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Even with eyes protected by the green spectacles, Dorothy and her friends were at first dazzled by the brilliancy of the wonderful City. The streets were lined with beautiful houses all built of green marble and studded everywhere with sparkling emeralds. They walked over a pavement of the same green marble, and where the blocks were joined together were rows of emeralds, set closely, and glittering in the brightness of the sun. The window panes were of green glass; even the sky above the City had a green tint, and the rays of the sun were green.

There were many people--men, women, and children--walking about, and these were all dressed in green clothes and had greenish skins. They looked at Dorothy and her strangely assorted company with wondering eyes, and the children all ran away and hid behind their mothers when they saw the Lion; but no one spoke to them. Many shops stood in the street, and Dorothy saw that everything in them was green. Green candy and green pop corn were offered for sale, as well as green shoes, green hats, and green clothes of all sorts. At one place a man was selling green lemonade, and when the children bought it Dorothy could see that they paid for it with green pennies.

There seemed to be no horses nor animals of any kind; the men carried things around in little green carts, which they pushed before them. Everyone seemed happy and contented and prosperous.

The Guardian of the Gates led them through the streets until they came to a big building, exactly in the middle of the City, which was the Palace of Oz, the Great Wizard. There was a soldier before the door, dressed in a green uniform and wearing a long green beard.

"Here are strangers," said the Guardian of the Gates to him, "and they demand to see the Great Oz."

"Step inside," answered the soldier, "and I will carry your message to him."

So they passed through the Palace Gates and were led into a big room with a green carpet and lovely green furniture set with emeralds. The soldier made them all wipe their feet upon a green mat before entering this room, and when they were seated he said politely:

"Please make yourselves comfortable while I go to the door of the Throne Room and tell Oz you are here."

They had to wait a long time before the soldier returned. When, at last, he came back, Dorothy asked:

"Have you seen Oz?"

"Oh, no," returned the soldier; "I have never seen him. But I spoke to him as he sat behind his screen and gave him your message. He said he will grant you an audience, if you so desire; but each one of you must enter his presence alone, and he will admit but one each day. Therefore, as you must remain in the Palace for several days, I will have you shown to rooms where you may rest in comfort after your journey."

"Thank you," replied the girl; "that is very kind of Oz."

The soldier now blew upon a green whistle, and at once a young girl, dressed in a pretty green silk gown, entered the room. She had lovely green hair and green eyes, and she bowed low before Dorothy as she said, "Follow me and I will show you your room."

So Dorothy said good-bye to all her friends except Toto, and taking the dog in her arms followed the green girl through seven passages and up three flights of stairs until they came to a room at the front of the Palace. It was the sweetest little room in the world, with a soft comfortable bed that had sheets of green silk and a green velvet counterpane. There was a tiny fountain in the middle of the room, that shot a spray of green perfume into the air, to fall back into a beautifully carved green marble basin. Beautiful green flowers stood in the windows, and there was a shelf with a row of little green books. When Dorothy had time to open these books she found them full of queer green pictures that made her laugh, they were so funny.

In a wardrobe were many green dresses, made of silk and satin and velvet; and all of them fitted Dorothy exactly.

"Make yourself perfectly at home," said the green girl, "and if you wish for anything ring the bell. Oz will send for you tomorrow morning."

She left Dorothy alone and went back to the others. These she also led to rooms, and each one of them found himself lodged in a very pleasant part of the Palace. Of course this politeness was wasted on the Scarecrow; for when he found himself alone in his room he stood stupidly in one spot, just within the doorway, to wait till morning. It would not rest him to lie down, and he could not close his eyes; so he remained all night staring at a little spider which was weaving its web in a corner of the room, just as if it were not one of the most wonderful rooms in the world. The Tin Woodman lay down on his bed from force of habit, for he remembered when he was made of flesh; but not being able to sleep, he passed the night moving his joints up and down to make sure they kept in good working order. The Lion would have preferred a bed of dried leaves in the forest, and did not like being shut up in a room; but he had too much sense to let this worry him, so he sprang upon the bed and rolled himself up like a cat and purred himself asleep in a minute.

The next morning, after breakfast, the green maiden came to fetch Dorothy, and she dressed her in one of the prettiest gowns, made of green brocaded satin. Dorothy put on a green silk apron and tied a green ribbon around Toto's neck, and they started for the Throne Room of the Great Oz.

