The Road to Oz HTML version

17. The Royal Chariot Arrives
The neat yellow houses of the Winkies were now to be seen standing here and there along
the roadway, giving the country a more cheerful and civilized look. They were farm-
houses, though, and set far apart; for in the Land of Oz there were no towns or villages
except the magnificent Emerald City in its center.
Hedges of evergreen or of yellow roses bordered the broad highway and the farms
showed the care of their industrious inhabitants. The nearer the travelers came to the
great city the more prosperous the country became, and they crossed many bridges over
the sparkling streams and rivulets that watered the lands.
As they walked leisurely along the shaggy man said to the Tin Woodman:
"What sort of a Magic Powder was it that made your friend the Pumpkinhead live?"
"It was called the Powder of Life," was the answer; "and it was invented by a crooked
Sorcerer who lived in the mountains of the North Country. A Witch named Mombi got
some of this powder from the crooked Sorcerer and took it home with her. Ozma lived
with the Witch then, for it was before she became our Princess, while Mombi had
transformed her into the shape of a boy. Well, while Mombi was gone to the crooked
Sorcerer's, the boy made this pumpkin-headed man to amuse himself, and also with the
hope of frightening the Witch with it when she returned. But Mombi was not scared, and
she sprinkled the Pumpkinhead with her Magic Powder of Life, to see if the Powder
would work. Ozma was watching, and saw the Pumpkinhead come to life; so that night
she took the pepper-box containing the Powder and ran away with it and with Jack, in
search of adventures.
"Next day they found a wooden Saw-Horse standing by the roadside, and sprinkled it
with the Powder. It came to life at once, and Jack Pumpkinhead rode the Saw-Horse to
the Emerald City."
"What became of the Saw-Horse, afterward?" asked the shaggy man, much interested in
this story.
"Oh, it's alive yet, and you will probably meet it presently in the Emerald City.
Afterward, Ozma used the last of the Powder to bring the Flying Gump to life; but as
soon as it had carried her away from her enemies the Gump was taken apart, so it doesn't
exist any more."
"It's too bad the Powder of Life was all used up," remarked the shaggy man; "it would be
a handy thing to have around."
"I am not so sure of that, sir," answered the Tin Woodman. "A while ago the crooked
Sorcerer who invented the Magic Powder fell down a precipice and was killed. All his