Sunday, August 15, 2010

Run-Around in Oz - Chapter 1

"The Great Jack of Salador"
Trot and Cap'n Bill, were sent off one fine day on a diplomatic mission. Their task being to represent Ozma in her soverignty to the ruler of the newly discovered Kingdom of Salador. Since this miniature domain lay a way off down in the Winkie Country, the Frogman had been asked to assist them. So he went forth from the land of the Yips, leaving his dear wife Cayke the Cookie-Cook and their wee little tadpolings, to meet the party from the Emerald City in Koto, the capital of Salador.
When the party had gathered comfortably at the Royal Patent Inn of Koto, Cap'n Bill asked the innkeeper about local customs. "For we do not wish to look like fools," declaimed the Frogman, who had regained some of his confidence, being out of range of Cayke's rolling-pin. The innkeeper assured them that if they wished to see the king, they should apply first to the Royal Favorite Timba Limba, who was presently all-powerful with his majesty.
So after a hearty meal of sausages and salad, or what passed for salad in this realm, they had a good rest on soft, quilted matresses. In the morning they bade farewell to the kindly innkeeper, and set off to find the mansion of the king's favorite.
Aah, but the main gate of this dwelling was closed fast against them. the Favorite's doorman would not let them pass. "Let's go 'round back," said Trot, "There's bound to be a way in somewhere." "Capital idea!," boomed Cap'n Bill. So around they went, coming at last to the servants' and tradesmens' entrances. "Hmmm," mused the Frogman, "We have a Maid's Door, a Butcher's Door...all locked! ---Eureka! What's this? The Salad Door is open!" So on they went, surprising the poor cook at her work. She called for the bulter, who sighed, and took them into the receiving room.
There upon a shabby throne sat a thin, gangly fellow dressed in so many frills and lace that he looked as if his grandmother's sewing box had exploded all over him. "G-greetings, O Royal Favorite," announced Trot politely, "I come rep--" The figure on the throne shot bolt upright, as if stuck from behind with a needle. "But I'm not!", he stamped. "Not what?," asked Cap'n Bill, who was on the verge of getting angry at this rude interruption of Trot's carefully prepered speech. "Not the FAVORITE!," he blasted, "I'm the JACK, the Great Jack of Salador!" "Jack?," sprung the Frogman, ever curious about royal titles. "Let's him do the es'z'planin," cut in Cap'n Bill sternly. "Well...," said Timba Limba, appearing relieved at the chance to explain himself, "The King was told by his father, the retired king, and by his grandfather, the retired-retired king, that he must marry, and have him a queen. He didn't want one, but they made him get one anyway. So the king---our wonderful king---said, 'fine!, if I have to have a queen, then I will have a jack as well!' So he married me---his best chum---and made me his jack, the Great Jack of Salador."
Trot has listened carefully to this whole explanation. Quickly, she brought the topic of conversation back to its original purpose. "Ahem! O Royal Jack of Salvador, may we..." With a big "Harrumph" the butler cut in, "His Majesty, the Great Jack, if you please." Cap'n Bill felt his blood begin to boil again, but Trot calmed him by gently touching his hand. "Very well." she began for the third time that morning, "Your Majesty! Great Jack of Salador! May be have your permission to see His Majesty the King?" "Certainly!," came the reply. "Brave bulter! See that papers of a suitable nature are drawn up for these visitors!"

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