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Dorothy and the
Wizard of Oz
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2. The Glass City
recovered her senses they were still falling, but not so fast. The
top of the buggy caught the air like a parachute or an
umbrella filled with wind, and held them back so that they floated
a gentle motion that was not so very disagreeable to bear.
The worst thing was their
terror of reaching the bottom of this great
crack in the earth, and the natural fear that sudden death was about to
them at any moment.
Crash after crash echoed far
above their heads, as the earth
came together where it had split, and stones and chunks of clay rattled
them on every side.
could not see, but they could feel them pelting the buggy top, and Jim
almost like a human being when a stone overtook him and struck his
They did not really hurt the
poor horse, because everything was falling
together; only the stones and rubbish fell faster than the horse and
which were held back by the pressure of the air, so that the terrified
was actually more frightened than he was injured.
state of things continued Dorothy could not even guess, she was so
But bye and bye, as she
stared ahead into the black chasm with a beating heart, she began to
the form of the horse Jim – his head up in the air, his ears
legs sprawling in every direction as he tumbled through space. Also,
head, she found that she could see the boy beside her, who had until
remained as still and silent as she herself.
sighed and commenced to breathe easier. She
began to realize that death was not in store for her, after all, but
had merely started upon another adventure, which promised to be just as
and unusual as were those she had before encountered.
thought in mind the girl took heart and leaned her head over the side
buggy to see where the strange light was coming from. Far below her she
six great glowing balls suspended in the air. The central and largest
white, and reminded her of the sun. Around it were arranged, like the
points of a star, the other five brilliant balls; one being rose
violet, one yellow, one blue and one orange.
This splendid group of
colored suns sent rays darting in every direction,
and as the horse and buggy—with Dorothy and Zeb – sank
steadily downward and
came nearer to the lights, the rays began to take on all the delicate
of a rainbow, growing more and more distinct every moment until all the
was brilliantly illuminated.
too dazed to say much, but she watched one of Jim's big ears turn to
the other to rose, and wondered that his tail should be yellow and his
striped with blue and orange like the stripes of a zebra.
Then she looked at Zeb, whose
face was blue and whose hair was pink, and
gave a little laugh that sounded a bit nervous.
it funny?" she said.
startled and his eyes were big.
had a green streak through the center of her face where the blue and
lights came together, and her appearance seemed to add to his fright.
"I – I
don't s-s-see any-thing funny – 'bout it!" he stammered.
buggy tipped slowly over upon its side, the body of the horse tipping
But they continued to fall,
all together, and the boy and girl had no
difficulty in remaining upon the seat, just as they were before.
Then they turned bottom side
up, and continued to roll slowly over until
they were right side up again.
this time Jim struggled frantically, all his legs kicking the air; but
finding himself in his former position the horse said, in a relieved
Zeb looked at one another in wonder.
your horse talk?" she asked.
knew him to, before," replied the boy.
were the first words I ever said," called out the horse, who had
them, "and I can't explain why I happened to speak then. This is a nice
scrape you've got me into, isn't it?"
that, we are in the same scrape ourselves," answered Dorothy,
"But never mind; something
will happen pretty soon."
course," growled the horse, "and then we shall be sorry it
All this was so terrible
and unreal that he could not understand it at all, and so had good
reason to be
drew near to the flaming colored suns, and passed close beside them.
The light was then so bright
that it dazzled their eyes, and they covered
their faces with their hands to escape being blinded. There was no heat
colored suns, however, and after they had passed below them the top of
shut out many of the piercing rays so that the boy and girl could open
got to come to the bottom some time," remarked Zeb, with a deep sigh.
"We can't keep falling
forever, you know."
course not," said Dorothy.
are somewhere in the middle of the earth, and the chances are we'll
other side of it before long.
it's a big hollow, isn't it?"
big!" answered the boy.
coming to something now," announced the horse.
both put their heads over the side of the buggy and looked down.
Yes; there was land below
them; and not so very far away, either.
But they were floating very,
very slowly – so slowly that it could no
longer be called a fall – and the children had ample time to take
landscape with mountains and plains, lakes and rivers, very like those
earth's surface; but all the scene was splendidly colored by the
lights from the six suns.
there were groups of houses that seemed made of clear glass, because
sparkled so brightly.
sure we are in no danger," said Dorothy, in a sober voice.
are falling so slowly that we can't be dashed to
pieces when we land, and this country that we are coming to seems quite
never get home again, though!" declared Zeb, with a groan.
not so sure of that," replied the girl.
