They had not gone very far before
Bungle, who had run on ahead,
came bounding back to say that
the road of yellow bricks was
just before them. At once they
hurried forward to see what this
road looked like.
It was a broad road, but not
straight, for it wandered over
hill and dale and picked out
the easiest places to go. All
its length and breadth was paved
with smooth bricks of a bright
yellow color, so it was smooth
and level except in a few places
where the bricks had crumbled
or been removed, leaving holes
that might cause the unwary to
"I wonder," said Ojo, looking
up and down the road, "which
way to go."
"Where are you bound for?" asked
"The Emerald City," he
"Then go west," said the Woozy. "I
know this road pretty well, for
I've chased many a honey-bee
"Have you ever been to the
Emerald City?" asked Scraps.
"No. I am very
shy by nature, as you may have
noticed, so I
haven't mingled much in society."
"Are you afraid of men?" inquired
the Patchwork Girl.
"Me? With my heart-rending
growl-my horrible, shudderful
growl? I should say not. I am
not afraid of anything," declared
"I wish I could say the same," sighed
Ojo. "I don't think we need be
afraid when we get to the Emerald
City, for Unc Nunkie has told
me that Ozma, our girl Ruler,
is very lovely and kind, and
tries to help everyone who is
in trouble. But they say there
are many dangers lurking on the
road to the great Fairy City,
and so we must be very careful."
"I hope nothing will break
me," said the Glass Cat, in a
nervous voice. "I'm a little
brittle, you know, and can't
stand many hard knocks."
"If anything should fade the
colors of my lovely patches it
would break my heart," said the
"I'm not sure you have a heart," Ojo
"Then it would break my cotton," persisted
Scraps. "Do you think they are
all fast colors, Ojo?" she asked
"They seem fast enough when
you run," he replied; and then,
looking ahead of them, he exclaimed: "Oh,
what lovely trees!"
They were certainly pretty
to look upon and the travelers
hurried forward to observe them
"Why, they are not trees at
all," said Scraps; "they are
just monstrous plants."
That is what they really were:
masses of great broad leaves
which rose from the ground far
into the air, until they towered
twice as high as the top of the
Patchwork Girl's head, who was
a little taller than Ojo. The
plants formed rows on both sides
of the road and from each plant
rose a dozen or more of the big
broad leaves, which swayed continually
from side to side, although no
wind was blowing. But the most
curious thing about the swaying
leaves was their color. They
seemed to have a general groundwork
of blue, but here and there other
colors glinted at times through
the blue--gorgeous yellows, turning
to pink, purple, orange and scarlet,
mingled with more sober browns
and grays--each appearing as
a blotch or stripe anywhere on
a leaf and then disappearing,
to be replaced by some other
color of a different shape. The
changeful coloring of the great
leaves was very beautiful, but
it was bewildering, as well,
and the novelty of the scene
drew our travelers close to the
line of plants, where they stood
watching them with rapt interest.
Suddenly a leaf bent lower
than usual and touched the Patchwork
Girl. Swiftly it enveloped her
in its embrace, covering her
completely in its thick folds,
and then it swayed back upon
"Why, she's gone!" gasped
Ojo, in amazement, and listening
he thought he could hear the
muffled screams of Scraps coming
from the center of the folded
leaf. But, before he could think
what he ought to do to save her,
another leaf bent down and captured
the Glass Cat, rolling around
the little creature until she
was completely hidden, and then
straightening up again upon its
"Look out," cried the Woozy. "Run!
Run fast, or you are lost."
Ojo turned and saw the Woozy
running swiftly up the road.
But the last leaf of the row
of plants seized the beast even
as he ran and instantly he disappeared
The boy had no chance to escape.
Half a dozen of the great leaves
were bending toward him from
different directions and as he
stood hesitating one of them
clutched him in its embrace.
In a flash he was in the dark.
Then he felt himself gently lifted
until he was swaying in the air,
with the folds of the leaf hugging
him on all sides.
At first he
struggled hard to escape, crying
out in anger: "Let
me go! Let me go!" But neither
struggles nor protests had any
effect whatever. The leaf held
him firmly and he was a prisoner."
Then Ojo quieted himself and
tried to think. Despair fell
upon him when he remembered that
all his little party had been
captured, even as he was, and
there was none to save them.
"I might have expected it," he
sobbed, miserably. "I'm Ojo the
Unlucky, and something dreadful
was sure to happen to me."
He pushed against the leaf
that held him and found it to
be soft, but thick and firm.
It was like a great bandage all
around him and he found it difficult
to move his body or limbs in
order to change their position.
