Rinkitink In Oz
The Magic Boat
Prince Inga was up with the sun and, accompanied by Bilbil, began walking along the
shore in search of the boat which the White Pearl had promised him. Never for an instant
did he doubt that he would find it and before he had walked any great distance a dark
object at the water's edge caught his eye.
"It is the boat, Bilbil!" he cried joyfully, and running down to it he found it was, indeed, a
large and roomy boat. Although stranded upon the beach, it was in perfect order and had
suffered in no way from the storm.
Inga stood for some moments gazing upon the handsome craft and wondering where it
could have come from. Certainly it was unlike any boat he had ever seen. On the outside
it was painted a lustrous black, without any other color to relieve it; but all the inside of
the boat was lined with pure silver, polished so highly that the surface resembled a mirror
and glinted brilliantly in the rays of the sun. The seats had white velvet cushions upon
them and the cushions were splendidly embroidered with threads of gold. At one end,
beneath the broad seat, was a small barrel with silver hoops, which the boy found was
filled with fresh, sweet water. A great chest of sandalwood, bound and ornamented with
silver, stood in the other end of the boat. Inga raised the lid and discovered the chest
filled with sea-biscuits, cakes, tinned meats and ripe, juicy melons; enough good and
wholesome food to last the party a long time.
Lying upon the bottom of the boat were two shining oars, and overhead, but rolled back
now, was a canopy of silver cloth to ward off the heat of the sun.
It is no wonder the boy was delighted with the appearance of this beautiful boat; but on
reflection he feared it was too large for him to row any great distance. Unless, indeed, the
Blue Pearl gave him unusual strength.
While he was considering this matter, King Rinkitink came waddling up to him and said:
"Well, well, well, my Prince, your words have come true! Here is the boat, for a
certainty, yet how it came here -- and how you knew it would come to us -- are puzzles
that mystify me. I do not question our good fortune, however, and my heart is bubbling
with joy, for in this boat I will return at once to my City of Gilgad, from which I have
remained absent altogether too long a time."
"I do not wish to go to Gilgad," said Inga.
"That is too bad, my friend, for you would be very welcome. But you may remain upon
this island, if you wish," continued Rinkitink, "and when I get home I will send some of
my people to rescue you."
"It is my boat, Your Majesty," said Inga quietly.
"May be, may be," was the careless answer, "but I am King of a great country, while you
are a boy Prince without any kingdom to speak of. Therefore, being of greater importance
than you, it is just and right that I take, your boat and return to my own country in it."