This Etext was prepared for Project Gutenberg by Anthony Matonac. Version 11 proofreading and corrections by Paul Selkirk, February 2002.
THE PATCHWORK GIRL OF OZ
by L. FRANK BAUM
Affectionately Dedicated to my young friend Sumner Hamilton Britton of Chicago
Through the kindness of Dorothy Gale of Kansas, afterward Princess Dorothy of Oz, an humble writer in the United States of America was once appointed Royal Historian of Oz, with the privilege of writing the chronicle of that wonderful fairyland. But after making six books about the adventures of those interesting but queer people who live in the Land of Oz, the Historian learned with sorrow that by an edict of the Supreme Ruler, Ozma of Oz, her country would thereafter be rendered invisible to all who lived outside its borders and that all communication with Oz would, in the future, be cut off.
The children who had learned to look for the books about Oz and who loved the stories about the gay and happy people inhabiting that favored country, were as sorry as their Historian that there would be no more books of Oz stories. They wrote many letters asking if the Historian did not know of some adventures to write about that had happened before the Land of Oz was shut out from all the rest of the world. But he did not know of any. Finally one of the children inquired why we couldn't hear from Princess Dorothy by wireless telegraph, which would enable her to communicate to the Historian whatever happened in the far-off Land of Oz without his seeing her, or even knowing just where Oz is.
That seemed a good idea; so the Historian rigged up a high tower in his back yard, and took lessons in wireless telegraphy until he understood it, and then began to call "Princess Dorothy of Oz" by sending messages into the air.
Now, it wasn't likely that Dorothy would be looking for wireless messages or would heed the call; but one thing the Historian was sure of, and that was that the powerful Sorceress, Glinda, would know what he was doing and that he desired to communicate with Dorothy. For Glinda has a big book in which is recorded every event that takes place anywhere in the world, just the moment that it happens, and so of course the book would tell her about the wireless message.
And that was the way Dorothy heard that the Historian wanted to speak with her, and there was a Shaggy Man in the Land of Oz who knew how to telegraph a wireless reply. The result was that the Historian begged so hard to be told the latest news of Oz, so that he could write it down for the children to read, that Dorothy asked permission of Ozma and Ozma graciously consented.
That is why, after two long years of waiting, another Oz story is now presented to the children of America. This would not have been possible had not some clever man invented the "wireless" and an equally clever child suggested the idea of reaching the mysterious Land of Oz by its means.
L. Frank Baum.
"OZCOT" at Hollywood in California
LIST OF CHAPTERS 1 - Ojo and Unc Nunkie 2 - The Crooked Magician 3 - The Patchwork Girl 4 - The Glass Cat 5 - A Terrible Accident 6 - The Journey 7 - The Troublesome Phonograph 8 - The Foolish Owl and the Wise Donkey 9 - They Meet the Woozy 10 - Shaggy Man to the Rescue 11 - A Good Friend 12 - The Giant Porcupine 13 - Scraps and the Scarecrow 14 - Ojo Breaks the Law 15 - Ozma's Prisoner 16 - Princess Dorothy 17 - Ozma and Her Friends 18 - Ojo is Forgiven 19 - Trouble with the Tottenhots 20 - The Captive Yoop 21 - Hip Hopper the Champion 22 - The Joking Horners 23 - Peace is Declared 24 - Ojo Finds the Dark Well 25 - They Bribe the Lazy Quadling 26 - The Trick River 27 - The Tin Woodman Objects 28 - The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
The Patchwork Girl of Oz
Ojo and Unc Nunkie
"Where's the butter, Unc Nunkie?" asked Ojo.
Unc looked out of the window and stroked his long beard. Then he turned to the Munchkin boy and shook his head.
"Isn't," said he.
"Isn't any butter? That's too bad, Unc. Where's the jam then?" inquired Ojo, standing on a stool so he could look through all the shelves of the cupboard. But Unc Nunkie shook his head again.
"Gone," he said.
"No jam, either? And no cake--no jelly--no apples--nothing but bread?"
"All," said Unc, again stroking his beard as he gazed from the window.
The little boy brought the stool and sat beside his uncle, munching the dry bread slowly and seeming in deep thought.
"Nothing grows in our yard but the bread tree," he mused, "and there are only two more loaves on that tree; and they're not ripe yet. Tell me, Unc; why are we so poor?"