First they came to a great hall in which were many ladies and gentlemen of the court, all dressed in rich costumes. These people had nothing to do but talk to each other, but they always came to wait outside the Throne Room every morning, although they were never permitted to see Oz. As Dorothy entered they looked at her curiously, and one of them whispered:

"Are you really going to look upon the face of Oz the Terrible?"

"Of course," answered the girl, "if he will see me."

"Oh, he will see you," said the soldier who had taken her message to the Wizard, "although he does not like to have people ask to see him. Indeed, at first he was angry and said I should send you back where you came from. Then he asked me what you looked like, and when I mentioned your silver shoes he was very much interested. At last I told him about the mark upon your forehead, and he decided he would admit you to his presence."

Just then a bell rang, and the green girl said to Dorothy, "That is the signal. You must go into the Throne Room alone."

She opened a little door and Dorothy walked boldly through and found herself in a wonderful place. It was a big, round room with a high arched roof, and the walls and ceiling and floor were covered with large emeralds set closely together. In the center of the roof was a great light, as bright as the sun, which made the emeralds sparkle in a wonderful manner.

But what interested Dorothy most was the big throne of green marble that stood in the middle of the room. It was shaped like a chair and sparkled with gems, as did everything else. In the center of the chair was an enormous Head, without a body to support it or any arms or legs whatever. There was no hair upon this head, but it had eyes and a nose and mouth, and was much bigger than the head of the biggest giant.

As Dorothy gazed upon this in wonder and fear, the eyes turned slowly and looked at her sharply and steadily. Then the mouth moved, and Dorothy heard a voice say:

"I am Oz, the Great and Terrible. Who are you, and why do you seek me?"

It was not such an awful voice as she had expected to come from the big Head; so she took courage and answered:

"I am Dorothy, the Small and Meek. I have come to you for help."

The eyes looked at her thoughtfully for a full minute. Then said the voice:

"Where did you get the silver shoes?"

"I got them from the Wicked Witch of the East, when my house fell on her and killed her," she replied.

"Where did you get the mark upon your forehead?" continued the voice.

"That is where the Good Witch of the North kissed me when she bade me good-bye and sent me to you," said the girl.

Again the eyes looked at her sharply, and they saw she was telling the truth. Then Oz asked, "What do you wish me to do?"

"Send me back to Kansas, where my Aunt Em and Uncle Henry are," she answered earnestly. "I don't like your country, although it is so beautiful. And I am sure Aunt Em will be dreadfully worried over my being away so long."

The eyes winked three times, and then they turned up to the ceiling and down to the floor and rolled around so queerly that they seemed to see every part of the room. And at last they looked at Dorothy again.

"Why should I do this for you?" asked Oz.

"Because you are strong and I am weak; because you are a Great Wizard and I am only a little girl."

"But you were strong enough to kill the Wicked Witch of the East," said Oz.

"That just happened," returned Dorothy simply; "I could not help it."

"Well," said the Head, "I will give you my answer. You have no right to expect me to send you back to Kansas unless you do something for me in return. In this country everyone must pay for everything he gets. If you wish me to use my magic power to send you home again you must do something for me first. Help me and I will help you."

"What must I do?" asked the girl.

"Kill the Wicked Witch of the West," answered Oz.

"But I cannot!" exclaimed Dorothy, greatly surprised.

"You killed the Witch of the East and you wear the silver shoes, which bear a powerful charm. There is now but one Wicked Witch left in all this land, and when you can tell me she is dead I will send you back to Kansas--but not before."

The little girl began to weep, she was so much disappointed; and the eyes winked again and looked upon her anxiously, as if the Great Oz felt that she could help him if she would.

"I never killed anything, willingly," she sobbed. "Even if I wanted to, how could I kill the Wicked Witch? If you, who are Great and Terrible, cannot kill her yourself, how do you expect me to do it?"

"I do not know," said the Head; "but that is my answer, and until the Wicked Witch dies you will not see your uncle and aunt again. Remember that the Witch is Wicked--tremendously Wicked--and ought to be killed. Now go, and do not ask to see me again until you have done your task."

Sorrowfully Dorothy left the Throne Room and went back where the Lion and the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman were waiting to hear what Oz had said to her. "There is no hope for me," she said sadly, "for Oz will not send me home until I have killed the Wicked Witch of the West; and that I can never do."

Her friends were sorry, but could do nothing to help her; so Dorothy went to her own room and lay down on the bed and cried herself to sleep.

