The Gnome King of Oz: Peter Is Made A Prince Of Oz (20/20)

With Scraps and Dorothy for guides and the Cowardly Lion and Hungry Tiger for steeds, Peter and Grumpy rode over the whole Emerald City next morning, receiving everywhere the cheers and acclaim of the inhabitants. The story of Peter’s prowess had gone abroad and he was everywhere hailed as the hero of the hour. Right after breakfast, he had written a long note to Kuma, telling him the whole story of Ruggedo’s treachery and thanking him for his great generosity. Kuma’s arm, which had needed for the night only a little elbow room, immediately flew back to its master, with the note and a great bag of emeralds sent by Ozma to express her thanks and appreciation.

Luncheon was another party, but, as Dorothy and Betsy explained to the little boy, every day in the Emerald City is just like one big party.

“Do stay here!” urged Dorothy and, Ozma herself, coming to Peter’s chair, begged him to make his home in the marvelous land of Oz.

“You shall be a Prince!” promised Ozma graciously, “and rule over one of our smaller Kingdoms. Prince Peter the First, how is that?” The celebrities waved and cheered at Ozma’s words, and Peter, seeing that everyone expected it, rose to make the most important speech of his life.

“I’d like to stay and be a Prince,” said Peter slowly, “but you see, folks, I’m a pitcher and I couldn’t go back on the fellows and on my grandfather, so if your Majesty will just transport me to Philadelphia, why that will be reward enough.”

“Spoken like a true and loyal Knight!” cried Sir Hokus, thumping on the table.

“Good-night!” sighed Scraps, for she had taken a great fancy to Peter, and had rather hoped he would stay in Oz.

“Would you like to go now?” asked Ozma, with a merry smile, for Ozma had a little plan of her own. Peter nodded a little bashfully, for it did seem a bit rude to want to leave so delightful a place and company, but he felt that he ought to get in a little practice for the game. So Ozma immediately put on her magic belt and, extending her right hand, said, imperiously:

“I command you to transport this boy and the pirate’s gold to Philadelphia!” Instantly Peter vanished and the Ozites, running up the stairs two at a time, crowded round the magic picture in Ozma’s sitting room.

“Show us Peter,” panted Ozma, for she was a little out of breath from her run. At her words the country scene in the picture faded and there was Peter, sitting in the middle of a dusty ball field, with a bag of gold on each side, and a crowd of cheering boys around him.

“I thought some of that gold might be real!” exclaimed Ozma, turning triumphantly to the Wizard. “Polacky must have been a real pirate before he sailed into the Nonestic Ocean and while I could not transport any of our gold or jewels to Philadelphia, two bags of the pirate’s gold were real.”

“Oh! Won’t he have fun!” squealed Dorothy, giving Scraps a hug.

That night Peter, sitting on the arm of his grandfather’s chair, had the pleasure of seeing in the evening paper the heading he had thought up himself:

“Philadelphia Boy Finds Treasure and Saves the Emerald City of Oz.”

Back in the Capital there were only a few things to settle now. The Silence Stone and Magic Cloak were carefully stored away in the emerald safe in the Wizard’s laboratory to be used in case of extreme danger or war.

Kaliko was at once notified of Ruggedo’s capture and permitted to resume his place as King of the Gnomes.

Walking in the garden, the same afternoon that Peter had been sent back to Philadelphia, the Wizard of Oz had noticed a gold thread running under one of the benches. Following it curiously he found that it led into the palace, up the stairs to the very top sunny chamber where an old Winkie Woman named Susan Smiggs did all the palace mending. Susan, then, was the proper ruler of Patch, and Scraps, shaking her head dubiously, watched the fat little seamstress drive away in the Red Wagon, to take up her duties as Queen of the Quilties. But as Ozma had promised to revise the laws of Patch, perhaps Susan will have a better time than the Patchwork Girl did.

As for Ruggedo, deciding that the loss of speech for seven years was punishment enough, Ozma kindly granted the gnome his freedom, first taking the precaution to have him dipped into the fountain of Oblivion. As anyone touched by these waters forgets all his past wickedness, let us hope that from now on Ruggedo will lead a better life and cause no more trouble in Oz.

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