"I'll try," she promised; "if I see her in time."
   "It's on the twenty-first, remember," he continued; "and if you'll just see that I'm invited I'll find a way to cross the Dreadful Desert into the marvelous Land of Oz. I've always wanted to visit the Emerald City, so I'm sure it was fortunate you arrived here just when you did, you being Princess Ozma's friend and able to assist me in getting the invitation."
   "If I see Ozma I'll ask her to invite you," she replied.
   The Fox-King had a delightful luncheon put up for them, which the shaggy man shoved in his pocket, and the fox-captain escorted them to an arch at the side of the village opposite the one by which they had entered. Here they found more soldiers guarding the road.
   "Are you afraid of enemies?" asked Dorothy.
   "No; because we are watchful and able to protect ourselves," answered the captain. "But this road leads to another village peopled by big, stupid beasts who might cause us trouble if they thought we were afraid of them."
   "What beasts are they?" asked the shaggy man.
   The captain hesitated to answer. Finally, he said:
   "You will learn all about them when you arrive at their city. But do not be afraid of them. Button-Bright is so wonderfully clever and has now such an intelligent face that I'm sure he will manage to find a way to protect you."
   This made Dorothy and the shaggy man rather uneasy, for they had not so much confidence in the fox-boy's wisdom as the captain seemed to have. But as their escort would say no more about the beasts, they bade him good-bye and proceeded on their journey.

5. The Rainbow's Daughter

   Toto, now allowed to run about as he pleased, was glad to be free again and able to bark at the birds and chase the butterflies. The country around them was charming, yet in the pretty fields of wild-flowers and groves of leafy trees were no houses whatever, or sign of any inhabitants. Birds flew through the air and cunning white rabbits darted amongst the tall grasses and green bushes; Dorothy noticed even the ants toiling busily along the roadway, bearing gigantic loads of clover seed; but of people there were none at all.
   They walked briskly on for an hour or two, for even little Button-Bright was a good walker and did not tire easily. At length as they turned a curve in the road they beheld just before them a curious sight.
   A little girl, radiant and beautiful, shapely as a fairy and exquisitely dressed, was dancing gracefully in the middle of the lonely road, whirling slowly this way and that, her dainty feet twinkling in sprightly fashion. She was clad in flowing, fluffy robes of soft material that reminded Dorothy of woven cobwebs, only it was colored in soft tintings of violet, rose, topaz, olive, azure, and white, mingled together most harmoniously in stripes which melted one into the other with soft blendings. Her hair was like spun gold and flowed around her in a cloud, no strand being fastened or confined by either pin or ornament or ribbon.
   Filled with wonder and admiration our friends approached and stood watching this fascinating dance. The girl was no taller than Dorothy, although more slender; nor did she seem any older than our little heroine.
   Suddenly she paused and abandoned the dance, as if for the first time observing the presence of strangers. As she faced them, shy as a frightened fawn, poised upon one foot as if to fly the next instant, Dorothy was astonished to see tears flowing from her violet eyes and trickling down her lovely rose-hued cheeks. That the dainty maiden should dance and weep at the same time was indeed surprising; so Dorothy asked in a soft, sympathetic voice:
   "Are you unhappy, little girl?"
   "Very!" was the reply; "I am lost."
   "Why, so are we," said Dorothy, smiling; "but we don't cry about it."
   "Don't you? Why not?"
   "'Cause I've been lost before, and always got found again," answered Dorothy simply.
   "But I've never been lost before," murmured the dainty maiden, "and I'm worried and afraid."
   "You were dancing," remarked Dorothy, in a puzzled tone of voice.
   "Oh, that was just to keep warm," explained the maiden, quickly. "It was not because I felt happy or gay, I assure you."
   Dorothy looked at her closely. Her gauzy flowing robes might not be very warm, yet the weather wasn't at all chilly, but rather mild and balmy, like a spring day.
   "Who are you, dear?" she asked, gently.
   "I'm Polychrome," was the reply.
   "Polly whom?"
   "Polychrome. I'm the Daughter of the Rainbow."
   "Oh!" said Dorothy with a gasp; "I didn't know the Rainbow had children. But I MIGHT have known it, before you spoke. You couldn't really be anything else."
   "Why not?" inquired Polychrome, as if surprised.
   "Because you're so lovely and sweet."
   The little maiden smiled through her tears, came up to Dorothy, and placed her slender fingers in the Kansas girl's chubby hand.
   "You'll be my friend — won't you?" she said, pleadingly.
   "Of course."
   "And what is your name?"
   "I'm Dorothy; and this is my friend Shaggy Man, who owns the Love Magnet; and this is Button-Bright — only you don't see him as he really is because the Fox-King carelessly changed his head into a fox head. But the real Button-Bright is good to look at, and I hope to get him changed back to himself, some time."
   The Rainbow's Daughter nodded cheerfully, no longer afraid of her new companions.
