The four travelers walked up
to the great gate of Emerald
City and rang the bell. After
ringing several times, it was
opened by the same Guardian of
the Gates they had met before.
"What! are you back again?" he
asked, in surprise.
"Do you not see us?" answered
"But I thought
you had gone to visit the Wicked
"We did visit her," said
"And she let you go again?" asked
the man, in wonder.
"She could not help it, for
she is melted," explained the
"Melted! Well, that is good
news, indeed," said the man. "Who
"It was Dorothy," said
the Lion gravely.
"Good gracious!" exclaimed
the man, and he bowed very low
indeed before her.
Then he led them into his little
room and locked the spectacles
from the great box on all their
eyes, just as he had done before.
Afterward they passed on through
the gate into the Emerald City.
When the people heard from the
Guardian of the Gates that Dorothy
had melted the Wicked Witch of
the West, they all gathered around
the travelers and followed them
in a great crowd to the Palace
The soldier with the green
whiskers was still on guard before
the door, but he let them in
at once, and they were again
met by the beautiful green girl,
who showed each of them to their
old rooms at once, so they might
rest until the Great Oz was ready
to receive them.
The soldier had the news carried
straight to Oz that Dorothy and
the other travelers had come
back again, after destroying
the Wicked Witch; but Oz made
no reply. They thought the Great
Wizard would send for them at
once, but he did not. They had
no word from him the next day,
nor the next, nor the next. The
waiting was tiresome and wearing,
and at last they grew vexed that
Oz should treat them in so poor
a fashion, after sending them
to undergo hardships and slavery.
So the Scarecrow at last asked
the green girl to take another
message to Oz, saying if he did
not let them in to see him at
once they would call the Winged
Monkeys to help them, and find
out whether he kept his promises
or not. When the Wizard was given
this message he was so frightened
that he sent word for them to
come to the Throne Room at four
minutes after nine o'clock the
next morning. He had once met
the Winged Monkeys in the Land
of the West, and he did not wish
to meet them again.
The four travelers passed a
sleepless night, each thinking
of the gift Oz had promised to
bestow on him. Dorothy fell asleep
only once, and then she dreamed
she was in Kansas, where Aunt
Em was telling her how glad she
was to have her little girl at
Promptly at nine o'clock the
next morning the green-whiskered
soldier came to them, and four
minutes later they all went into
the Throne Room of the Great
Of course each one of them
expected to see the Wizard in
the shape he had taken before,
and all were greatly surprised
when they looked about and saw
no one at all in the room. They
kept close to the door and closer
to one another, for the stillness
of the empty room was more dreadful
than any of the forms they had
seen Oz take.
Presently they heard a solemn
Voice, that seemed to come from
somewhere near the top of the
great dome, and it said:
"I am Oz, the
Great and Terrible. Why do
you seek me?"
again in every part of the
room, and then, seeing
no one, Dorothy asked, "Where
"I am everywhere," answered
the Voice, "but to the eyes of
common mortals I am invisible.
I will now seat myself upon my
throne, that you may converse
with me." Indeed, the Voice seemed
just then to come straight from
the throne itself; so they walked
toward it and stood in a row
while Dorothy said:
"We have come
to claim our promise, O Oz."
"What promise?" asked
"You promised to send me back
to Kansas when the Wicked Witch
was destroyed," said the girl.
"And you promised to give me
brains," said the Scarecrow.
"And you promised to give me
a heart," said the Tin Woodman.
"And you promised to give me
courage," said the Cowardly Lion.
"Is the Wicked Witch really
destroyed?" asked the Voice,
and Dorothy thought it trembled
"Yes," she answered, "I
melted her with a bucket of
"Dear me," said the Voice, "how
sudden! Well, come to me tomorrow,
for I must have time to think
"You've had plenty of time
already," said the Tin Woodman
"We shan't wait a day longer," said
"You must keep your promises
to us!" exclaimed Dorothy.
The Lion thought
it might be as well to frighten
so he gave a large, loud roar,
which was so fierce and dreadful
that Toto jumped away from him
in alarm and tipped over the
screen that stood in a corner.
