Chapter 22 – The Country of the Quadlings
The four travelers passed through the the rest of the forest safely. And when they came out of the forests, they saw a steep hill, which was covered from top to bottom with rock.
“That will be a difficult climb,” said the scarecrow, “but we have to get over the hill.”
So he led the way and the others followed. They had nearly reached the first rock when they heard a rough voice cry out, “Keep back!”
“Who are you?” asked the scarecrow.
Then a head appeared from behind the rock and the same voice said, “This hill belongs to us and we don’t allow anyone to cross it.”
“But we must cross it,” said the scarecrow. “We are going to the country of the Quadlings.”
“But you won’t!” replied the voice, and stepped out from behind the rock. He was the strangest man that the travelers had ever seen. He was quite short and stout and had a big head, which was flat at the top and supported by a thick neck full of wrinkles. But he had no arms at all, and, seeing this, the scarecrow did not fear him. Such a helpless creature could not prevent them from climbing the hill. So he said:
“I’m sorry that I’m ignoring your wishes, but we must pass over your hill, whether you like it or not,” and he walked boldly forward.
As quick as lightning, the man’s head shot forward and his neck stretched out until the top of the flat head struck the scarecrow in the middle and sent him tumbling, over and over, down the hill. Almost as quickly as it came, the head returned to the body. The man laughed harshly and said, “It won’t be as easy as you think!”
A chorus of laughter came from the other rocks. Dorothy saw hundreds of armless Hammer Heads on the hillside, one behind every rock.
The lion became quite angry at the laughter, and giving a loud roar that echoed like thunder, he dashed up the hill.
Again a head shot out, and the great lion went rolling down the hill as if he had been struck by a cannon ball.
Dorothy ran down and helped the scarecrow to his feet. The lion came up to her, feeling bruised and sore, and said, “It is useless to fight people with shooting heads. No one can beat them.”
“What can we do, then?” she asked.
“Call the Winged Monkeys,” suggested the tin man. “You still have the right to command them once more.”
“Very well,” she answered, and she put on the Golden Cap and uttered the magic words. The monkeys were as prompt as ever, and in a few moments, the entire band stood in front of her.
“What are is your command?” asked the King of the Monkeys, bowing low.
“Carry us over the hill to the country of the Quadlings,” answered the girl.
“Certainly,” said the king. The Winged Monkeys grabbed the four travelers and Toto and flew away with them. As they passed over the hill, the Hammer Heads yelled with anger and shot their heads high in the air, but they could not reach the Winged Monkeys. Dorothy and her friends were carried safely over the hill and set down in the beautiful country of the Quadlings.
“This is the last time you can summon us,” said the leader to Dorothy, “So goodbye and good luck to you.”
“Goodbye and thank you very much,” returned the girl, and the monkeys rose into the air and flew out of sight.
The country of the Quadlings seemed rich and happy. There were a lot of fields, well paved roads, and pretty rippling brooks with strong bridges. The fences, houses and bridges were all painted bright red, just as they had been painted yellow in the country of the Winkies and blue in the country of the Munchkins. The Quadlings, who were short, fat and chubby, seemed be to good natured. They were dressed in all red, which was looked bright next to the green grass and yellow fields.
The Monkeys had set them down near a farmhouse and the four travelers walked up to it and knocked at the door. It was opened by the farmer’s wife and when Dorothy asked for something to eat, the woman gave them all a good dinner. They were even given three kinds of cake and four kinds of cookies. Toto drank a bowl of milk.
“How far is it to the Castle of Glinda?” asked Dorothy.
“It isn’t far,” answered the farmer’s wife. “Take the road to the south and you will soon reach it.”
Thanking the good woman, they started afresh and walked by fields and across pretty bridges until they saw a beautiful Castle. In front of the gates, there were three young girls, dressed in beautiful red uniforms decorated with gold. As Dorothy approached, one of them said to her:
“What have you come to the South Country?”
“To see the Good Witch who rules here,” she answered. “Will you take me to her?”
“Let me have your name, and I will ask Glinda if she see you.”
They gave their names and the soldier went into the castle. After a few moments, she came back to say that Dorothy and the others could see her right away.