   "But who is this?" she asked, pointing to Toto, who was sitting before her wagging his tail in the most friendly manner and admiring the pretty maid with his bright eyes. "Is this, also, some enchanted person?"
   "Oh no, Polly — I may call you Polly, mayn't I? Your whole name's awful hard to say."
   "Call me Polly if you wish, Dorothy."
   "Well, Polly, Toto's just a dog; but he has more sense than Button-Bright, to tell the truth; and I'm very fond of him."
   "So am I," said Polychrome, bending gracefully to pat Toto's head.
   "But how did the Rainbow's Daughter ever get on this lonely road, and become lost?" asked the shaggy man, who had listened wonderingly to all this.
   "Why, my father stretched his rainbow over here this morning, so that one end of it touched this road," was the reply; "and I was dancing upon the pretty rays, as I love to do, and never noticed I was getting too far over the bend in the circle. Suddenly I began to slide, and I went faster and faster until at last I bumped on the ground, at the very end. Just then father lifted the rainbow again, without noticing me at all, and though I tried to seize the end of it and hold fast, it melted away entirely and I was left alone and helpless on the cold, hard earth!"
   "It doesn't seem cold to me, Polly," said Dorothy; "but perhaps you're not warmly dressed."
   "I'm so used to living nearer the sun," replied the Rainbow's Daughter, "that at first I feared I would freeze down here. But my dance has warmed me some, and now I wonder how I am ever to get home again."
   "Won't your father miss you, and look for you, and let down another rainbow for you?"
   "Perhaps so, but he's busy just now because it rains in so many parts of the world at this season, and he has to set his rainbow in a lot of different places. What would you advise me to do, Dorothy?"
   "Come with us," was the answer. "I'm going to try to find my way to the Emerald City, which is in the fairy Land of Oz. The Emerald City is ruled by a friend of mine, the Princess Ozma, and if we can manage to get there I'm sure she will know a way to send you home to your father again."
   "Do you really think so?" asked Polychrome, anxiously.
   "I'm pretty sure."
   "Then I'll go with you," said the little maid; "for travel will help keep me warm, and father can find me in one part of the world as well as another — if he gets time to look for me."
   "Come along, then," said the shaggy man, cheerfully; and they started on once more. Polly walked beside Dorothy a while, holding her new friend's hand as if she feared to let it go; but her nature seemed as light and buoyant as her fleecy robes, for suddenly she darted ahead and whirled round in a giddy dance. Then she tripped back to them with sparkling eyes and smiling cheeks, having regained her usual happy mood and forgotten all her worry about being lost.
   They found her a charming companion, and her dancing and laughter — for she laughed at times like the tinkling of a silver bell — did much to enliven their journey and keep them contented.

6. The City Of Beasts

   When noon came they opened the Fox-King's basket of luncheon, and found a nice roasted turkey with cranberry sauce and some slices of bread and butter. As they sat on the grass by the roadside the shaggy man cut up the turkey with his pocket-knife and passed slices of it around.
   "Haven't you any dewdrops, or mist-cakes, or cloudbuns?" asked Polychrome, longingly.
   "'Course not," replied Dorothy. "We eat solid things, down here on the earth. But there's a bottle of cold tea. Try some, won't you?"
   The Rainbow's Daughter watched Button-Bright devour one leg of the turkey.
   "Is it good?" she asked.
   He nodded.
   "Do you think I could eat it?"
   "Not this," said Button-Bright.
   "But I mean another piece?"
   "Don't know," he replied.
   "Well, I'm going to try, for I'm very hungry," she decided, and took a thin slice of the white breast of turkey which the shaggy man cut for her, as well as a bit of bread and butter. When she tasted it Polychrome thought the turkey was good — better even than mist-cakes; but a little satisfied her hunger and she finished with a tiny sip of cold tea.
   "That's about as much as a fly would eat," said Dorothy, who was making a good meal herself. "But I know some people in Oz who eat nothing at all."
   "Who are they?" inquired the shaggy man.
   "One is a scarecrow who's stuffed with straw, and the other a woodman made out of tin. They haven't any appetites inside of 'em, you see; so they never eat anything at all."
   "Are they alive?" asked Button-Bright.
   "Oh yes," replied Dorothy; "and they're very clever and very nice, too. If we get to Oz I'll introduce them to you."
   "Do you really expect to get to Oz?" inquired the shaggy man, taking a drink of cold tea.
   "I don't know just what to 'spect," answered the child, seriously; "but I've noticed if I happen to get lost I'm almost sure to come to the Land of Oz in the end, somehow 'r other; so I may get there this time. But I can't promise, you know; all I can do is wait and see."
   "Will the Scarecrow scare me?" asked Button-Bright.
   "No; 'cause you're not a crow," she returned. "He has the loveliest smile you ever saw — only it's painted on and he can't help it."