The next morning the soldier with the green whiskers came to the Scarecrow and said:

"Come with me, for Oz has sent for you."

So the Scarecrow followed him and was admitted into the great Throne Room, where he saw, sitting in the emerald throne, a most lovely Lady. She was dressed in green silk gauze and wore upon her flowing green locks a crown of jewels. Growing from her shoulders were wings, gorgeous in color and so light that they fluttered if the slightest breath of air reached them.

When the Scarecrow had bowed, as prettily as his straw stuffing would let him, before this beautiful creature, she looked upon him sweetly, and said:

"I am Oz, the Great and Terrible. Who are you, and why do you seek me?"

Now the Scarecrow, who had expected to see the great Head Dorothy had told him of, was much astonished; but he answered her bravely.

"I am only a Scarecrow, stuffed with straw. Therefore I have no brains, and I come to you praying that you will put brains in my head instead of straw, so that I may become as much a man as any other in your dominions."

"Why should I do this for you?" asked the Lady.

"Because you are wise and powerful, and no one else can help me," answered the Scarecrow.

"I never grant favors without some return," said Oz; "but this much I will promise. If you will kill for me the Wicked Witch of the West, I will bestow upon you a great many brains, and such good brains that you will be the wisest man in all the Land of Oz."

"I thought you asked Dorothy to kill the Witch," said the Scarecrow, in surprise.

"So I did. I don't care who kills her. But until she is dead I will not grant your wish. Now go, and do not seek me again until you have earned the brains you so greatly desire."

The Scarecrow went sorrowfully back to his friends and told them what Oz had said; and Dorothy was surprised to find that the Great Wizard was not a Head, as she had seen him, but a lovely Lady.

"All the same," said the Scarecrow, "she needs a heart as much as the Tin Woodman."

On the next morning the soldier with the green whiskers came to the Tin Woodman and said:

"Oz has sent for you. Follow me."

So the Tin Woodman followed him and came to the great Throne Room. He did not know whether he would find Oz a lovely Lady or a Head, but he hoped it would be the lovely Lady. "For," he said to himself, "if it is the head, I am sure I shall not be given a heart, since a head has no heart of its own and therefore cannot feel for me. But if it is the lovely Lady I shall beg hard for a heart, for all ladies are themselves said to be kindly hearted."

But when the Woodman entered the great Throne Room he saw neither the Head nor the Lady, for Oz had taken the shape of a most terrible Beast. It was nearly as big as an elephant, and the green throne seemed hardly strong enough to hold its weight. The Beast had a head like that of a rhinoceros, only there were five eyes in its face. There were five long arms growing out of its body, and it also had five long, slim legs. Thick, woolly hair covered every part of it, and a more dreadful-looking monster could not be imagined. It was fortunate the Tin Woodman had no heart at that moment, for it would have beat loud and fast from terror. But being only tin, the Woodman was not at all afraid, although he was much disappointed.

"I am Oz, the Great and Terrible," spoke the Beast, in a voice that was one great roar. "Who are you, and why do you seek me?"

"I am a Woodman, and made of tin. Therefore I have no heart, and cannot love. I pray you to give me a heart that I may be as other men are."

"Why should I do this?" demanded the Beast.

"Because I ask it, and you alone can grant my request," answered the Woodman.

Oz gave a low growl at this, but said, gruffly: "If you indeed desire a heart, you must earn it."

"How?" asked the Woodman.

"Help Dorothy to kill the Wicked Witch of the West," replied the Beast. "When the Witch is dead, come to me, and I will then give you the biggest and kindest and most loving heart in all the Land of Oz."

So the Tin Woodman was forced to return sorrowfully to his friends and tell them of the terrible Beast he had seen. They all wondered greatly at the many forms the Great Wizard could take upon himself, and the Lion said:

"If he is a Beast when I go to see him, I shall roar my loudest, and so frighten him that he will grant all I ask. And if he is the lovely Lady, I shall pretend to spring upon her, and so compel her to do my bidding. And if he is the great Head, he will be at my mercy; for I will roll this head all about the room until he promises to give us what we desire. So be of good cheer, my friends, for all will yet be well."

The next morning the soldier with the green whiskers led the Lion to the great Throne Room and bade him enter the presence of Oz.

