It was not long before they
left the passage and came to
a great cave, so high that it
must have reached nearly to the
top of the mountain within which
it lay. It was a magnificent
cave, illumined by the soft,
invisible light, so that everything
in it could be plainly seen.
The walls were of polished marble,
white with veins of delicate
colors running through it, and
the roof was arched and fantastic
Built beneath this vast dome
was a pretty village--not very
large, for there seemed not more
than fifty houses altogether--and
the dwellings were of marble
and artistically designed. No
grass nor flowers nor trees grew
in this cave, so the yards surrounding
the houses carved in designs
both were smooth and bare and
had low walls around them to
mark their boundaries.
In the streets and the yards
of the houses were many people
all having one leg growing below
their bodies and all hopping
here and there whenever they
moved. Even the children stood
firmly upon their single legs
and never lost their balance.
"All hail, Champion!" cried
a man in the first group of Hoppers
they met; "whom have you captured?"
"No one," replied the Champion
in a gloomy voice; "these strangers
have captured me."
"Then," said another, "we
will rescue you, and capture
for we are greater in number."
"No," answered the Champion, "I
can't allow it. I've surrendered,
and it isn't polite to capture
those you've surrendered to."
"Never mind that," said Dorothy. "We
will give you your liberty and
set you free."
the Champion in joyous tones.
"Yes," said the little girl; "your
people may need you to help conquer
At this all the Hoppers looked
downcast and sad. Several more
had joined the group by this
time and quite a crowd of curious
men, women and children surrounded
"This war with our neighbors
is a terrible thing," remarked
one of the women. "Some one is
almost sure to get hurt."
"Why do you say that, madam?" inquired
"Because the horns of our enemies
are sharp, and in battle they
will try to stick those horns
into our warriors," she replied.
"How many horns do the Horners
have?" asked Dorothy.
"Each has one horn in the center
of his fore head," was the answer.
"Oh, then they're unicorns," declared
"No; they're Horners. We never
go to war with them if we can
help it, on account of their
dangerous horns; but this insult
was so great and so unprovoked
that our brave men decided to
fight, in order to be revenged," said
"What weapons do you fight
with?" the Scarecrow asked.
"We have no weapons," explained
the Champion. "Whenever we fight
the Horners, our plan is to push
them back, for our arms are longer
"Then you are better armed," said
"Yes; but they have those terrible
horns, and unless we are careful
they prick us with the points," returned
the Champion with a shudder. "That
makes a war with them dangerous,
and a dangerous war cannot be
a pleasant one."
"I see very clearly," remarked
the Scarecrow, "that you are
going to have trouble in conquering
those Horners--unless we help
"Oh!" cried the Hoppers in
a chorus; "can you help us? Please
do! We will be greatly obliged!
It would please us very much!" and
by these exclamations the Scarecrow
knew that his speech had met
"How far is it to the Horner
Country?" he asked.
"Why, it's just the other side
of the fence," they answered,
and the Champion added:
me, please, and I'll show you
So they followed the Champion
and several others through the
streets and just beyond the village
came to a very high picket fence,
built all of marble, which seemed
to divide the great cave into
two equal parts.
But the part inhabited by the
Horners was in no way as grand
in appearance as that of the
Hoppers. Instead of being marble,
the walls and roof were of dull
gray rock and the square houses
were plainly made of the same
material. But in extent the city
was much larger than that of
the Hoppers and the streets were
thronged with numerous people
who busied themselves in various
Looking through the open pickets
of the fence our friends watched
the Horners, who did not know
they were being watched by strangers,
and found them very unusual in
appearance. They were little
folks in size and had bodies
round as balls and short legs
and arms. Their heads were round,
too, and they had long, pointed
ears and a horn set in the center
of the forehead. The horns did
not seem very terrible, for they
were not more than six inches
long; but they were ivory white
and sharp pointed, and no wonder
the Hoppers feared them.
The skins of the Horners were
light brown, but they wore snow-white
robes and were bare footed. Dorothy
thought the most striking thing
about them was their hair, which
grew in three distinct colors
on each and every head--red,
yellow and green. The red was
at the bottom and sometimes hung
over their eyes; then came a
broad circle of yellow and the
green was at the top and formed
a brush-shaped topknot.
None of the Horners was yet
aware of the presence of strangers,
who watched the little brown
people for a time and then went
to the big gate in the center
of the dividing fence. It was
locked on both sides and over
the latch was a sign reading:
"WAR IS DECLARED"
"Can't we go through?" asked
"Not now," answered
"I think," said the Scarecrow, "that
if I could talk with those Horners
they would apologize to you,
and then there would be no need
"Can't you talk from this side?" asked
"Not so well," replied the
Scarecrow. "Do you suppose you
could throw me over that fence?
It is high, but I am very light."
"We can try it," said the Hopper. "I
am perhaps the strongest man
in my country, so I'll undertake
to do the throwing. But I won't
promise you will land on your
"No matter about that," returned
the Scarecrow. "Just toss me
over and I'll be satisfied."
