The Emerald City of Ozby L. Frank Baum
At the beginning of this story, it is made quite clear that Dorothy, the primary protagonist of many of the previous Oz books, is in the habit of freely speaking of her adventures to her only living relatives, her Aunt Em and Uncle Henry. Neither of them believes a word of her stories, but consider her a dreamer. She is undeterred, unlike her alter ego in the film… See more details below
At the beginning of this story, it is made quite clear that Dorothy, the primary protagonist of many of the previous Oz books, is in the habit of freely speaking of her adventures to her only living relatives, her Aunt Em and Uncle Henry. Neither of them believes a word of her stories, but consider her a dreamer. She is undeterred, unlike her alter ego in the film Return to Oz, who is much perturbed by her guardians' doubts. Later, it is revealed that the destruction of their farmhouse by the cyclone in the original book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz has left Uncle Henry in terrible debt. In order to pay it, he has taken out a mortgage on his farm. If he cannot repay his creditors, they will seize the farm. He is not afraid for himself, but both he and his wife, Aunt Em, fear very much for their niece's future. Dorothy arranges with Princess Ozma to take them to the Land of Oz, where they will be safe. Using the magic belt, a tool captured from the jealous Nome King Roquat, Ozma transports them to her throne room. They are given rooms to live in and luxuries to enjoy, including a vast and complex wardrobe. They meet with many of Dorothy's animal friends, including the Cowardly Lion and Billina the Yellow Hen.
In the underground Nome Kingdom, the desirous Roquat is plotting to seize the Land of Oz. He was greatly embarrassed years ago when Dorothy, Ozma, and their many friends entered his domain and freed the royal family of Ev from imprisonment; as a result, he wants to embarrass them in a similar way. After ordering the expulsion of his General, who will not agree to such an attack, and the death of his Colonel, who also refuses, King Roquat holds counsel with a veteran soldier called Guph. Guph believes that against the many magicians and magicks of Oz (the reputation of which has grown in the telling), the Nome Army has no chance alone. He therefore sets out personally to recruit allies
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How The Nome King Became Angry
The Nome King was in an angry mood, and at such times he was very disagreeable. Every one kept away from him, even his Chief Steward Kaliko.
Therefore the King stormed and raved all by himself, walking up and down in his jewel-studded cavern and getting angrier all the time. Then he remembered that it was no fun being angry unless he had some one to frighten and make miserable, and he rushed to his big gong and made it clatter as loud as he could.
In came the Chief Steward, trying not to show the Nome King how frightened he was.
"Send the Chief Counselor here!" shouted the angry monarch.
Kaliko ran out as fast as his spindle legs could carry his fat round body, and soon the Chief Counselor entered the cavern. The King scowled and said to him.
"I'm in great trouble over the loss of my Magic Belt. Every little while I want to do something magical, and find I can't because the Belt is gone. That makes me angry, and when I'm angry I can't have a good time. Now, what do you advise?"
"Some people," said the Chief Counselor, "enjoy getting angry."
"But not all the time," declared the King. "To be angry once in a while is really good fun, because it makes others so miserable. But to be angry morning, noon and night, as I am, grows monotonous and prevents my gaining any other pleasure in life. Now, what do you advise?"
"Why, if you are angry because you want to do magical things and can't, and if you don't want to get angry at all, my advice is not to want to do magical things."
Hearing this, the King glared at his Counselor with a furious expression and tugged athis own long white whiskers until he pulled them so hard that he yelled with pain.
"You are a fool!" he exclaimed.
"I share that honor with your Majesty," said the Chief Counselor.
The King roared with rage and stamped his foot.
"Ho, there, my guards!" he cried. "Ho" is a royal way of saying, "Come here." So, when the guards had hoed, the King said to them:
"Take this Chief Counselor and throw him away."
Then the guards took the Chief Counselor, and bound him with chains to prevent his struggling, and threw him away. And the King paced up and down his cavern more angry than before.
Finally he rushed to his big gong and made it clatter like a fire-alarm. Kaliko appeared again, trembling and white with fear.
"Fetch my pipe!" yelled the King.
"Your pipe is already here, your Majesty," replied Kaliko.
"Then get my tobacco!" roared the King.
"The tobacco is in your pipe, your Majesty," returned the Steward.
"Then bring a live coal from the furnace!" commanded the King.
"The tobacco is lighted, and your Majesty is already smoking your pipe," answered the Steward.
"Why, so I am!" said the King, who had forgotten this fact; "but you are very rude to remind me of it."
"I am a lowborn, miserable villain," declared the Chief Steward, humbly.
The Nome King could think of nothing to say next, so he puffed away at his pipe and paced up and down the room. Finally he remembered how angry he was, and cried out:
"What do you mean, Kaliko, by being so contented when your monarch is unhappy?"
"What makes you unhappy?" asked the Steward.
"I've lost my Magic Belt. A little girl named Dorothy, who was here with Ozma of Oz, stole my Belt and carried it away with her," said the King, grinding his teeth with rage.
"She captured it in a fair fight," Kaliko ventured to say.
"But I want it! I must have it! Half my power is gone with that Belt!" roared the King.
"You will have to go to the Land of Oz to recover it, and your Majesty can't get to the Land of Oz in any possible way," said the Steward, yawning because he had been on duty ninety-six hours, and was sleepy.
"Why not?" asked the King.
"Because there is a deadly desert all around that fairy country, which no one is able to cross. You know that fact as well as I do, your Majesty. Never mind the lost Belt. You have plenty of power left, for you rule this underground kingdom like a tyrant, and thousands of Nomes obey your commands. I advise you to drink a glass of melted silver, to quiet your nerves, and then go to bed."
The Emerald City of Oz. Copyright © by L. Baum. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Meet the Author
Lyman "L." Frank Baum (May 15, 1856 - May 6, 1919) was an American author of children's books, best known for writing The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. He wrote thirteen novel sequels, nine other fantasy novels, and a host of other works (55 novels in total, plus four "lost" novels, 82 short stories, over 200 poems, an unknown number of scripts.
- Date of Birth:
- May 15, 1856
- Date of Death:
- May 6, 1919
- Place of Birth:
- Chittenango, New York
- Place of Death:
- Hollywood, California
- Attended Peekskill Military Academy and Syracuse Classical School
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