The Lion at once passed through the door, and glancing around saw, to his surprise, that before the throne was a Ball of Fire, so fierce and glowing he could scarcely bear to gaze upon it. His first thought was that Oz had by accident caught on fire and was burning up; but when he tried to go nearer, the heat was so intense that it singed his whiskers, and he crept back tremblingly to a spot nearer the door.

Then a low, quiet voice came from the Ball of Fire, and these were the words it spoke:

"I am Oz, the Great and Terrible. Who are you, and why do you seek me?"

And the Lion answered, "I am a Cowardly Lion, afraid of everything. I came to you to beg that you give me courage, so that in reality I may become the King of Beasts, as men call me."

"Why should I give you courage?" demanded Oz.

"Because of all Wizards you are the greatest, and alone have power to grant my request," answered the Lion.

The Ball of Fire burned fiercely for a time, and the voice said, "Bring me proof that the Wicked Witch is dead, and that moment I will give you courage. But as long as the Witch lives, you must remain a coward."

The Lion was angry at this speech, but could say nothing in reply, and while he stood silently gazing at the Ball of Fire it became so furiously hot that he turned tail and rushed from the room. He was glad to find his friends waiting for him, and told them of his terrible interview with the Wizard.

"What shall we do now?" asked Dorothy sadly.

"There is only one thing we can do," returned the Lion, "and that is to go to the land of the Winkies, seek out the Wicked Witch, and destroy her."

"But suppose we cannot?" said the girl.

"Then I shall never have courage," declared the Lion.

"And I shall never have brains," added the Scarecrow.

"And I shall never have a heart," spoke the Tin Woodman.

"And I shall never see Aunt Em and Uncle Henry," said Dorothy, beginning to cry.

"Be careful!" cried the green girl. "The tears will fall on your green silk gown and spot it."

So Dorothy dried her eyes and said, "I suppose we must try it; but I am sure I do not want to kill anybody, even to see Aunt Em again."

"I will go with you; but I'm too much of a coward to kill the Witch," said the Lion.

"I will go too," declared the Scarecrow; "but I shall not be of much help to you, I am such a fool."

"I haven't the heart to harm even a Witch," remarked the Tin Woodman; "but if you go I certainly shall go with you."

Therefore it was decided to start upon their journey the next morning, and the Woodman sharpened his axe on a green grindstone and had all his joints properly oiled. The Scarecrow stuffed himself with fresh straw and Dorothy put new paint on his eyes that he might see better. The green girl, who was very kind to them, filled Dorothy's basket with good things to eat, and fastened a little bell around Toto's neck with a green ribbon.

They went to bed quite early and slept soundly until daylight, when they were awakened by the crowing of a green cock that lived in the back yard of the Palace, and the cackling of a hen that had laid a green egg.

多萝茜和她的朋友们,虽然眼镜被绿眼镜遮住了,但是在最初都被这个神奇的城的光芒眩迷了。美丽的屋子,满布在各条街上,完全用绿大理石造成的,到处都用闪闪发光的消翠装饰着的。他们走在同样绿大理石铺砌的人行道上,这是用一块一块的翡翠紧密地衔接起来造成的,一行一行的,被明亮的太阳照得灿烂闪烁。一块块的窗子,都镶嵌着绿色的玻璃;即使这城市上的天空,也发出一种淡淡的绿色,太阳的光线给染成绿的了。

在这里,来来去去的许多人:男人、女人和孩子们,完全穿着绿衣服,连皮肤也略带绿色。他们都用惊异的眼光,注视着多萝茜,和她带领的这个奇怪的团体,当他们看见了狮子,所有的孩子们都一齐逃走了,躲到他们母亲的身后;但是没有一个人向他们说话。许多的店铺,排列在街上,多萝茜看见店里面的每一件东西,都是绿色的。出售绿的糖果,绿的爆玉蜀黍,还有各种各样的绿鞋子、绿帽子和绿衣衫。在另一个地方,有一个人出售绿的柠檬水,当孩子们去买这东西时,她看见他们付给的钱也是绿的。

在这里仿佛没有马,也没有其他各种兽类;有人在绿色的小小的两轮货车上,运载着货物,在前面拉着。仿佛每一个人都很快乐,满足,一切顺利而且幸福。

守城门的人,引导他们穿过了一些街道,直走到一所大厦的前面,这就是可怕的大魔术家奥芝的宫殿,恰恰建筑在这城市的中心。有一个兵士站在门前,穿着绿的制服,长着一丛长长的绿胡须。

守城门的人对他说:“这里有几个客人,他们要求会见伟大的奥芝。”

兵士回答说:“到里面来。我把你们的来意去通报他。”

他们穿过宫殿的大门,被领进铺着绿地毯的一间大屋子里。放着用翡翠做的可爱的绿家具。在走进这间屋子以前,那兵士叫他们一起在绿的席垫上擦干净他们的鞋底。等他们一起坐下以后,他很有礼貌地说:

“让我进去到那王宫的门前,告诉奥芝说你们在这里要见他,请你们先在这里随便休息一下吧。”

他们等了很长时间。当士兵回来以后,多萝茜问道:

“你有没有看见过奥芝?”