   Luncheon being over they started again upon their journey, the shaggy man, Dorothy and Button-Bright walking soberly along, side by side, and the Rainbow's Daughter dancing merrily before them.
   Sometimes she darted along the road so swiftly that she was nearly out of sight, then she came tripping back to greet them with her silvery laughter. But once she came back more sedately, to say:
   "There's a city a little way off."
   "I 'spected that," returned Dorothy; "for the fox-people warned us there was one on this road. It's filled with stupid beasts of some sort, but we musn't be afraid of 'em 'cause they won't hurt us."
   "All right," said Button-Bright; but Polychrome didn't know whether it was all right or not.
   "It's a big city," she said, "and the road runs straight through it."
   "Never mind," said the shaggy man; "as long as I carry the Love Magnet every living thing will love me, and you may be sure I shan't allow any of my friends to be harmed in any way."
   This comforted them somewhat, and they moved on again. Pretty soon they came to a signpost that read:
   "Oh," said the shaggy man, "if they're donkeys, we've nothing to fear at all."
   "They may kick," said Dorothy, doubtfully.
   "Then we will cut some switches, and make them behave," he replied. At the first tree he cut himself a long, slender switch from one of the branches, and shorter switches for the others.
   "Don't be afraid to order the beasts around," he said; "they're used to it."
   Before long the road brought them to the gates of the city. There was a high wall all around, which had been whitewashed, and the gate just before our travelers was a mere opening in the wall, with no bars across it. No towers or steeples or domes showed above the enclosure, nor was any living thing to be seen as our friends drew near.
   Suddenly, as they were about to boldly enter through the opening, there arose a harsh clamor of sound that swelled and echoed on every side, until they were nearly deafened by the racket and had to put their fingers to their ears to keep the noise out.
   It was like the firing of many cannon, only there were no cannon-balls or other missiles to be seen; it was like the rolling of mighty thunder, only not a cloud was in the sky; it was like the roar of countless breakers on a rugged seashore, only there was no sea or other water anywhere about.
   They hesitated to advance; but, as the noise did no harm, they entered through the whitewashed wall and quickly discovered the cause of the turmoil. Inside were suspended many sheets of tin or thin iron, and against these metal sheets a row of donkeys were pounding their heels with vicious kicks.
   The shaggy man ran up to the nearest donkey and gave the beast a sharp blow with his switch.
   "Stop that noise!" he shouted; and the donkey stopped kicking the metal sheet and turned its head to look with surprise at the shaggy man. He switched the next donkey, and made him stop, and then the next, so that gradually the rattling of heels ceased and the awful noise subsided. The donkeys stood in a group and eyed the strangers with fear and trembling.
   "What do you mean by making such a racket?" asked the shaggy man, sternly.
   "We were scaring away the foxes," said one of the donkeys, meekly. "Usually they run fast enough when they hear the noise, which makes them afraid."
   "There are no foxes here," said the shaggy man.
   "I beg to differ with you. There's one, anyhow," replied the donkey, sitting upright on its haunches and waving a hoof toward Button-Bright. "We saw him coming and thought the whole army of foxes was marching to attack us."
   "Button-Bright isn't a fox," explained the shaggy man. "He's only wearing a fox head for a time, until he can get his own head back."
   "Oh, I see," remarked the donkey, waving its left ear reflectively. "I'm sorry we made such a mistake, and had all our work and worry for nothing."
   The other donkeys by this time were sitting up and examining the strangers with big, glassy eyes. They made a queer picture, indeed; for they wore wide, white collars around their necks and the collars had many scallops and points. The gentlemen-donkeys wore high pointed caps set between their great ears, and the lady-donkeys wore sunbonnets with holes cut in the top for the ears to stick through. But they had no other clothing except their hairy skins, although many wore gold and silver bangles on their front wrists and bands of different metals on their rear ankles. When they were kicking they had braced themselves with their front legs, but now they all stood or sat upright on their hind legs and used the front ones as arms. Having no fingers or hands the beasts were rather clumsy, as you may guess; but Dorothy was surprised to observe how many things they could do with their stiff, heavy hoofs.
   Some of the donkeys were white, some were brown, or gray, or black, or spotted; but their hair was sleek and smooth and their broad collars and caps gave them a neat, if whimsical, appearance.
   "This is a nice way to welcome visitors, I must say!" remarked the shaggy man, in a reproachful tone.
   "Oh, we did not mean to be impolite," replied a grey donkey which had not spoken before. "But you were not expected, nor did you send in your visiting cards, as it is proper to do."
   "There is some truth in that," admitted the shaggy man; "but, now you are informed that we are important and distinguished travelers, I trust you will accord us proper consideration."
   These big words delighted the donkeys, and made them bow to the shaggy man with great respect. Said the grey one:
   "You shall be taken before his great and glorious Majesty King Kik-a-bray, who will greet you as becomes your exalted stations."
   "That's right," answered Dorothy. "Take us to some one who knows something."
