells them that Ozma has transformed Strut into a lion.  To prove it, the Cowardly Lion roars, terrifying and convincing them that it's true.  The Lion then orders that the Queen be taken away and supper prepared for them.  Not knowing any talking animals, they assume he is indeed Strut.  As Jellia and the Wizard believe that Nick will find a way to lose Strut and return to Strat to rescue them, they determine to wait for his return.  As Dorothy and the Wizard nap, the servant Bittsywittle brings their food.  Wantowin warns the Lion, but having only had the Wizard's square meal tablets, he digs into six pink puddings, which blow him up like a balloon and cause him to float.  The Scarecrow ties him to the throne so he doesn't float away.

 

Hippenscop returns with the two flying sticks Jellia had requested, and warns her that Queen Kabebe has worked up the people to come and destroy them and their ship.  Thanking him with an emerald ring, Jellia suggests they depart for the opposite shore.  The Soldier carries the Lion via a cord he ties to him.  At the cliffs they hear the sound of the Ozpril being blown up, and the Wizard feels dismayed.  Soon the Queen and her people arrive to destroy them, but Jellia, Dorothy and the Scarecrow hop on one of the flying sticks while the Wizard, Soldier (with the floating Lion) hop on another and fly off. 

 

After some time mastering the technique, the Ozites do well, but the Lion, regaining his former size, threatens to bring them down.  Seeing this, the Wizard takes out a bottle from the kit-bag, and pours it out, creating an icy island in space upon which they land, and putting a hedge around it so they don't fall off.  With the two flying sticks in place, the island descends much more softly.  The Wizard shares his plan, and as soon as they come down in the Quadling Country of Oz, they prepare to fly to the Emerald City and warn Ozma.  But they land in a large mountain lake, and on the shore are thousands of bowmen, who are the army of a red castle that sits upon the mountain.  All but the Lion, who hides underwater, take off on their flying sticks, but the red-bearded king shoots and hits each of their sticks, crashing them to the ground.

 

The Wizard scolds the king, whose name is Bustabo, King of the Kudgers and Red Top Mountain.  Bustabo knocks the Wizard down with his stiff pointy beard.  The party introduces themselves and apprise him of their situation, but Bustabo tells them it doesn't matter what happens to Ozma, as he's more interested in what they can do for him.  Dorothy, he concludes, can't sing, and Jellia can't dance.  When he discover the Wizard's a wizard, however, he tells him to find his missing Princess Azarine the Red, who vanished in the forest three days earlier.  The Wizard has little choice, and Bustabo promises him that if he fails to return by morning he'll throw his friends off the mountain.  In the meantime, however, he'll treat them as guests, and if the Wizard succeeds, he'll speedily get them to the Emerald City. 

 

Accepting a basked of provisions from Bustabo, the Wizard trudges off into the forest where he travels until nightfall.  He grows concerned when he hears a roar, and suddenly a bug-bear appears before him.  Half-bear, half-insect, the creature prepares to attack, but the Wizard magically makes himself invisible.  At the same time, a great red stag appears behind him, and from his horns dangle a silver lantern and a bell.  He warns the bug-bear to never approach the cave of the princess and chases him off.  Shagomar, the stag inquires if the Wizard is still present, and the Wizard makes himself visible again.  The Wizard tells him of his troubles and Shagomar tells him the story of Princess Azarine, who up until a week ago was ruler of Red Top Mountain.  Bustabo had been chief of the bowman, and with his army's help, he usurped Azarine's throne.  As she would not give him legitimacy, he locked her in a tower from which she escaped with the help of a faithful servant.  Shagomar has guarded her in the dangerous Red Wood ever since, bringing her food and protecting her from the bug-bears.

 

Knowing the true history, the Wizard is unable to see through on his promise to return Azarine to the deceitful Bustabo.  But when he meets the lovely and gracious Azarine, he forms a plan in which Shaggy (Shagomar) can run them to Glinda's palace, which is only a mile or two away from Red Top Mountain, as Glinda can restore Azarine to the throne.  But first he must rescue his friends, and with that he recites their recent adventures.  Azarine and Shaggy agree, and the stag introduces his wife Dear Deer, who can carry his friends. 

 

As this goes on, Dorothy and her companions finish eating supper in the prisoner tower.  Jellia examines the kit-bag and discovers some pajama-like outfits that will allow its wearers to fall distances without getting hurt.  The Lion tries to sleep but when he hears Bustabo tramping up the tower stairs, he leaps up with the Soldier.  The Scarecrow begins examining the windows, one of which he finds had been sawn through by the former prisoner.  Jellia gets everyone to put on the falling-out suits and with the kit-bag in hand they jump out the window.  The rest soon follow, discovering after a hair-raising plummet that the suits balloon out, slowing their fall to a gentle drop at the base of the mountain, where they encounter the Wizard, Azarine and the two deer. 

 

After introductions and explanations, Jellia, Dorothy and the Scarecrow climb aboard Deer Dear, while the Wizard and Soldier join Azarine upon Shagomar.  With the Cowardly Lion between them, they run off to the Southlands.  By dawn, they reach Glinda's.  As Glinda and Ozma have gone off to see Prince Tatters and Grampa in Ragbad (from Grampa in Oz), the party make themselves at home and find places to sleep.  The Scarecrow and Wizard go to Glinda's study and read the Great Book of Records which proclaims that the "Airlanders from the Upper Strat are descending on the Emerald City."  Knowing he needs the Magic Belt, the Wizard attempts to magic Ozma's safe to Glinda's, but fails because her zentomatic transporter isn't working.  Determined to fix it, the Wizard sends the Scarecrow to the Great Book of Records to keep track of Strut's progress.

 

The Tin Woodman, in the meantime, had attempted several means of thwarting Strut and his flying warriors, but to no avail.  The Stratovanian ruler does not even fall asleep.  By morning, the Oztober sails above the Quadling country, and soon enough arrives at the Emerald City, where the palace residents are evacuating.  Betsy, Trot and Scraps climb into the Red Wagon and set off for the Munchkin country.  Tik-Tok marches after them with all the valuables he can carry.  Herby the Medicine Man rides the Hungry Tiger down the yellow brick road, along with the rest of the palace residents.  The inhabitants of the Emerald City close their windows and doors, and only the Guardian of the Gates stands defiantly. 

 

Singing and shouting, the warriors march in ranks behind Strut and Nick to the palace.  Finding it entirely deserted, Strut determines to spend his summers there, and demands Nick bring him to the Magic Belt and magic fan that the Tin Woodman had earlier bragged about.  Nick is unable to open the safe, and Strut fears having the treasures inside destroyed.  Even his swordsmith cannot pry it open.  In anger he determines to blow it open, but after the explosion, the safe is gone.  When he checks the window to see if it's blown into the garden, he's astounded to find his army of 999 fighters gone!  Ozma, Glinda, the Wizard, Dorothy, Jellia, the Soldier, the Cowardly Lion, the Scarcrow and Azarine suddenly appear in the room.  Ozma confronts Strutoovious, assuring him that his army is back in Stratovania.  Jellia returns her crown, proclaiming that she's had enough of kings to last the rest of her life.  Ozma tells him that whether or not he returns to his kingdom depends in part on how he treats Kabebe. 

 

So she sends him back, removing the power of his Blow-men's horns, and expressing that, "for the kind of people he rules" he's "probably the best sort of ruler they could have."  Ozma returns the tell-all-escope (which she locks up in her desk drawer) and safe, which the Wizard had transported with Glinda's repaired device before using the Magic Belt to summon Ozma and Glinda from Ragbad.  With Ozma's wand, they were all brought to the palace.  The Wizard is happy to hear that Nick has successfully kept the Oztober from harm, and Ozma says he can be official pilot when he needs a vacation from the Winkies.  The Wizard officially presents the Ozoplanes to Ozma "for exploring, pleasure or warfare," and then rushes off with Nick to find and retrieve the Ozpril (even if it's in pieces).

 

After Glinda releases her doves to assure the residents of the palace that all is well, they begin to come back.  Ozma transforms Bustabo into a red squirrel, sends a message that places Archibald the Archer—the servant who had assisted Azarine to escape the tower—in charge until the queen's return, allowing Azarine, Shagomar and Dear Deer to spend some days meeting the celebrities of the Emerald City.  The celebration begins at noon and ends after nightfall, but the Princess and two deer stay for quite some time, checking in every night in the Magic Picture at the adventures of Nick and the Wizard in the "Highways and Byways of the Stratosphere."

