Just at dawn next morning Unc Nunkie laid his hand tenderly on
Ojo's head and awakened him.
"Come," he said.
Ojo dressed. He wore blue silk stockings, blue knee pants with
gold buckles, a blue ruffled waist and a jacket of bright blue
braided with gold. His shoes were of blue leather and turned up at
the toes, which were pointed. His hat had a peaked crown and a flat
brim, and around the brim was a row of tiny golden bells that
tinkled when he moved. This was the native costume of those who
inhabited the Munchkin Country of the Land of Oz, so Unc Nunkie's
dress was much like that of his nephew. Instead of shoes, the old
man wore boots with turnover tops and his blue coat had wide cuffs
of gold braid.
The boy noticed that his uncle had not eaten the bread, and
supposed the old man had not been hungry. Ojo was hungry, though;
so he divided the piece of bread upon the table and ate his half
for breakfast, washing it down with fresh, cool water from the
brook. Unc put the other piece of bread in his jacket pocket, after
which he again said, as he walked out through the doorway:
Ojo was well pleased. He was dreadfully tired of living all
alone in the woods and wanted to travel and see people. For a long
time he had wished to explore the beautiful Land of Oz in which
they lived. When they were outside, Unc simply latched the door and
started up the path. No one would disturb their little house, even
if anyone came so far into the thick forest while they were
At the foot of the mountain that separated the Country of the
Munchkins from the Country of the Gillikins, the path divided. One
way led to the left and the other to the right—straight up the
mountain. Unc Nunkie took this right-hand path and Ojo followed
without asking why. He knew it would take them to the house of the
Crooked Magician, whom he had never seen but who was their nearest
All the morning they trudged up the mountain path and at noon
Unc and Ojo sat on a fallen tree-trunk and ate the last of the
bread which the old Munchkin had placed in his pocket. Then they
started on again and two hours later came in sight of the house of
It was a big house, round, as were all the Munchkin houses, and
painted blue, which is the distinctive color of the Munchkin
Country of Oz. There was a pretty garden around the house, where
blue trees and blue flowers grew in abundance and in one place were
beds of blue cabbages, blue carrots and blue lettuce, all of which
were delicious to eat. In Dr. Pipt's garden grew bun-trees,
cake-trees, cream-puff bushes, blue buttercups which yielded
excellent blue butter and a row of chocolate-caramel plants. Paths
of blue gravel divided the vegetable and flower beds and a wider
path led up to the front door. The place was in a clearing on the
mountain, but a little way off was the grim forest, which
completely surrounded it.
Unc knocked at the door of the house and a chubby,
pleasant-faced woman, dressed all in blue, opened it and greeted
the visitors with a smile.
"Ah," said Ojo; "you must be Dame Margolotte, the good wife of
"I am, my dear, and all strangers are welcome to my home."
"May we see the famous Magician, Madam?"
"He is very busy just now," she said, shaking her head
doubtfully. "But come in and let me give you something to eat, for
you must have traveled far in order to get our lonely place."
"We have," replied Ojo, as he and Unc entered the house. "We
have come from a far lonelier place than this."
"A lonelier place! And in the Munchkin Country?" she exclaimed.
"Then it must be somewhere in the Blue Forest."
"It is, good Dame Margolotte."
"Dear me!" she said, looking at the man, "you must be Unc
Nunkie, known as the Silent One." Then she looked at the boy. "And
you must be Ojo the Unlucky," she added.
"Yes," said Unc.
"I never knew I was called the Unlucky," said Ojo, soberly; "but
it is really a good name for me."
"Well," remarked the woman, as she bustled around the room and
set the table and brought food from the cupboard, "you were unlucky
to live all alone in that dismal forest, which is much worse than
the forest around here; but perhaps your luck will change, now you
are away from it. If, during your travels, you can manage to lose
that 'Un' at the beginning of your name 'Unlucky,' you will then
become Ojo the Lucky, which will be a great improvement."
"How can I lose that 'Un,' Dame Margolotte?"
"I do not know how, but you must keep the matter in mind and
perhaps the chance will come to you," she replied.
Ojo had never eaten such a fine meal in all his life. There was
a savory stew, smoking hot, a dish of blue peas, a bowl of sweet
milk of a delicate blue tint and a blue pudding with blue plums in
it. When the visitors had eaten heartily of this fare the woman
said to them:
"Do you wish to see Dr. Pipt on business or for pleasure?"
Unc shook his head.
"We are traveling," replied Ojo, "and we stopped at your house
just to rest and refresh ourselves. I do not think Unc Nunkie cares
very much to see the famous Crooked Magician; but for my part I am
curious to look at such a great man."
The woman seemed thoughtful.
"I remember that Unc Nunkie and my husband used to be friends,
many years ago," she said, "so
perhaps they will be glad to meet again. The Magician is very
busy, as I said, but if you will promise not to disturb him you may
come into his workshop and watch him prepare a wonderful
"Thank you," replied the boy, much pleased. "I would like to do
She led the way to a great domed hall at the back of the house,
which was the Magician's workshop. There was a row of windows
extending nearly around the sides of the circular room, which
rendered the place very light, and there was a back door in
addition to the one leading to the front part of the house. Before
the row of windows a broad seat was built and there were some
chairs and benches in the room besides. At one end stood a great
fireplace, in which a blue log was blazing with a blue flame, and
over the fire hung four kettles in a row, all bubbling and steaming
at a great rate. The Magician was stirring all four of these
kettles at the same time, two with his hands and two with his feet,
to the latter, wooden ladles being strapped, for this man was so
very crooked that his legs were as handy as his arms.