   "Oh, we all know something, my child, or we shouldn't be donkeys," asserted the grey one, with dignity. "The word 'donkey' means 'clever,' you know."
   "I didn't know it," she replied. "I thought it meant 'stupid'."
   "Not at all, my child. If you will look in the Encyclopedia Donkaniara you will find I'm correct. But come; I will myself lead you before our splendid, exalted, and most intellectual ruler."
   All donkeys love big words, so it is no wonder the grey one used so many of them.

7. The Shaggy Man's Transformation

   They found the houses of the town all low and square and built of bricks, neatly whitewashed inside and out. The houses were not set in rows, forming regular streets, but placed here and there in a haphazard manner which made it puzzling for a stranger to find his way.
   "Stupid people must have streets and numbered houses in their cities, to guide them where to go," observed the grey donkey, as he walked before the visitors on his hind legs, in an awkward but comical manner; "but clever donkeys know their way about without such absurd marks. Moreover, a mixed city is much prettier than one with straight streets."
   Dorothy did not agree with this, but she said nothing to contradict it. Presently she saw a sign on a house that read: "Madam de Fayke, Hoofist," and she asked their conductor:
   "What's a 'hoofist,' please?"
   "One who reads your fortune in your hoofs," replied the grey donkey.
   "Oh, I see," said the little girl. "You are quite civilized here."
   "Dunkiton," he replied, "is the center of the world's highest civilization."
   They came to a house where two youthful donkeys were whitewashing the wall, and Dorothy stopped a moment to watch them. They dipped the ends of their tails, which were much like paint-brushes, into a pail of whitewash, backed up against the house, and wagged their tails right and left until the whitewash was rubbed on the wall, after which they dipped these funny brushes in the pail again and repeated the performance.
   "That must be fun," said Button-Bright.
   "No, it's work," replied the old donkey; "but we make our youngsters do all the whitewashing, to keep them out of mischief."
   "Don't they go to school?" asked Dorothy.
   "All donkeys are born wise," was the reply, "so the only school we need is the school of experience. Books are only for those who know nothing, and so are obliged to learn things from other people."
   "In other words, the more stupid one is, the more he thinks he knows," observed the shaggy man. The grey donkey paid no attention to this speech because he had just stopped before a house which had painted over the doorway a pair of hoofs, with a donkey tail between them and a rude crown and sceptre above.
   "I'll see if his magnificent Majesty King Kik-a-bray is at home," said he. He lifted his head and called "Whee-haw! whee-haw! whee-haw!" three times, in a shocking voice, turning about and kicking with his heels against the panel of the door. For a time there was no reply; then the door opened far enough to permit a donkey's head to stick out and look at them.
   It was a white head, with big, awful ears and round, solemn eyes.
   "Have the foxes gone?" it asked, in a trembling voice.
   "They haven't been here, most stupendous Majesty," replied the grey one. "The new arrivals prove to be travelers of distinction."
   "Oh," said the King, in a relieved tone of voice. "Let them come in."
   He opened the door wide, and the party marched into a big room, which, Dorothy thought, looked quite unlike a king's palace. There were mats of woven grasses on the floor and the place was clean and neat; but his Majesty had no other furniture at all — perhaps because he didn't need it. He squatted down in the center of the room and a little brown donkey ran and brought a big gold crown which it placed on the monarch's head, and a golden staff with a jeweled ball at the end of it, which the King held between his front hoofs as he sat upright.
   "Now then," said his Majesty, waving his long ears gently to and fro, "tell me why you are here, and what you expect me to do for you." He eyed Button-Bright rather sharply, as if afraid of the little boy's queer head, though it was the shaggy man who undertook to reply.
   "Most noble and supreme ruler of Dunkiton," he said, trying not to laugh in the solemn King's face, "we are strangers traveling through your dominions and have entered your magnificent city because the road led through it, and there was no way to go around. All we desire is to pay our respects to your Majesty — the cleverest king in all the world, I'm sure — and then to continue on our way."
   This polite speech pleased the King very much; indeed, it pleased him so much that it proved an unlucky speech for the shaggy man. Perhaps the Love Magnet helped to win his Majesty's affections as well as the flattery, but however this may be, the white donkey looked kindly upon the speaker and said:
   "Only a donkey should be able to use such fine, big words, and you are too wise and admirable in all ways to be a mere man. Also, I feel that I love you as well as I do my own favored people, so I will bestow upon you the greatest gift within my power — a donkey's head."
   As he spoke he waved his jeweled staff. Although the shaggy man cried out and tried to leap backward and escape, it proved of no use. Suddenly his own head was gone and a donkey head appeared in its place — a brown, shaggy head so absurd and droll that Dorothy and Polly both broke into merry laughter, and even Button-Bright's fox face wore a smile.
   "Dear me! dear me!" cried the shaggy man, feeling of his shaggy new head and his long ears. "What a misfortune — what a great misfortune! Give me back my own head, you stupid king — if you love me at all!"
