Dorothy obeyed. She ran at once
behind the Nome King, who was
still trying to free his eyes
from the egg, and in a twinkling
she had unbuckled his splendid
jeweled belt and carried it away
with her to her place beside
the Tiger and Lion, where, because
she did not know what else to
do with it, she fastened it around
her own slim waist.
Just then the Chief Steward
rushed in with a sponge and a
bowl of water, and began mopping
away the broken eggs from his
master's face. In a few minutes,
and while all the party stood
looking on, the King regained
the use of his eyes, and the
first thing he did was to glare
wickedly upon the Scarecrow and
you suffer for this, you hay-stuffed
you know eggs are poison to Nomes?"
"Really," said the Scarecrow, "they
DON'T seem to agree with you,
although I wonder why."
"They were strictly fresh and
above suspicion," said Billina. "You
ought to be glad to get them."
"I'll transform you all into
scorpions!" cried the King, angrily,
and began waving his arms and
muttering magic words.
But none of the people became
scorpions, so the King stopped
and looked at them in surprise.
"What's wrong?" he
"Why, you are not wearing your
magic belt," replied the Chief
Steward, after looking the King
over carefully. "Where is it?
What have you done with it?"
The Nome King clapped his hand
to his waist, and his rock colored
face turned white as chalk.
"It's gone," he cried, helplessly. "It's
gone, and I am ruined!"
Dorothy now stepped forward
and you, Queen of Ev, I welcome
you and your
people back to the land of the
living. Billina has saved you
from your troubles, and now we
will leave this drea'ful place,
and return to Ev as soon as poss'ble."
While the child spoke they
could all see that she wore the
magic belt, and a great cheer
went up from all her friends,
which was led by the voices of
the Scarecrow and the private.
But the Nome King did not join
them. He crept back onto his
throne like a whipped dog, and
lay there bitterly bemoaning
"But we have not yet found
my faithful follower, the Tin
Woodman," said Ozma to Dorothy, "and
without him I do not wish to
"Nor I," replied Dorothy, quickly. "Wasn't
he in the palace?"
"He must be there," said Billina; "but
I had no clue to guide me in
guessing the Tin Woodman, so
I must have missed him."
"We will go back into the rooms," said
Dorothy. "This magic belt, I
am sure, will help us to find
our dear old friend."
So she re-entered the palace,
the doors of which still stood
open, and everyone followed her
except the Nome King, the Queen
of Ev and Prince Evring. The
mother had taken the little Prince
in her lap and was fondling and
kissing him lovingly, for he
was her youngest born.
But the others went with Dorothy,
and when she came to the middle
of the first room the girl waved
her hand, as she had seen the
King do, and commanded the Tin
Woodman, whatever form he might
then have, to resume his proper
shape. No result followed this
attempt, so Dorothy went into
another room and repeated it,
and so through all the rooms
of the palace. Yet the Tin Woodman
did not appear to them, nor could
they imagine which among the
thousands of ornaments was their
Sadly they returned to the
throne room, where the King,
seeing that they had met with
failure, jeered at Dorothy, saying:
"You do not
know how to use my belt, so
it is of no use to
you. Give it back to me and I
will let you go free--you and
all the people who came with
you. As for the royal family
of Ev, they are my slaves, and
shall remain here."
"I shall keep the belt," said
"But how can you escape, without
my consent?" asked the King.
"Easily enough," answered the
girl. "All we need to do is to
walk out the way that we came
"Oh, that's all, is it?" sneered
the King. "Well, where is the
passage through which you entered
They all looked around, but
could not discover the place,
for it had long since been closed.
Dorothy, however, would not be
dismayed. She waved her hand
toward the seemingly solid wall
of the cavern and said:
the passage to open!"
Instantly the order was obeyed;
the opening appeared and the
passage lay plainly before them.
The King was amazed, and all
the others overjoyed.
"Why, then, if the belt obeys
you, were we unable to discover
the Tin Woodman?" asked Ozma.