Unc Nunkie came forward to greet his old friend, but not being
able to shake either his hands or his feet, which were all occupied
in stirring, he patted the Magician's bald head and asked:
"Ah, it's the Silent One," remarked Dr. Pipt, without looking
up, "and he wants to know what I'm making. Well, when it is quite
finished this compound will be the wonderful Powder of Life, which
no one knows how to make but myself. Whenever it is sprinkled on
anything, that thing will at once come to life, no matter what it
is. It takes me several years to make this magic Powder, but at
this moment I am pleased to say it is nearly done. You see, I am
making it for my good wife Margolotte, who wants to use some of it
for a purpose of her own. Sit down and make yourself comfortable,
Unc Nunkie, and after I've finished my task I will talk to
"You must know," said Margolottte, when they were all seated
together on the broad window-seat, "that my husband foolishly gave
away all the Powder of Life he first made to old Mombi the Witch,
who used to live in the Country of the Gillikins, to the north of
here. Mombi gave to Dr. Pipt a Powder of Perpetual Youth in
exchange for his Powder of Life, but she cheated him wickedly, for
the Powder of Youth was no good and could work no magic at
"Perhaps the Powder of Life couldn't either," said Ojo.
"Yes; it is perfection," she declared. "The first lot we tested
on our Glass Cat, which not only began to live but has lived ever
since. She's somewhere around the house now."
"A Glass Cat!" exclaimed Ojo, astonished.
"Yes; she makes a very pleasant companion, but admires herself a
little more than is considered modest, and she positively refuses
to catch mice," explained Margolotte. "My husband made the cat some
pink brains, but they proved to be too high-bred and particular for
a cat, so she thinks it is undignified in her to catch mice. Also
she has a pretty blood-red heart, but it is made of stone—a ruby, I
think—and so is rather hard and unfeeling. I think the next Glass
Cat the Magician makes will have neither brains nor heart, for then
it will not object to catching mice and may prove of some use to
"What did old Mombi the Witch do with the Powder of Life your
husband gave her?" asked the boy.
"She brought Jack Pumpkinhead to life, for one thing," was the
reply. "I suppose you've heard of Jack Pumpkinhead. He is now
living near the Emerald City and is a great favorite with the
Princess Ozma, who rules all the Land of Oz."
"No; I've never heard of him," remarked Ojo. "I'm afraid I don't
know much about the Land of Oz. You see, I've lived all my life
with Unc Nunkie, the Silent One, and there was no one to tell me
"That is one reason you are Ojo the Unlucky," said the woman, in
a sympathetic tone. "The more one knows, the luckier he is, for
knowledge is the greatest gift in life."
"But tell me, please, what you intend to do with this new lot of
the Powder of Life, which Dr. Pipt is making. He said his wife
wanted it for some especial purpose."
"So I do," she answered. "I want it to bring my Patchwork Girl
"Oh! A Patchwork Girl? What is that?" Ojo asked, for this seemed
even more strange and unusual than a Glass Cat.
"I think I must show you my Patchwork Girl," said Margolotte,
laughing at the boy's astonishment, "for she is rather difficult to
explain. But first I will tell you that for many years I have
longed for a servant to help me with the housework and to cook the
meals and wash the dishes. No servant will come here because the
place is so lonely and out-of-the-way, so my clever husband, the
Crooked Magician, proposed that I make a girl out of some sort of
material and he would make her live by sprinkling over her the
Powder of Life. This seemed an excellent suggestion and at once Dr.
Pipt set to work to make a new batch of his magic powder. He has
been at it a long, long while, and so I have had plenty of time to
make the girl. Yet that task was not so easy as you may suppose. At
first I couldn't think what to make her of, but finally in
searching through a chest I came across an old patchwork quilt,
which my grandmother once made when she was young."
"What is a patchwork quilt?" asked Ojo.
"A bed-quilt made of patches of different kinds and colors of
cloth, all neatly sewed together. The patches are of all shapes and
sizes, so a patchwork quilt is a very pretty and gorgeous thing to
look at. Sometimes it is called a 'crazy-quilt,' because the
patches and colors are so mixed up. We never have used my
grandmother's many-colored patchwork quilt, handsome as it is, for
we Munchkins do not care for any color other than blue, so it has
been packed away in the chest for about a hundred years. When I
found it, I said to myself that it would do nicely for my servant
girl, for when she was brought to life she would not be proud nor
haughty, as the Glass Cat is, for such a dreadful mixture of colors
would discourage her from trying to be as dignified as the blue
"Is blue the only respectable color, then?" inquired Ojo.
"Yes, for a Munchkin. All our country is blue, you know. But in
other parts of Oz the people favor different colors. At the Emerald
City, where our Princess Ozma lives, green is the popular color.
But all Munchkins prefer blue to anything else and when my
housework girl is brought to life she will find herself to be of so
many unpopular colors that she'll never dare be rebellious or
impudent, as servants are sometimes liable to be when they are made
the same way their mistresses are."
Unc Nunkie nodded approval.
"Good i-dea," he said; and that was a long speech for Unc Nunkie
because it was two words.
"So I cut up the quilt," continued Margolotte, "and made from it
a very well-shaped girl, which I stuffed with cotton-wadding. I
will show you what a good job I did," and she went to a tall
cupboard and threw open the doors.
Then back she came, lugging in her arms the Patchwork Girl,
which she set upon the bench and propped up so that the figure
would not tumble over.