The Tin Woodman of Oz HTML version

5. Mrs. Yoop, the Giantess
When they had reached the end of the path, where they had first seen the warning sign,
they set off across the country in an easterly direction. Before long they reached Rolling
Lands, which were a succession of hills and valleys where constant climbs and descents
were required, and their journey now became tedious, because on climbing each hill, they
found before them nothing in the valley below it except grass, or weeds or stones.
Up and down they went for hours, with nothing to relieve the monotony of the landscape,
until finally, when they had topped a higher hill than usual, they discovered a cup-shaped
valley before them in the center of which stood an enormous castle, built of purple stone.
The castle was high and broad and long, but had no turrets and towers. So far as they
could see, there was but one small window and one big door on each side of the great
"This is strange!" mused the Scarecrow. "I'd no idea such a big castle existed in this
Gillikin Country. I wonder who lives here?"
"It seems to me, from this distance," remarked the Tin Woodman, "that it's the biggest
castle I ever saw. It is really too big for any use, and no one could open or shut those big
doors without a stepladder."
"Perhaps, if we go nearer, we shall find out whether anybody lives there or not,"
suggested Woot. "Looks to me as if nobody lived there."
On they went, and when they reached the center of the valley, where the great stone
castle stood, it was beginning to grow dark. So they hesitated as to what to do.
"If friendly people happen to live here," said Woot. I shall be glad of a bed; but should
enemies occupy the place, I prefer to sleep upon the ground."
"And if no one at all lives here," added the Scarecrow, "we can enter, and take
possession, and make ourselves at home."
While speaking he went nearer to one of the great doors, which was three times as high
and broad as any he had ever seen in a house before, and then he discovered, engraved in
big letters upon a stone over the doorway, the words:
"Oho!" he exclaimed; "I know the place now. This was probably the home of Mr. Yoop,
a terrible giant whom I have seen confined in a cage, a long way from here. Therefore
this castle is likely to be empty and we may use it in any way we please."