Text - "Rinkitink in Oz" Frank Baum

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Near to the shores were
green and fertile fields, but farther back from the sea were rugged
hills and mountains, so rocky that nothing would grow there. But in
these mountains were mines of gold and silver, which the slaves of the
King were forced to work, being confined in dark underground passages
for that purpose. In the course of time huge caverns had been hollowed
out by the slaves, in which they lived and slept, never seeing the
light of day. Cruel overseers with whips stood over these poor people,
who had been captured in many countries by the raiding parties of King
Cos, and the overseers were quite willing to lash the slaves with their
whips if they faltered a moment in their work.

Between the green shores and the mountains were forests of thick,
tangled trees, between which narrow paths had been cut to lead up to
the caves of the mines. It was on the level green meadows, not far from
the ocean, that the great City of Regos had been built, wherein was
located the palace of the King. This city was inhabited by thousands of
the fierce warriors of Gos, who frequently took to their boats and
spread over the sea to the neighboring islands to conquer and pillage,
as they had done at Pingaree. When they were not absent on one of these
expeditions, the City of Regos swarmed with them and so became a
dangerous place for any peaceful person to live in, for the warriors
were as lawless as their King.

The Island of Coregos lay close beside the Island of Regos; so close,
indeed, that one might have thrown a stone from one shore to another.
But Coregos was only half the size of Regos and instead of being
mountainous it was a rich and pleasant country, covered with fields of
grain. The fields of Coregos furnished food for the warriors and
citizens of both countries, while the mines of Regos made them all rich.

Coregos was ruled by Queen Cor, who was wedded to King Gos; but so
stern and cruel was the nature of this Queen that the people could not
decide which of their sovereigns they dreaded most.

Queen Cor lived in her own City of Coregos, which lay on that side of
her island facing Regos, and her slaves, who were mostly women, were
made to plow the land and to plant and harvest the grain.

From Regos to Coregos stretched a bridge of boats, set close together,
with planks laid across their edges for people to walk upon. In this
way it was easy to pass from one island to the other and in times of
danger the bridge could be quickly removed.

The native inhabitants of Regos and Coregos consisted of the warriors,
who did nothing but fight and ravage, and the trembling servants who
waited on them. King Gos and Queen Cor were at war with all the rest of
the world. Other islanders hated and feared them, for their slaves were
badly treated and absolutely no mercy was shown to the weak or ill.

When the boats that had gone to Pingaree returned loaded with rich
plunder and a host of captives, there was much rejoicing in Regos and
Coregos and the King and Queen gave a fine feast to the warriors who
had accomplished so great a conquest. This feast was set for the
warriors in the grounds of King Gos's palace, while with them in the
great throne room all the captains and leaders of the fighting men were
assembled with King Gos and Queen Cor, who had come from her island to
attend the ceremony. Then all the goods that had been stolen from the
King of Pingaree were divided according to rank, the King and Queen
taking half, the captains a quarter, and the rest being divided amongst
the warriors.

The day following the feast King Gos sent King Kitticut and all the men
of Pingaree to work in his mines under the mountains, having first
chained them together so they could not escape. The gentle Queen of
Pingaree and all her women, together with the captured children, were
given to Queen Cor, who set them to work in her grain fields.

Then the rulers and warriors of these dreadful islands thought they had
done forever with Pingaree. Despoiled of all its wealth, its houses
torn down, its boats captured and all its people enslaved, what
likelihood was there that they might ever again hear of the desolated
island? So the people of Regos and Coregos were surprised and puzzled
when one morning they observed approaching their shores from the
direction of the south a black boat containing a boy, a fat man and a
goat. The warriors asked one another who these could be, and where they
had come from? No one ever came to those islands of their own accord,
that was certain.

Prince Inga guided his boat to the south end of the Island of Regos,
which was the landing place nearest to the city, and when the warriors
saw this action they went down to the shore to meet him, being led by a
big captain named Buzzub.

"Those people surely mean us no good," said Rinkitink uneasily to the
boy. "Without doubt they intend to capture us and make us their slaves."

"Do not fear, sir," answered Inga, in a calm voice. "Stay quietly in
the boat with Bilbil until I have spoken with these men."

He stopped the boat a dozen feet from the shore, and standing up in his
place made a grave bow to the multitude confronting him. Said the big
Captain Buzzub in a gruff voice:

"Well, little one, who may you be? And how dare you come, uninvited and
all alone, to the Island of Regos?"

"I am Inga, Prince of Pingaree," returned the boy, "and I have come
here to free my parents and my people, whom you have wrongfully

When they heard this bold speech a mighty laugh arose from the band of
warriors, and when it had subsided the captain said:

"You love to jest, my baby Prince, and the joke is fairly good. But why
did you willingly thrust your head into the lion's mouth? When you were
free, why did you not stay free? We did not know we had left a single
person in Pingaree! But since you managed to escape us then, it is
really kind of you to come here of your own free will, to be our slave.
Who is the funny fat person with you?"

"It is His Majesty, King Rinkitink, of the great City of Gilgad. He has
accompanied me to see that you render full restitution for all you have
stolen from Pingaree."

"Better yet!" laughed Buzzub. "He will make a fine slave for Queen Cor,
who loves to tickle fat men, and see them jump."

King Rinkitink was filled with horror when he heard this, but the
Prince answered as boldly as before, saying:

"We are not to be frightened by bluster, believe me; nor are we so weak
as you imagine. We have magic powers so great and terrible that no host
of warriors can possibly withstand us, and therefore I call upon you to
surrender your city and your island to us, before we crush you with our
mighty powers."

The boy spoke very gravely and earnestly, but his words only aroused
another shout of laughter. So while the men of Regos were laughing Inga
drove the boat we'll up onto the sandy beach and leaped out. He also
helped Rinkitink out, and when the goat had unaided sprung to the
sands, the King got upon Bilbil's back, trembling a little internally,
but striving to look as brave as possible.

There was a bunch of coarse hair between the goat's ears, and this Inga
clutched firmly in his left hand. The boy knew the Pink Pearl would
protect not only himself, but all whom he touched, from any harm, and
as Rinkitink was astride the goat and Inga had his hand upon the
animal, the three could not be injured by anything the warriors could
do. But Captain Buzzub did not know this, and the little group of three
seemed so weak and ridiculous that he believed their capture would be
easy. So he turned to his men and with a wave of his hand said:

"Seize the intruders!"

Instantly two or three of the warriors stepped forward to obey, but to
their amazement they could not reach any of the three; their hands were
arrested as if by an invisible wall of iron. Without paying any
attention to these attempts at capture, Inga advanced slowly and the
goat kept pace with him. And when Rinkitink saw that he was safe from
harm he gave one of his big, merry laughs, and it startled the warriors
and made them nervous. Captain Buzzub's eyes grew big with surprise as
the three steadily advanced and forced his men backward; nor was he
free from terror himself at the magic that protected these strange
visitors. As for the warriors, they presently became terror-stricken
and fled in a panic up the slope toward the city, and Buzzub was
obliged to chase after them and shout threats of punishment before he
could halt them and form them into a line of battle.