“啊,没有,”兵士回答说:“我从来没有见过他。我只当他坐在帐幔的后面,向他说话,把你们的意思告诉他听。他说,你们这般地渴望着,允许你们去见他,但是,你们必须每一个单独地到他的面前,并且只准每天会见一个。所以你们必须在这宫中停留好几天,我要为你们开几个房间,在你们长途跋涉以后,可以休息得舒服一点儿。”

“多谢你,”小女孩子回答说,“那是奥芝十分的美意。”

现在,兵士吹着一个绿色的口笛,立刻有一个年青女郎,穿着一件美丽的绿丝袍,走进屋子来。她长着可爱的绿发和绿眼,当她说话的时候,还在多萝茜面前低低地鞠躬,“跟我来,我把你的房间指给你看。”

多萝茜向她的朋友们说声再会,只有托托除外,她把这狗抱起在臂弯里,跟着绿女郎穿过七个门廊,跑上三座楼梯,一直跑到宫殿前面的一间房间里。那是在世界上最美丽最可爱的小房间了,有一只柔软舒服的床,上面有绿绸的被,绿天鹅绒的褥。在房间的中央,有一个小喷水器,向空中射出一股绿色香水的水花,水花回落在一只雕刻得很美丽的绿色大理石的盆子里,一些美丽的绿花,安放在窗子的旁边,在那里还有一个放着一行绿色小书的书架,当多萝茜去打开这些书来看时,发现里面满是引她

在一只衣橱里有许多绿衣服,用绸缎和天鹅绒做的,全部很适合多萝茜穿的。

“你完全当作在自己的家里一样,”绿女郎说:“倘使你要什么东西,就请摇这个铃。明天早晨,奥芝会差人来叫你。”

她让多萝茜独自留在房间里,自己再到别人那里去。

她也把他们领到各个房间里去,每一个都觉得是宿在这宫殿里的房间里,十分快乐有趣。当然,这样的优待,对于稻草人是毫无用处的;因为当稻草人发觉自己独个人待在他的房间里时,很笨拙地站在门口,傻乎乎地等待着天明。他不能够躺下去休息,也不能够闭着他的眼睛,所以整夜醒着,凝视着房间的一个角落里,有一只小蜘蛛,正在织它的网,好像在这个世界上,这还算不是一间最奇异的房间。

铁皮人因为记得过去他是血肉的身体,由于习惯势力,躺在床上;但是不能够入睡,整夜上上下下地运动着,使他的一些关节,确保能做良好的动作。

狮子宁愿在森林中有一只干叶子的床,并且不喜欢被关在一间房间里;但是它很聪明的,不让这事情来麻烦自己,所以它跃上床去,像一只猫样地滚着,并且呜呜地叫着,在一分钟里睡熟了。

第二天早晨,吃过早饭以后,绿女郎跑到多萝茜那里来,替她穿上衣裳中最美丽的一件—一用绿锦缎做的。多萝茜还穿上一条绿绸的裙子,并且用一条绿丝带,缚在托托的颈项里,她们动身走向伟大的奥芝的王宫去。

最初,她们跑到一个大厅里,在那里有许多朝廷上的贵妇和绅士,完全穿戴着富丽的服装。这些人没有事情做,彼此只是在闲谈,虽然他们从来没有被允许进去见一见奥芝,但是每天早晨,总是跑来在王宫外面侍候。当多萝茜跑进去了,他们好奇地注视她,其中有个低声问道:

“你可是真正想抬着头去看看那可怕的奥芝的脸吗?”