   "Don't you like it?" asked the King, surprised.
   "Hee-haw! I hate it! Take it away, quick!" said the shaggy man.
   "But I can't do that," was the reply. "My magic works only one way. I can DO things, but I can't UNdo them. You'll have to find the Truth Pond, and bathe in its water, in order to get back your own head. But I advise you not to do that. This head is much more beautiful than the old one."
   "That's a matter of taste," said Dorothy.
   "Where is the Truth Pond?" asked the shaggy man, earnestly.
   "Somewhere in the Land of Oz; but just the exact location of it I can not tell," was the answer.
   "Don't worry, Shaggy Man," said Dorothy, smiling because her friend wagged his new ears so comically. "If the Truth Pond is in Oz, we'll be sure to find it when we get there."
   "Oh! Are you going to the Land of Oz?" asked King Kik-a-bray.
   "I don't know," she replied, "but we've been told we are nearer the Land of Oz than to Kansas, and if that's so, the quickest way for me to get home is to find Ozma."
   "Haw-haw! Do you know the mighty Princess Ozma?" asked the King, his tone both surprised and eager.
   "'Course I do; she's my friend," said Dorothy.
   "Then perhaps you'll do me a favor," continued the white donkey, much excited.
   "What is it?" she asked.
   "Perhaps you can get me an invitation to Princess Ozma's birthday celebration, which will be the grandest royal function ever held in Fairyland. I'd love to go."
   "Hee-haw! You deserve punishment, rather than reward, for giving me this dreadful head," said the shaggy man, sorrowfully.
   "I wish you wouldn't say 'hee-haw' so much," Polychrome begged him; "it makes cold chills run down my back."
   "But I can't help it, my dear; my donkey head wants to bray continually," he replied. "Doesn't your fox head want to yelp every minute?" he asked Button-Bright.
   "Don't know," said the boy, still staring at the shaggy man's ears. These seemed to interest him greatly, and the sight also made him forget his own fox head, which was a comfort.
   "What do you think, Polly? Shall I promise the donkey king an invitation to Ozma's party?" asked Dorothy of the Rainbow's Daughter, who was flitting about the room like a sunbeam because she could never keep still.
   "Do as you please, dear," answered Polychrome. "He might help to amuse the guests of the Princess."
   "Then, if you will give us some supper and a place to sleep to-night, and let us get started on our journey early to-morrow morning," said Dorothy to the King, "I'll ask Ozma to invite you — if I happen to get to Oz."
   "Good! Hee-haw! Excellent!" cried Kik-a-bray, much pleased. "You shall all have fine suppers and good beds. What food would you prefer, a bran mash or ripe oats in the shell?"
   "Neither one," replied Dorothy, promptly.
   "Perhaps plain hay, or some sweet juicy grass would suit you better," suggested Kik-a-bray, musingly.
   "Is that all you have to eat?" asked the girl.
   "What more do you desire?"
   "Well, you see we're not donkeys," she explained, "and so we're used to other food. The foxes gave us a nice supper in Foxville."
   "We'd like some dewdrops and mist-cakes," said Polychrome.
   "I'd prefer apples and a ham sandwich," declared the shaggy man, "for although I've a donkey head, I still have my own particular stomach."
   "I want pie," said Button-Bright.
   "I think some beefsteak and chocolate layer-cake would taste best," said Dorothy.
   "Hee-haw! I declare!" exclaimed the King. "It seems each one of you wants a different food. How queer all living creatures are, except donkeys!"
   "And donkeys like you are queerest of all," laughed Polychrome.
   "Well," decided the King, "I suppose my Magic Staff will produce the things you crave; if you are lacking in good taste it is not my fault."
   With this, he waved his staff with the jeweled ball, and before them instantly appeared a tea-table, set with linen and pretty dishes, and on the table were the very things each had wished for. Dorothy's beefsteak was smoking hot, and the shaggy man's apples were plump and rosy-cheeked. The King had not thought to provide chairs, so they all stood in their places around the table and ate with good appetite, being hungry. The Rainbow's Daughter found three tiny dewdrops on a crystal plate, and Button-Bright had a big slice of apple pie, which he devoured eagerly.
   Afterward the King called the brown donkey, which was his favorite servant, and bade it lead his guests to the vacant house where they were to pass the night. It had only one room and no furniture except beds of clean straw and a few mats of woven grasses; but our travelers were contented with these simple things because they realized it was the best the Donkey-King had to offer them. As soon as it was dark they lay down on the mats and slept comfortably until morning.
   At daybreak there was a dreadful noise throughout the city. Every donkey in the place brayed. When he heard this the shaggy man woke up and called out "Hee-haw!" as loud as he could.
   "Stop that!" said Button-Bright, in a cross voice. Both Dorothy and Polly looked at the shaggy man reproachfully.
   "I couldn't help it, my dears," he said, as if ashamed of his bray; "but I'll try not to do it again."
