Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz HTML version

8. The Valley of Voices
By journeying through the glass mountain they had reached a delightful valley that was
shaped like the hollow of a great cup, with another rugged mountain showing on the other
side of it, and soft and pretty green hills at the ends. It was all laid out into lovely lawns
and gardens, with pebble paths leading through them and groves of beautiful and stately
trees dotting the landscape here and there. There were orchards, too, bearing luscious
fruits that are all unknown in our world. Alluring brooks of crystal water flowed
sparkling between their flower-strewn banks, while scattered over the valley were dozens
of the quaintest and most picturesque cottages our travelers had ever beheld. None of
them were in clusters, such as villages or towns, but each had ample grounds of its own,
with orchards and gardens surrounding it.
As the new arrivals gazed upon this exquisite scene they were enraptured by its beauties
and the fragrance that permeated the soft air, which they breathed so gratefully after the
confined atmosphere of the tunnel. Several minutes were consumed in silent admiration
before they noticed two very singular and unusual facts about this valley. One was that it
was lighted from some unseen source; for no sun or moon was in the arched blue sky,
although every object was flooded with a clear and perfect light. The second and even
more singular fact was the absence of any inhabitant of this splendid place. From their
elevated position they could overlook the entire valley, but not a single moving object
could they see. All appeared mysteriously deserted.
The mountain on this side was not glass, but made of a stone similar to granite. With
some difficulty and danger Jim drew the buggy over the loose rocks until he reached the
green lawns below, where the paths and orchards and gardens began. The nearest cottage
was still some distance away.
"Isn't it fine?" cried Dorothy, in a joyous voice, as she sprang out of the buggy and let
Eureka run frolicking over the velvety grass.
"Yes, indeed!" answered Zeb. "We were lucky to get away from those dreadful vegetable
"It wouldn't be so bad," remarked the Wizard, gazing around him, "if we were obliged to
live here always. We couldn't find a prettier place, I'm sure."
He took the piglets from his pocket and let them run on the grass, and Jim tasted a
mouthful of the green blades and declared he was very contented in his new
"We can't walk in the air here, though," called Eureka, who had tried it and failed; but the
others were satisfied to walk on the ground, and the Wizard said they must be nearer the
surface of the earth then they had been in the Mangaboo country, for everything was
more homelike and natural.
"But where are the people?" asked Dorothy.
The little man shook his bald head.