Книга Ozma of Oz. Содержание - 5. Dorothy Opens the Dinner Pail

(marked No. 2.)

For WALKING and ACTION: – Wind Clock-work in the middle of his back,

(marked No. 3.)

N. B. – This Mechanism is guaranteed to work perfectly for a thousand years.

“Well, I declare!” gasped the yellow hen, in amazement; “if the copper man can do half of these things he is a very wonderful machine. But I suppose it is all humbug, like so many other patented articles.”

“We might wind him up,” suggested Dorothy, “and see what he’ll do.”

“Where is the key to the clock-work?” asked Billina.

“Hanging on the peg where I found the card.”

“Then,” said the hen, “let us try him, and find out if he will go. He is warranted for a thousand years, it seems; but we do not know how long he has been standing inside this rock.”

Dorothy had already taken the clock key from the peg.

“Which shall I wind up first?” she asked, looking again at the directions on the card.

“Number One, I should think,” returned Billina. “That makes him think, doesn’t it?”

“Yes,” said Dorothy, and wound up Number One, under the left arm.

“He doesn’t seem any different,” remarked the hen, critically.

“Why, of course not; he is only thinking, now,” said Dorothy.

“I wonder what he is thinking about.”

“I’ll wind up his talk, and then perhaps he can tell us,” said the girl.

So she wound up Number Two, and immediately the clock-work man said, without moving any part of his body except his lips:

“Good morn-ing, lit-tle girl. Good morn-ing, Mrs. Hen.”

The words sounded a little hoarse and creaky, and they were uttered all in the same tone, without any change of expression whatever; but both Dorothy and Billina understood them perfectly.

“Good morning, sir,” they answered, politely.

“Thank you for res-cu-ing me,” continued the machine, in the same monotonous voice, which seemed to be worked by a bellows inside of him, like the little toy lambs and cats the children squeeze so that they will make a noise.

“Don’t mention it,” answered Dorothy. And then, being very curious, she asked: “How did you come to be locked up in this place?”

“It is a long sto-ry,” replied the copper man; “but I will tell it to you brief-ly. I was pur-chased from Smith & Tin-ker, my man-u-fac-tur-ers, by a cru-el King of Ev, named Ev-ol-do, who used to beat all his serv-ants un-til they died. How-ev-er, he was not a-ble to kill me, be-cause I was not a-live, and one must first live in or-der to die. So that all his beat-ing did me no harm, and mere-ly kept my cop-per bod-y well pol-ished.

“This cru-el king had a love-ly wife and ten beau-ti-ful chil-dren – five boys and five girls – but in a fit of an-ger he sold them all to the Nome King, who by means of his mag-ic arts changed them all in-to oth-er forms and put them in his un-der-ground pal-ace to or-na-ment the rooms.

“Af-ter-ward the King of Ev re-gret-ted his wick-ed ac-tion, and tried to get his wife and chil-dren a-way from the Nome King, but with-out a-vail. So, in de-spair, he locked me up in this rock, threw the key in-to the o-cean, and then jumped in af-ter it and was drowned.”

“How very dreadful!” exclaimed Dorothy.

“It is, in-deed,” said the machine. “When I found my-self im-pris-oned I shout-ed for help un-til my voice ran down; and then I walked back and forth in this lit-tle room un-til my ac-tion ran down; and then I stood still and thought un-til my thoughts ran down. Af-ter that I re-mem-ber noth-ing un-til you wound me up a-gain.”

“It’s a very wonderful story,” said Dorothy, “and proves that the Land of Ev is really a fairy land, as I thought it was.”

“Of course it is,” answered the copper man. “I do not sup-pose such a per-fect ma-chine as I am could be made in an-y place but a fair-y land.”

“I’ve never seen one in Kansas,” said Dorothy.

“But where did you get the key to un-lock this door?” asked the clock-work voice.

“I found it on the shore, where it was prob’ly washed up by the waves,” she answered. “And now, sir, if you don’t mind, I’ll wind up your action.”

“That will please me ve-ry much,” said the machine.

So she wound up Number Three, and at once the copper man in a somewhat stiff and jerky fashion walked out of the rocky cavern, took off his copper hat and bowed politely, and then kneeled before Dorothy. Said he:

“From this time forth I am your o-be-di-ent ser-vant. What-ev-er you com-mand, that I will do will-ing-ly – if you keep me wound up.”

“What is your name?” she asked.

“Tik-tok,” he replied. “My for-mer mas-ter gave me that name be-cause my clock-work al-ways ticks when it is wound up.”

“I can hear it now,” said the yellow hen.

“So can I,” said Dorothy. And then she added, with some anxiety: “You don’t strike, do you?”

“No,” answered Tiktok; “and there is no a-larm con-nec-ted with my ma-chin-er-y. I can tell the time, though, by speak-ing, and as I nev-er sleep I can wak-en you at an-y hour you wish to get up in the morn-ing.”

“That’s nice,” said the little girl; “only I never wish to get up in the morning.”

“You can sleep until I lay my egg,” said the yellow hen. “Then, when I cackle, Tiktok will know it is time to waken you.”

“Do you lay your egg very early?” asked Dorothy.

“About eight o’clock,” said Billina. “And everybody ought to be up by that time, I’m sure.”

5. Dorothy Opens the Dinner Pail

“Now Tiktok,” said Dorothy, “the first thing to be done is to find a way for us to escape from these rocks. The Wheelers are down below, you know, and threaten to kill us.”

“There is no rea-son to be a-fraid of the Wheel-ers,” said Tiktok, the words coming more slowly than before.

“Why not?” she asked.

“Be-cause they are ag-g-g – gr-gr-r-r-“

He gave a sort of gurgle and stopped short, waving his hands frantically until suddenly he became motionless, with one arm in the air and the other held stiffly before him with all the copper fingers of the hand spread out like a fan.

“Dear me!” said Dorothy, in a frightened tone. “What can the matter be?”

“He’s run down, I suppose,” said the hen, calmly. “You couldn’t have wound him up very tight.”

“I didn’t know how much to wind him,” replied the girl; “but I’ll try to do better next time.”

She ran around the copper man to take the key from the peg at the back of his neck, but it was not there.

“It’s gone!” cried Dorothy, in dismay.

“What’s gone?” asked Billina.

“The key.”

“It probably fell off when he made that low bow to you,” returned the hen. “Look around, and see if you cannot find it again.”

Dorothy looked, and the hen helped her, and by and by the girl discovered the clock-key, which had fallen into a crack of the rock.

At once she wound up Tiktok’s voice, taking care to give the key as many turns as it would go around. She found this quite a task, as you may imagine if you have ever tried to wind a clock, but the machine man’s first words were to assure Dorothy that he would now run for at least twenty-four hours.

“You did not wind me much, at first,” he calmly said, “and I told you that long sto-ry a-bout King Ev-ol-do; so it is no won-der that I ran down.”

She next rewound the action clock-work, and then Billina advised her to carry the key to Tiktok in her pocket, so it would not get lost again.

“And now,” said Dorothy, when all this was accomplished, “tell me what you were going to say about the Wheelers.”

“Why, they are noth-ing to be fright-en’d at,” said the machine. “They try to make folks be-lieve that they are ver-y ter-ri-ble, but as a mat-ter of fact the Wheel-ers are harm-less e-nough to an-y one that dares to fight them. They might try to hurt a lit-tle girl like you, per-haps, be-cause they are ver-y mis-chiev-ous. But if I had a club they would run a-way as soon as they saw me.”

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