Glinda, the good Sorceress of Oz, sat in the grand court of her
palace, surrounded by her maids of honor—a hundred of the most
beautiful girls of the Fairyland of Oz. The palace court was built
of rare marbles, exquisitely polished. Fountains tinkled musically
here and there; the vast colonnade, open to the south, allowed the
maidens, as they raised their heads from their embroideries, to
gaze upon a vista of rose-hued fields and groves of trees bearing
fruits or laden with sweet-scented flowers. At times one of the
girls would start a song, the others joining in the chorus, or one
would rise and dance, gracefully swaying to the music of a harp
played by a companion. And then Glinda smiled, glad to see her
maids mixing play with work.
Presently among the fields an object was seen moving, threading
the broad path that led to the castle gate. Some of the girls
looked upon this object enviously; the Sorceress merely gave it a
glance and nodded her stately head as if pleased, for it meant the
coming of her friend and mistress—the only one in all the land that
Glinda bowed to.
Then up the path trotted a wooden animal attached to a red
wagon, and as the quaint steed halted at the gate there descended
from the wagon two young girls, Ozma, Ruler of Oz, and her
companion, Princess Dorothy. Both were dressed in simple white
muslin gowns, and as they ran up the marble steps of the palace
they laughed and chatted as gaily as if they were not the most
important persons in the world's loveliest fairyland.
The maids of honor had risen and stood with bowed heads to greet
the royal Ozma, while Glinda came forward with outstretched arms to
greet her guests.
"We've just come on a visit, you know," said Ozma. "Both Dorothy
and I were wondering how we should pass the day when we happened to
think we'd not been to your Quadling Country for weeks, so we took
the Sawhorse and rode straight here."
"And we came so fast," added Dorothy, "that our hair is blown
all fuzzy, for the Sawhorse makes a wind of his own. Usually it's a
day's journey from the Em'rald City, but I don't s'pose we were two
hours on the way."
"You are most welcome," said Glinda the Sorceress, and led them
through the court to her magnificent reception hall. Ozma took the
arm of her hostess, but Dorothy lagged behind, kissing some of the
maids she knew best, talking with others, and making them all feel
that she was their friend. When at last she joined Glinda and Ozma
in the reception hall, she found them talking earnestly about the
condition of the people, and how to make them more happy and
contented—although they were already the happiest and most
contented folks in all the world.
This interested Ozma, of course, but it didn't interest Dorothy
very much, so the little girl ran over to a big table on which was
lying open Glinda's Great Book of Records.
This Book is one of the greatest treasures in Oz, and the
Sorceress prizes it more highly than any of her magical
possessions. That is the reason it is firmly attached to the big
marble table by means of golden chains, and whenever Glinda leaves
home she locks the Great Book together with five jeweled padlocks,
and carries the keys safely hidden in her bosom.
I do not suppose there is any magical thing in any fairyland to
compare with the Record Book, on the pages of which are constantly
being printed a record of every event that happens in any part of
the world, at exactly the moment it happens. And the records are
always truthful, although sometimes they do not give as many
details as one could wish. But then, lots of things happen, and so
the records have to be brief or even Glinda's Great Book could not
hold them all.
Glinda looked at the records several times each day, and
Dorothy, whenever she visited the Sorceress, loved to look in the
Book and see what was happening everywhere. Not much was recorded
about the Land of Oz, which is usually peaceful and uneventful, but
today Dorothy found something which interested her. Indeed, the
printed letters were appearing on the page even while she
"This is funny!" she exclaimed. "Did you know, Ozma, that there
were people in your Land of Oz called Skeezers?"
"Yes," replied Ozma, coming to her side, "I know that on
Professor Wogglebug's Map of the Land of Oz there is a place marked
'Skeezer,' but what the Skeezers are like I do not know. No one I
know has ever seen them or heard of them. The Skeezer Country is
'way at the upper edge of the Gillikin Country, with the sandy,
impassable desert on one side and the mountains of Oogaboo on
another side. That is a part of the Land of Oz of which I know very
"I guess no one else knows much about it either, unless it's the
Skeezers themselves," remarked Dorothy. "But the Book says: 'The
Skeezers of Oz have declared war on the Flatheads of Oz, and there
is likely to be fighting and much trouble as the result.'"
"Is that all the Book says?" asked Ozma.
"Every word," said Dorothy, and Ozma and Glinda both looked at
the Record and seemed surprised and perplexed.
"Tell me, Glinda," said Ozma, "who are the Flatheads?"
"I cannot, your Majesty," confessed the Sorceress. "Until now I
never have heard of them, nor have I ever heard the Skeezers
mentioned. In the faraway corners of Oz are hidden many curious
tribes of people, and those who never leave their own countries and
never are visited by those from our favored part of Oz, naturally
are unknown to me. However, if you so desire, I can learn through
my arts of sorcery something of the Skeezers and the
"I wish you would," answered Ozma seriously. "You see, Glinda,
if these are Oz people they are my subjects and I cannot allow any
wars or troubles in the Land I rule, if I can possibly help
"Very well, your Majesty," said the Sorceress, "I will try to
get some information to guide you. Please excuse me for a time,
while I retire to my Room of Magic and Sorcery."