小女孩子回答说:“倘使他愿意会见我,当然要抬起头来看看他。”

“唔,他愿意会见你,”那个把她的意思传达给魔术家的兵士说,“虽然他不喜欢有人去请求见他。真的,起初他是愤怒的,并且说要把你从来的地方送回去。后来他问我你像个什么样子,当我说到你的银鞋子时,他觉得十分有趣。最后,我把你额角上的记号也告评了他,他就决定允许你到他的面前去。”

正在这时候,一声铃响了,绿女郎对多萝茜说:“这是信号,你必须独个儿走进王宫里去。”

女郎打开一个小门,多萝茜大胆地走进去,发觉自己到了一个神秘的地方。一个广大的圆屋子,盖着高拱形的房顶,四周的墙壁、天花板和地板,都是用大翁翠紧密地接连着的。在屋顶的中央是一盏很大的灯,亮得像太阳,也是用翡翠做的,在异样的光景中闪亮着。

使得多萝茜最有兴趣的,是放在屋子中央的一张巨大的绿色大理石宝座。形状像一只椅子,也像其他的东西一样,闪着宝石的光。在椅子的正中,是一个非常巨大的头,没有身体支持它,就是手或脚什么也都没有。这个头,没有头发,只有一双眼睛和鼻子及嘴巴,大得比最大的巨人的头还要大。

正当多萝茜在惊奇和恐惧中凝视着时,那一只眼睛慢慢地转动着,尖锐地坚定地注视着她。于是那嘴巴也动了,多萝茜听得一个声音说:“我是伟大的可伯的奥芝。你是谁?为什么要来找我?”

这声音不是像她预料着的,从那张大嘴巴里发出来的一个大声音,所以她壮了壮胆子,回答说:

“我是渺小的温和的多萝茜。我为了请求帮助,才跑到你这里来。”

那一双眼睛,沉思地注视着她足足有一分钟。于是那声音说道:

“你在什么地方得到这一双银鞋子的?”

她回答说:“当我的屋子掉在东方的恶女巫的身上,杀死了她的时候,我便从那里得到了这鞋子。”

声音继续地说:“你在什么地方得到了你额上的记号?”

“当那位北方的善女巫同我说再会,她吻了我,要我到你这里来的时候,才有的。”小女孩子说。

那一双眼睛又尖锐地注视她,见她说的是真话。于是奥芝问道:

“你要请求我做什么?”

“送我回堪萨斯州去,那里有我的爱姆婶婶和亨利叔叔住着,”她恳切地回答,“虽然你的国土多么美丽,我却不喜欢。我相信爱姆婶婶将要为了我离开她这么长久而大大忧愁哩。”

那一双眼睛霎了三次,随后又转着看到上面的天花板和下面的地板,并且那么怪异地四周滚动着,仿佛要看透这屋子里的每一个部分。最后又注视着多萝茜。

奥芝问:“为什么我要为你这样做?”

“因为你是强者,我是弱者;因为你是一个伟大的魔术家,我只是一个无能的小女孩子。”

奥芝说:“但是,你却强得足够杀死东方的恶女巫呢。”

多萝茜简单地回答:“那只是碰巧的事情,我并不是有意的啊。”

“唔,”那个头说,“我回答你。除非你为我做一点事情作为代价,你没有权利希望我送你回到堪萨斯州去。在这个国土里,每一个人要得到每一件东西,就必须付出代价。倘使你要我使用魔术的力量,送你再回到家里去,第一你必须为我做一点事情。你帮助了我,随后我再帮助你。”

女孩子问:“我必须做点什么事?”

奥芝回答说:“杀死那个西方的恶女巫。”

多萝茜大吃一惊,高声地说:“这个,我不能够!”

“你杀掉了东方的女巫,穿着这一双银鞋子,它有一种很大的神力。现在只剩下一个恶女巫在这世界上,当你能够告诉我她已经死去了时,我便送你回到堪萨斯州去一—但是在这以前,不能够送你回家。”

这个小女孩子哭起来了,她多么地失望。

奥芝的那一双眼睛,霎着再笑着,烦恼地看着她,好像那伟大的奥芝觉得如果她愿意,她是能够帮助他的。

“我永远不愿意去杀死谁,”她呜咽着说,“即使我愿意去做,我怎么能够杀死那恶女巫?好像你,你是伟大而强有力的,你自己不能够杀死她,怎么能盼望我去做这个呢?”