So the Champion picked up the
Scarecrow and balanced him a
moment, to see how much he weighed,
and then with all his strength
tossed him high into the air.
Perhaps if the Scarecrow had
been a trifle heavier he would
have been easier to throw and
would have gone a greater distance;
but, as it was, instead of going
over the fence he landed just
on top of it, and one of the
sharp pickets caught him in the
middle of his back and held him
fast prisoner. Had he been face
downward the Scarecrow might
have managed to free himself,
but lying on his back on the
picket his hands waved in the
air of the Horner Country while
his feet kicked the air of the
Hopper Country; so there he was.
"Are you hurt?" called
the Patchwork Girl anxiously.
"Course not," said Dorothy. "But
if he wig-gles that way he may
tear his clothes. How can we
get him down, Mr. Champion?"
The Champion shook his head.
"I don't know," he confessed. "If
he could scare Horners as well
as he does crows, it might be
a good idea to leave him there."
"This is terrible," said Ojo,
almost ready to cry. "I s'pose
it's because I am Ojo the Unlucky
that everyone who tries to help
me gets into trouble."
"You are lucky to have anyone
to help you," declared Dorothy. "But
don't worry. We'll rescue the
"I know how," announced Scraps. "Here,
Mr. Champion; just throw me up
to the Scarecrow. I'm nearly
as light as he is, and when I'm
on top the fence I'll pull our
friend off the picket and toss
him down to you."
"All right," said
the Champion, and he picked
up the Patchwork
Girl and threw her in the same
manner he had the Scarecrow.
He must have used more strength
this time, however, for Scraps
sailed far over the top of the
fence and, without being able
to grab the Scarecrow at all,
tumbled to the ground in the
Horner Country, where her stuffed
body knocked over two men and
a woman and made a crowd that
had collected there run like
rabbits to get away from her.
Seeing the next moment that
she was harmless, the people
slowly returned and gathered
around the Patchwork Girl, regarding
her with astonishment. One of
them wore a jeweled star in his
hair, just above his horn, and
this seemed a person of importance.
He spoke for the rest of his
people, who treated him with
"Who are you, Unknown Being?" he
said, rising to her feet and
patting her cotton
wadding smooth where it had bunched
"And where did you come from?" he
"Over the fence. Don't be silly.
There's no other place I could
have come from," she replied.
He looked at her thoughtfully.
"You are not a Hopper," said
he, "for you have two legs. They're
not very well shaped, but they
are two in number. And that strange
creature on top the fence--why
doesn't he stop kicking?--must
be your brother, or father, or
son, for he also has two legs."
"You must have been to visit
the Wise Donkey," said Scraps,
laughing so merrily that the
crowd smiled with her, in sympathy. "But
that reminds me, Captain--or
"I am Chief
of the Horners, and my name
Little Jack Horner; I might
have known it. But the
reason I volplaned over the fence
was so I could have a talk with
you about the Hoppers."
"What about the Hoppers?" asked
the Chief, frowning.
"You've insulted them, and
you'd better beg their pardon," said
Scraps. "If you don't, they'll
probably hop over here and conquer
"We're not afraid--as long
as the gate is locked," declared
the Chief. "And we didn't insult
them at all. One of us made a
joke that the stupid Hoppers
The Chief smiled as he said
this and the smile made his face
look quite jolly.
"What was the joke?" asked
"A Horner said they have less
understanding than we, because
they've only one leg. Ha, ha!
You see the point, don't you?
If you stand on your legs, and
your legs are under you, then--ha,
ha, ha!-- then your legs are
your under-standing. Hee, bee,
hee! Ho, ho! My, but that's a
fine joke. And the stupid Hoppers
couldn't see it! They couldn't
see that with only one leg they
must have less under-standing
than we who have two legs. Ha,
ha, ha! Hee, bee! Ho, ho!" The
Chief wiped the tears of laughter
from his eyes with the bottom
hem of his white robe, and all
the other Horners wiped their
eyes on their robes, for they
had laughed just as heartily
as their Chief at the absurd
"Then," said Scraps, "their
understanding of the understanding
you meant led to the misunderstanding."
"Exactly; and so there's no
need for us to apologize," returned
"No need for an apology, perhaps,
but much need for an explanation," said
Scraps decidedly. "You don't
want war, do you?"
"Not if we can help it," admitted
Jak Horner. "The question is,
who's going to explain the joke
to the Horners? You know it spoils
any joke to be obliged to explain
it, and this is the best joke
I ever heard."
"Who made the joke?" asked
He is working in the mines,
just now, but he'll
be home before long. Suppose
we wait and talk with him about
it? Maybe he'll be willing to
explain his joke to the Hoppers."
"All right," said Scraps. "I'll
wait, if Diksey isn't too long."
"No, he's short;
he's shorter than I am. Ha,
ha, ha! Say! that's
a better joke than Diksey's.
He won't be too long, because
he's short. Hee, hee, ho!"
The other Horners who were
standing by roared with laughter
and seemed to like their Chief's
joke as much as he did. Scraps
thought it was odd that they
could be so easily amused, but
decided there could be little
harm in people who laughed so