They must have had good courage
to climb all those rocks, for
after getting out of the canyon
they encountered more rock hills
to he surmounted. Toto could
jump from one rock to another
quite easily, but the others
had to creep and climb with care,
so that after a whole day of
such work Dorothy and Ojo found
themselves very tired.
As they gazed upward at the
great mass of tumbled rocks that
covered the steep incline, Dorothy
gave a little groan and said:
to be a ter'ble hard climb,
Scarecrow. I wish
we could find the dark well without
so much trouble."
"Suppose," said Ojo, "you
wait here and let me do the
for it's on my account we're
searching for the dark well.
Then, if I don't find anything,
I'll come back and join you.
"No," replied the little girl,
shaking her head positively, "we'll
all go together, for that way
we can help each other. If you
went alone, something might happen
to you, Ojo."
So they began the climb and
found it indeed difficult, for
a way. But presently, in creeping
over the big crags, they found
a path at their feet which wound
in and out among the masses of
rock and was quite smooth and
easy to walk upon. As the path
gradually ascended the mountain,
although in a roundabout way,
they decided to follow it.
"This must be the road to the
Country of the Hoppers," said
"Who are the Hoppers?" asked
"Some people Jack Pumpkinhead
told me about," he replied.
"I didn't hear him," replied
"No; you were asleep," explained
the Scarecrow. "But he told Scraps
and me that the hoppers and the
Horners live on this mountain."
"He said in the mountain," declared
Scraps; "but of course he meant
"Didn't he say what the Hoppers
and Horners were like?" inquired
"No; he only
said they were two separate
nations, and that
the Horners were the most important."
"Well, if we go to their country
we'll find out all about 'em," said
the girl. "But I've never heard
Ozma mention those people, so
they can't be very important."
"Is this mountain in the Land
of Oz?" asked Scraps.
"Course it is," answered Dorothy. "It's
in the South Country of the Quadlings.
When one comes to the edge of
Oz, in any direction, there is
nothing more to be seen at all.
Once you could see sandy desert
all around Oz; but now it's diff'rent,
and no other people can see us,
any more than we can see them."
"If the mountain is under Ozma's
rule, why doesn't she know about
the Hoppers and the Horners?" Ojo
"Why, it's a fairyland," explained
Dorothy, "and lots of queer people
live in places so tucked away
that those in the Emerald City
never even hear of 'em. In the
middle of the country it's diff'rent,
but when you get around the edges
you're sure to run into strange
little corners that surprise
you. I know, for I've traveled
in Oz a good deal, and os has
"Yes," admitted the straw man, "I've
been considerable of a traveler,
in my time, and I like to explore
strange places. I find I learn
much more by traveling than by
staying at home."
During this conversation they
had been walking up the steep
pathway and now found themselves
well up on the mountain. They
could see nothing around them,
for the rocks beside their path
were higher than their heads.
Nor could they see far in front
of them, because the path was
so crooked. But suddenly they
stopped, because the path ended
and there was no place to go.
Ahead was a big rock lying against
the side of the mountain, and
this blocked the way completely.
"There wouldn't be a path,
though, if it didn't go somewhere," said
the Scarecrow, wrinkling his
forehead in deep thought.
"This is somewhere, isn't it?" asked
the Patchwork Girl, laughing
at the bewildered looks of the
"The path is
locked, the way is blocked,
Yet here we've innocently
flocked; And now we're here it's
rather queer There's no front
door that can be knocked."
"Please don't, Scraps," said
Ojo. "You make me nervous.
"Well," said Dorothy, "I'm
glad of a little rest, for that's
a drea'ful steep path."
As she spoke she leaned against
the edge of the big rock that
stood in their way. To her surprise
it slowly swung backward and
showed behind it a dark hole
that looked like the mouth of
"Why, here's where the path
goes to!" she exclaimed.
"So it is," answered the Scarecrow. "But
the question is, do we want to
go where the path does?"
"It's underground; right inside
the mountain," said Ojo, peering
into the dark hole. "perhaps
there's a well there; and, if
there is, it's sure to be a dark
"Why, that's true enough!" cried
Dorothy with eagerness. "Let's
go in, Scarecrow; 'cause, if
others have gone, we're pretty
safe to go, too."
