The Tin Woodman Of Oz: The Restoration (13/24)

The Tin Owl gave a hoot of delight when he saw the Red Wagon draw up before Jinjur’s house, and the Brown Bear grunted and growled with glee and trotted toward Ozma as fast as he could wobble. As for the Canary, it flew swiftly to Dorothy’s shoulder and perched there, saying in her ear:

“Thank goodness you have come to our rescue!”

“But who are you?” asked Dorothy.

“Don’t you know?” returned the Canary.

“No; for the first time we noticed you in the Magic Picture, you were just a bird, as you are now. But we’ve guessed that the giant woman had transformed you, as she did the others.”

“Yes; I’m Polychrome, the Rainbow’s Daughter,” announced the Canary.

“Goodness me!” cried Dorothy. “How dreadful.”

“Well, I make a rather pretty bird, I think,” returned Polychrome, “but of course I’m anxious to resume my own shape and get back upon my rainbow.”

“Ozma will help you, I’m sure,” said Dorothy. “How does it feel, Scarecrow, to be a Bear?” she asked, addressing her old friend.

“I don’t like it,” declared the Scarecrow Bear. “This brutal form is quite beneath the dignity of a wholesome straw man.”

“And think of me,” said the Owl, perching upon the dashboard of the Red Wagon with much noisy clattering of his tin feathers. “Don’t I look horrid, Dorothy, with eyes several sizes too big for my body, and so weak that I ought to wear spectacles?”

“Well,” said Dorothy critically, as she looked him over, “you’re nothing to brag of, I must confess. But Ozma will soon fix you up again.”

The Green Monkey had hung back, bashful at meeting two lovely girls while in the form of a beast; but Jinjur now took his hand and led him forward while she introduced him to Ozma, and Woot managed to make a low bow, not really ungraceful, before her girlish Majesty, the Ruler of Oz.

“You have all been forced to endure a sad experience,” said Ozma, “and so I am anxious to do all in my power to break Mrs. Yoop’s enchantments. But first tell me how you happened to stray into that lonely Valley where Yoop Castle stands.”

Between them they related the object of their journey, the Scarecrow Bear telling of the Tin Woodman’s resolve to find Nimmie Amee and marry her, as a just reward for her loyalty to him. Woot told of their adventures with the Loons of Loonville, and the Tin Owl described the manner in which they had been captured and transformed by the Giantess. Then Polychrome related her story, and when all had been told, and Dorothy had several times reproved Toto for growling at the Tin Owl, Ozma remained thoughtful for a while, pondering upon what she had heard. Finally she looked up, and with one of her delightful smiles, said to the anxious group:

“I am not sure my magic will be able to restore every one of you, because your transformations are of such a strange and unusual character. Indeed, Mrs. Yoop was quite justified in believing no power could alter her enchantments. However, I am sure I can restore the Scarecrow to his original shape. He was stuffed with straw from the beginning, and even the yookoohoo magic could not alter that. The Giantess was merely able to make a bear’s shape of a man’s shape, but the bear is stuffed with straw, just as the man was. So I feel confident I can make a man of the bear again.”

“Hurrah!” cried the Brown Bear, and tried clumsily to dance a jig of delight.

“As for the Tin Woodman, his case is much the same,” resumed Ozma, still smiling. “The power of the Giantess could not make him anything but a tin creature, whatever shape she transformed him into, so it will not be impossible to restore him to his manly form. Anyhow, I shall test my magic at once, and see if it will do what I have promised.”

She drew from her bosom a small silver Wand and, making passes with the Wand over the head of the Bear, she succeeded in the brief space of a moment in breaking his enchantment. The original Scarecrow of Oz again stood before them, well stuffed with straw and with his features nicely painted upon the bag which formed his head.

The Scarecrow was greatly delighted, as you may suppose, and he strutted proudly around while the powerful fairy, Ozma of Oz, broke the enchantment that had transformed the Tin Woodman and made a Tin Owl into a Tin Man again.

“Now, then,” chirped the Canary, eagerly; “I’m next, Ozma!”

“But your case is different,” replied Ozma, no longer smiling but wearing a grave expression on her sweet face. “I shall have to experiment on you, Polychrome, and I may fail in all my attempts.”

She then tried two or three different methods of magic, hoping one of them would succeed in breaking Polychrome’s enchantment, but still the Rainbow’s Daughter remained a Canary-Bird. Finally, however, she experimented in another way. She transformed the Canary into a Dove, and then transformed the Dove into a Speckled Hen, and then changed the Speckled Hen into a rabbit, and then the rabbit into a Fawn. And at the last, after mixing several powders and sprinkling them upon the Fawn, the yookoohoo enchantment was suddenly broken and before them stood one of the daintiest and loveliest creatures in any fairyland in the world. Polychrome was as sweet and merry in disposition as she was beautiful, and when she danced and capered around in delight, her beautiful hair floated around her like a golden mist and her many-hued raiment, as soft as cobwebs, reminded one of drifting clouds in a summer sky.

Woot was so awed by the entrancing sight of this exquisite Sky Fairy that he quite forgot his own sad plight until he noticed Ozma gazing upon him with an intent expression that denoted sympathy and sorrow. Dorothy whispered in her friend’s ear, but the Ruler of Oz shook her head sadly.

Jinjur, noticing this and understanding Ozma’s looks, took the paw of the Green Monkey in her own hand and patted it softly.