 

Continuity notes:

Bustabo: The former chief archer, usurper of Red Top Mountain and self-proclaimed King of the Kudgers (who are either the people of Red Top Mountain, or the archers).  There doesn't appear to be any connection to the Mudgers of The Cowardly Lion of Oz.  Bustabo later shows up again, disenchanted from his squirrel form, and across the Deadly Desert in the Thompson Sissajig stories, "Adventures in Sissajig" and "Tommy and the Flying Slippers," (found in Sissajig and Other Surprises) where he is the watcher of Sissajig.  His brogue and proclivity with a bow remain intact; only his personality is changed, as he's kind and generous in those stories.  Whether this is due to a drink from the Forbidden Fountain or an enchantment of the magish-owitch Susan Figg, is not known. 

 

Celebration: The book opens with an anniversary celebration for Dorothy's first arrival in Oz, with the Wizard inviting "everyone immediately associated with Dorothy's first visit."  Yet, as Nathan DeHoff points out in the Pumperdink BCF forum, "there seems to be an unspoken assumption that only those who live nearby were invited.  There certainly isn't any indication that he tried to invite Queen Orin, Boq, the Queen of the Field-Mice, the King of the Winged Monkeys, or even Glinda, all of whom would seem to be of equal or greater importance than Jellia, the Soldier, and the Guardian of the Gates."  It is possible, however, that they were invited, but were unable to attend for various reasons. 

 

Dating: Internal evidence indicates this book takes place over the course of three days (see the Day to Day Chronology for more details) in the late fall (page 17), as several of them "snatched up coats" and Jellia "shivered" outside (pages 32 and 33).  This is consistent with the arrival of Dorothy in Oz in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz on November 12th, which is celebrated at the onset of the book.  The year is more difficult to ascertain as the only clue given is that the Guardian of the Gates has not abandoned his post in 40 years.  If one goes by the notion that he served as Guardian of the Gates since the time of the Emerald City's construction (in 1892; see Oz and the Three Witches)—which appears to be indicated in "How the Wizard Came to Oz and What He Did There" in Oziana 1976—forty years of faithful service brings the date to 1932, and indicates that it's not yet the 41st year, thus bringing us to 1933.  This would mark the 35th year of Dorothy's first arrival in Oz.  J.L. Bell suggests that "It's possible the gatekeeper may here [20] be referring to his enforced retirement during LAND, when Jinjur replaced him with "a fussy little fat woman," however that would place the events of this book in 1941, which is two years after the book was published.  The Guardian must not be counting that incident, as he didn't "abandon" his post during that time, but was forcibly taken from it.  The fact that it is a small celebration for just the seven of them, and that not even Toto or Ozma are there may indicate that either another larger party was already given, or that the Wizard's small party was taking the place of the usual gala festival.  This year, of course, places the book prior to Handy Mandy of Oz , but there is nothing in that text to indicate that this cannot be the case.  The story must take place after Captain Salt in Oz, which indicates on page 77 that "The Wizard of Oz is working on a new fleet of airships."

 

Jellia Jamb: Although the "b" is left out of her last name, this is the first book written that features Jellia in a starring role.  This is significant because Jellia has been a regular fixture in the Emerald City (and in the Oz books), albeit a background one, since The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.  Here, she is elevated from maid to Starina, a position that comes with some authority and to which she feels admittedly proud: "Terrified as she was, the little Oz Maid could not help a small thrill of satisfaction to have been chosen by a monarch as High and Mighty as Strut of the Strat, to be Starina to him and his Queen." [97] As J.L. Bell remarks in the BCF Pumperdink forum, this title includes no small measure of power: "being Starina involves a crown, a throne, being addressed as 'your Stratjesty" [125], and ordering servants around.  'Starina' is reminiscent of 'Tsarina,' or empress, but in this case it seems to mean concubine, official mistress, or trophy wife with some regal privileges."

 

New Creatures: Thompson invents several new races, including the bizarre Spikers, who live in the realm below Stratovania (there are also the Zoomers in the realm above, but nothing at all is said of them).  In Oz, she introduces readers to the first two talking deer in Oz, the majestic red stag Shagomar, who shares the same nickname as the Shaggy Man of Oz, Shaggy, and his wife Dear Deer.  In the same red forest, are the Bug-Bears, which Neill pictures as scary creatures on page 197, and which are half-bear, half-insect.

 

Political authority: With Thompson's last book for Reilly & Lee, one can see a continuation of the political themes she'd developed throughout her run.  As noted by J.L. Bell, "Once again, in the Thompson books Ozma politically prefers to see stability under friendly hereditary monarchs to all other forms of government, containment of unfriendly monarchs while leaving them on their thrones, and harsh punishment for people who try to take over thrones they can't claim by inheritance."

 

Polygamy in Oz: Polygamy is not only indicated by Thompson in this book, but serves as a plot point, and receives criticism from Ozma herself.  Nathan DeHoff points out, "Strutoovious, the King of Stratovania, seems to be the first clear example of a polygamist in the Oz books (although Prince Evered of Rash does offer to make both Betsy Bobbin and Ozma his queens).  He takes Jellia as his 'Starina' (apparently a secondary wife), and says that he might make Ozma another one.  Kabebe is never referred to as "Starina," only "Queen," and she seems to be Strut's head wife.  Most of the Stratovanians support Kabebe over Jellia, although this might be because Kabebe is one of their own kind, and not a stranger like Jellia.  On p. 259, after Strut has been defeated, Ozma tells him, 'Whether or not you return to your Kingdom depends entirely upon yourself and how you treat Kabebe.'  This statement is somewhat confusing, as Kabebe is presented as nearly as villainous as Strut, and presumably meaner, since the Cheer Gas hardly works on her."  Nathan notes that there is no indication that Strut ever treated Kabebe poorly, which lends support to the idea that "Ozma considers his taking other wives to be poor treatment.  After all, most of Kabebe's mean actions in OZOPLANING can probably be attributed to jealousy toward Jellia."  J.L. Bell adds that Kabebe likely also has adulterous ideas of her own, as evidenced by her peering "at him with astonished admiration" after the Soldier strikes her hand, and becomes "so fascinated by Wantowin's flowing green whiskers, she forgot all about pinching Jellia. [103]  There's a hint that Thompson means this fascination as more than momentary.  Jellia later seems to bring up the relationship: 'The little maid turned mischievously to the Soldier with Green Whiskers. "After all, you are a kind of King, too!" [155]  The Soldier's only claim on being "a kind of King" is the queen's infatuation with him (though the last time we saw them together, she was chasing him with her rolling pin)." 

 

Princesses in Charge: This is the first recorded instance of Ozma leaving Betsy and Trot in charge of the Emerald City, a seemingly odd choice with Cap'n Bill, Uncle Henry, Aunt Em, and others who might fare better in that role.  But this may have been a case of Ozma grooming the girls for greater responsibility.  The problem is that she puts herself out of touch, so that when the invading army of Stratovania arrives, the girls order everyone in the palace to flee, and as Mari Ness of Tor.com notes, "leaving the regular Emerald City folk to face the aliens alone and defenseless." Whether this changed Ozma's mind about making them princesses at that time is not known.

 

Rulers of Oz: Thompson indicates that the prior rulers of Oz (at least some of them) were also of fairy origin: "if you are a born fairy like Ozma and the former rulers of Oz, working spells and charms just comes natural."  Thompson may be considering all Ozites to be fairies of a kind, akin to how she has Cheeriobed (in The Giant Horse of Oz) describe his court: "We who are magically constructed can be destroyed without pain, but a mortal can be hurt," a phrase that's replicated by Ato in Captain Salt in Oz, "We mayn't be killed, being of magical birth," and Thompson says of the Menankypoos in Pirates in Oz: "it is impossible to hurt or destroy beings as magically constructed."  If so, then the Wizard is contrasting naturally-born Ozites to those like him from the outside world.  However, it's clear that numerous naturally-born Ozites, like Jellia Jamb, don't have an ounce of naturally-born power to work spells and charms.  So, Ozma and the former rulers of Oz must be of a different sort, what she calls fairies.  Bell notes that "Thompson also seems to be making a distinction between 'fairy' and 'Fairy,' with the latter being a synonym for 'born fairy.'  That implies that there are some fairies who are made, not born, as we'll see in WONDER CITY."  In The Royal Book of Oz, the Wogglebug says that Ozma "descended from a long line of fairies," although Pastoria, her father, doesn't seem to be one.  It is now known that Lurline left Ozma with Pastoria and his wife (Cordia), and indeed comes from a line of fairies, but of the rulers before King Oz, her grandfather and Ozroar her great-grandfather, not much is known.  Some, at least, must have been of fairy origin.  But if so... where did they go?  Fairies are immortal, so why aren't they still on the throne?

