Rinkitink In Oz
Zella Saves the Prince
The wicked Queen of Coregos was in a very bad humor this morning, for one of her slave
drivers had come from the fields to say that a number of slaves had rebelled and would
"Bring them here to me!" she cried savagely. "A good whipping may make them change
So the slave driver went to fetch the rebellious ones and Queen Cor sat down to eat her
breakfast, an ugly look on her face.
Prince Inga had been ordered to stand behind his new mistress with a big fan of peacock's
feathers, but he was so unused to such service that he awkwardly brushed her ear with the
fan. At once she flew into a terrible rage and slapped the Prince twice with her hand-
blows that tingled, too, for her hand was big and hard and she was not inclined to be
gentle. Inga took the blows without shrinking or uttering a cry, although they stung his
pride far more than his body. But King Rinkitink, who was acting as the queen's butler
and had just brought in her coffee, was so startled at seeing the young Prince punished
that he tipped over the urn and the hot coffee streamed across the lap of the Queen's best
Cor sprang from her seat with a scream of anger and poor Rinkitink would doubtless
have been given a terrible beating had not the slave driver returned at this moment and
attracted the woman's attention. The overseer had brought with him all of the women
slaves from Pingaree, who had been loaded down with chains and were so weak and ill
they could scarcely walk, much less work in the fields.
Prince Inga's eyes were dimmed with sorrowful tears when he discovered how his poor
people had been abused, but his own plight was so helpless that he was unable to aid
them. Fortunately the boy's mother, Queen Garee, was not among these slaves, for Queen
Cor had placed her in the royal dairy to make butter.
"Why do you refuse to work?" demanded Cor in a harsh voice, as the slaves from
Pingaree stood before her, trembling and with downcast eyes.
"Because we lack strength to perform the tasks your overseers demand," answered one of
"Then you shall be whipped until your strength returns!" exclaimed the Queen, and
turning to Inga, she commanded: "Get me the whip with the seven lashes."
As the boy left the room, wondering how he might manage to save the unhappy women
from their undeserved punishment, he met a girl entering by the back way, who asked:
"Can you tell me where to find Her Majesty, Queen Cor?"