Jack Pumpkinhead of Oz by L. Frank Baum

Jack Pumpkinhead of Oz by L. Frank Baum

Author:L. Frank Baum [Baum, L. Frank]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: Young Adult, Oz, Fiction
Published: 2011-03-13T00:00:00+00:00


CHAPTER 11

In the Castle of Mogodore

NOW to get ourselves captured," whispered Peter eagerly, as they finally reached the bottom of the stair.

"It should not be difficult," answered Snif, who had flown ahead and now came back to rest on Peter's shoulder. "Behold! Be bold! Look! Gaze and tremble!" Stepping out of the dim tower into the courtyard of the fort, Peter gave a little whistle of consternation and surprise. Drawn up in glittering rows were a thousand mounted men in armor, each holding a golden spear.

"Something's afoot here," muttered Belfaygor behind his waving whiskers.

"You mean a horse, don't you?" corrected Jack, straightening his head and dusting a cobweb off his chin. "Is that sack quite ready Peter?" Peter nodded and as one of the armored riders caught sight of the intruders and galloped furiously forward, he called boldly, "Conduct us to your chief. We have important tidings to impart."

"Impart them to me," ordered the horseman, lifting his visor and frowning down at the little boy. "Impart them to me, or I'll prick ye over yon wall."

"If you so much as raise your spear. I'll bite your nose, I'll chew your ear! You'll vanish, melt and disappear. We're all magicians, do you hear?"

shrieked the Iffin, flying in dizzy circles about the rider's head.

"Avaunt varlet," rasped Belfaygor, tossing his beard over his shoulder with a lordly gesture, "our business is with your Master!" The circling little Iffin, the strange appearance of Jack Pumpkinhead and the wildly waving whiskers of Belfaygor all tended to bewilder the horseman. For a moment he hesitated, then galloping back, conferred anxiously with one of his companions. After much head shaking and arm waving, they both rode forward, and beckoning - for the travellers to follow them, trotted briskly under a stone archway that led up to the town itself.

"That was easy," chuckled Peter, trudging gaily after the mailed riders. "They think we're magicians, Snif."

"We'll have to be to get out of here," muttered the little monster uneasily. "Be careful, boy, be carefuller than careful!"

"Every step brings us nearer to the Princess," said Belfaygor, tripping over his beard and fixing his eyes hopefully on the castle tower. But it was many weary steps to the palace, and the one cobbled street of Baffleburg was both steep and narrow. Red stone cottages perched on the cliffs at either side, and now and then a curious head was stuck out as the little procession went pounding by. But at last they came to the red gates of the castle itself, and after a short parley with the guards were admitted. Leaving their horses in the courtyard, the two warriors hustled their charges into the baronial hall of the mountain chief. Looking around the great hall, Peter decided that it was just the kind of castle he had always dreamed of owning. His eyes shone as they rested on the jewelled swords and armor that decorated the walls. But he was quickly brought back to the dangerous business in hand by the stern voice of their guide.



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