“Never mind,” she said to him. “You are a very beautiful color, and a monkey can climb better than a boy and do a lot of other things no boy can ever do.”

“What’s the matter?” asked Woot, a sinking feeling at his heart. “Is Ozma’s magic all used up?”

Ozma herself answered him.

“Your form of enchantment, my poor boy,” she said pityingly, “is different from that of the others. Indeed, it is a form that is impossible to alter by any magic known to fairies or yookoohoos. The wicked Giantess was well aware, when she gave you the form of a Green Monkey, that the Green Monkey must exist in the Land of Oz for all future time.”

Woot drew a long sigh.

“Well, that’s pretty hard luck,” he said bravely, “but if it can’t be helped I must endure it; that’s all. I don’t like being a monkey, but what’s the use of kicking against my fate?”

They were all very sorry for him, and Dorothy anxiously asked Ozma:

“Couldn’t Glinda save him?”

“No,” was the reply. “Glinda’s power in transformations is no greater than my own. Before I left my palace I went to my Magic Room and studied Woot’s case very carefully. I found that no power can do away with the Green Monkey. He might transfer, or exchange his form with some other person, it is true; but the Green Monkey we cannot get rid of by any magic arts known to science.”

“But—see here,” said the Scarecrow, who had listened intently to this explanation, “why not put the monkey’s form on some one else?”

“Who would agree to make the change?” asked Ozma. “If by force we caused anyone else to become a Green Monkey, we would be as cruel and wicked as Mrs. Yoop. And what good would an exchange do?” she continued. “Suppose, for instance, we worked the enchantment, and made Toto into a Green Monkey. At the same moment Woot would become a little dog.”

“Leave me out of your magic, please,” said Toto, with a reproachful growl. “I wouldn’t become a Green Monkey for anything.”

“And I wouldn’t become a dog,” said Woot. “A green monkey is much better than a dog, it seems to me.”

“That is only a matter of opinion,” answered Toto.

“Now, here’s another idea,” said the Scarecrow. “My brains are working finely today, you must admit. Why not transform Toto into Woot the Wanderer, and then have them exchange forms? The dog would become a green monkey and the monkey would have his own natural shape again.”

“To be sure!” cried Jinjur. “That’s a fine idea.”

“Leave me out of it,” said Toto. “I won’t do it.”

“Wouldn’t you be willing to become a green monkey—see what a pretty color it is—so that this poor boy could be restored to his own shape?” asked Jinjur, pleadingly.

“No,” said Toto.

“I don’t like that plan the least bit,” declared Dorothy, “for then I wouldn’t have any little dog.”

“But you’d have a green monkey in his place,” persisted Jinjur, who liked Woot and wanted to help him.

“I don’t want a green monkey,” said Dorothy positively.

“Don’t speak of this again, I beg of you,” said Woot. “This is my own misfortune and I would rather suffer it alone than deprive Princess Dorothy of her dog, or deprive the dog of his proper shape. And perhaps even her Majesty, Ozma of Oz, might not be able to transform anyone else into the shape of Woot the Wanderer.”

“Yes; I believe I might do that,” Ozma returned; “but Woot is quite right; we are not justified in inflicting upon anyone—man or dog—the form of a green monkey. Also it is certain that in order to relieve the boy of the form he now wears, we must give it to someone else, who would be forced to wear it always.”

“I wonder,” said Dorothy, thoughtfully, “if we couldn’t find someone in the Land of Oz who would be willing to become a green monkey? Seems to me a monkey is active and spry, and he can climb trees and do a lot of clever things, and green isn’t a bad color for a monkey—it makes him unusual.”

“I wouldn’t ask anyone to take this dreadful form,” said Woot; “it wouldn’t be right, you know. I’ve been a monkey for some time, now, and I don’t like it. It makes me ashamed to be a beast of this sort when by right of birth I’m a boy; so I’m sure it would be wicked to ask anyone else to take my place.”

They were all silent, for they knew he spoke the truth. Dorothy was almost ready to cry with pity and Ozma’s sweet face was sad and disturbed. The Scarecrow rubbed and patted his stuffed head to try to make it think better, while the Tin Woodman went into the house and began to oil his tin joints so that the sorrow of his friends might not cause him to weep. Weeping is liable to rust tin, and the Emperor prided himself upon his highly polished body—now doubly dear to him because for a time he had been deprived of it.

Polychrome had danced down the garden paths and back again a dozen times, for she was seldom still a moment, yet she had heard Ozma’s speech and understood very well Woot’s unfortunate position. But the Rainbow’s Daughter, even while dancing, could think and reason very clearly, and suddenly she solved the problem in the nicest possible way. Coming close to Ozma, she said:

“Your Majesty, all this trouble was caused by the wickedness of Mrs. Yoop, the Giantess. Yet even now that cruel woman is living in her secluded castle, enjoying the thought that she has put this terrible enchantment on Woot the Wanderer. Even now she is laughing at our despair because we can find no way to get rid of the green monkey. Very well, we do not wish to get rid of it. Let the woman who created the form wear it herself, as a just punishment for her wickedness. I am sure your fairy power can give to Mrs. Yoop the form of Woot the Wanderer—even at this distance from her—and then it will be possible to exchange the two forms. Mrs. Yoop will become the Green Monkey, and Woot will recover his own form again.”

Ozma’s face brightened as she listened to this clever proposal.

“Thank you, Polychrome,” said she. “The task you propose is not so easy as you suppose, but I will make the attempt, and perhaps I may succeed.”

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