   Of coursed they forgave him, for as he still had the Love Magnet in his pocket they were all obliged to love him as much as ever.
   They did not see the King again, but Kik-a-bray remembered them; for a table appeared again in their room with the same food upon it as on the night before.
   "Don't want pie for breakfus'," said Button-Bright.
   "I'll give you some of my beefsteak," proposed Dorothy; "there's plenty for us all."
   That suited the boy better, but the shaggy man said he was content with his apples and sandwiches, although he ended the meal by eating Button-Bright's pie. Polly liked her dewdrops and mist-cakes better than any other food, so they all enjoyed an excellent breakfast. Toto had the scraps left from the beefsteak, and he stood up nicely on his hind legs while Dorothy fed them to him.
   Breakfast ended, they passed through the village to the side opposite that by which they had entered, the brown servant-donkey guiding them through the maze of scattered houses. There was the road again, leading far away into the unknown country beyond.
   "King Kik-a-bray says you must not forget his invitation," said the brown donkey, as they passed through the opening in the wall.
   "I shan't," promised Dorothy.
   Perhaps no one ever beheld a more strangely assorted group than the one which now walked along the road, through pretty green fields and past groves of feathery pepper-trees and fragrant mimosa. Polychrome, her beautiful gauzy robes floating around her like a rainbow cloud, went first, dancing back and forth and darting now here to pluck a wild-flower or there to watch a beetle crawl across the path. Toto ran after her at times, barking joyously the while, only to become sober again and trot along at Dorothy's heels. The little Kansas girl walked holding Button-Bright's hand clasped in her own, and the wee boy with his fox head covered by the sailor hat presented an odd appeaance. Strangest of all, perhaps, was the shaggy man, with his shaggy donkey head, who shuffled along in the rear with his hands thrust deep in his big pockets.
   None of the party was really unhappy. All were straying in an unknown land and had suffered more or less annoyance and discomfort; but they realized they were having a fairy adventure in a fairy country, and were much interested in finding out what would happen next.

8. The Musicker

   About the middle of the forenoon they began to go up a long hill. By-and-by this hill suddenly dropped down into a pretty valley, where the travelers saw, to their surprise, a small house standing by the road-side.
   It was the first house they had seen, and they hastened into the valley to discover who lived there. No one was in sight as they approached, but when they began to get nearer the house they heard queer sounds coming from it. They could not make these out at first, but as they became louder our friends thought they heard a sort of music like that made by a wheezy hand-organ; the music fell upon their ears in this way:
   Tiddle-widdle-iddle oom pom-pom! Oom, pom-pom! oom, pom-pom! Tiddle-tiddle-tiddle oom pom-pom! Oom, pom-pom — pah!
   "What is it, a band or a mouth-organ?" asked Dorothy.
   "Don't know," said Button-Bright.
   "Sounds to me like a played-out phonograph," said the shaggy man, lifting his enormous ears to listen.
   "Oh, there just COULDN'T be a funnygraf in Fairyland!" cried Dorothy.
   "It's rather pretty, isn't it?" asked Polychrome, trying to dance to the strains.
   Tiddle-widdle-iddle, oom pom-pom, Oom pom-pom; oom pom-pom!
   came the music to their ears, more distinctly as they drew nearer the house. Presently, they saw a little fat man sitting on a bench before the door. He wore a red, braided jacket that reached to his waist, a blue waistcoat, and white trousers with gold stripes down the sides. On his bald head was perched a little, round, red cap held in place by a rubber elastic underneath his chin. His face was round, his eyes a faded blue, and he wore white cotton gloves. The man leaned on a stout gold-headed cane, bending forward on his seat to watch his visitors approach.
   Singularly enough, the musical sounds they had heard seemed to come from the inside of the fat man himself; for he was playing no instrument nor was any to be seen near him.
   They came up and stood in a row, staring at him, and he stared back while the queer sounds came from him as before:
   Tiddle-iddle-iddle, oom pom-pom, Oom, pom-pom; oom pom-pom! Tiddle-widdle-iddle, oom pom-pom, Oom, pom-pom — pah!
   Why, he's a reg'lar musicker!" said Button-Bright.
   "What's a musicker?" asked Dorothy.
   "Him!" said the boy.
   Hearing this, the fat man sat up a little stiffer than before, as if he had received a compliment, and still came the sounds:
   Tiddle-widdle-iddle, oom pom-pom, Oom pom-pom, oom —
   "Stop it!" cried the shaggy man, earnestly. "Stop that dreadful noise."
   The fat man looked at him sadly and began his reply. When he spoke the music changed and the words seemed to accompany the notes. He said — or rather sang:
   It isn't a noise that you hear, But Music, harmonic and clear. My breath makes me play Like an organ, all day — That bass note is in my left ear.
   "How funny!" exclaimed Dorothy; "he says his breath makes the music."