Toto looked in and barked,
but he did not venture to enter
until the Scarecrow had bravely
gone first. Scraps followed closely
after the straw man and then
Ojo and Dorothy timidly stepped
inside the tunnel. As soon as
all of them had passed the big
rock, it slowly turned and filled
up the opening again; but now
they were no longer in the dark,
for a soft, rosy light enabled
them to see around them quite
It was only a passage, wide
enough for two of them to walk
abreast--with Toto in between
them--and it had a high, arched
roof. They could not see where
the light which flooded the place
so pleasantly came from, for
there were no lamps anywhere
visible. The passage ran straight
for a little way and then made
a bend to the right and another
sharp turn to the left, after
which it went straight again.
But there were no side passages,
so they could not lose their
After proceeding some distance,
Toto, who had gone on ahead,
began to bark loudly. They ran
around a bend to see what was
the matter and found a man sitting
on the floor of the passage and
leaning his back against the
wall. He had probably been asleep
before Toto's barks aroused him,
for he was now rubbing his eyes
and staring at the little dog
with all his might.
There was something about this
man that Toto objected to, and
when he slowly rose to his foot
they saw what it was. He had
but one leg, set just below the
middle of his round, fat body;
but it was a stout leg and had
a broad, flat foot at the bottom
of it, on which the man seemed
to stand very well. He had never
had but this one leg, which looked
something like a pedestal, and
when Toto ran up and made a grab
at the man's ankle he hopped
first one way and then another
in a very active manner, looking
so frightened that Scraps laughed
Toto was usually a well behaved
dog, but this time he was angry
and snapped at the man's leg
again and again. This filled
the poor fellow with fear, and
in hopping out of Toto's reach
he suddenly lost his balance
and tumbled heel over head upon
the floor. When he sat up he
kicked Toto on the nose and made
the dog howl angrily, but Dorothy
now ran forward and caught Toto's
collar, holding him back.
"Do you surrender?" she
asked the man.
"Who? Me?" asked
"Yes; you," said
the little girl.
"Am I captured?" he
"Of course. My dog has captured
you," she said.
"Well," replied the man, "if
I'm captured I must surrender,
for it's the proper thing to
do. I like to do everything proper,
for it saves one a lot of trouble."
"It does, indeed," said Dorothy. "Please
tell us who you are.
"I'm Hip Hopper--Hip
Hopper, the Champion."
"Champion what?" she
asked in surprise.
I'm a very strong man, and
animal which you are so kindly
holding is the first living thing
that has ever conquered me."
"And you are a Hopper?" she
"Yes. My people
live in a great city not far
from here. Would
you like to visit it?"
"I'm not sure," she said with
hesitation. "Have you any dark
wells in your city?"
"I think not.
We have wells, you know, hut
they're all well
lighted, and a well lighted well
cannot well be a dark well. But
there may be such a thing as
a very dark well in the Horner
Country, which is a black spot
on the face of the earth."
"Where is the Horner Country?" Ojo
side of the mountain. There's
a fence between the Hopper
Country and the Horner Country,
and a gate in the fence; but
you can't pass through just now,
because we are at war with the
"That's too bad," said the
Scarecrow. "What seems to be
"Why, one of
them made a very insulting
remark about my people.
He said we were lacking in understanding,
because we had only one leg to
a person. I can't see that legs
have anything to do with understanding
things. The Homers each have
two legs, just as you have. That's
one leg too many, it seems to
"No," declared Dorothy, "it's
just the right number."
"You don't need them," argued
the Hopper, obstinately. "You've
only one head, and one body,
and one nose and mouth. Two legs
are quite unnecessary, and they
spoil one's shape."
"But how can you walk, with
only one leg?" asked Ojo.
"Walk! Who wants to walk?" exclaimed
the man. "Walking is a terribly
awkward way to travel. I hop,
and so do all my people. It's
so much more graceful and agreeable
"I don't agree with you," said
the Scarecrow. "But tell me,
is there any way to get to the
Horner Country without going
through the city of the Hoppers?"
is another path from the rocky
the mountain, that leads straight
to the entrance of the Horner
Country. But it's a long way
around, so you'd better come
with me. Perhaps they will allow
you to go through the gate; but
we expect to conquer them this
afternoon, if we get time, and
then you may go and come as you
They thought it best to take
the Hopper's advice, and asked
him to lead the way. This he
did in a series of hops, and
he moved so swiftly in this strange
manner that those with two legs
had to run to keep up with him.