The road led for a time through
a pretty farm country, and then
past a picnic grove that was
very inviting. But the procession
continued to steadily advance
until Billina cried in an abrupt
and commanding manner:
Ozma stopped her chariot so
suddenly that the Scarecrow's
Sawhorse nearly ran into it,
and the ranks of the army tumbled
over one another before they
could come to a halt. Immediately
the yellow hen struggled from
Dorothy's arms and flew into
a clump of bushes by the roadside.
"What's the matter?" called
the Tin Woodman, anxiously.
"Why, Billina wants to lay
her egg, that's all," said Dorothy.
"Lay her egg!" repeated
the Tin Woodman, in astonishment.
"Yes; she lays one every morning,
about this time; and it's quite
fresh," said the girl.
"But does your foolish old
hen suppose that this entire
cavalcade, which is bound on
an important adventure, is going
to stand still while she lays
her egg?" enquired the Tin Woodman,
"What else can we do?" asked
the girl. "It's a habit of Billina's
and she can't break herself of
"Then she must hurry up," said
the Tin Woodman, impatiently.
"No, no!" exclaimed the Scarecrow. "If
she hurries she may lay scrambled
"That's nonsense," said Dorothy. "But
Billina won't be long, I'm sure."
So they stood and waited, although
all were restless and anxious
to proceed. And by and by the
yellow hen came from the bushes
ka-daw-kutt! Kut, kut, kut--ka-daw-kut!"
"What is she doing--singing
her lay?" asked the Scarecrow.
the Tin Woodman, waving his axe,
and the procession started just
as Dorothy had once more grabbed
Billina in her arms.
"Isn't anyone going to get
my egg?" cried the hen, in great
"I'll get it," said
the Scarecrow; and at his command
pranced into the bushes. The
straw man soon found the egg,
which he placed in his jacket
pocket. The cavalcade, having
moved rapidly on, was even then
far in advance; but it did not
take the Sawhorse long to catch
up with it, and presently the
Scarecrow was riding in his accustomed
place behind Ozma's chariot.
"What shall I do with the egg?" he
"I do not know," the girl answered. "Perhaps
the Hungry Tiger would like it."
"It would not be enough to
fill one of my back teeth," remarked
the Tiger. "A bushel of them,
hard boiled, might take a little
of the edge off my appetite;
but one egg isn't good for anything
at all, that I know of."
"No; it wouldn't even make
a sponge cake," said the Scarecrow,
thoughtfully. "The Tin Woodman
might carry it with his axe and
hatch it; but after all I may
as well keep it myself for a
souvenir." So he left it in his
They had now reached that part
of the valley that lay between
the two high mountains which
Dorothy had seen from her tower
window. At the far end was the
third great mountain, which blocked
the valley and was the northern
edge of the Land of Ev. It was
underneath this mountain that
the Nome King's palace was said
to be; but it would be some time
before they reached that place.
The path was becoming rocky
and difficult for the wheels
of the chariot to pass over,
and presently a deep gulf appeared
at their feet which was too wide
for them to leap. So Ozma took
a small square of green cloth
from her pocket and threw it
upon the ground. At once it became
the magic carpet, and unrolled
itself far enough for all the
cavalcade to walk upon. The chariot
now advanced, and the green carpet
unrolled before it, crossing
the gulf on a level with its
banks, so that all passed over
"That's easy enough," said
the Scarecrow. "I wonder what
will happen next."
He was not long in making the
discovery, for the sides of the
mountain came closer together
until finally there was but a
narrow path between them, along
which Ozma and her party were
forced to pass in single file.
They now heard
a low and deep "thump!--
thump!--thump!" which echoed
throughout the valley and seemed
to grow louder as they advanced.
Then, turning a corner of rock,
they saw before them a huge form,
which towered above the path
for more than a hundred feet.
The form was that of a gigantic
man built out of plates of cast
iron, and it stood with one foot
on either side of the narrow
road and swung over its right
shoulder an immense iron mallet,
with which it constantly pounded
the earth. These resounding blows
explained the thumping sounds
they had heard, for the mallet
was much bigger than a barrel,
and where it struck the path
between the rocky sides of the
mountain it filled all the space
through which our travelers would
be obliged to pass.
Of course they at once halted,
a safe distance away from the
terrible iron mallet. The magic
carpet would do them no good
in this case, for it was only
meant to protect them from any
dangers upon the ground beneath
their feet, and not from dangers
that appeared in the air above
"Wow!" said the Cowardly Lion,
with a shudder. "It makes me
dreadfully nervous to see that
big hammer pounding so near my
head. One blow would crush me
into a door-mat."
"The ir-on gi-ant is a fine
fel-low," said Tiktok, "and works
as stead-i-ly as a clock. He
was made for the Nome King by
Smith & Tin-ker, who made me,
and his du-ty is to keep folks
from find-ing the un-der-ground
pal-ace. Is he not a great work
"Can he think, and speak, as
you do?" asked Ozma, regarding
the giant with wondering eyes.
"No," replied the machine; "he
is on-ly made to pound the road,
and has no think-ing or speak-ing
at-tach-ment. But he pounds ve-ry
well, I think."
"Too well," observed the Scarecrow. "He
is keeping us from going farther.
Is there no way to stop his machinery?"