"But don't let us worry over
such things, Zeb; we can't help
ourselves just now, you know, and I've always been told it's foolish to
became silent, having no reply to so sensible a speech, and soon both
occupied in staring at the strange scenes spread out below them. They
seemed to be falling right into the middle of a big city
which had many tall buildings with glass domes and sharp-pointed spires.
These spires were like great
spear-points, and if they tumbled upon one
of them they were likely to suffer serious injury.
had seen these spires, also, and his ears stood straight up with fear,
Dorothy and Zeb held their breaths in suspense. But no; they floated
upon a broad, flat roof, and came to a stop at last.
something firm under his feet the poor beast's legs trembled so much
could hardly stand; but Zeb at once leaped out of the buggy to the
roof, and he
was so awkward and hasty that he kicked over Dorothy's bird-cage, which
out upon the roof so that the bottom came off.
At once a pink kitten crept
out of the upset cage, sat down upon the
glass roof, and yawned and blinked its round eyes.
time I ever saw a pink cat," said Zeb.
isn't pink; she's white.
queer light that gives her that color."
my milk?" asked the kitten, looking up into Dorothy's face. "I'm 'most
starved to death."
Can you talk?"
Am I talking? Good
gracious, I believe I am.
Isn't it funny?" asked the
all wrong." said Zeb, gravely.
ought not to talk.
But even old Jim
has been saying things since we had our accident."
see that it's wrong," remarked Jim, in his gruff tones.
least, it isn't as wrong as some other things.
What's going to become of us
know," answered the boy, looking around him curiously.
the city were all made of glass, so clear and transparent that one
through the walls as easily as through a window.
Dorothy saw, underneath the
roof on which she stood, several rooms used
for rest chambers, and even thought she could make out a number of
huddled into the corners of these rooms.
beside them had a great hole smashed through it, and pieces of glass
scattered in every direction.
nearby steeple had been broken off short and the fragments lay heaped
Other buildings were cracked in places or had corners chipped off from
they must have been very beautiful before these accidents had happened
The rainbow tints
from the colored suns fell upon the glass city softly and gave to the
many delicate, shifting hues which were very pretty to see.
sound had broken the stillness since the strangers had arrived, except
their own voices.
They began to
wonder if there were no people to inhabit this magnificent city of the
man appeared through a hole in the roof next to the one they were on
into plain view.
He was not a very
large man, but was well formed and had a beautiful face – calm
serene as the
face of a fine portrait.
clothing fitted his form snugly and was gorgeously colored in brilliant
of green, which varied as the sunbeams touched them but was not wholly
influenced by the solar rays.
taken a step or two across the glass roof before he noticed the
presence of the
strangers; but then he stopped abruptly. There was no expression of
or surprise upon his tranquil face, yet he must have been both
afraid; for after his eyes had rested upon the ungainly form of the
horse for a
moment he walked rapidly to the furthest edge of the roof, his head
over his shoulder to gaze at the strange animal.
out!" cried Dorothy, who noticed that the beautiful man did not look
he was going; "be careful, or you'll fall off!"
no attention to her warning.
reached the edge of the tall roof, stepped one foot out into the air,
into space as calmly as if he were on firm ground.
greatly astonished, ran to lean over the edge of the roof, and saw the
walking rapidly through the air toward the ground. Soon he reached the
and disappeared through a glass doorway into one of the glass buildings.
strange!" she exclaimed, drawing a long breath.
but it's lots of fun, if it IS strange," remarked the small voice of
kitten, and Dorothy turned to find her pet walking in the air a foot or
from the edge of the roof.
back, Eureka!" she called, in distress, "you'll certainly be
nine lives," said the kitten, purring softly as it walked around in a
circle and then came back to the roof; "but
I can't lose even one of them by falling in this country, because I
couldn't manage to fall if I wanted to."
the air bear up your weight?" asked the girl.
course; can't you see?" and again the kitten wandered into the air and
to the edge of the roof.
wonderful!" said Dorothy.
we let Eureka go down to the street and get some one to help us,"
Zeb, who had been even more amazed than Dorothy at these strange
we can walk on the air ourselves," replied the girl.
with a shiver.
wouldn't dare try," he said.