   "That's all nonsense," declared the shaggy man; but now the music began again, and they all listened carefully.
   My lungs are full of reeds like those In organs, therefore I suppose, If I breathe in or out my nose, The reeds are bound to play.
   So as I breathe to live, you know, I squeeze out music as I go; I'm very sorry this is so — Forgive my piping, pray!
   "Poor man," said Polychrome; "he can't help it. What a great misfortune it is!"
   "Yes," replied the shaggy man; "we are only obliged to hear this music a short time, until we leave him and go away; but the poor fellow must listen to himself as long as he lives, and that is enough to drive him crazy. Don't you think so?"
   "Don't know," said Button-Bright. Toto said, "Bow-wow!" and the others laughed.
   "Perhaps that's why he lives all alone," suggested Dorothy.
   "Yes; if he had neighbors, they might do him an injury," responded the shaggy man.
   All this while the little fat musicker was breathing the notes:
   Tiddle-tiddle-iddle, oom, pom-pom,
   and they had to speak loud in order to hear themselves. The shaggy man said:
   "Who are you, sir?"
   The reply came in the shape of this sing-song:
   I'm Allegro da Capo, a very famous man; Just find another, high or low, to match me if you can. Some people try, but can't, to play And have to practice every day; But I've been musical always, since first my life began.
   "Why, I b'lieve he's proud of it," exclaimed Dorothy; "and seems to me I've heard worse music than he makes."
   "Where?" asked Button-Bright.
   "I've forgotten, just now. But Mr. Da Capo is certainly a strange person — isn't he? — and p'r'aps he's the only one of his kind in all the world."
   This praise seemed to please the little fat musicker, for he swelled out his chest, looked important and sang as follows:
   I wear no band around me, And yet I am a band! I do not strain to make my strains But, on the other hand, My toot is always destitute Of flats or other errors; To see sharp and be natural are For me but minor terrors.
   "I don't quite understand that," said Polychrome, with a puzzled look; "but perhaps it's because I'm accustomed only to the music of the spheres."
   "What's that?" asked Button-Bright.
   "Oh, Polly means the atmosphere and hemisphere, I s'pose," explained Dorothy.
   "Oh," said Button-Bright.
   "Bow-wow!" said Toto.
   But the musicker was still breathing his constant
   Oom, pom-pom; Oom pom-pom —
   and it seemed to jar on the shaggy man's nerves.
   "Stop it, can't you?" he cried angrily; "or breathe in a whisper; or put a clothes-pin on your nose. Do something, anyhow!"
   But the fat one, with a sad look, sang this answer:
   Music hath charms, and it may Soothe even the savage, they say; So if savage you feel Just list to my reel, For sooth to say that's the real way.
   The shaggy man had to laugh at this, and when he laughed he stretched his donkey mouth wide open. Said Dorothy:
   "I don't know how good his poetry is, but it seems to fit the notes, so that's all that can be 'xpected."
   "I like it," said Button-Bright, who was staring hard at the musicker, his little legs spread wide apart. To the surprise of his companions, the boy asked this long question:
   "If I swallowed a mouth-organ, what would I be?"
   "An organette," said the shaggy man. "But come, my dears; I think the best thing we can do is to continue on our journey before Button-Bright swallows anything. We must try to find that Land of Oz, you know."
   Hearing this speech the musicker sang, quickly:
   If you go to the Land of Oz Please take me along, because On Ozma's birthday I'm anxious to play The loveliest song ever was.
   "No thank you," said Dorothy; "we prefer to travel alone. But if I see Ozma I'll tell her you want to come to her birthday party."
   "Let's be going," urged the shaggy man, anxiously.
   Polly was already dancing along the road, far in advance, and the others turned to follow her. Toto did not like the fat musicker and made a grab for his chubby leg. Dorothy quickly caught up the growling little dog and hurried after her companions, who were walking faster than usual in order to get out of hearing. They had to climb a hill, and until they got to the top they could not escape the musicker's monotonous piping:
   Oom, pom-pom; oom, pom-pom; Tiddle-iddle-widdle, oom, pom-pom; Oom, pom-pom — pah!
   As they passed the brow of the hill, however, and descended on the other side, the sounds gradually died away, whereat they all felt much relieved.
   "I'm glad I don't have to live with the organ-man; aren't you, Polly?" said Dorothy.
   "Yes indeed," answered the Rainbow's Daughter.
   "He's nice," declared Button-Bright, soberly.
   "I hope your Princess Ozma won't invite him to her birthday celebration," remarked the shaggy man; "for the fellow's music would drive her guests all crazy. You've given me an idea, Button-Bright; I believe the musicker must have swallowed an accordeon in his youth."
   "What's 'cordeon?" asked the boy.
   "It's a kind of pleating," explained Dorothy, putting down the dog.
   "Bow-wow!" said Toto, and ran away at a mad gallop to chase a bumble-bee.