 

Science-fiction and Ozoplanes: While the atmosphere above Nonestica is different than that above the earth (see for example the realms of Atmos from The Hungry Tiger of Oz or Planetty from Anuther Planet in The Silver Princess of Oz), Thompson goes to some extent to add scientific as well as magical elements to her depiction of the ozoplanes, e.g., she recalls that it would be impossible to breathe, and so notes that the air in the cabin is magically treated, and "so long as the windows and doors are closed, riders may safely pass through the highest stratas."  For debarking, the ship provides "patent protective air helmets" and "elutherated altitude pills." This kind of jargon and more predates the technobabble that will come to feature in early science fiction writing and film.  She also goes to some lengths to describe Stratovania in seemingly scientific terms.  She even describes Glinda's magic in scientific terms when the Wizard mentions a "triple-edged, zentomatic transporter."  This is a technique she'd never employed before, and it changes the book tonally from her prior titles, and reads much more like a science fiction story (as opposed to a fantasy one), or rather a hybrid science-fiction/fantasy, predating, as far back as 1938/9 when she first wrote this book, the coming science-fiction genre.

 

Soldier with the Green Whiskers: As with Jellia Jamb, this is the first written work in which the Soldier with the Green Whiskers is given a large role.  His background is also revealed for the first time.  Born in the Munchkin country, the text indicates that his birth name is Wantowin Battles, and Jellia Jamb calls him Wanny.  While it fails to note that he's been until now called Omby Amby, it is not necessarily a contradiction, as Omby Amby may be the name he chooses to go by, particularly as he's the embodiment of one who doesn't want to fight.  Yet, as Jellia knows him from long ago, she may still use the nickname she'd used when she first got to know him.  J.L. Bell notes the discrepancy with growing a green beard in a blue country: "One way to explain these oddities is to assume that the Soldier was an oddity himself in his village: for having green whiskers, perhaps for having such fast-growing whiskers, and perhaps for being so tall. If he felt out of place at home, he might well seek a more comfortable position in the central green area, especially if he'd heard about a new ruler who was hiring. That history might help to explain why for this Munchkin 'Any country that was not green like the land surrounding the Emerald City held no interest for him.' [102]...  According to OZOPLANING, the Soldier arrived in the Emerald City with his whiskers already long and green, and no hint or knowledge that they're cosmically (or comically) connected to the overall fairyland.  Did a magic-worker lay a spell on them, unbeknownst to the Soldier himself yet hinted at in records known to the Scarecrow and (maybe) Wizard?'"

 

Stratovania: Thompson describes the Stratovanians strange appearance well: "The Airlanders were a head taller than even the Tin Woodman.  Their hair grew straight up on end, sparkling and crackling with electricity in a really terrifying manners.  Their eyes were star shaped and shaded by long, silver lashes, the noses and mouths were straight and firm, the foreheads transparent.  Some shone as from a hidden sun, while across the brows of others tiny black clouds chased one another in rapid succession."  They wear belted tunics of iridescent material and silver sandals laced to the knee.  Crescent pendants danger from their ears (women were star earrings).  They carry a tall staff tipped with wings.  The fruit on their trees glow like lightbulbs, and everything sparkles because of being made of "solid air."  Their land is surrounded by a rim of warm air that keeps the temperature and climate stable all year round.  Strutoovious rules not just Stratovania, but the Spikers below and the Zoomers above: "all the other spheres and half-spheres" in the area.  There are no talking animals in Stratovania.  Geographically, it stands at 19.3 miles above Oz (which is actually in the stratosphere), and presents a curiosity.  Bell writes that, "Most of that return journey to Oz appears to be straight down, and it ends only one or two miles from Glinda's castle [207]. Even if we assume that the flying sticks pulled the party laterally away from the edge of Stratovania for a reasonable distance, that still implies that the sky kingdom was somewhere above Oz when they left.  If Stratovania moves about the atmosphere in relation to Earth's surface, it would be a tremendously handy coincidence that Dorothy and her friends could basically step off the sky island and land in their home country.  If not, that means Stratovania is always above Oz, implying additional interaction between the kingdoms."

 

Tell-all-escope: This new invention of the Wizard's is a kind of talking encyclopedia that provides information about whatever the user is looking at, but it seems to not yet be perfected or it recites old and invalid information.  When it recounts the Wizard's history, it goes off on a tangent and then notes that Mombi had destroyed the King of Oz and his son.  The latter is explicitly false, as Pastoria is revealed to be alive and well in Thompson's own book The Lost King of Oz.  Similarly, as Nathan points out, "The idea that the Wizard purposely created the device not to tell about his giving Ozma to Mombi suggests that he programmed in this information, yet it knows things that the Wizard does not, such as Jellia's being made a Starina by Strut.   Why the Tell-all-escope doesn't say anything about Jellia's past before being made a Starina can be added to the list of mysteries.  Maybe it just doesn't know much about her, for some reason or other."  Or perhaps Thompson chose not to share this information.  In the end, Ozma locks it up, not in her safe with the other magical implements, but in her desk drawer.  What this might mean is also open to speculation.

 

Tin Woodman: There has been criticism of Thompson's portrayal of Nick Chopper, her first use of him as a major character, and in the minds of some a misuse.  Most of this stems around his decision to continue flying the Oztober rather than taking it back to the Emerald City immediately, an act which puts everyone in danger.  J.L Bell notes in the BCF Pumperdink forum, "Baum's Tin Woodman is strongly concerned with his duty--indeed, that's why he makes the journey to find Nimmie Amee, whom he no longer loves. But Thompson's tin man secretly puts his comrades in jeopardy for his own desires.  Once he gains mastery of the ozoplane he could steer back to the Emerald City at any time.  'But the truth of the matter was, the Tin Woodman did not wish to turn back. And after all, who was to insist?' [65]  Yet, in fairness to Thompson and the character, there are some mitigating factors to consider.  One is that he wished to better fly the plane so as to land it correctly; 'he would take a horizontal direction until he grew more accustomed to piloting the Ozoplane.  Then, as night passed and the sun rose, he would zig and zag slowly downward and make a safe landing near the Emerald City.' [62].  Also, he notes 'I really need a lot more practice before I go back or try to make a safe landing.' [65]  True, this is followed up by the quote above, but that only reflects a three dimensional personality that is more that just the duty, kindness and compassion often attributed to him.  Nick is described as being 'delighted at the way the Oztober responded to his clever manipulation of the wheel and buttons,' and 'scarcely realized the distance he was putting between himself and Oz.'  So, while his actions are motivated by excitement at this new phenomenon of traveling the atmosphere, as well as his skill in doing so, he can hardly be labeled selfish.  There was no immediate danger to his passengers; he knew and trusted the Wizard long enough to know the ship was safe, and correctly notes that he has to 'practice landing' [66] before attempting it in the Emerald City (where he could do serious damage).  The Tin Woodman is also unwise in the way he handles Strutoovious, declaring Stratovania for Ozma and Oz.  In Nick Chopper's mind, however, Oz is a paradise, especially when compared to other realms like the outside world, and one in which becoming a part of that has all benefits and no down side; so long as they do no harm, kingdoms can rule themselves freely, immortality is extended to all, and a regular state of peace is maintained.  From his perspective, his proclamations weren't colonization or imperialism, but an extension of the great hospitality.  Additionally, because it is in the skies above Oz (see "Stratovania" above), he may conclude that that country rightly belongs to Oz, just as the realms below Oz do.  And there may be something to that.  He is no diplomat, however, and he fails to put things in the right words or to see how what he's saying might look from the Strut's perspective.  At worst, he is guilty of naďveté, but at best he is honoring his qualities of duty, kindness and compassion by extending the loving benefits of living under the Oz banner to a people who may wish to benefit from it."
 

Unpublished sequel: Thompson left the conclusion of her story with the idea that there was a sequel to tell of the Wizard and Nick's adventures finding the Ozpril out in space.  As Michael Patrick Hearn notes in the endnotes to the International Wizard of Oz Club edition of Ozoplaning with the Wizard of Oz, this would have included a visit to the land of the Jug-heads where it is against the law to show your face, "the Rocketeers, the Bottled or Packaged People, the Roofers who live on rooftops... the Frowning Prince and the Smiling Prince, Aunt Hill, Stumbleena, Mrs. Floppenhopper, a Snowman with a melting glance, and Judy the dressmaker's dummy.  [The Wizard's] bag of tricks would include a magic lantern, a magic pipe that goes up in smoke, a magic ring, and a down quilt.  And for an animal companion, Thompson was considering Jenny the Gentle Giraffe, Willy-Nilly the Billy Goat, or Jo the Flamingo."  If this story ever got past the planning stages, it has sadly never been found.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Queen Ann in Oz

 

New Revised and Expanded Edition Available!

 

History: Queen Ann in Oz was first published by Emerald City Press in 1993 in hardcover and softcover.  Long out-of-print, the text of this new 2014 edition by The Royal Publisher of Oz has been entirely revised, and includes the sequel "Jodie in Oz," and the screenplay for the 1988 Winkie-Con skit "Another Adventure With Ann," which serves as a prequel to Queen Ann in Oz.  All of the original illustrations are intact, along with some new ones, and the deluxe hardcover edition (available exclusively here) includes 15 color plates.

