The Marvelous Land of Oz HTML version

9. The Scarecrow Plans an escape
Tip slipped away from the girls and followed swiftly after the Soldier with the Green
Whiskers. The invading army entered the City more slowly, for they stopped to dig
emeralds out of the walls and paving-stones with the points of their knitting-needles. So
the Soldier and the boy reached the palace before the news had spread that the City was
The Scarecrow and Jack Pumpkinhead were still playing at quoits in the courtyard when
the game was interrupted by the abrupt entrance of the Royal Army of Oz, who came
flying in without his hat or gun, his clothes in sad disarray and his long beard floating a
yard behind him as he ran.
"Tally one for me," said the Scarecrow, calmly "What's wrong, my man?" he added,
addressing the Soldier.
"Oh! your Majesty -- your Majesty! The City is conquered!" gasped the Royal Army,
who was all out of breath.
"This is quite sudden," said the Scarecrow. "But please go and bar all the doors and
windows of the palace, while I show this Pumpkinhead how to throw a quoit."
The Soldier hastened to do this, while Tip, who had arrived at his heels, remained in the
courtyard to look at the Scarecrow with wondering eyes.
His Majesty continued to throw the quoits as coolly as if no danger threatened his throne,
but the Pumpkinhead, having caught sight of Tip, ambled toward the boy as fast as his
wooden legs would go.
"Good afternoon, noble parent!" he cried, delightedly." I'm glad to see you are here. That
terrible Saw-Horse ran away with me."
"I suspected it," said Tip. "Did you get hurt? Are you cracked at all?"
"No, I arrived safely," answered Jack, "and his Majesty has been very kind indeed to me.
At this moment the Soldier with the Green Whiskers returned, and the Scarecrow asked:
"By the way, who has conquered me?"
"A regiment of girls, gathered from the four corners of the Land of Oz," replied the
Soldier, still pale with fear.
"But where was my Standing Army at the time?" inquired his Majesty, looking at the
Soldier, gravely.