“我可不管,”那个头说,“这是我的回答,除非等到恶女巫死了,你将再也看不到你的叔叔和婶婶。记住,那女巫是可恶的——很可怕的女巫——她应当被杀死。现在去吧,不完成你的工作,不要再来请求我。”

多萝茜快快不乐地离开了宫殿跑回去,狮子,稻草人和铁皮人都守候在那里,要听听奥芝对她说些什么。

她忧愁地说:“我没有希望,因为除非我杀死了西方的恶女巫,奥芝才肯送我回家去;可是要杀死她,那是我永远做不到的事。”

她的朋友们都很忧愁,但是不能够帮助她做些什么;所以她到房间里去,躺在床上,哭着,叫着,不知不觉地睡着了。

第二天早晨,长着绿胡须的兵士跑到稻草人那里来说:

“跟我来,奥芝差人来叫你了。”

因此稻草人跟着他走,被准许进入大宫殿,他看见翡翠宝座上,坐着一个非常可爱的妇人,穿着绿绸纱,戴上一顶摆动的绿色的宝石皇冠。从她的两只肩膀上,长出一对翅膀来,鲜明华丽,非常轻巧,就是空中有最轻微的气息触及了它们,也会使得它们摆动的。

当稻草人向着这个美丽的妇入鞠躬时,他尽了最大努力作出一个美丽的姿态。她温和地注视他,并且说道:

“我是伟大的可怕的奥芝。你是谁?为什么要来找我?”

现在稻草人十分吃惊,他所盼望着看到的不是多萝茜告诉他的那个大头;但是他很勇敢地回答她:

“我不过是一个稻草人,是用稻草填塞的,因此我没有脑子。我跑到你这里来,请求你在我的脑壳里放下一个脑子,替代着稻草,使得我能够变成像在你的国土上的不论哪一个一样。”

妇人问:“为什么我应当为你这样做?”

稻草人回答说:“因为你是聪明和强有力,没有其他的人能够帮助我。”

“我从来不把恩惠允许给不付一些报酬的人,”奥芝说,“但是这件事我很高兴答应你。倘使你能够为我杀死西方的恶女巫,我将赏赐你一个大脑子,井且是极好的脑子,使得你在全奥芝地方,成为一个最最聪明的人。”

稻草人吃惊地说:“我想你已经要求多萝茜杀死那女巫了。”

“我是这么说过的。我不在乎谁杀掉她。但是除非是她死了,我不会答应你的愿望。去吧,直到你可以得到这个渴望着的脑子以前,不要再来找我。”

稻草人很忧愁地跑回到他的朋友们那里去,把奥芝说的一些什么话告诉他们,多萝茜惊奇地发觉这位大魔术家,并不是像她所看见的一个大头,却是一位贵妇人。

稻草人说:“她虽然是一位美妇人,却和铁皮人一样,需要一颗心。”

第二天早晨,长着绿胡须的兵士,跑到铁皮人那里来说:

“奥芝差人来叫你。跟我去。”

因此铁皮人跟着他到那宫殿中去。他不知道将要看见奥芝是一位贵妇人,还是一个头,但是他希望将是一个贵妇人。“因为,”他自己对自己说,“如果那是头,我相信我将得不到一颗心,因为一个头,它自己也没有心,所以不能够同情我。但是倘使那是贵妇人,我将苦苦地恳求着要一颗心,因为所有的妇人们,大都被认为有慈善心肠的。”

当铁皮人走进大宫殿中去,他所看见的既不是头,也不是妇人,因为奥芝变成了一只最可怕野兽。它大得几乎像一只象,这个绿的宫殿,似乎载负不起它的重量。这只野兽有一个像犀牛的头,不过在它的脸上却有五只服睛。在它身上长出五只长臂,也还有五条细长的腿。厚厚地羊毛似的毛盖满在全身,是一只样子可怕得不能想象的怪物。这是铁皮人的幸福,在那时候他还没有心,否则,他的心会因害怕而跳动得响而且快哩。只因为他是铁皮做的,虽然十分失望,却不大害怕。

“我是伟大的可怕的奥芝!”那野兽说话的声音是一声怒吼,“你是谁?你为什么要来找我?”

“我是一个樵夫,用铁皮做成的。我没有心,不能够恋爱。我请求你给我一颗心,使得我可以像旁的人一样。”

野兽问道:“为什么我应该这样做?”

铁皮人回答说:“我请求这个,因为只有你,才能够满足我的请求。”

奥芝对于这个回答,发出一个低低的咆哮,粗暴地说道:

“倘使你真的要求一颗心,你必定能够得到它的。”

铁皮人问:“怎么样得到它呢?”