 

Story: After her former officers refuse to accompany her, Queen Ann organizes a group of young citizens of Oz, Jo Fountainpen, Jo Musket, Jo Dragon and Moretomore, a young orange dragon from the egg of Quox, to go on a quest to discover what happened to her parents, lost for decades.  Moretomore invites Jodie Buttons, who the boys don't want, but she demonstrates her intent to join the search party by beating Jo Musket in a contest of strength.   Ann also invites the Shaggy Man, who, after consulting with Ozma, and getting no information from the Magic Picture, heads first to Glinda's to research Ann's parents in the Book of Records.

 

After arguing amongst themselves and nearly losing Moretomore, the party is cheered to see the appearance of the Shaggy Man, who has a clue as to the direction Ann's parents took when they left Oogaboo.  They head south to the unexplored desert.  They first come to the Sand City, where King Lysander and Queen Cassandra show them hospitality.  Ann and the royal family agree to trade their beautiful glass sculptures for the various foodstuffs that Oogaboo grows on their trees.  The king also confirms that Ann's parents went through their town years earlier. 

 

After departing, they pass through "quick sand," which rushes them to their next destination, Barberville, where the residents are all barbers desirous of doing their hair.  When Jo Musket, Shaggy and Jo Dragon refuse, however, they grow hostile and try to force them.  Yet, even their king Harold insists they comply.  It takes Jo Musket's musket firing to buy them time to flee. 

 

They next find themselves in a Friendly Forest, presided over by the knook Nicobrill, who bonds with Jodi.  After spending a night in the forest, Jodie realizes that this is what she wants to do with her life, and Nicobrill agrees that if Ozma and Ann agree, she can take part of the overgrowing forest to Oogaboo with her.  Ann and Shaggy conceive of a location, but it will require the help of Ozma and the Mist Maids to make it habitable for a thriving forest and its fauna. 

 

Finally, the search party find themselves in the foggy city of Forgetville, which is haunted by a troubled past.  No one has memories beyond a minute or so, and so they wander about aimlessly or engaging in tasks they can't remember how to perform.  To Moretomore's horror, he discovers this too late as all his friends enter Forgetville and become just like the others!  Moretomore himself is immune thanks to keeping the shell he was hatched from, which prevents him forgetting anything.  Departing the city in despair, he encounters Tik-Tok, who Ozma sent to give them aid.  Tik-Tok gets the idea of tying the Shaggy Man and friends and leading them out of the city.  The plan works, and Queen Ann recalls that the last thing she remembers is seeing her parents.  So, they devise a way to bring them and every citizen out of the city

 

In so doing, they discover the journal of Amnesia, a witch who ruled Goldendale, and who had fallen under the spell of the Love Magnet.  Queen Ann's father Jol Jemkiph Soforth had found it on his way out of Oogaboo to escape his wife's extravagant plans for attending Ozma's coronation.  The journal reveals that Amnesia, in her jealousy and anger that Jol would not love her in return, cast the spell which transformed Goldendale into the strange Forgetville.  The only spell that can undo it is the "ancient traditional wall removal spell," but she cannot figure out what that means.  So, Amnesia has her golden shoes transport her to the place where she might learn it. 

 

The Shaggy Man puzzles at all of this, for he recalls that she must have been the person he stole the Love Magnet from in Butterfield.  At last, he remembers that the spell might refer to the method used by the ancient Israelites against the Wall of Jericho, recorded in the Old Testament, and has the citizens of Goldendale replicate the pattern the next morning, with Jo Musket blowing his trumpet.  The plan works!  Forgetville is transformed back into Goldendale.  With the appearance of Ozma, the Magic Belt is used to summon Amnesia, who is now an older woman running a shelter for the homeless.  She apologies for what had occurred, though Ozma recognizes that much of it was from the Love Magnet.  To everyone's surprise, she doesn't wish to return to Oz, as she's married and happy with her life there. 

 

Continuity notes:

Ann: Outside of her attempted takeover in 1911's Tik-Tok of Oz, Ann has rarely been outside of her kingdom, and has not yet visited the Emerald City.  Her one documented visit to gather with the other rulers of the Winkie country is detailed in the short skit "Another Adventure with Ann," included in the 2014 edition of Queen Ann in Oz.

 

Dating: The story is dated by the arrival of Ann's father Jol Jemkiph Soforth to the community of Goldendale in April 1902, shortly after Ozma came to power, but several months prior to her coronation.  The Love Magnet (which Jol had found en route) set into motion a chain of events when the witch Amnesia angrily enchanted the city and went into the outside world to Butterfield Kansas.  There, she attempted to meet Dorothy to ask her help in breaking the spell over Goldendale, but too late, as Dorothy was away in Australia (as detailed in Ozma of Oz).  Shortly after, she met the Shaggy Man who she told about the Love Magnet, subtly encouraging him to steal it.

 

Sandman: The Sandman who visits Sand City is from legend and myth.  He first appears in an Oz book in Kabumpo in Oz.  He can also be found in the Kingdom of Dreams (The Magic Carpet of Oz). 

 

Prequel and Sequel: "Another Adventure with Ann" is a skit that takes place three years before this story, in 1931, and tells the tale of Ann taking offence at the absence of an invitation by the Tin Woodman, and determining to do something about it.  Jodie in Oz takes place a short time after this story, and details the adventures of Jodie Buttons who travels with Dorothy and Trot to the Mist Maidens (first seen in Glinda of Oz) to seek their help in transforming the climate in Oogaboo so that a section of the Friendly Forest can be brought to live there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Believing Child

 

Story: When Dismey Coven, a poor six-year old girl is brought to school for the first time, her mother tells her teach she's a "believing child," but her teacher is more concerned with how withdrawn she is.  Although she excels in her studies over time, she remains completely credulous to every story she hears, including the lies told her by her fellow students Bannie and Michael.  But things take a strange turn when the teacher begins reading to her class the Oz books, in particular The Magic of Oz.  The teacher and the students have fun analyzing the magic word PYRZQXGL, which can transform anyone, and imagining how it might be pronounced.  In the meantime, the two boys continue taunting and tormenting Dismey.  Then one day, when Bannie and Michael fail to come in after recess, the teacher asks Dismey where they and what happened to them.  Dismey confesses that she turned them into rocks.  Her mother had taught her the pronunciation of the word, and she proves it by changing a stapler into a rabbit and back again.  The teacher requests that Dismey turn them back into boys, but she doesn't want to.  When she insists, she's left hoping and believing that this girl with a powerful spell will choose to do the right thing.

 

Continuity notes:

Cabbages: As regards the recent history of Dismey and her mother, the latter states: "we been with the cabbages in Utah."  While this might initially seem to indicate that she and her husband are cabbage farmers, the slang term for cabbage refers to foolish people or thieves, and her reference might be a derogatory term for the Mormons, specifically the German Mormons, some 3,000 of which immigrated to Utah after World War II.  Germans (and Russians) were derogatorily referred to as "cabbage eaters." 

 

Dating: The narrative takes place from October to December in either Utah or Wyoming.  Though no specific year is given, the time period seems to be the 1930s, as the Oz books are known, but no mention is made of the MGM film by the students, likely setting this before 1939.  The Royal Timeline of Oz currently finds it taking place in 1935.

 

PYRZQXGL: Dismey discovers the correct pronunciation of this word from her mother, who recognized it, wondered why it was in a "kids' book" and says, "that's not a word for kids," but teaches it to her anyway.  Given that Dismey and her mother's surname is Coven, there is a strong indication that Dismey's mother comes from a line of witches, though she herself appears to no longer practice.  She may even have ancestry that goes back to Oz or Ev.  There is a seeming discrepancy between the conclusion of "Much Ado About Kiki Aru," which purports to see the end of the power of the word, and this story in which the word is still efficacious.  See that entry for a possible continuity fix.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Handy Mandy in Oz

 

Oz book 31 of the Famous Forty, Sovereign Sixty and Supreme Seventy-Five!

 

Story: When Mandy, a goat herder, goes after her goat at the top of Mt. Mern, she gets carried off into the sky atop a rock that gets shot off by a turbulent mountain spring.  At first terrified, Mandy eventually settles into the journey, and picks a blue flower growing on the rock.  The rock shoots over the Deadly Desert, and before long comes down, depositing Mandy on a soft mound of blue flowers.  Surprised, Mandy leaves the mound, which disappears, leaving only the blue flower she'd first plucked.  Taking it with her, she discovers she's in the kingdom of Keretaria in the Munchkin country.   Approaching an ox with a golden horn and golden plow, Mandy decides to make herself useful in the hopes that the king will see her industriousness and offer her food.  But the ox is startled by Mandy and charges off with her hanging on into the throne room of King Kerr.

