Rinkitink In Oz
Nikobob Refuses a Crown
Almost the first persons that Zella saw when she landed from the silver-lined boat at
Regos were her father and mother. Nikobob and his wife had been greatly worried when
their little daughter failed to return from Coregos, so they had set out to discover what
had become of her. When they reached the City of Regos, that very morning, they were
astonished to hear news of all the strange events that had taken place; still, they found
comfort when told that Zella had been seen in the boat of Prince Inga, which had gone to
the north. Then, while they wondered what this could mean, the silver-lined boat
appeared again, with their daughter in it, and they ran down to the shore to give her a
welcome and many joyful kisses.
Inga invited the good people to the palace of King Gos, where he conferred with them, as
well as with Rinkitink and Bilbil.
"Now that the King and Queen of Regos and Coregos have run away," he said, "there is
no one to rule these islands. So it is my duty to appoint a new ruler, and as Nikobob,
Zella's father, is an honest and worthy man, I shall make him the King of the Twin
"Me?" cried Nikobob, astounded by this speech. "I beg Your Highness, on my bended
knees, not to do so cruel a thing as to make me King!"
"Why not?" inquired Rinkitink. "I'm a King, and I know how it feels. I assure you, good
Nikobob, that I quite enjoy my high rank, although a jeweled crown is rather heavy to
wear in hot weather."
"With you, noble sir, it is different," said Nikobob, "for you are far from your kingdom
and its trials and worries and may do as you please. But to remain in Regos, as King over
these fierce and unruly warriors, would be to live in constant anxiety and peril, and the
chances are that they would murder me within a month. As I have done no harm to
anyone and have tried to be a good and upright man, I do not think that I should be
condemned to such a dreadful fate."
"Very well," replied Inga, "we will say no more about your being King. I merely wanted
to make you rich and prosperous, as I had promised Zella."
"Please forget that promise," pleaded the charcoal- burner, earnestly; "I have been safe
from molestation for many years, because I was poor and possessed nothing that anyone
else could envy. But if you make me rich and prosperous I shall at once become the prey
of thieves and marauders and probably will lose my life in the attempt to protect my
Inga looked at the man in surprise.
"What, then, can I do to please you?" he inquired.
"Nothing more than to allow me to go home to my poor cabin," said Nikobob.