Tik-Tok of Oz
24. Dorothy is Delighted
"Well," said Queen Ann, when all were again seated in Kaliko's royal cavern, "I wonder
what we shall do next. If I could find my way back to Oogaboo I'd take my army home at
once, for I'm sick and tired of these dreadful hardships."
"Don't you want to conquer the world?" asked Betsy.
"No; I've changed my mind about that," admitted the Queen. "The world is too big for
one person to conquer and I was happier with my own people in Oogaboo. I wish--Oh,
how earnestly I wish--that I was back there this minute!"
"So do I!" yelled every officer in a fervent tone.
Now, it is time for the reader to know that in the far-away Land of Oz the lovely Ruler,
Ozma, had been following the adventures of her Shaggy Man, and Tik-Tok, and all the
others they had met. Day by day Ozma, with the wonderful Wizard of Oz seated beside
her, had gazed upon a Magic Picture in a radium frame, which occupied one side of the
Ruler's cosy boudoir in the palace of the Emerald City. The singular thing about this
Magic Picture was that it showed whatever scene Ozma wished to see, with the figures all
in motion, just as it was taking place. So Ozma and the Wizard had watched every action
of the adventurers from the time Shaggy had met shipwrecked Betsy and Hank in the
Rose Kingdom, at which time the Rose Princess, a distant cousin of Ozma, had been
exiled by her heartless subjects.
When Ann and her people so earnestly wished to return to Oogaboo, Ozma was sorry for
them and remembered that Oogaboo was a corner of the Land of Oz. She turned to her
attendant and asked:
"Can not your magic take these unhappy people to their old home, Wizard?"
"It can, Your Highness," replied the little Wizard.
"I think the poor Queen has suffered enough in her misguided effort to conquer the
world," said Ozma, smiling at the absurdity of the undertaking, "so no doubt she will
hereafter be contented in her own little Kingdom. Please send her there, Wizard, and with
her the officers and Files."
"How about the Rose Princess?" asked the Wizard.
"Send her to Oogaboo with Files," answered Ozma. "They have become such good
friends that I am sure it would make them unhappy to separate them."
"Very well," said the Wizard, and without any fuss or mystery whatever he performed a
magical rite that was simple and effective. Therefore those seated in the Nome King's
cavern were both startled and amazed when all the people of Oogaboo suddenly
disappeared from the room, and with them the Rose Princess. At first they could not
understand it at all; but presently Shaggy suspected the truth, and believing that Ozma
was now taking an interest in the party he drew from his pocket a tiny instrument which
he placed against his ear.