"On-ly the Nome King, who has
the key, can do that," answered
"Then," said Dorothy, anxiously, "what
shall we do?"
"Excuse me for a few minutes," said
the Scarecrow, "and I will think
He retired, then, to a position
in the rear, where he turned
his painted face to the rocks
and began to think.
Meantime the giant continued
to raise his iron mallet high
in the air and to strike the
path terrific blows that echoed
through the mountains like the
roar of a cannon. Each time the
mallet lifted, however, there
was a moment when the path beneath
the monster was free, and perhaps
the Scarecrow had noticed this,
for when he came back to the
others he said:
is a very simple one, after
all. We have but to
run under the hammer, one at
a time, when it is lifted, and
pass to the other side before
it falls again."
"It will require quick work,
if we escape the blow," said
the Tin Woodman, with a shake
of his head. "But it really seems
the only thing to be done. Who
will make the first attempt?"
They looked at one another
hesitatingly for a moment. Then
the Cowardly Lion, who was trembling
like a leaf in the wind, said
the head of the procession
must go first--and
that's me. But I'm terribly afraid
of the big hammer!"
"What will become of me?" asked
Ozma. "You might rush under the
hammer yourself, but the chariot
would surely be crushed."
"We must leave the chariot," said
the Scarecrow. "But you two girls
can ride upon the backs of the
Lion and the Tiger."
So this was decided upon, and
Ozma, as soon as the Lion was
unfastened from the chariot,
at once mounted the beast's back
and said she was ready.
"Cling fast to his mane," advised
Dorothy. "I used to ride him
myself, and that's the way I
So Ozma clung fast to the mane,
and the lion crouched in the
path and eyed the swinging mallet
carefully until he knew just
the instant it would begin to
rise in the air.
Then, before anyone thought
he was ready, he made a sudden
leap straight between the iron
giant's legs, and before the
mallet struck the ground again
the Lion and Ozma were safe on
the other side.
The Tiger went next. Dorothy
sat upon his back and locked
her arms around his striped neck,
for he had no mane to cling to.
He made the leap straight and
true as an arrow from a bow,
and ere Dorothy realized it she
was out of danger and standing
by Ozma's side.
Now came the Scarecrow on the
Sawhorse, and while they made
the dash in safety they were
within a hair's breadth of being
caught by the descending hammer.
Tiktok walked up to the very
edge of the spot the hammer struck,
and as it was raised for the
next blow he calmly stepped forward
and escaped its descent. That
was an idea for the Tin Woodman
to follow, and he also crossed
in safety while the great hammer
was in the air. But when it came
to the twenty-six officers and
the private, their knees were
so weak that they could not walk
"In battle we are wonderfully
courageous," said one of the
generals, "and our foes find
us very terrible to face. But
war is one thing and this is
another. When it comes to being
pounded upon the head by an iron
hammer, and smashed into pancakes,
we naturally object."
"Make a run for it," urged
"Our knees shake so that we
cannot run," answered a captain. "If
we should try it we would all
certainly be pounded to a jelly."
"Well, well," sighed the Cowardly
Lion, "I see, friend Tiger, that
we must place ourselves in great
danger to rescue this bold army.
Come with me, and we will do
the best we can."
So, Ozma and Dorothy having
already dismounted from their
backs, the Lion and the Tiger
leaped back again under the awful
hammer and returned with two
generals clinging to their necks.
They repeated this daring passage
twelve times, when all the officers
had been carried beneath the
giant's legs and landed safely
on the further side. By that
time the beasts were very tired,
and panted so hard that their
tongues hung out of their great
"But what is to become of the
private?" asked Ozma.
"Oh, leave him there to guard
the chariot," said the Lion. "I'm
tired out, and won't pass under
that mallet again."
The officers at once protested
that they must have the private
with them, else there would be
no one for them to command. But
neither the Lion or the Tiger
would go after him, and so the
Scarecrow sent the Sawhorse.
Either the wooden horse was
careless, or it failed to properly
time the descent of the hammer,
for the mighty weapon caught
it squarely upon its head, and
thumped it against the ground
so powerfully that the private
flew off its back high into the
air, and landed upon one of the
giant's cast-iron arms. Here
he clung desperately while the
arm rose and fell with each one
of the rapid strokes.
The Scarecrow dashed in to
rescue his Sawhorse, and had
his left foot smashed by the
hammer before he could pull the
creature out of danger. They
then found that the Sawhorse
had been badly dazed by the blow;
for while the hard wooden knot
of which his head was formed
could not be crushed by the hammer,
both his ears were broken off
and he would be unable to hear
a sound until some new ones were
made for him. Also his left knee
was cracked, and had to be bound
up with a string.
Billina having fluttered under
the hammer, it now remained only
to rescue the private who was
riding upon the iron giant's
arm, high in the air.
The Scarecrow lay flat upon
the ground and called to the
man to jump down upon his body,
which was soft because it was
stuffed with straw. This the
private managed to do, waiting
until a time when he was nearest
the ground and then letting himself
drop upon the Scarecrow. He accomplished
the feat without breaking any
bones, and the Scarecrow declared
he was not injured in the least.
Therefore, the Tin Woodman
having by this time fitted new
ears to the Sawhorse, the entire
party proceeded upon its way,
leaving the giant to pound the
path behind them.