Книга The Marvelous Land of Oz. Содержание - Jack Pumpkinhead's Ride to the Emerald City
"Now," said he, addressing his steed, "pay attention to what I'm going to tell you. 'Whoa!' means to stop; 'Get-Up!' means to walk forward; 'Trot!' means to go as fast as you can. Understand?"
"I believe I do," returned the horse.
"Very good. We are all going on a journey to the Emerald City, to see His Majesty, the Scarecrow; and Jack Pumpkinhead is going to ride on your back, so he won't wear out his joints."
"I don't mind," said the Saw-Horse. "Anything that suits you suits me."
Then Tip assisted Jack to get upon the horse.
"Hold on tight," he cautioned, "or you may fall off and crack your pumpkin head."
"That would be horrible!" said Jack, with a shudder. "What shall I hold on to?"
"Why, hold on to his ears," replied Tip, after a moment's hesitation.
"Don't do that!" remonstrated the Saw-Horse; "for then I can't hear."
That seemed reasonable, so Tip tried to think of something else.
[Full page line-art drawing: "DOES IT HURT?" ASKED THE BOY]
"I'll fix it!" said he, at length. He went into the wood and cut a short length of limb from a young, stout tree. One end of this he sharpened to a point, and then he dug a hole in the back of the Saw-Horse, just behind its head. Next he brought a piece of rock from the road and hammered the post firmly into the animal's back.
"Stop! Stop!" shouted the horse; "you're jarring me terribly."
"Does it hurt?" asked the boy.
"Not exactly hurt," answered the animal; "but it makes me quite nervous to be jarred."
"Well, it's all over now" said Tip, encouragingly. "Now, Jack, be sure to hold fast to this post and then you can't fall off and get smashed."
So Jack held on tight, and Tip said to the horse:
The obedient creature at once walked forward, rocking from side to side as he raised his feet from the ground.
Tip walked beside the Saw-Horse, quite content with this addition to their party. Presently he began to whistle.
"What does that sound mean?" asked the horse.
"Don't pay any attention to it," said Tip. "I'm just whistling, and that only means I'm pretty well satisfied."
"I'd whistle myself, if I could push my lips together," remarked Jack. "I fear, dear father, that in some respects I am sadly lacking."
After journeying on for some distance the narrow path they were following turned into a broad roadway, paved with yellow brick. By the side of the road Tip noticed a sign-post that read:
"NINE MILES TO THE EMERALD CITY."
But it was now growing dark, so he decided to camp for the night by the roadside and to resume the journey next morning by daybreak. He led the Saw-Horse to a grassy mound upon which grew several bushy trees, and carefully assisted the Pumpkinhead to alight.
"I think I'll lay you upon the ground, overnight," said the boy. "You will be safer that way."
"How about me?" asked the Saw-Horse.
"It won't hurt you to stand," replied Tip; "and, as you can't sleep, you may as well watch out and see that no one comes near to disturb us."
Then the boy stretched himself upon the grass beside the Pumpkinhead, and being greatly wearied by the journey was soon fast asleep.
[Full page line-art drawing.]
Jack Pumpkinhead's Ride to the Emerald City
At daybreak Tip was awakened by the Pumpkinhead. He rubbed the sleep from his eyes, bathed in a little brook, and then ate a portion of his bread and cheese. Having thus prepared for a new day the boy said:
"Let us start at once. Nine miles is quite a distance, but we ought to reach the Emerald City by noon if no accidents happen." So the Pumpkinhead was again perched upon the back of the Saw-Horse and the journey was resumed.
Tip noticed that the purple tint of the grass and trees had now faded to a dull lavender, and before long this lavender appeared to take on a greenish tinge that gradually brightened as they drew nearer to the great City where the Scarecrow ruled.
The little party had traveled but a short two miles upon their way when the road of yellow brick was parted by a broad and swift river. Tip was puzzled how to cross over; but after a time he discovered a man in a ferry-boat approaching from the other side of the stream.
When the man reached the bank Tip asked:
"Will you row us to the other side?"
"Yes, if you have money," returned the ferryman, whose face looked cross and disagreeable.
"But I have no money," said Tip.
"None at all?" inquired the man.
"None at all," answered the boy.
"Then I'll not break my back rowing you over," said the ferryman, decidedly.
"What a nice man!" remarked the Pumpkinhead, smilingly.
The ferryman stared at him, but made no reply. Tip was trying to think, for it was a great disappointment to him to find his journey so suddenly brought to an end.
"I must certainly get to the Emerald City," he said to the boatman; "but how can I cross the river if you do not take me?"
The man laughed, and it was not a nice laugh.
"That wooden horse will float," said he; "and you can ride him across. As for the pumpkinheaded loon who accompanies you, let him sink or swim it won't matter greatly which."
"Don't worry about me," said Jack, smiling pleasantly upon the crabbed ferryman; "I'm sure I ought to float beautifully."
Tip thought the experiment was worth making, and the Saw-Horse, who did not know what danger meant, offered no objections whatever. So the boy led it down into the water and climbed upon its back. Jack also waded in up to his knees and grasped the tail of the horse so that he might keep his pumpkin head above the water.
"Now," said Tip, instructing the Saw-Horse, "if you wiggle your legs you will probably swim; and if you swim we shall probably reach the other side."
The Saw-Horse at once began to wiggle its legs, which acted as oars and moved the adventurers slowly across the river to the opposite side. So successful was the trip that presently they were climbing, wet and dripping, up the grassy bank.
Tip's trouser-legs and shoes were thoroughly soaked; but the Saw-Horse had floated so perfectly that from his knees up the boy was entirely dry. As for the Pumpkinhead, every stitch of his gorgeous clothing dripped water.
"The sun will soon dry us," said Tip "and, anyhow, we are now safely across, in spite of the ferryman, and can continue our journey."
"I didn't mind swimming, at all," remarked the horse.
"Nor did I," added Jack.
They soon regained the road of yellow brick, which proved to be a continuation of the road they had left on the other side, and then Tip once more mounted the Pumpkinhead upon the back of the Saw-Horse.
"If you ride fast," said he, "the wind will help to dry your clothing. I will hold on to the horse's tail and run after you. In this way we all will become dry in a very short time."
"Then the horse must step lively," said Jack.
"I'll do my best," returned the Saw-Horse, cheerfully.
Tip grasped the end of the branch that served as tail to the Saw-Horse, and called loudly: "Get-up!"
The horse started at a good pace, and Tip followed behind. Then he decided they could go faster, so he shouted: "Trot!"
Now, the Saw-Horse remembered that this word was the command to go as fast as he could; so he began rocking along the road at a tremendous pace, and Tip had hard work – running faster than he ever had before in his life – to keep his feet.
Soon he was out of breath, and although he wanted to call "Whoa!" to the horse, he found he could not get the word out of his throat. Then the end of the tail he was clutching, being nothing more than a dead branch, suddenly broke away, and the next minute the boy was rolling in the dust of the road, while the horse and its pumpkin-headed rider dashed on and quickly disappeared in the distance.