"May I go with you?" asked Dorothy, eagerly.
"No, Princess," was the reply. "It would spoil the charm to have
So Glinda locked herself in her own Room of Magic and Dorothy
and Ozma waited patiently for her to come out again.
In about an hour Glinda appeared, looking grave and
"Your Majesty," she said to Ozma, "the Skeezers live on a Magic
Isle in a great lake. For that reason—because the Skeezers deal in
magic—I can learn little about them."
"Why, I didn't know there was a lake in that part of Oz,"
exclaimed Ozma. "The map shows a river running through the Skeezer
Country, but no lake."
"That is because the person who made the map never had visited
that part of the country," explained the Sorceress. "The lake
surely is there, and in the lake is an island—a Magic Isle—and on
that island live the people called the Skeezers."
"What are they like?" inquired the Ruler of Oz.
"My magic cannot tell me that," confessed Glinda, "for the magic
of the Skeezers prevents anyone outside of their domain knowing
anything about them."
"The Flatheads must know, if they're going to fight the
Skeezers," suggested Dorothy.
"Perhaps so," Glinda replied, "but I can get little information
concerning the Flatheads, either. They are people who inhabit a
mountain just south of the Lake of the Skeezers. The mountain has
steep sides and a broad, hollow top, like a basin, and in this
basin the Flatheads have their dwellings. They also are
magic-workers and usually keep to themselves and allow no one from
outside to visit them. I have learned that the Flatheads number
about one hundred people—men, women and children—while the Skeezers
number just one hundred and one."
"What did they quarrel about, and why do they wish to fight one
another?" was Ozma's next question.
"I cannot tell your Majesty that," said Glinda.
"But see here!" cried Dorothy, "it's against the law for anyone
but Glinda and the Wizard to work magic in the Land of Oz, so if
these two strange people are magic-makers they are breaking the law
and ought to be punished!" Ozma smiled upon her little friend.
"Those who do not know me or my laws," she said, "cannot be
expected to obey my laws. If we know nothing of the Skeezers or the
Flatheads, it is likely that they know nothing of us."
"But they ought to know, Ozma, and we ought to know. Who's going
to tell them, and how are we going to make them behave?"
"That," returned Ozma, "is what I am now considering. What would
you advise, Glinda?"
The Sorceress took a little time to consider this question,
before she made reply. Then she said: "Had you not learned of the
existence of the Flatheads and the Skeezers, through my Book of
Records, you would never have worried about them or their quarrels.
So, if you pay no attention to these peoples, you may never hear of
"But that wouldn't be right," declared Ozma. "I am Ruler of all
the Land of Oz, which includes the Gillikin Country, the Quadling
Country, the Winkie Country and the Munchkin Country, as well as
the Emerald City, and being the Princess of this fairyland it is my
duty to make all my people—wherever they may be—happy and content
and to settle their disputes and keep them from quarreling. So,
while the Skeezers and Flatheads may not know me or that I am their
lawful Ruler, I now know that they inhabit my kingdom and are my
subjects, so I would not be doing my duty if I kept away from them
and allowed them to fight."
"That's a fact, Ozma," commented Dorothy. "You've got to go up
to the Gillikin Country and make these people behave themselves and
make up their quarrels. But how are you going to do it?"
"That is what is puzzling me also, your Majesty," said the
Sorceress. "It may be dangerous for you to go into those strange
countries, where the people are possibly fierce and warlike."
"I am not afraid," said Ozma, with a smile.
"'Tisn't a question of being 'fraid," argued Dorothy. "Of course
we know you're a fairy, and can't be killed or hurt, and we know
you've a lot of magic of your own to help you. But, Ozma dear, in
spite of all this you've been in trouble before, on account of
wicked enemies, and it isn't right for the Ruler of all Oz to put
herself in danger."
"Perhaps I shall be in no danger at all," returned Ozma, with a
little laugh. "You mustn't imagine danger, Dorothy, for one should
only imagine nice things, and we do not know that the Skeezers and
Flatheads are wicked people or my enemies. Perhaps they would be
good and listen to reason."
"Dorothy is right, your Majesty," asserted the Sorceress. "It is
true we know nothing of these faraway subjects, except that they
intend to fight one another, and have a certain amount of magic
power at their command. Such folks do not like to submit to
interference and they are more likely to resent your coming among
them than to receive you kindly and graciously, as is your
"If you had an army to take with you," added Dorothy, "it
wouldn't be so bad; but there isn't such a thing as an army in all
"I have one soldier," said Ozma.
"Yes, the soldier with the green whiskers; but he's dreadful
'fraid of his gun and never loads it. I'm sure he'd run rather than
fight. And one soldier, even if he were brave, couldn't do much
against two hundred and one Flatheads and Skeezers."