As it fell with a crash they
looked that way, and the next
moment all of them were filled
with wonder. For they saw, standing
in just the spot the screen had
hidden, a little old man, with
a bald head and a wrinkled face,
who seemed to be as much surprised
as they were. The Tin Woodman,
raising his axe, rushed toward
the little man and cried out, "Who
"I am Oz, the Great and Terrible," said
the little man, in a trembling
voice. "But don't strike me--please
don't--and I'll do anything you
want me to."
Our friends looked at him in
surprise and dismay.
"I thought Oz was a great Head," said
"And I thought Oz was a lovely
Lady," said the Scarecrow.
"And I thought Oz was a terrible
Beast," said the Tin Woodman.
"And I thought Oz was a Ball
of Fire," exclaimed the Lion.
"No, you are all wrong," said
the little man meekly. "I have
been making believe."
"Making believe!" cried Dorothy. "Are
you not a Great Wizard?"
"Hush, my dear," he said. "Don't
speak so loud, or you will be
overheard--and I should be ruined.
I'm supposed to be a Great Wizard."
"And aren't you?" she
"Not a bit
of it, my dear; I'm just a
"You're more than that," said
the Scarecrow, in a grieved tone; "you're
"Exactly so!" declared the
little man, rubbing his hands
together as if it pleased him. "I
am a humbug."
"But this is terrible," said
the Tin Woodman. "How shall I
ever get my heart?"
"Or I my courage?" asked
"Or I my brains?" wailed
the Scarecrow, wiping the tears
his eyes with his coat sleeve.
"My dear friends," said Oz, "I
pray you not to speak of these
little things. Think of me, and
the terrible trouble I'm in at
being found out."
"Doesn't anyone else know you're
a humbug?" asked Dorothy.
"No one knows it but you four--and
myself," replied Oz. "I have
fooled everyone so long that
I thought I should never be found
out. It was a great mistake my
ever letting you into the Throne
Room. Usually I will not see
even my subjects, and so they
believe I am something terrible."
"But, I don't understand," said
Dorothy, in bewilderment. "How
was it that you appeared to me
as a great Head?"
"That was one of my tricks," answered
Oz. "Step this way, please, and
I will tell you all about it."
He led the way to a small chamber
in the rear of the Throne Room,
and they all followed him. He
pointed to one corner, in which
lay the great Head, made out
of many thicknesses of paper,
and with a carefully painted
"This I hung from the ceiling
by a wire," said Oz. "I stood
behind the screen and pulled
a thread, to make the eyes move
and the mouth open."
"But how about the voice?" she
"Oh, I am a ventriloquist," said
the little man. "I can throw
the sound of my voice wherever
I wish, so that you thought it
was coming out of the Head. Here
are the other things I used to
deceive you." He showed the Scarecrow
the dress and the mask he had
worn when he seemed to be the
lovely Lady. And the Tin Woodman
saw that his terrible Beast was
nothing but a lot of skins, sewn
together, with slats to keep
their sides out. As for the Ball
of Fire, the false Wizard had
hung that also from the ceiling.
It was really a ball of cotton,
but when oil was poured upon
it the ball burned fiercely.
"Really," said the Scarecrow, "you
ought to be ashamed of yourself
for being such a humbug."
"I am--I certainly am," answered
the little man sorrowfully; "but
it was the only thing I could
do. Sit down, please, there are
plenty of chairs; and I will
tell you my story."
So they sat down and listened
while he told the following tale.
"I was born
"Why, that isn't very far from
Kansas!" cried Dorothy.
"No, but it's farther from
here," he said, shaking his head
at her sadly. "When I grew up
I became a ventriloquist, and
at that I was very well trained
by a great master. I can imitate
any kind of a bird or beast." Here
he mewed so like a kitten that
Toto pricked up his ears and
looked everywhere to see where
she was. "After a time," continued
Oz, "I tired of that, and became
"What is that?" asked
"A man who goes up in a balloon
on circus day, so as to draw
a crowd of people together and
get them to pay to see the circus," he
"Oh," she said, "I
day I went up in a balloon
and the ropes got twisted,
so that I couldn't come down
again. It went way up above the
clouds, so far that a current
of air struck it and carried
it many, many miles away. For
a day and a night I traveled
through the air, and on the morning
of the second day I awoke and
found the balloon floating over
a strange and beautiful country.