 

The king and his courtiers are astonished to see Mandy, who has seven arms, but Mandy is even more astonished to hear the ox speak.  The ox, Nox, names her Handy Mandy, and she explains that all the people of Mern have seven hands: an iron one for hard work, a leather one for cleaning, a wooden one for digging, two rubber ones for washing and two white ones for doing their hair.  But the Imperial Persuader deems her a witch, and the High Qui-questioner calls her a dangerous character, and the Lord High Upper Dupper wants her put in the dungons.  But Nox calls them all dunces, and takes her as his slave, which the king approves. 

 

As he leads her to the royal stables, a grand elegant building that the former king once resided in, he explains that he is the Royal Ox of Keretaria, as per a thousand year old prophecy that indicates that so long as the Royal Ox is in good spirits and health, the king will reign.  If something befalls the ox, the king will be destroyed.  This has proven true time and again, and when a new king is crowned a new ox mysteriously appears.  Nox doesn't know where they come from, and has memories of living happily in a blue forest until the day a silver cloth was thrown over his head and he fell into a slumber, only to awaken in Keretaria.  He and the former king, a boy named Kerry, became fast friends until one day, two years ago, when Kerry went off to accompany the Royal Huntsmen for an hour, Nox—who was then known as Boz—was struck a blow that knocked him unconscious.  When he awoke, he found he'd been buried in a shallow grave, and had a bent horn.  Returning to the castle, a new king was being crowned, and because the former king was gone, Boz was taken to be gone as well, so the people automatically thought Boz to be the new Royal Ox and named him Nox.

 

Mandy reasons that if the prophecy is true, since Nox is alive, Kerry must also be alive.  Box/Nox hopes this as well, but cannot go looking for him as he's watched by 20 guardsmen.  Handy examines his golden horn, and pulls it off, discovering that it screws back on.  Inside the horn are hidden two silver balls.  These unscrew as well, revealing a key and a note.  The note tells them to go to the Silver Mountain of Oz.  Nox is surprised, but agrees this must be where Kerry is.  Later, while it is still dark, Handy awakens him after knocking out the guards with her iron hand.  Armed with a weapon/tool in each hand, Mandy leads Nox out of Keretaria.  They head north towards the Gillikin country, but on the way she stumbles across a silver hammer with a large W engraved on it, and puts it in her pocket. 

 

Coming to the Munchkin River, Mandy plunges in, unable to swim but determined to try.  Nox pulls her out twice.  A sign announces to "Turn Here" and go back, but Mandy defiantly presses forward into Turn Town.  The corkscrew-turn roads lead them to a gate in a wall behind which they see a whirling village.  But spotting food, they enter and discover that all the houses and buildings turn slowly round and round.  Mandy manages to secure six pies in one shop, but she breaks some china departing, waking up the native Topsies who shout in high voices that "stand-stillians" and "thieves" have broken in.  The Topsies are short, black and blue beings who have a peg under their torso instead of legs.  They also have attached cords which they pull to spin them around like tops.  As they shout for the intruders to be turned out, the commotion brings out Tip Topper, the king, and Topsy Baker who accuses Handy and Nox of stealing her turnip turnovers.  Mandy explains that they just want to leave, but as they go to depart, the Topsies shriek because they don't spin as they all do. 

 

The king sees that they're constructed differently than them and orders that the Turn Coat be brought out so that they can be turned into Topsies.  Mandy does some impressive somersaults, which the people enjoy, but when they demand that Nox turns as well, an exhausted Mandy unscrews his horns wishing she could be in a river.  At that, a torrent of water shoots out of the horn, flooding the city.  The Topsies float away unharmed, but Nox is annoyed.  Handy figures out that there must be magic in the horn.  Screwing it back in his head, she wishes the river gone and it goes. 

 

Mandy wishes them to be with Kerry, but nothing happens.  She reasons that the horn only grants things, and orders a quantity of breakfast for them, which is granted.  Entering the Gillikin country, Nox explains the geopolitical structure of Oz.  They soon come to a framed poster welcoming visitors to Oz, but warning them to be good and not practice magic.  Mischievously, Mandy tosses stones over a grove of trees, bringing forth a tribe of highlanders with long thin, hooked noses, from which they hang iron rings.  As the "Hookers" rush down on them, they toss the rings.  Handy wishes a barrel of molasses on each highlander, just as a ring catches her.  She escapes atop Nox, who takes her to a waterfall and removes the ring from her. 

 

Drinking their fill, Mandy discovers a door hidden behind the waterfall.  Unable to open it, she tries the silver hammer she'd found earlier, but upon striking it, a gnarled and crooked elf with a purple beard appears.  Calling himself Himself the Elf, he informs her that he must do whatever she asks of him.  She asks that he open the door, which he does before vanishing, and inside they go.  They discover a wide cave system with hanging silver stalactites and amethyst-studded walls.  Mandy suspects that this may be the Silver Mountain, so Nox chooses one of the many passages to explore.  They soon hear heavy footsteps approaching, and a silver-helmeted giant appears demanding to know why they are trespassing in the cave of the King of the Silver Mountain.

 

Snorpus the Mighty, Keeper of the Hidden Door, is talked into bringing them before the king, but he tells them that they must be brave.  As Nox warns Handy to be polite, they enter a bright grotto carved with "all the historical figures and characters of ancient Oz: wizards, giants, knights, witches, huntsmen, robbers, kings, queens and their patient subjects marched in a splendid procession around the walls."  On a small island in the middle of a quicksilver lake sits the King of the Silver Mountain, a handsome, silver-haired, purple-clad monarch, who tells them that they are clever.  But he then scolds Snorpus and blows from his pipe a giant bubble that envelops the giant and shrinks him to their size.  Another bubble summons seventy bell boys who he commands to take Snorpus away to Nifflepok for potting.  Timano is to replace him. 

 

Introducing himself then as the Wizard Wutz, the king demands to know what magical treasure allowed them to enter and who sent them.  He describes himself as second in importance only to Glinda and the Wizard of Oz, though he will soon be first, as he has in his possession the Great Book of Records and other magical treasures brought by his secret agents in the Emerald City and every kingdom in this country.  He asks which of his agents sent them: 3, 6, 9, 5 or 11?  Mandy picks 9, and Wutz says he thought they had come from the Munchkin country, and asks if 9 mentioned the Silver Hammer, as he's been looking for it for two years when he first removed Kerry from the throne and placed 9 on it.  As he notes that the hammer is the second most important magical item in the four kingdoms, Mandy keeps quiet about having it.  When Wutz asks what they brought him then, she offers him the magic flower, but he is wrathful that they've wasted his time with so insignificant a treasure.  Wutz is then informed that agent 5 has arrived from the Emerald City with a jug that was once Rug, and Ozma's Magic Picture.  So, he orders Nox chopped up for food, and Mandy to become  turned into a slave.  Nifflepok, a small man, arrives, warning them to come quietly.  He puts them on a silver sleigh which slides down a curving runway through cave city, past the subjects of the Mountain King to Potter's Den, where the king's prisoners are buried up to their chins in vast silver pots.  There, a gardener waters them.  Recalling the blue flower, Mandy pulls its petals just as the cart dashes them out into the darkness.  The pair land upon a heap of soft blue petals, which again disappear after they get up from it, turning back into a single blue flower.  After scaring away the twelve workmen who come to pick up what they thought would be their mess, the pair become more determined than ever to find Kerry and keep the hammer out of Wutz's hands.

 

Ten days before Mandy left Mt. Mern, a "monk of some old and ancient order" arrived at the Emerald City, speaking in a "strange and undistinguishable tongue."  Sneaking into the palace gardens, he saw Ozma, Dorothy, Trot and Betsy playing croquet, while the Scarecrow read and the Wizard and Tik-Tok conversed of the disappearance of Glinda's Book of Records, which his searchlight and looking glasses couldn't locate.  Heading to the palace door, the monk met up with the footman Puffup, who questioned him, but Jellia Jamb invited him in and went off to get food for him.  Left alone, he stole a jug and crept into Ozma's sitting room where he blew a magic potion upon the Magic Picture, shrinking it.  Putting it in his pocket, he stold away out a window, put on a disguise as an old woman, and escaped the capitol with his prizes.  Jellia burst into the garden reporting the theft, leaving them to wonder how anyone would've known they transformed Ruggedo into a jug.  When they went to check the Magic Picture they discovered too late that it had been stolen.  Ozma was upset, thinking that Ruggedo had been her last villain.  The Wizard departed to see if he can find out who did it, the Scarecrow to inform the Army, and Dorothy to prepare the Cowardly Lion and Tige (the Hungry Tiger) to guard the safe.  Trot excitedly recalled the time Ugu had committed a similar theft (The Lost Princess in Oz). 