"What then, my friends, would you suggest?" inquired Ozma.
"I advise you to send the Wizard of Oz to them, and let him
inform them that it is against the laws of Oz to fight, and that
you command them to settle their differences and become friends,"
proposed Glinda. "Let the Wizard tell them they will be punished if
they refuse to obey the commands of the Princess of all the Land of
Ozma shook her head, to indicate that the advice was not to her
"If they refuse, what then?" she asked. "I should be obliged to
carry out my threat and punish them, and that would be an
unpleasant and difficult thing to do. I am sure it would be better
for me to go peacefully, without an army and armed only with my
authority as Ruler, and plead with them to obey me. Then, if they
prove obstinate I could resort to other means to win their
"It's a ticklish thing, anyhow you look at it," sighed Dorothy.
"I'm sorry now that I noticed the Record in the Great Book."
"But can't you realize, my dear, that I must do my duty, now
that I am aware of this trouble?" asked Ozma. "I am fully
determined to go at once to the Magic Isle of the Skeezers and to
the enchanted mountain of the Flatheads, and prevent war and strife
between their inhabitants. The only question to decide is whether
it is better for me to go alone, or to assemble a party of my
friends and loyal supporters to accompany me."
"If you go I want to go, too," declared Dorothy. "Whatever
happens it's going to be fun—'cause all excitement is fun—and I
wouldn't miss it for the world!"
Neither Ozma nor Glinda paid any attention to this statement,
for they were gravely considering the serious aspect of this
"There are plenty of friends who would like to go with you,"
said the Sorceress, "but none of them would afford your Majesty any
protection in case you were in danger. You are yourself the most
powerful fairy in Oz, although both I and the Wizard have more
varied arts of magic at our command. However, you have one art that
no other in all the world can equal—the art of winning hearts and
making people love to bow to your gracious presence. For that
reason I believe you can accomplish more good alone than with a
large number of subjects in your train."
"I believe that also," agreed the Princess. "I shall be quite
able to take care of myself, you know, but might not be able to
protect others so well. I do not look for opposition, however. I
shall speak to these people in kindly words and settle their
dispute—whatever it may be—in a just manner."
"Aren't you going to take me?" pleaded Dorothy. "You'll need
some companion, Ozma."
The Princess smiled upon her little friend.
"I see no reason why you should not accompany me," was her
reply. "Two girls are not very warlike and they will not suspect us
of being on any errand but a kindly and peaceful one. But, in order
to prevent war and strife between these angry peoples, we must go
to them at once. Let us return immediately to the Emerald City and
prepare to start on our journey early tomorrow morning."
Glinda was not quite satisfied with this plan, but could not
think of any better way to meet the problem. She knew that Ozma,
with all her gentleness and sweet disposition, was accustomed to
abide by any decision she had made and could not easily be turned
from her purpose. Moreover she could see no great danger to the
fairy Ruler of Oz in the undertaking, even though the unknown
people she was to visit proved obstinate. But Dorothy was not a
fairy; she was a little girl who had come from Kansas to live in
the Land of Oz. Dorothy might encounter dangers that to Ozma would
be as nothing but to an "Earth child" would be very serious.
The very fact that Dorothy lived in Oz, and had been made a
Princess by her friend Ozma, prevented her from being killed or
suffering any great bodily pain as long as she lived in that
fairyland. She could not grow big, either, and would always remain
the same little girl who had come to Oz, unless in some way she
left that fairyland or was spirited away from it. But Dorothy was a
mortal, nevertheless, and might possibly be destroyed, or hidden
where none of her friends could ever find her. She could, for
instance be cut into pieces, and the pieces, while still alive and
free from pain, could be widely scattered; or she might be buried
deep underground or "destroyed" in other ways by evil magicians,
were she not properly protected. These facts Glinda was considering
while she paced with stately tread her marble hall.
Finally the good Sorceress paused and drew a ring from her
finger, handing it to Dorothy.
"Wear this ring constantly until your return," she said to the
girl. "If serious danger threatens you, turn the ring around on
your finger once to the right and another turn to the left. That
will ring the alarm bell in my palace and I will at once come to
your rescue. But do not use the ring unless you are actually in
danger of destruction. While you remain with Princess Ozma I
believe she will be able to protect you from all lesser ills."
"Thank you, Glinda," responded Dorothy gratefully, as she placed
the ring on her finger. "I'm going to wear my Magic Belt which I
took from the Nome King, too, so I guess I'll be safe from anything
the Skeezers and Flatheads try to do to me."
Ozma had many arrangements to make before she could leave her
throne and her palace in the Emerald City, even for a trip of a few
days, so she bade goodbye to Glinda and with Dorothy climbed into
the Red Wagon. A word to the wooden Sawhorse started that
astonishing creature on the return journey, and so swiftly did he
run that Dorothy was unable to talk or do anything but hold tight
to her seat all the way back to the Emerald City.