9. Facing the Scoodlers

   The country wasn't so pretty now. Before the travelers appeared a rocky plain covered with hills on which grew nothing green. They were nearing some low mountains, too, and the road, which before had been smooth and pleasant to walk upon, grew rough and uneven.
   Button-Bright's little feet stumbled more than once, and Polychrome ceased her dancing because the walking was now so difficult that she had no trouble to keep warm.
   It had become afternoon, yet there wasn't a thing for their luncheon except two apples which the shaggy man had taken from the breakfast table. He divided these into four pieces and gave a portion to each of his companions. Dorothy and Button-Bright were glad to get theirs; but Polly was satisfied with a small bite, and Toto did not like apples.
   "Do you know," asked the Rainbow's Daughter, "if this is the right road to the Emerald City?"
   "No, I don't," replied Dorothy, "but it's the only road in this part of the country, so we may as well go to the end of it."
   "It looks now as if it might end pretty soon," remarked the shaggy man; "and what shall we do if it does?"
   "Don't know," said Button-Bright.
   "If I had my Magic Belt," replied Dorothy, thoughtfully, "it could do us a lot of good just now."
   "What is your Magic Belt?" asked Polychrome.
   "It's a thing I captured from the Nome King one day, and it can do 'most any wonderful thing. But I left it with Ozma, you know; 'cause magic won't work in Kansas, but only in fairy countries."
   "Is this a fairy country?" asked Button-Bright.
   "I should think you'd know," said the little girl, gravely. "If it wasn't a fairy country you couldn't have a fox head and the shaggy man couldn't have a donkey head, and the Rainbow's Daughter would be invis'ble."
   "What's that?" asked the boy.
   "You don't seem to know anything, Button-Bright. Invis'ble is a thing you can't see."
   "Then Toto's invis'ble," declared the boy, and Dorothy found he was right. Toto had disappeared from view, but they could hear him barking furiously among the heaps of grey rock ahead of them.
   They moved forward a little faster to see what the dog was barking at, and found perched upon a point of rock by the roadside a curious creature. It had the form of a man, middle-sized and rather slender and graceful; but as it sat silent and motionless upon the peak they could see that its face was black as ink, and it wore a black cloth costume made like a union suit and fitting tight to its skin. Its hands were black, too, and its toes curled down, like a bird's. The creature was black all over except its hair, which was fine, and yellow, banged in front across the black forehead and cut close at the sides. The eyes, which were fixed steadily upon the barking dog, were small and sparkling and looked like the eyes of a weasel.
   "What in the world do you s'pose that is?" asked Dorothy in a hushed voice, as the little group of travelers stood watching the strange creature.
   "Don't know," said Button-Bright.
   The thing gave a jump and turned half around, sitting in the same place but with the other side of its body facing them. Instead of being black, it was now pure white, with a face like that of a clown in a circus and hair of a brilliant purple. The creature could bend either way, and its white toes now curled the same way the black ones on the other side had done.
   "It has a face both front and back," whispered Dorothy, wonderingly; "only there's no back at all, but two fronts."
   Having made the turn, the being sat motionless as before, while Toto barked louder at the white man than he had done at the black one.
   "Once," said the shaggy man, "I had a jumping jack like that, with two faces."
   "Was it alive?" asked Button-Bright.
   "No," replied the shaggy man; "it worked on strings and was made of wood."
   "Wonder if this works with strings," said Dorothy; but Polychrome cried "Look!" for another creature just like the first had suddenly appeared sitting on another rock, its black side toward them. The two twisted their heads around and showed a black face on the white side of one and a white face on the black side of the other.
   "How curious," said Polychrome; "and how loose their heads seem to be! Are they friendly to us, do you think?"
   "Can't tell, Polly," replied Dorothy. "Let's ask 'em."
   The creatures flopped first one way and then the other, showing black or white by turns; and now another joined them, appearing on another rock. Our friends had come to a little hollow in the hills, and the place where they now stood was surrounded by jagged peaks of rock, except where the road ran through.
   "Now there are four of them," said the shaggy man.
   "Five," declared Polychrome.
   "Six," said Dorothy.
   "Lots of 'em!" cried Button-Bright; and so there were — quite a row of the two-sided black and white creatures sitting on the rocks all around.
   Toto stopped barking and ran between Dorothy's feet, where he crouched down as if afraid. The creatures did not look pleasant or friendly, to be sure, and the shaggy man's donkey face became solemn, indeed.
   "Ask 'em who they are, and what they want," whispered Dorothy; so the shaggy man called out in a loud voice:
   "Who are you?"
   "Scoodlers!" they yelled in chorus, their voices sharp and shrill.
   "What do you want?" called the shaggy man.
   "You!" they yelled, pointing their thin fingers at the group; and they all flopped around, so they were white, and then all flopped back again, so they were black.
   "But what do you want us for?" asked the shaggy man, uneasily.
   "Soup!" they all shouted, as if with one voice.