 

The "monk," really agent number 5, reached the Silver Mountain, just as Mandy and Nox spoke with Wutz.  The king feigns knowing the value of the treasures he brought, citing 7's greater theft of the Great Book of Records.  But when he examines the Magic Picture, he is furious to see that it doesn't work.  Glinda's book, however, confirms 5's story that it was indeed stolen, but also that Nox and Mandy are still alive searching for Kerry.  With a dire threat, Wutz summons Nifflepok to spy on them. 

 

Handy and Oz check the silver ball again, noting this time that the message has changed, telling them do nothing and wait for the wizard to appear.  Nifflepok reports this to Wutz, who is frustrated because no magic he has tried has enabled him to disenchant Ruggedo, who he believes can aid him in conquering Oz.  Nifflepok suggets having Mandy and the ox do it, as he's convinced they must be sorcerers to have survived so long in the mountain.  Wutz appears before them, offering to release Kerry to them if they release Ruggedo from the jug.  If they fail, however, they will be obliterated.  Examining the jug, Mandy accidentally drops and breaks it, releasing Ruggedo from Ozma's enchantment.  He is at first unaware of who he is, but he shortly gets his memory back.  Soon enough, the King of the Silver Mountain reappears and takes the former Nome King with him to plot the overthrow of Oz. 

 

Nox is furious at his betrayal and rams through the back wall, which swings outward, leading them into a tunnel.  Checking with the message in the silver ball, the note simply says "follow me," and starts to roll along and down a flight of spiral stairs.  Wutz, meanwhile, explains to Ruggedo that 6 stole magic from the Winkies, 11 from the Gillikins, 7 from Glinda and 5 from Ozma.  He now needs either the Silver Hammer that once belonged to a witch, or the Magic Belt, with which he'll restore Ruggedo to the Nome Kingdom.  Ruggedo requests the return of his belt to him afterwards, which Wutz deceitfully concedes to.  Blowing a large quicksilver bubble, they float off to the Emerald City just as Ozma and the others are at Glinda's palace. 

 

The silver ball, meanwhile, leads Mandy and Nox to the bottom of the Silver Mountain, to a locked door. Handy thinks to use the key inside the other silver ball to open it.  There, in a bubble, which Nox breaks, is Kerry, alive and glad to see them.  They tell him everything that's transpired, but Kerry remembers nothing and is shocked that two years have passed.  Banging the Silver Hammer, Mandy requests that Himself get them out.  The Elf shows them to an elevator which brings them up to Wutz's workshop.  Nifflepok is there, and he tells them that Wutz and Rug have left for the Emerald City to steal the Magic Belt with which they intend to turn everyone into rocks.  Banging the hammer again, Mandy tells Himself to transport them to the Emerald City to save Ozma.

 

Everyone in the Emerald City has been frozen like statues by a stupefying powder Wutz has blown down every chimney, allowing the wicked pair to enter the palace unmolested.  Reducing Ozma's safe to ashes, Wutz retrieves the Magic Belt, but he and Ruggedo then argue over it.  Ruggedo is forced to capitulate and gives Wutz the instructions for its use.  Mandy, Nox and Kerry suddenly appear, however, and when Wutz attacks her, she bangs the hammer down on his head.  Removing the Belt from his waist, Himself takes Ruggedo and Wutz away.  Just then Ozma, Omby Amby and Scraps appear.  Noting the frozen state of their friends, the ruined safe and magic belt, they assume that the three are the thieves, and Scraps attacks Handy, pushing her down.  Nox is irate, but Kerry explains the truth.  The Wizard, Glinda, Dorothy, Trot, Betsy and the Scarecrow arrive, and the situation is cleared up as Nox explains everything that's transpired.  Ozma and Mandy become friends and Kerry and Nox ask that she be allowed to live with them in Keretaria.  Mandy agrees, provided her goats can come as well.  With the Magic Belt, Ozma restores all the stolen magical items, as well as anyone who'd been stupefied.  She frees the potted prisoners, puts Nifflepok in charge of the Silver Mountain, moves the cliff-dwellings of the people outside the mountain, and seals off the interior "tightly and forever."  Ozma also turns Wutz's secret agents into actual moles, including King Kerr who was number 9.  Mandy strikes the Silver Hammer, instructing Himself to now obey Ozma of Oz.  The elf brings two cacti before them, one who is Wutz, the other Ruggedo, and Jellia puts them in the conservatory. 

 

Himself explains that the Silver Hammer once belonged to the Munchkin witch Wunchie who lived in the Munchkin Mountains "for about a 1,000 years," and had used the Hammer to "control as many of the Munchkin kings as she could."  She was responsible for the prophecy in Keretaria, and "placed her own white oxen in the country.  Each time she had trouble forcing the king to do as she wished, she tapped him and the ox on the head with her hammer."  But when she ordered Himself to tap Boz when she traded Kerry to Wutz in exchange for magic jumping beans, Himself disobeyed, and only lightly tapped the ox.  He put the magic silver balls in the magic golden horn with the ability to help him find Kerry.  Wunchie, meanwhile, "exploded and popped off" from eating the jumping beans, which Himself warned her not to eat.  After that, he buried her hammer in Keretaria, where Mandy found it.  Ozma notes too that when she enchanted Ruggedo into a jug, she made it so that only the seventh hand of a Mernite could disenchant him, but at the time did not realize that seven-handed Mernites actually existed.  Ozma throws a party for the new celebrities, and grants Mandy seven sets of seven gloves and an emerald necklace.  Himself comes to the celebration, and Ozma summons him many times after to "amuse or cheer her."  The Silver Hammer is stored amongst her other magical treasures in a newly restored safe. 

 

Mandy holds on to the blue flower, and after returning to Mount Mern, where she stays for a month, she gathers her goats and takes one of the Wizard's wishing pills, bringing her to Keretaria where she, Nox, and the silver balls, help Kerry rule well.

 

Continuity notes:

Agents: Some of Wutz's secret agents go unidentified other than by where they infiltrate.  Five is known to be the disguised monk who infiltrates the Emerald City.  Nine is King Kerr, the uncle of King Kerry, who infiltrates Keretaria in order to obtain the Silver Hammer of the deceased witch Wunchie.  Seven steals Glinda's Great Book of Records, but nothing is known of this agent.  Since Glinda is surrounded by young woman, might it have been a female agent?  Six went to the Winkies and Eleven to the Gillikins, but there are numerous kingdoms in each of those countries.  To which they went, and what treasures they stole, is unstated.

 

Animals: Confirming Baum's conception of Oz, Thompson notes on page 49 that "All Oz creatures can talk, even the mice and squirrels."

 

Continuity Error: Thompson and the ineffectual Reilly & Lee editors forgot that Nox was originally known to young King Kerry as Boz, and wasn't called Nox until after Kerry was abducted and the new king placed on the throne.  Yet, when Kerry sees his beloved ox again, he says "Why, hello Nox!"  Also, on page 196, Ruggedo tells Wutz that Ozma dunked him in the Truth Pond when what he means is the Fountain of Oblivion. Since, Ruggedo's memory is noted as being faulty, it might have been a slip of the tongue.

 

Dating: Nox and Mandy's story takes place over the course of two days, though the larger narrative occurs over the course of eighteen days.  For more details, see the Day-to-Day Chronology.  Internal evidence indicates this story takes place in the winter.  According to Book 1 of The Seven Blue Mountains of Oz trilogy, this story is dated to two years after the 32nd year of Ozma's reign, which is 1935 (page 199 and 205), placing the events of this story after Thompson's last book in publication order, Ozoplaning with the Wizard of Oz.  Continuity-wise, there's no problem with this. 

 

Handy Mandy: An earlier and unrelated seven-armed character called Handy Mandy was created by Thompson for her Supposyville stories.  That one was a robot invention of the Supposyville Wizard and was quite unlike the Mernite girl in every way but appearance.  As per Lurline and the White Ravens of Oz (third edition), these characters (and Supposyville) exist in Oz and are known by the Mernite Handy Mandy.  This same book lists her people, seven-armed people, as being called Septimen.  As to Handy's age, J.L. Bell notes in the Pumperdink BCF forum that "the dust jacket for Reilly & Lee's HANDY MANDY (reprinted by the Oz Club), says she has 'fourteen years' or so experience' of life."  She 'lived all by herself in a small cottage on Mt. Mern, high above the village of Fistikins' [24].  That seems to be one of the Nonestic countries where people die (Mandy's an orphan) and animals don't talk. Yet it's magical enough for the Mernites to all have seven arms of various materials.  It must also be isolated enough that Mandy finds a castle, talking animals, and us two-armed folk a shock [28, 40]. In sum, Mandy seems to come from the same sort of separate little communities of oddly made people that she later visits."  Mandy does know of castles, at least, and oddly, of rockets.  The Oz Club map places Mount Mern in the east-most peninsula of Aurissau.  Contrary to Thompson's usual handling of those who are different, the seven-armed Mernite is a welcome change of pace.  As Tor.com's Mari Ness explains: "a human girl refusing to apologize for her very different appearance, and even defending its practicality, is a refreshing change from the more typical characterizations of disability and difference in children’s literature.  Thompson, to her immense credit, avoids two of the most common disability narratives: the angelic disabled girl who exists to teach everyone moral lessons about the True Meaning and Goodness of Life, or the girl who Must Learn to Overcome Her Disability.  Mandy, with her habit of not thinking things through, and a decided bit of a temper, is delightfully flawed, and she does not see any disability that needs to be overcome.  Rather, she demands to be accepted for who she is, and assumes she will be.  The attitude works.  By the end of the book, Handy Mandy is accepted, celebrated and honored, a more than welcome guest in the Emerald City and the rest of Oz."

