The Marvelous Land of Oz – L. Frank Baum
This second Oz story brings us further adventures of the Scarecrow (who has succeeded the Wizard as ruler of Oz) and the Tin Woodman. Furthermore we are introduced to some delightful new characters, including Jack Pumpkinhead, the Saw-Horse and the Gump, all of whom have been animated by the magic Powder of Life. We also meet Professor H. M. Woggle bug, T. E. (both Highly Magnified and Thoroughly Educated), who because of his inescapable erudition later becomes the Dean of the Royal College of Oz. There are some exciting moments during which the Scarecrow is overthrown by an army of revolutionary girls, but in the end Princess Ozma, the rightful ruler of Oz, succeeds to the throne.
The Marvelous Land of Oz.
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Plot of the Marvelous Land of Oz (from Wikipedia):
The events are set shortly after the events in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and after Dorothy Gale’s departure back to Kansas. The protagonist of the novel is an orphan boy called Tip. For as long as he can remember, Tip has been under the guardianship of a cruel Wicked Witch named Mombi (who is the main antagonist) and lives in the northern quadrant of Oz called Gillikin Country. Mombi has always been extremely mean and abusive to Tip. As Mombi is returning home one day, Tip plans to get revenge and frighten her with a wooden man he has made, with a large Jack-o’-lantern he carves for a head, thus naming him Jack Pumpkinhead. To Tip’s dismay, Mombi is not fooled by this trick, and she takes this opportunity to demonstrate the new magic “Powder of Life” that she had just obtained from another sorcerer. Mombi tells Tip that she intends to transform him into a marble statue to punish him for his mischievous ways.
In order to avoid being turned into a marble statue, Tip runs away with Jack that very same night and steals the Powder of Life. He uses it to animate the wooden Sawhorse for Jack to ride. The Sawhorse runs so quickly that Tip is left behind. Walking alone, he meets General Jinjur’s all-girl Army of Revolt, which is planning to overthrow the Scarecrow (who has ruled the Emerald City since the end of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz). Meanwhile, Jack and the Sawhorse arrive at the Emerald City and make the acquaintance of His Majesty the Scarecrow. Jinjur and her crew invade the Emerald city, terrorize the citizens, and loot the city, causing great havoc and chaos. Tip joins Jack and the Scarecrow in the palace, and they escape on the Sawhorse’s back.
The companions arrive at the tin castle of the Tin Woodman (who now rules the Winkie Kingdom following the Wicked Witch of the West’s demise in the first book) and plan to retake the Emerald City with his help. On their way back, they are diverted by the magic of Mombi (whom Jinjur recruited to help her apprehend them). They are joined by the “Highly Magnified and Thoroughly Educated” Woggle-Bug, and aided by the loyal field mice and their Mouse Queen. The Queen of the field mice allows the Scarecrow to take twelve mice concealed in his straw. When the party reaches the Emerald City, Jinjur and her soldiers imprison the group and lock them away. However, the female soldiers (being female) are scared by the field mice and leave the city’s palace. However, they still occupy the grounds of the city, and the palace is surrounded. The travelers are imprisoned in the palace. The Scarecrow proposes manufacturing a clever flying machine with a Gump’s stuffed head to direct it. Tip uses the powder of life to animate this machine, which is assembled from the palace furniture, and they fly off, with no control over their direction, out of Oz. They land in a nest of jackdaws which is full of all of the birds’ stolen goods. The flying Gump’s wings are damaged in the landing.
The jackdaws return to their nest and attack the travelers, carrying off the Scarecrow’s straw. Fortunately, the nest contains a large amount of paper money, with which the Scarecrow can be re-stuffed. Using Wishing Pills they discover in the container holding the Powder of Life, Tip and his friends escape and journey to the palace of Glinda the Good Witch in Oz’s southern quadrant, the Quadling Country. They learn from Glinda that after the fall of Oz’s mortal king Pastoria decades ago, a long lost princess named Ozma was hidden away in secrecy when the Wizard of Oz took the throne. She also informs them that Ozma is the rightful ruler of the Emerald City and all of Oz in general, not the Scarecrow (who did not really want the job anyway). Glinda therefore accompanies Tip, Jack, the Sawhorse, the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, the Wogglebug, and the Gump back to the Emerald City to see Mombi. The crooked woman tries to deceive them by disguising a chambermaid named Jellia Jamb as herself (which fails), but manages to elude them as they search for her in the Emerald City. Just as their time runs out, the Tin Woodman plucks a rose to wear in his lapel, unaware that this is the transformed Mombi.
Glinda discovers the deception right away and leads the pursuit of Mombi, who is finally caught as she tries to cross the Deadly Desert in the form of a fast and long-running griffin. Under pressure from Glinda, Mombi confesses that the Wizard brought her the infant Ozma, whom she transformed into … the boy Tip. At first, Tip is utterly shocked and appalled to learn this, but Glinda and his friends help him to accept his destiny, and Mombi performs her last spell to undo the curse, turning him back into the fairy princess Ozma.
The restored Ozma is established on the throne after defeating Jinjur and her army. The Tin Woodman invites the Scarecrow to return with him to the Winkie Country along with Jack Pumpkinhead. The Gump is disassembled at his request (though his head was a hunting trophy that can still speak), Glinda returns to her palace in Quadling Country, the Woggle-bug remains as Ozma’s advisor, and the Sawhorse becomes Ozma’s personal steed. The forgotten prophecy is finally fulfilled and Oz is politically whole once more, with Ozma in her rightful position as the child Queen of Oz.
(The text of the last section was taken from a Wikipedia entry and is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.)
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