The Road to Oz HTML version

11. Johnny Dooit Does It
"It's getting awful rough walking," said Dorothy, as they trudged along. Button-Bright
gave a deep sigh and said he was hungry. Indeed, all were hungry, and thirsty, too; for
they had eaten nothing but the apples since breakfast; so their steps lagged and they grew
silent and weary. At last they slowly passed over the crest of a barren hill and saw before
them a line of green trees with a strip of grass at their feet. An agreeable fragrance was
wafted toward them.
Our travelers, hot and tired, ran forward on beholding this refreshing sight and were not
long in coming to the trees. Here they found a spring of pure bubbling water, around
which the grass was full of wild strawberry plants, their pretty red berries ripe and ready
to eat. Some of the trees bore yellow oranges and some russet pears, so the hungry
adventurers suddenly found themselves provided with plenty to eat and to drink. They
lost no time in picking the biggest strawberries and ripest oranges and soon had feasted to
their hearts' content. Walking beyond the line of trees they saw before them a fearful,
dismal desert, everywhere gray sand. At the edge of this awful waste was a large, white
sign with black letters neatly painted upon it and the letters made these words:
For the Deadly Sands will Turn Any Living Flesh to Dust in an instant. Beyond This
Barrier is the
But no one can Reach that Beautiful Country because of these Destroying Sands
"Oh," said Dorothy, when the shaggy man had read the sign aloud; "I've seen this desert
before, and it's true no one can live who tries to walk upon the sands."
"Then we musn't try it," answered the shaggy man thoughtfully. "But as we can't go
ahead and there's no use going back, what shall we do next?"
"Don't know," said Button-Bright.
"I'm sure I don't know, either," added Dorothy, despondently.
"I wish father would come for me," sighed the pretty Rainbow's Daughter, "I would take
you all to live upon the rainbow, where you could dance along its rays from morning till
night, without a care or worry of any sort. But I suppose father's too busy just now to
search the world for me."
"Don't want to dance," said Button-Bright, sitting down wearily upon the soft grass.