 

Magic Belt: There are some seeming discrepancies with the use of the Magic Belt at the end of this book.  As Nathan M. DeHoff on the BCF Pumperdink forum points out, "the end of HANDY MANDY features probably the ultimate in Magic Belt quick fixes.  Ozma uses the Belt to return the stolen magic items to their rightful owners, free Wutz's prisoners, transport all of the dwellings inside the mountain, seal the mountain itself, and transform Wutz's agents into moles...  She apparently does this all from the Emerald City.  If, as some people think, the excessive use of the Belt at the end of EMERALD CITY drained its power, it must have been totally ineffective after HANDY MANDY, yet it is in good working order two books later.  These quick fixes also raise several other questions.  If the Belt has the power to transport other magical items (a power we actually already know it has from ROYAL BOOK and JACK PUMPKINHEAD), why couldn't Ozma have used it to bring the Magic Picture back to the Emerald City after Five stole it?  Also, how does the Belt know who the rightful owners of Wutz's stolen property are, and how does Ozma know that she isn't returning them to magicians just as dangerous as Wutz?  If only Glinda and the Wizard are allowed to practice magic, doesn't it stand to reason that the magic taken from the Winkies and Gillikins belonged to other illegal magic-workers?  I think one possible solution is that the quick fixes described on pp. 238-239 really took a few days to complete, but Thompson made them into quick fixes so as not to bore herself or the readers with the details."  This seems a likely scenario.  As to the rightful owners of Wutz's stolen magical items, Ozma may simply have wished the items back to where they were prior to being stolen.  Wutz's agents stole them from all the kingdoms in Oz, and as the magical items may have been indigenous to those kingdoms, Ozma can be seen as politically savvy in returning them rather than raising an issue as to the rights of those kingdoms to that magic, interpreting the law in a more narrow manner (restricting wizards and witches) rather than a broad manner (restricting the common production of organic magic inherent to the various kingdoms).

 

Organized Religion: That agent number five chooses to disguise himself as a monk, and the fact that those in the Emerald City recognizes him as such, indicates that there is organized religion in Oz, though the only other time an Oz book notes it is in the China Country in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.  But even early on in Handy Mandy in Oz, Mandy hears "church bells tolling the hour." (page 25)

 

Ozma's enchantment: Apart from seeming more vindictive than the Ozma Baum portrayed, Ozma's enchantment of Ruggedo appears, for all intents and purposes, to be a permanent one, as the only way he could have been disenchanted would be from a Mernite with seven hands, something Ozma didn't know existed (perhaps she heard of them in legend and story).  This reveals something of fairy magic.  On the Pumperdink forum, J.L. Bell elucidates: "This detail may reveal something deeper about how magic works as well.  When Ozma transformed Ruggedo into a jug, she left a way for her spell to be reversed.  Since she didn't understand how to perform that reversal, she couldn't have done so in order to be able to bring Ruggedo back whenever she chose (i.e., she wasn't using the spell like a safe that she knew the combination for).  Instead, it appears that Ozma HAD to leave some sort of way to reverse her transformation, and she chose a very obscure method to minimize the chances that anyone could carry that out.  That in turn may imply there's some sort of natural law or law among fairies (which would be much the same thing in Baum's universe) that no enchantment can be unbreakable.  That conforms to the laws of the physical universe--Newton's 'every action has an equal and opposite reaction,' the reversibility of chemical reactions, etc."  The one exception to this is Mrs. Yoop's transformation into the green monkey form, which cannot be reversed but only transferred to another.

 

Racism: While not as overt as in The Silver Princess in Oz, Thompson uses racial terms to denigrate people of color, and for the first time, to poke fun at Scottish nationals.  On the BCF Pumperdink forums, J.L. Bell explains regarding the Topsies: "Topsy was a character in UNCLE TOM'S CABIN, an enslaved young girl.  In the decades after Reconstruction, when the slave labor camps of the ante-bellum South became a source of quaint nostalgia instead of embarrassment for much of the nation, stage shows of UNCLE TOM'S CABIN shifted from political melodrama to minstrel-show spoofs.  It was largely in these years that 'Uncle Tom' became a symbol for blacks ingratiating themselves with white oppressors rather than showing dignified forbearance.  In those same years Topsy was played by a grown male impersonator in a broad black-minstrel style--leading to the phrase 'growing like Topsy.' As a result, the name Topsies itself carried clear racial overtones for Thompson.  She makes the connection explicit when she refers to those people as 'small black-and-blue men and women' [78].  She also refers to them as 'the natives' [77]; we saw in CAPTAIN SALT how she uses that plural noun to refer not to all people born in a region, but only to dangerous and mostly dark-skinned peoples... She refers to 'kinky little black heads,' 'each kinky head,' and 'the kinky-headed little citizens.'  Thompson also uses the term 'wool,' another historically common derogatory term for Africans' hair, and makes clear that becoming a Topsy would mean Mandy becoming non-white: "Fine! Fine! That's the way!" cheered the Topsies heartily. "You'll be spinning circles before you know it and have beautiful wool like the rest of us."  "Wool!" gasped Handy, who was extremely fond of her shining yellow braids. "Oh, I wool not. That's just too much!" [82]  As in WISHING HORSE, when having her skin turned black reduces Dorothy to tears for the first time in decades, the prospect of becoming more like African-Americans seems especially awful to Thompson's white heroine... To be fair, however, we should note that the Topsies first become angry at Mandy because she steals their food [77], and that the Highlanders because she pelts them with rocks [106]. They have every right to be hostile.  Thompson is applying double standards here.  That she applies those standards to both dark and light-skinned peoples doesn't negate their unfairness.  Nor does her equal unfairness to these two groups negate her overall demeaning depiction of dark-skinned characters...  In her pre-WW2 Oz books ALL people with dark skin are either enslaved or savage.  Unlike light-skinned communities, she gives dark-skinned peoples no chance to be hospitable or civilized.  Unlike light-skinned servants, she gives dark-skinned slaves no chance to be intelligent or individual--no chance, in sum, to be fully human.  HANDY MANDY is part of that pattern."

 

Ruggedo: The former Nome King appears for the last time in the original series, though he will appear numerous times in future books.  See The History of Ruggedo the Nome King.  His motives here are somewhat different than in prior books, where he sought to punish Ozma and to rule Oz.  Here, by contrast he says, "Oh, don't bother me with any of the Oz Kingdoms.  I'm sick of the place!" frowned the Gnome, wagging his beard vindictively. "All I want is my own old Kingdom and my own magic belt!"  While he shows no indication that he disagrees with Wutz's plan to turn Ozma and her people to "rocks and rubble," he does display a marked change—arguably some maturity—from his prior obsessions and megalomania.

 

Searchlight: This is the fourth book to mention or feature the Wizard's magical searchlight.  It is first being invented in The Yellow Knight of OzHere, it proves ineffective in locating the stolen Great Book of Records or Magic Picture, a fact that must be attributed to something that Wutz does to prevent their location by magical means, though this is never explicitly stated.  It is, however, curious that the Magic Picture is not listed as being used to find Glinda's lost Book of Records, which could indicate that it was tried and failed.  The Wizard's Looking Glasses are a new invention of the Wizard's, very likely in imitation of the ones he saw Jinnicky successfully use in The Purple Prince of Oz.

 

Silver Hammer: "Regarded by many as the most powerful magic in Ozma's castle" (page 246) and "the second most important magic in the four kingdoms," (page 139), the actual origins of the Silver Hammer and Himself the Elf appear again in Atticus Gannaway's The Silver Sorceress of Oz and Book 1 of Melody Grandy's The Seven Blue Mountains of Oz trilogy: The Disenchanted Princess of Oz.  Wutz's hyperbole in regards to the Silver Hammer may not reflect magical appliances that he's unaware of (e.g., the emerald necklaces of The Wishing Horse of Oz).  Himself the Elf also appears again in "The Search for Soob."