Jim will go," continued Dorothy, looking at the horse.
maybe he won't!" answered Jim.
tumbled through the air long enough to make me contented on this roof."
didn't tumble to the roof," said the girl; "by the time we reached
here we were floating very slowly, and I'm almost sure we could float
the street without getting hurt. Eureka
walks on the air all right."
weights only about half a pound," replied the horse, in a scornful
"while I weigh about half a ton."
don't weigh as much as you ought to, Jim," remarked the girl, shaking
head as she looked at the animal. "You're
well; I'm old," said the horse, hanging his head despondently, "and
I've had lots of trouble in my day, little one.
For a good many years I drew
a public cab in Chicago, and that's enough
to make anyone skinny."
enough to get fat, I'm sure," said the boy, gravely.
Can you remember any
breakfast that I've had today?" growled Jim, as
if he resented Zeb's speech.
us has had breakfast," said the boy; "and in a time of danger like
this it's foolish to talk about eating."
is more dangerous than being without food," declared the horse, with a
sniff at the rebuke of his young master; "and just at present no one
tell whether there are any oats in this queer country or not.
If there are, they are liable
to be glass oats!"
no!" exclaimed Dorothy.
can see plenty of nice gardens and
below us, at the edge of this city. But
I wish we could find a way to get to the ground."
don't you walk down?" asked Eureka. "I'm
as hungry as the horse is, and I want my milk."
you try it, Zeb" asked the girl, turning to her companion.
He was still pale and
frightened, for this dreadful adventure had upset him and made him
But he did not wish the
little girl to think him a coward, so he advanced slowly to the edge of
stretched out a hand to him and Zeb put one foot out and let it rest in
a little over the edge of the roof. It
seemed firm enough to walk upon, so he took courage and put out the
Dorothy kept hold of his hand and followed him, and soon they were both
through the air, with the kitten frisking beside them.
on, Jim!" called the boy.
to the edge of the roof to look over, and being a sensible horse and
experienced, he made up his mind that he could go where the others did.
So, with a snort and a neigh
and a whisk of his short tail he trotted off
the roof into the air and at once began floating downward to the street.
His great weight made him
fall faster than the children walked, and he
passed them on the way down; but when he came to the glass pavement he
upon it so softly that he was not even jarred.
well!" said Dorothy, drawing a long breath, "What a strange country
to come out of the glass doors to look at the new arrivals, and pretty
quite a crowd had assembled.
were men and women, but no children at all, and the folks were all
formed and attractively dressed and had wonderfully handsome faces.
not an ugly person in all the throng, yet Dorothy was not especially
the appearance of these people because their features had no more
than the faces of dolls.
not smile nor did they frown, or show either fear or surprise or
They simply started
at the strangers, paying most attention to Jim and Eureka, for they had
before seen either a horse or a cat and the children bore an outward
man joined the group who wore a glistening star in the dark hair just
He seemed to be a person
of authority, for the others pressed back to give him room.
After turning his composed
eyes first upon the animals and then upon the
children he said to Zeb, who was a little taller than Dorothy:
me, intruder, was it you who caused the Rain of Stones?"
the boy did not know what he meant by this question. Then, remembering
stones that had fallen with them and passed them long before they had
this place, he answered:
sir; we didn't cause anything.
was the earthquake."
the star stood for a time quietly thinking over this speech. Then
know," said Zeb, who was still confused.
But Dorothy, seeing his
shaking of the earth.
In this quake
a big crack opened and we fell through – horse and buggy, and all
got loose and came down with us."
the star regarded her with his calm, expressionless eyes.
Rain of Stones has done much damage to our city," he said; "and we
shall hold you responsible for it unless you can prove your innocence."
we do that?" asked the girl.
am not prepared to say.
It is your
affair, not mine. You must go to the House of the Sorcerer, who will
discover the truth."
is the House of the Sorcerer?" the girl enquired.
lead you to it.
walked down the street, and after a moment's hesitation Dorothy caught
her arms and climbed into the buggy. The
boy took his seat beside her and said: "Gid-dap Jim."
As the horse ambled along, drawing the buggy, the people of the glass city made way for them and formed a procession in their rear. Slowly they moved down one street and up another, turning first this way and then that, until they came to an open square in the center of which was a big glass palace having a central dome and four tall spires on each corner.
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