"It came down
gradually, and I was not hurt
a bit. But I found
myself in the midst of a strange
people, who, seeing me come from
the clouds, thought I was a great
Wizard. Of course I let them
think so, because they were afraid
of me, and promised to do anything
I wished them to.
"Just to amuse
myself, and keep the good people
ordered them to build this City,
and my Palace; and they did it
all willingly and well. Then
I thought, as the country was
so green and beautiful, I would
call it the Emerald City; and
to make the name fit better I
put green spectacles on all the
people, so that everything they
saw was green."
"But isn't everything here
green?" asked Dorothy.
"No more than in any other
city," replied Oz; "but when
you wear green spectacles, why
of course everything you see
looks green to you. The Emerald
City was built a great many years
ago, for I was a young man when
the balloon brought me here,
and I am a very old man now.
But my people have worn green
glasses on their eyes so long
that most of them think it really
is an Emerald City, and it certainly
is a beautiful place, abounding
in jewels and precious metals,
and every good thing that is
needed to make one happy. I have
been good to the people, and
they like me; but ever since
this Palace was built, I have
shut myself up and would not
see any of them.
"One of my
greatest fears was the Witches,
for while I had
no magical powers at all I soon
found out that the Witches were
really able to do wonderful things.
There were four of them in this
country, and they ruled the people
who live in the North and South
and East and West. Fortunately,
the Witches of the North and
South were good, and I knew they
would do me no harm; but the
Witches of the East and West
were terribly wicked, and had
they not thought I was more powerful
than they themselves, they would
surely have destroyed me. As
it was, I lived in deadly fear
of them for many years; so you
can imagine how pleased I was
when I heard your house had fallen
on the Wicked Witch of the East.
When you came to me, I was willing
to promise anything if you would
only do away with the other Witch;
but, now that you have melted
her, I am ashamed to say that
I cannot keep my promises."
"I think you are a very bad
man," said Dorothy.
"Oh, no, my
dear; I'm really a very good
man, but I'm a very
bad Wizard, I must admit."
"Can't you give me brains?" asked
need them. You are learning
something every day.
A baby has brains, but it doesn't
know much. Experience is the
only thing that brings knowledge,
and the longer you are on earth
the more experience you are sure
"That may all be true," said
the Scarecrow, "but I shall be
very unhappy unless you give
The false Wizard looked at
"Well," he said with a sigh, "I'm
not much of a magician, as I
said; but if you will come to
me tomorrow morning, I will stuff
your head with brains. I cannot
tell you how to use them, however;
you must find that out for yourself."
"Oh, thank you--thank you!" cried
the Scarecrow. "I'll find a way
to use them, never fear!"
"But how about my courage?" asked
the Lion anxiously.
"You have plenty of courage,
I am sure," answered Oz. "All
you need is confidence in yourself.
There is no living thing that
is not afraid when it faces danger.
The True courage is in facing
danger when you are afraid, and
that kind of courage you have
"Perhaps I have, but I'm scared
just the same," said the Lion. "I
shall really be very unhappy
unless you give me the sort of
courage that makes one forget
he is afraid."
"Very well, I will give you
that sort of courage tomorrow," replied
"How about my heart?" asked
the Tin Woodman.
"Why, as for that," answered
Oz, "I think you are wrong to
want a heart. It makes most people
unhappy. If you only knew it,
you are in luck not to have a
"That must be a matter of opinion," said
the Tin Woodman. "For my part,
I will bear all the unhappiness
without a murmur, if you will
give me the heart."
"Very well," answered Oz meekly. "Come
to me tomorrow and you shall
have a heart. I have played Wizard
for so many years that I may
as well continue the part a little
"And now," said Dorothy, "how
am I to get back to Kansas?"
"We shall have to think about
that," replied the little man. "Give
me two or three days to consider
the matter and I'll try to find
a way to carry you over the desert.
In the meantime you shall all
be treated as my guests, and
while you live in the Palace
my people will wait upon you
and obey your slightest wish.
There is only one thing I ask
in return for my help--such as
it is. You must keep my secret
and tell no one I am a humbug."
to say nothing of what they
had learned, and
went back to their rooms in high
spirits. Even Dorothy had hope
that "The Great and Terrible
Humbug," as she called him, would
find a way to send her back to
Kansas, and if he did she was
willing to forgive him everything.