The Road to Oz HTML version
10. Escaping the Soup-Kettle
The shaggy man got up and felt of himself to see if he was hurt; but he was not. One of
the heads had struck his breast and the other his left shoulder; yet though they had
knocked him down, the heads were not hard enough to bruise him.
"Come on," he said firmly; "we've got to get out of here some way," and forward he
The Scoodlers began yelling and throwing their heads in great numbers at our frightened
friends. The shaggy man was knocked over again, and so was Button-Bright, who kicked
his heels against the ground and howled as loud as he could, although he was not hurt a
bit. One head struck Toto, who first yelped and then grabbed the head by an ear and
started running away with it.
The Scoodlers who had thrown their heads began to scramble down and run to pick them
up, with wonderful quickness; but the one whose head Toto had stolen found it hard to
get it back again. The head couldn't see the body with either pair of its eyes, because the
dog was in the way, so the headless Scoodler stumbled around over the rocks and tripped
on them more than once in its effort to regain its top. Toto was trying to get outside the
rocks and roll the head down the hill; but some of the other Scoodlers came to the rescue
of their unfortunate comrade and pelted the dog with their own heads until he was
obliged to drop his burden and hurry back to Dorothy.
The little girl and the Rainbow's Daughter had both escaped the shower of heads, but they
saw now that it would be useless to try to run away from the dreadful Scoodlers.
"We may as well submit," declared the shaggy man, in a rueful voice, as he got upon his
feet again. He turned toward their foes and asked:
"What do you want us to do?"
"Come!" they cried, in a triumphant chorus, and at once sprang from the rocks and
surrounded their captives on all sides. One funny thing about the Scoodlers was they
could walk in either direction, coming or going, without turning around; because they had
two faces and, as Dorothy said, "two front sides," and their feet were shaped like the
letter T upside down. They moved with great rapidity and there was something about
their glittering eyes and contrasting colors and removable heads that inspired the poor
prisoners with horror, and made them long to escape.
But the creatures led their captives away from the rocks and the road, down the hill by a
side path until they came before a low mountain of rock that looked like a huge bowl
turned upside down. At the edge of this mountain was a deep gulf--so deep that when you
looked into it there was nothing but blackness below. Across the gulf was a narrow