"I can't imagine," said
"See here, girl," proposed
the King, eagerly; "give me the
belt, and I will tell you what
shape the Tin Woodman was changed
into, and then you can easily
Dorothy hesitated, but Billina
do it! If the Nome King gets
the belt again he will
make every one of us prisoners,
for we will be in his power.
Only by keeping the belt, Dorothy,
will you ever be able to leave
this place in safety."
"I think that is true," said
the Scarecrow. "But I have another
idea, due to my excellent brains.
Let Dorothy transform the King
into a goose-egg unless he agrees
to go into the palace and bring
out to us the ornament which
is our friend Nick Chopper, the
"A goose-egg!" echoed the horrified
King. "How dreadful!"
"Well, a goose-egg you will
be unless you go and fetch us
the ornament we want," declared
Billina, with a joyful chuckle.
"You can see for yourself that
Dorothy is able to use the magic
belt all right," added the Scarecrow.
The Nome King thought it over
and finally consented, for he
did not want to be a goose-egg.
So he went into the palace to
get the ornament which was the
transformation of the Tin Woodman,
and they all awaited his return
with considerable impatience,
for they were anxious to leave
this underground cavern and see
the sunshine once more. But when
the Nome King came back he brought
nothing with him except a puzzled
and anxious expression upon his
"He's gone!" he said. "The
Tin Woodman is nowhere in the
"Are you sure?" asked
"I'm very sure," answered the
King, trembling, "for I know
just what I transformed him into,
and exactly where he stood. But
he is not there, and please don't
change me into a goose-egg, because
I've done the best I could."
They were all silent for a
time, and then Dorothy said:
"There is no
use punishing the Nome King
any more, and I'm
'fraid we'll have to go away
without our friend."
"If he is not here, we cannot
rescue him," agreed the Scarecrow,
sadly. "Poor Nick! I wonder what
has become of him."
"And he owed me six weeks back
pay!" said one of the generals,
wiping the tears from his eyes
with his gold-laced coat sleeve.
Very sorrowfully they determined
to return to the upper world
without their former companion,
and so Ozma gave the order to
begin the march through the passage.
The army went first, and then
the royal family of Ev, and afterward
came Dorothy, Ozma, Billina,
the Scarecrow and Tiktok.
They left the Nome King scowling
at them from his throne, and
had no thought of danger until
Ozma chanced to look back and
saw a large number of the warriors
following them in full chase,
with their swords and spears
and axes raised to strike down
the fugitives as soon as they
drew near enough.
Evidently the Nome King had
made this last attempt to prevent
their escaping him; but it did
him no good, for when Dorothy
saw the danger they were in she
stopped and waved her hand and
whispered a command to the magic
Instantly the foremost warriors
became eggs, which rolled upon
the floor of the cavern in such
numbers that those behind could
not advance without stepping
upon them. But, when they saw
the eggs, all desire to advance
departed from the warriors, and
they turned and fled madly into
the cavern, and refused to go
Our friends had no further
trouble in reaching the end of
the passage, and soon were standing
in the outer air upon the gloomy
path between the two high mountains.
But the way to Ev lay plainly
before them, and they fervently
hoped that they had seen the
last of the Nome King and of
his dreadful palace.
The cavalcade was led by Ozma,
mounted on the Cowardly Lion,
and the Queen of Ev, who rode
upon the back of the Tiger. The
children of the Queen walked
behind her, hand in hand. Dorothy
rode the Sawhorse, while the
Scarecrow walked and commanded
the army in the absence of the
way began to lighten and more
of the sunshine
to come in between the two mountains.
And before long they heard the "thump!
thump! thump!" of the giant's
hammer upon the road.
"How may we pass the monstrous
man of iron?" asked the Queen,
anxious for the safety of her
children. But Dorothy solved
the problem by a word to the
The giant paused, with his
hammer held motionless in the
air, thus allowing the entire
party to pass between his cast-iron
legs in safety.