The Tin Woodman of Oz HTML version

2. The Heart of the Tin Woodman
The Emperor of the Winkies paused in his story to reach for an oil-can, with which he
carefully oiled the joints in his tin throat, for his voice had begun to squeak a little. Woot
the Wanderer, having satisfied his hunger, watched this oiling process with much
curiosity, but begged the Tin Man to go on with his tale.
"The Witch with the Silver Shoes hated me for having defied her," resumed the Emperor,
his voice now sounding clear as a bell, "and she insisted that Nimmie Amee should never
marry me. Therefore she made the enchanted axe cut off my other arm, and the tinsmith
also replaced that member with tin, including these finely-jointed hands that you see me
using. But, alas! after that, the axe, still enchanted by the cruel Witch, cut my body in
two, so that I fell to the ground. Then the Witch, who was watching from a near-by bush,
rushed up and seized the axe and chopped my body into several small pieces, after which,
thinking that at last she had destroyed me, she ran away laughing in wicked glee.
"But Nimmie Amee found me. She picked up my arms and legs and head, and made a
bundle of them and carried them to the tinsmith, who set to work and made me a fine
body of pure tin. When he had joined the arms and legs to the body, and set my head in
the tin collar, I was a much better man than ever, for my body could not ache or pain me,
and I was so beautiful and bright that I had no need of clothing. Clothing is always a
nuisance, because it soils and tears and has to be replaced; but my tin body only needs to
be oiled and polished.
"Nimmie Amee still declared she would marry me, as she still loved me in spite of the
Witch's evil deeds. The girl declared I would make the brightest husband in all the world,
which was quite true. However, the Wicked Witch was not yet defeated. When I returned
to my work the axe slipped and cut off my head, which was the only meat part of me then
remaining. Moreover, the old woman grabbed up my severed head and carried it away
with her and hid it. But Nimmie Amee came into the forest and found me wandering
around helplessly, because I could not see where to go, and she led me to my friend the
tinsmith. The faithful fellow at once set to work to make me a tin head, and he had just
completed it when Nimmie Amee came running up with my old head, which she had
stolen from the Witch. But, on reflection, I considered the tin head far superior to the
meat one -- I am wearing it yet, so you can see its beauty and grace of outline -- and the
girl agreed with me that a man all made of tin was far more perfect than one formed of
different materials. The tinsmith was as proud of his workmanship as I was, and for three
whole days, all admired me and praised my beauty. "Being now completely formed of
tin, I had no more fear of the Wicked Witch, for she was powerless to injure me. Nimmie
Amee said we must be married at once, for then she could come to my cottage and live
with me and keep me bright and sparkling.
"'I am sure, my dear Nick,' said the brave and beautiful girl -- my name was then Nick
Chopper, you should be told -- 'that you will make the best husband any girl could have. I
shall not be obliged to cook for you, for now you do not eat; I shall not have to make
your bed, for tin does not tire or require sleep; when we go to a dance, you will not get