 

Sloppy Plots: There are several legitimate accusations of sloppy writing on Thompson's part in this book, however, with each listing, I've provided in-universe retcons that might help to make sense of the characters and narratives for readers:

 

1. The behavior of Ozma and friends in the Emerald City the day after Glinda's Book of Records is stolen seems at first to be out of character for them.  J.L. Bell points out: "The Wizard works his 'powerful searchlight and looking glasses' without success, as he confides to Tik-Tok [163].  But does Ozma look for the Book in her Magic Picture?"  For the same reason that the magical searchlight and glasses don't work, the Magic Picture likely doesn't either.  Wutz must have cast a powerful spell preventing this very thing.  "More important, do the Ozians take any steps to stop further thefts... Obviously not. The Magic Picture is unguarded and easy to take off the wall [166].  The Magic Belt isn't in Ozma's safe, or else the Wizard wouldn't have to advise putting it in there [173].  Jellia must know the earthen jug in her kitchen is Ruggedo because she notices it's missing so quickly [169], yet even during this parlous time she's letting strangers into the castle and into that room. Ozma herself is playing croquet ["Now watch me make this drive"].  Even after Ozma and her friends learn the Magic Picture is missing, they don't think to inventory their other magical devices [171].  Despite memories of Ugu the Shoemaker [174], Ozma and her counselors never consider that the same thief who took Glinda's Book could be after their own magic until two important items have already disappeared.  In sum, in order for Thompson to make her plot work, she has to give Oz an unbelievably lousy homeland security plan." 

 

In answer to this, there are several possible answers that Thompson didn't bother to write about.  Ozma may have thought there was no need to secure the Magic Picture since it was still safe in her sitting room, with numerous personnel in and around the palace to ensure no suspicious characters came in.  This was, of course, spoiled by Jellia's kindhearted naiveté.  Though not stated, the Magic Belt may have been around Dorothy or Ozma's waist, but the Wizard may have felt it was better off in the safe.  No one in the palace thought anyone else knew about Ruggedo's transformation into a jug, so there would have been no need to hide it.  As regards the fact that they're playing croquet, this seems to shine a negative light on Ozma, but the context may be missing.  If the palace residents had already spent considerable time inventorying, worrying and wringing hands, a game might have been a necessary stress-reliever once there was nothing else they could do, with the Wizard, Scarecrow and Tik-Tok nearby in case of new developments.

 

2. The inability of the Magic Picture to work for Wutz: It is assumed by Wutz that agent five's shrinking of the picture did something to ruin it, however, when Ozma gets it back she "immediately" is able to fix it.  J.L. provides a sensible explanation for this: "in the ten days it took agent Five to reach the Silver Mountain, Ozma used the Magic Belt to place a haze in front of the Picture's canvas or otherwise disrupt it so its thief couldn't use it."

 

3. Ozma's use of the Magic Belt to move the homes of the inhabitants inside the Silver Mountain to outside seems hasty to some, as Ozma doesn't appear to know much about these people, whether they need to be away from direct sunlight, whether the sudden exposure to the sun would prove shocking or harmful, or whether they even want to move.  As Nathan DeHoff points out on the Pumperdink forum: "She merely has a conference with Mandy, who was only able to see the Silver Mountain's common people while speeding through the mountain on a roller coaster ride, which doesn't exactly qualify her as an expert on the place."  As it appears that Ozma made these changes over the course of time (see Magic Belt above), and not in a split-second, there was time for her to have researched the situation in much greater detail and determine the wisest course for the inhabitants of the Silver Mountain, even to summon one or two and interview them.  While the brevity of Thompson's account doesn't explicitly indicate this, it seems in keeping with Ozma's character to have done her homework first before making such a major decision.

 

4. Ozma appoints Nifflepok as the new king, despite knowing nothing about him.  Nathan continues: "In some ways, Nifflepok is similar to Kaliko, being a nervous servant of a tyrannical and bad-tempered monarch, so his promotion is similar to Kaliko's in TIK-TOK.  On the other hand, TIK-TOK demonstrates Kaliko's important role in running the Nome Kingdom, as well as his unwillingness to obey his master's orders when they conflict with his own morality. Kaliko refuses to lock Betsy Bobbin and Hank in the Slimy Cave, but Nifflepok, despite saying that he feels sorry for Mandy and Nox, obeys Wutz's orders to destroy them without question.  Nifflepok certainly seems to be a kinder man than Wutz, but there is no indication that he has any idea how to rule, and no known reason for Ozma, who has never even met the man, to give him a promotion."  This, as with the decision to place the Silver Mountainers' homes on the outside, are legitimate criticisms of the text, but ones that can be explained with an understanding of a greater passage of time (than noted in the text) in which Ozma makes these decisions.  It seems much more likely that Ozma summoned Nifflepok before her and interviewed him at length.  Perhaps it was revealed that Nifflepok was responsible for some kind acts that he hid from Wutz, but with Glinda's Book of Records, felt unable to help Mandy and Nox without being discovered and destroyed himself.

 

Questions: Handy Mandy in Oz leaves off with some questions for possible future authors to tackle.  J.L. Bell (on the Pumperdink forum) delineates a few:

* What happens to the Keretarian officials after King Kerr scurries away? [This is answered in The Goat Girls of Oz]
* How do Mandy's goats feel about coming to Oz, leaving their mountain, becoming able to talk? (What-a-butter is the fattest and most troublesome, Speckle the smallest.)
* Will Kerry grow old faster than Mandy and eventually think about making her his queen? Or will she, seemingly used to aging, grow old faster than he?"

* Is Wutz's "patent stupefying powder" (that he implicitly invented) "still out there for some nasty magician to use"?

Wunchie the Witch: Further detail about this Eastern Witch (who Thompson incorrectly identifies as a western one, as she erroneously places the Munchkin country in the west), who controlled the Munchkin kings from her home in the Munchkin Mountains for a thousand years, appears in Melody Grandy's The Seven Blue Mountains of Oz trilogy, explaining that the dominion of Wunchie extended from the Seven Blue Mountains in the very north Munchkin country to Keretaria.  Some questions from this book are: why does Wunchie go through the trouble of the prophecy and the Royal Ox? What relationship did she have with the Wicked Witch of the East? Some of these questions are answered in Grandy's trilogy.  The question of her death by magic jumping beans is answered as being tainted by Wutz in the novella The Goat Girls of Oz.

 

Wizard Wutz: Not much is known of the King of the Silver Mountain beyond his cruelty and plot to steal all the magic in Oz and take over.  He is regarded by many as one of the most successful villains in the Oz series, and certainly the most successful villain in a Thompson book.  As the "Wizard of Wutz," there is an indication that Wutz is a place, but where it is remains unknown.  It may be that the region surrounding the Silver Mountain, or the Silver Mountain itself was called Wutz.  As regards his final fate, unlike Ruggedo, who was disenchanted from his cactus form several times in several books, Wutz has never, as of yet, been brought back.

 

Wutz's plot: As regards Wutz' plot to attain the Silver Hammer of the witch Wunchie, J.L. Bell conceives that "at some point the Wizard of Wutz began to covet Wunchie's hammer, both for itself and for the other magic it could bring him.  But he knew she'd never willingly give it up...  About two years before the start of HANDY MANDY [60, 139], the wizard contacted Wunchie to offer a trade.  He expressed interest in the throne of Keretaria, which she controlled: would she replace young king Kerry with Kerr?  In exchange the king offered the witch "magic jumping beans" [242], which she wanted badly for some reason.  The Wizard of Wutz actually had no interest in Kerry, nor in Keretaria. (He keeps Kerry in good health only as leverage over agent Nine [139].)  Instead, his trade with Wunchie was simply a ruse to establish relations with her, install an agent near her home, put her in his debt, and/or weaken her in some way.  It's conceivable that the Wizard of Wutz even knew those jumping beans would be fatal [242]--thus the trade was just a way to make sure that she was dead.  But that's hard to square with the wizard's complaint that "none of my agents has been able to find the witch" [205].  Thus, a more likely scenario is that the wizard had been working on scheme to obtain Wunchie's silver hammer, but it derailed when she secretly exploded.  Himself is once again the wild card in this situation, and his actions hard to explain. Even while Wunchie was alive, the elf had enough autonomy to enchant Nox's horns... After her death, he buried the hammer very near the Keretarian castle [242].  What logic was Himself following?  If he really wanted to restore Kerry to the throne, he seems to have had the power to do so--if he could exercise it.  If he really wanted to keep the silver hammer out of evil hands, why place it so near King Kerr?  Without knowing more about Himself's magical link to the hammer, how much he can operate on his own, and how much he cares about humans, it's impossible to say his actions are illogical. But at least the logic isn't apparent to these mortal eyes."