The minutes passed and became
hours. Ojo wondered how long
one could live in such a condition
and if the leaf would gradually
sap his strength and even his
life, in order to feed itself.
The little Munchkin boy had never
heard of any person dying in
the Land of Oz, but he knew one
could suffer a great deal of
pain. His greatest fear at this
time was that he would always
remain imprisoned in the beautiful
leaf and never see the light
of day again.
No sound came to him through
the leaf; all around was intense
silence. Ojo wondered if Scraps
had stopped screaming, or if
the folds of the leaf prevented
his hearing her. By and by he
thought he heard a whistle, as
of some one whistling a tune.
Yes; it really must be some one
whistling, he decided, for he
could follow the strains of a
pretty Munchkin melody that Unc
Nunkie used to sing to him. The
sounds were low and sweet and,
although they reached Ojo's ears
very faintly, they were clear
Could the leaf whistle, Ojo
wondered? Nearer and nearer came
the sounds and then they seemed
to be just the other side of
the leaf that was hugging him.
Suddenly the whole leaf toppled
and fell, carrying the boy with
it, and while he sprawled at
full length the folds slowly
relaxed and set him free. He
scrambled quickly to his feet
and found that a strange man
was standing before him--a man
so curious in appearance that
the boy stared with round eyes.
He was a big man, with shaggy
whiskers, shaggy eyebrows, shaggy
hair--but kindly blue eyes that
were gentle as those of a cow.
On his head was a green velvet
hat with a jeweled band, which
was all shaggy around the brim.
Rich but shaggy laces were at
his throat; a coat with shaggy
edges was decorated with diamond
buttons; the velvet breeches
had jeweled buckles at the knees
and shags all around the bottoms.
On his breast hung a medallion
bearing a picture of Princess
Dorothy of Oz, and in his hand,
as he stood looking at Ojo, was
a sharp knife shaped like a dagger.
"Oh!" exclaimed Ojo, greatly
astonished at the sight of this
stranger; and then he added: "Who
has saved me, sir?"
"Can't you see?" replied the
other, with a smile; "I'm the
"Yes; I can see that," said
the boy, nodding. "Was it you
who rescued me from the leaf?"
you may be sure. But take care,
or I shall have
to rescue you again."
Ojo gave a jump, for he saw
several broad leaves leaning
toward him; but the Shaggy Man
began to whistle again, and at
the sound the leaves all straightened
up on their stems and kept still.
The man now took Ojo's arm
and led him up the road, past
the last of the great plants,
and not till he was safely beyond
their reach did he cease his
"You see, the music charms
'em," said he. "Singing or whistling--it
doesn't matter which-- makes
'em behave, and nothing else
will. I always whistle as I go
by 'em and so they always let
me alone. Today as I went by,
whistling, I saw a leaf curled
and knew there must be something
inside it. I cut down the leaf
with my knife and--out you popped.
Lucky I passed by, wasn't it?"
"You were very kind," said
Ojo, "and I thank you. Will you
please rescue my companions,
"What companions?" asked
the Shaggy Man.
"The leaves grabbed them all," said
the boy. "There's a Patchwork
"A girl made
of patchwork, you know. She's
alive and her
name is Scraps. And there's a
the Shaggy Man.
"Yes," said Ojo; "she
has pink brains. And there's
"What's a Woozy?" inquired
the Shaggy Man.
"Why, I--I--can't describe
it," answered the boy, greatly
perplexed. "But it's a queer
animal with three hairs on the
tip of its tail that won't come
"What won't come out?" asked
the Shaggy Man; "the tail?"
won't come out. But you'll
see the Woozy, if
you'll please rescue it, and
then you'll know just what it
"Of course," said
the Shaggy Man, nodding his
And then he walked back among
the plants, still whistling,
and found the three leaves which
were curled around Ojo's traveling
companions. The first leaf he
cut down released Scraps, and
on seeing her the Shaggy Man
threw back his shaggy head, opened
wide his mouth and laughed so
shaggily and yet so merrily that
Scraps liked him at once. Then
he took off his hat and made
her a low bow, saying:
"My dear, you're
a wonder. I must introduce
you to my friend
When he cut down the second
leaf he rescued the Glass Cat,
and Bungle was so frightened
that she scampered away like
a streak and soon had joined
Ojo, when she sat beside him
panting and trembling. The last
plant of all the row had captured
the Woozy, and a big bunch in
the center of the curled leaf
showed plainly where he was.
With his sharp knife the Shaggy
Man sliced off the stem of the
leaf and as it fell and unfolded
out trotted the Woozy and escaped
beyond the reach of any more
of the dangerous plants.