The Road to Oz HTML version

15. The Emperor's Tin Castle
The grounds around Nick Chopper's new house were laid out in pretty flower-beds, with
fountains of crystal water and statues of tin representing the Emperor's personal friends.
Dorothy was astonished and delighted to find a tin statue of herself standing on a tin
pedestal at a bend in the avenue leading up to the entrance. It was life-size and showed
her in her sunbonnet with her basket on her arm, just as she had first appeared in the Land
of Oz.
"Oh, Toto--you're there too!" she exclaimed; and sure enough there was the tin figure of
Toto lying at the tin Dorothy's feet.
Also, Dorothy saw figures of the Scarecrow, and the Wizard, and Ozma, and of many
others, including Tik-tok. They reached the grand tin entrance to the tin castle, and the
Tin Woodman himself came running out of the door to embrace little Dorothy and give
her a glad welcome. He welcomed her friends as well, and the Rainbow's Daughter he
declared to be the loveliest vision his tin eyes had ever beheld. He patted Button-Bright's
curly head tenderly, for he was fond of children, and turned to the shaggy man and shook
both his hands at the same time.
Nick Chopper, the Emperor of the Winkies, who was also known throughout the Land of
Oz as the Tin Woodman, was certainly a remarkable person. He was neatly made, all of
tin, nicely soldered at the joints, and his various limbs were cleverly hinged to his body
so that he could use them nearly as well as if they had been common flesh. Once, he told
the shaggy man, he had been made all of flesh and bones, as other people are, and then he
chopped wood in the forests to earn his living. But the axe slipped so often and cut off
parts of him--which he had replaced with tin--that finally there was no flesh left, nothing
but tin; so he became a real tin woodman. The wonderful Wizard of Oz had given him an
excellent heart to replace his old one, and he didn't at all mind being tin. Every one loved
him, he loved every one; and he was therefore as happy as the day was long.
The Emperor was proud of his new tin castle, and showed his visitors through all the
rooms. Every bit of the furniture was made of brightly polished tin--the tables, chairs,
beds, and all--even the floors and walls were of tin.
"I suppose," said he, "that there are no cleverer tinsmiths in all the world than the
Winkies. It would be hard to match this castle in Kansas; wouldn't it, little Dorothy?"
"Very hard," replied the child, gravely.
"It must have cost a lot of money," remarked the shaggy man.
"Money! Money in Oz!" cried the Tin Woodman. "What a queer idea! Did you suppose
we are so vulgar as to use money here?"