Glinda of Oz HTML version

Lady Aurex
Lady Aurex led Ozma and Dorothy along a street to a pretty marble house near to one
edge of the great glass dome that covered the village. She did not speak to the girls until
she had ushered them into a pleasant room, comfortably furnished, nor did any of the
solemn people they met on the street venture to speak.
When they were seated Lady Aurex asked if they were hungry, and finding they were
summoned a maid and ordered food to be brought.
This Lady Aurex looked to be about twenty years old, although in the Land of Oz where
people have never changed in appearance since the fairies made it a fairyland -- where no
one grows old or dies -- it is always difficult to say how many years anyone has lived.
She had a pleasant, attractive face, even though it was solemn and sad as the faces of all
Skeezers seemed to be, and her costume was rich and elaborate, as became a lady in
waiting upon the Queen.
Ozma had observed Lady Aurex closely and now asked her in a gentle tone:
"Do you, also, believe me to be an impostor?"
"I dare not say," replied Lady Aurex in a low tone.
"Why are you afraid to speak freely?" inquired Ozma.
"The Queen punishes us if we make remarks that she does not like."
"Are we not alone then, in this house?"
"The Queen can hear everything that is spoken on this island -- even the slightest
whisper," declared Lady Aurex. "She is a wonderful witch, as she has told you, and it is
folly to criticise her or disobey her commands."
Ozma looked into her eyes and saw that she would like to say more if she dared. So she
drew from her bosom her silver wand, and having muttered a magic phrase in a strange
tongue, she left the room and walked slowly around the outside of the house, making a
complete circle and waving her wand in mystic curves as she walked. Lady Aurex
watched her curiously and, when Ozma had again entered the room and seated herself,
she asked:
"What have you done?"
"I've enchanted this house in such a manner that Queen Coo-ee-oh, with all her
witchcraft, cannot hear one word we speak within the magic circle I have made," replied
Ozma. "We may now speak freely and as loudly as we wish, without fear of the Queen's
Lady Aurex brightened at this.
"Can I trust you?" she asked.