The Marvelous Land of Oz HTML version

2. The Marvelous Powder of Life
After considering the matter carefully, Tip decided that the best place to locate Jack
would be at the bend in the road, a little way from the house. So he started to carry his
man there, but found him heavy and rather awkward to handle. After dragging the
creature a short distance Tip stood him on his feet, and by first bending the joints of one
leg, and then those of the other, at the same time pushing from behind, the boy managed
to induce Jack to walk to the bend in the road. It was not accomplished without a few
tumbles, and Tip really worked harder than he ever had in the fields or forest; but a love
of mischief urged him on, and it pleased him to test the cleverness of his workmanship.
"Jack's all right, and works fine!" he said to himself, panting with the unusual exertion.
But just then he discovered the man's left arm had fallen off in the journey so he went
back to find it, and afterward, by whittling a new and stouter pin for the shoulder-joint, he
repaired the injury so successfully that the arm was stronger than before. Tip also noticed
that Jack's pumpkin head had twisted around until it faced his back; but this was easily
remedied. When, at last, the man was set up facing the turn in the path where old Mombi
was to appear, he looked natural enough to be a fair imitation of a Gillikin farmer, -- and
unnatural enough to startle anyone that came on him unawares.
As it was yet too early in the day to expect the old woman to return home, Tip went down
into the valley below the farm-house and began to gather nuts from the trees that grew
However, old Mombi returned earlier than usual. She had met a crooked wizard who
resided in a lonely cave in the mountains, and had traded several important secrets of
magic with him. Having in this way secured three new recipes, four magical powders and
a selection of herbs of wonderful power and potency, she hobbled home as fast as she
could, in order to test her new sorceries.
So intent was Mombi on the treasures she had gained that when she turned the bend in
the road and caught a glimpse of the man, she merely nodded and said:
"Good evening, sir."
But, a moment after, noting that the person did not move or reply, she cast a shrewd
glance into his face and discovered his pumpkin head elaborately carved by Tip's jack-
"Heh!" ejaculated Mombi, giving a sort of grunt; "that rascally boy has been playing
tricks again! Very good! ve -- ry good! I'll beat him black-and-blue for trying to scare me
in this fashion!"
Angrily she raised her stick to smash in the grinning pumpkin head of the dummy; but a
sudden thought made her pause, the uplifted stick left motionless in the air.