Книга The Marvelous Land of Oz. Содержание - Gen. Jinjur's Army of Revolt
"It was all my fault, your Majesty," said Jack, looking rather foolish, "I thought we must surely speak different languages, since we came from different countries."
"This should be a warning to you never to think," returned the Scarecrow, severely. "For unless one can think wisely it is better to remain a dummy – which you most certainly are."
"I am! – I surely am!" agreed the Pumpkinhead.
"It seems to me," continued the Scarecrow, more mildly, "that your manufacturer spoiled some good pies to create an indifferent man."
"I assure your Majesty that I did not ask to be created," answered Jack.
"Ah! It was the same in my case," said the King, pleasantly. "And so, as we differ from all ordinary people, let us become friends."
"With all my heart!" exclaimed Jack.
"What! Have you a heart?" asked the Scarecrow, surprised.
"No; that was only imaginative – I might say, a figure of speech," said the other.
"Well, your most prominent figure seems to be a figure of wood; so I must beg you to restrain an imagination which, having no brains, you have no right to exercise," suggested the Scarecrow, warningly.
"To be sure!" said Jack, without in the least comprehending.
His Majesty then dismissed Jellia Jamb and the Soldier with the Green Whiskers, and when they were gone he took his new friend by the arm and led him into the courtyard to play a game of quoits.
[Full page line-art drawing.]
[Full page line-art drawing.]
Gen. Jinjur's Army of Revolt
Tip was so anxious to rejoin his man Jack and the Saw-Horse that he walked a full half the distance to the Emerald City without stopping to rest. Then he discovered that he was hungry and the crackers and cheese he had provided for the Journey had all been eaten.
While wondering what he should do in this emergency he came upon a girl sitting by the roadside. She wore a costume that struck the boy as being remarkably brilliant: her silken waist being of emerald green and her skirt of four distinct colors – blue in front, yellow at the left side, red at the back and purple at the right side. Fastening the waist in front were four buttons – the top one blue, the next yellow, a third red and the last purple.
The splendor of this dress was almost barbaric; so Tip was fully justified in staring at the gown for some moments before his eyes were attracted by the pretty face above it. Yes, the face was pretty enough, he decided; but it wore an expression of discontent coupled to a shade of defiance or audacity.
While the boy stared the girl looked upon him calmly. A lunch basket stood beside her, and she held a dainty sandwich in one hand and a hard-boiled egg in the other, eating with an evident appetite that aroused Tip's sympathy.
He was just about to ask a share of the luncheon when the girl stood up and brushed the crumbs from her lap.
"There!" said she; "it is time for me to go. Carry that basket for me and help yourself to its contents if you are hungry."
Tip seized the basket eagerly and began to eat, following for a time the strange girl without bothering to ask questions. She walked along before him with swift strides, and there was about her an air of decision and importance that led him to suspect she was some great personage.
Finally, when he had satisfied his hunger, he ran up beside her and tried to keep pace with her swift footsteps – a very difficult feat, for she was much taller than he, and evidently in a hurry.
"Thank you very much for the sandwiches," said Tip, as he trotted along. "May I ask your name?"
"I am General Jinjur," was the brief reply.
"Oh!" said the boy surprised. "What sort of a General?"
"I command the Army of Revolt in this war," answered the General, with unnecessary sharpness.
"Oh!" he again exclaimed. "I didn't know there was a war."
"You were not supposed to know it," she returned, "for we have kept it a secret; and considering that our army is composed entirely of girls," she added, with some pride, "it is surely a remarkable thing that our Revolt is not yet discovered."
"It is, indeed," acknowledged Tip. "But where is your army?"
"About a mile from here," said General Jinjur. "The forces have assembled from all parts of the Land of Oz, at my express command. For this is the day we are to conquer His Majesty the Scarecrow, and wrest from him the throne. The Army of Revolt only awaits my coming to march upon the Emerald City."
"Well!" declared Tip, drawing a long breath, "this is certainly a surprising thing! May I ask why you wish to conquer His Majesty the Scarecrow?"
"Because the Emerald City has been ruled by men long enough, for one reason," said the girl.
"Moreover, the City glitters with beautiful gems, which might far better be used for rings, bracelets and necklaces; and there is enough money in the King's treasury to buy every girl in our Army a dozen new gowns. So we intend to conquer the City and run the government to suit ourselves."
Jinjur spoke these words with an eagerness and decision that proved she was in earnest.
"But war is a terrible thing," said Tip, thoughtfully.
"This war will be pleasant," replied the girl, cheerfully.
"Many of you will be slain!" continued the boy, in an awed voice.
"Oh, no", said Jinjur. "What man would oppose a girl, or dare to harm her? And there is not an ugly face in my entire Army."
"Perhaps you are right," said he. "But the Guardian of the Gate is considered a faithful Guardian, and the King's Army will not let the City be conquered without a struggle."
"The Army is old and feeble," replied General Jinjur, scornfully. "His strength has all been used to grow whiskers, and his wife has such a temper that she has already pulled more than half of them out by the roots. When the Wonderful Wizard reigned the Soldier with the Green Whiskers was a very good Royal Army, for people feared the Wizard. But no one is afraid of the Scarecrow, so his Royal Army don't count for much in time of war."
After this conversation they proceeded some distance in silence, and before long reached a large clearing in the forest where fully four hundred young women were assembled. These were laughing and talking together as gaily as if they had gathered for a picnic instead of a war of conquest.
They were divided into four companies, and Tip noticed that all were dressed in costumes similar to that worn by General Jinjur. The only real difference was that while those girls from the Munchkin country had the blue strip in front of their skirts, those from the country of the Quadlings had the red strip in front; and those from the country of the Winkies had the yellow strip in front, and the Gillikin girls wore the purple strip in front. All had green waists, representing the Emerald City they intended to conquer, and the top button on each waist indicated by its color which country the wearer came from. The uniforms were Jaunty and becoming, and quite effective when massed together.
Tip thought this strange Army bore no weapons whatever; but in this he was wrong. For each girl had stuck through the knot of her back hair two long, glittering knitting-needles.
General Jinjur immediately mounted the stump of a tree and addressed her army.
"Friends, fellow-citizens, and girls!" she said; "we are about to begin our great Revolt against the men of Oz! We march to conquer the Emerald City – to dethrone the Scarecrow King – to acquire thousands of gorgeous gems – to rifle the royal treasury – and to obtain power over our former oppressors!"
"Hurrah!" said those who had listened; but Tip thought most of the Army was too much engaged in chattering to pay attention to the words of the General.