“你去帮助多萝茜杀死西方的恶女巫,”野兽回答说,“当这个女巫死了的时候,跑到我这里来,我将把全奥芝地方那颗最大最仁慈和最可以表示爱情的心给你。”

铁皮人也被迫得忧愁地跑到他的朋友们那里来,把他所看见的可怕的野兽,告诉了他们。他们一齐大大地奇怪着,那大魔术家竟然能够把自己变化成许多的样子。狮子说:

“当我去看他的时候,倘使他是一只野兽,我将发出我最大的吼声,恐吓它,吓得它会答应我的请求。倘使他是个贵妇人,我将假装扑到她身上去,强迫她做我所要求的事。倘使他是个大头,它将肉我讨饶;因为我将在房间里滚动那个头,直滚到它答应给我们所盼望的事。我的朋友们,乐观些,一切都尚有可为呢。”

第二天早晨,长着绿胡须的兵士,领着狮子到那大宫殿里,吩咐它走进去,走到奥芝的面前。

狮子立刻穿过那门,向四周瞥视,使它吃惊的,在宝座前面的是一个火球,多么的猛烈和炽热,差不多不容它遇视。起初它想的是那奥芝遇到了不测的事情了,着了火烧了起来了;但是,当它想走近一点儿的时候,热度非常厉害,快要烧焦它的触须,就颤抖地爬着退回去,站到靠近门口的地方。

于是一个低沉的平静的声音,从火球里发出来,说出这一些话:

“我是伟大的可怕的奥芝,你是谁?你为什么要来找我?”

狮子就回答说:“我是一只胆小的狮子,害怕一切的东西。我跑到你这里来请求你给我胆量,使得我能够名副其实地成为野兽们的皇帝,正像人们所称呼我的。”

奥芝问道:“为什么我应该给你胆量?”

狮子回答说:“因为在所有的魔术家中,你是最最伟大,唯一有权力答应我的要求。”

这时候,火球燃烧得更加猛烈了。

那声音说:“你把那恶女巫死了的证据带来给我,到那时候,我就把胆量给你。但是,只要那个女巫还活着,你一定仍旧是一只小胆狮。”

狮子对于这些话很愤怒,但是它没有什么可以回答,这时,它静静地站着,凝视着那火球,变得更加猛烈地灼热了,使得它转过尾巴来从宫中冲出去,它的朋友们在等候着它;它欢喜地找到了他们,把它和那魔术家会见的可怕情形,告诉了他们。

多萝茜忧愁地问:“现在我们怎么办?”

“只有一件事情我们能够做,”狮子回答说,“那就是去到那温基人住的地方,找到那恶女巫,把她杀死。”

“但是,假使我们做不到呢?”小女孩子说。

“那么,我将永远不能有胆量了,”狮子断然说。

“我将永远不会有脑子了,”稻草人再说。

“我将永远不会有一颗心了,”铁皮人说。

“我将永远不会看见爱姆婶婶和亨利叔叔了。”多萝茜说着,重新又哭起来了。

“当心!”绿女郎叫喊着,“那眼泪会掉在你的绿缎衣上,把它弄污了。”

因此多萝茜揩干了她的眼泪说道:“我以为我们必须去尝试一下,但是我相信即使为了要再见到爱姆婶婶,我也不想去杀死什么人。”

“我同你一块儿去,但是要去杀死那个女巫,我太胆小了!”狮子说。

“我也去,”稻草人自告奋勇,“不过因为我是一个笨汉,对于你,我将没有多大的帮助。”

“虽然是一个恶女巫,我也无心去伤害她,”铁皮人说,“不过倘使你去,我当然同你一块儿去。”

因此他们决定在第二天,出发走上他们的旅途了。铁皮人在绿的磨石上,磨快了他的斧头,他的一些关节,全部加了油。稻草人自己填进了新鲜的稻草,多萝茜还把新的油漆,涂在他的眼睛上,使他可以看得更加清楚一些。那个绿女郎对待他们十分和善,把好的食品放满在多萝茜的篮子里,并且把一个小铃,用一条绿丝带缚紧在托托的颈项里。

他们很早上床去,并且酣睡着,一直睡到天亮,那时候,养在宫殿后院子里的绿公鸡,喔喔喔地叫,那一只母鸡,已经生下了一个绿蛋,正在咯咯地叫,他们才被吵醒了。