Queen Zixi of Ix; Or, the Story of the Magic Cloak
QUEEN ZIXI OF IX
Or, the Story of the Magic Cloak
L. FRANK BAUM
AUTHOR OF “THE WIZARD OF OZ”
WITH ILLUSTRATIONS BY
THE COPP, CLARK COMPANY
Copyright, 1904, 1905, by
L. FRANK BAUM
All Rights Reserved
Published October, 1905
PRESS OF BRAUNWORTH & CO.
BOOKBINDERS AND PRINTERS, BROOKLYN, N. Y.
FULL PAGE ILLUSTRATIONS IN THREE COLORS
BY THE DE VINNE PRESS
TO MY SON
FRANK JOSLYN BAUM
- CHAPTER I.
- The Weaving of the Magic Cloak 3
- CHAPTER II.
- The Book of Laws 17
- CHAPTER III.
- The Gift of the Magic Cloak 29
- CHAPTER IV.
- King Bud of Noland 43
- CHAPTER V.
- Princess Fluff 55
- CHAPTER VI.
- Bud Dispenses Justice 67
- CHAPTER VII.
- The Wings of Aunt Rivette 81
- CHAPTER VIII.
- The Royal Reception 93
- CHAPTER IX.
- Jikki has a Wish Granted 107
- CHAPTER X.
- The Counselors Wear the Magic Cloak 117
- CHAPTER XI.
- The Witch-Queen 137
- CHAPTER XII.
- Zixi Disguises Herself 149
- CHAPTER XIII.
- Tullydub Rescues the Kingdom 158
- CHAPTER XIV.
- The Rout of the Army of Ix 173
- CHAPTER XV.
- The Theft of the Magic Cloak 181
- CHAPTER XVI.
- The Plain Above the Clouds 198
- CHAPTER XVII.
- The Descent of the Roly-Rogues 205
- CHAPTER XVIII.
- The Conquest of Noland 214
- CHAPTER XIX.
- The Bravery of Aunt Rivette 227
- CHAPTER XX.
- In the Palace of the Witch-Queen 240
- CHAPTER XXI.
- The Search for the Magic Cloak 251
- CHAPTER XXII.
- Ruffles Carries the Silver Vial 271
- CHAPTER XXIII.
- The Destruction of the Monsters 279
- CHAPTER XXIV.
- The Sailorman’s Return 289
- CHAPTER XXV.
- The Fairy-Queen 298
QUEEN ZIXI OF IX;
OR, THE STORY OF THE MAGIC CLOAK.
THE WEAVING OF THE MAGIC CLOAK.
The fairies assembled one moonlit night in a prettyclearing of the ancient forest of Burzee.
The clearing was in the form of a circle, and allaround stood giant oak and fir trees, while in thecenter the grass grew green and soft as velvet. Ifany mortal had ever penetrated so far into the greatforest, and could have looked upon the fairy circle bydaylight, he might perhaps have seen a tiny pathworn in the grass by the feet of the dancing elves.For here, during the full of the moon, the famousfairy band, ruled by good Queen Lulea, loved todance and make merry while the silvery rays floodedthe clearing and caused their gauzy wings to sparklewith every color of the rainbow.
On this especial night, however, they were notdancing. For the queen had seated herself upon alittle green mound, and while her band clusteredabout her she began to address the fairies in a toneof discontent.
“I am tired of dancing, my dears,” said she.“Every evening since the moon grew big and roundwe have come here to frisk about and laugh and disportourselves; and although those are good thingsto keep the heart light, one may grow weary even ofmerrymaking. So I ask you to suggest some new wayto divert both me and yourselves during this night.”
“That is a hard task,” answered one pretty sprite,opening and folding her wings slowly—as a ladytoys with her fan. “We have lived through so manyages that we long ago exhausted everything thatmight be considered a novelty, and of all our recreationsnothing gives us such continued pleasure as dancing.”
“But I do not care to dance to-night!” repliedLulea, with a little frown.
“We might create something, by virtue of ourfairy powers,” suggested one who reclined at the feetof the queen.
“Ah, that is just the idea!” exclaimed the daintyLulea, with brightening countenance. “Let us createsomething. But what?”
“I have heard,” remarked another member of theband, “of a thinking-cap having been made by somefairies in America. And whatever mortal wore thisthinking-cap was able to conceive the most noble andbeautiful thoughts.”
“That was indeed a worthy creation,” cried thelittle queen. “What became of the cap?”
“The man who received it was so afraid some oneelse would get it and be able to think the sameexquisite thoughts as himself that he hid it safelyaway—so safely that he himself never could thinkafterward where he had placed it.”
“How unfortunate! But we must not makeanother thinking-cap, lest it meet a like fate. Cannotyou suggest something, else?”
“I have heard,” said another, “of certain fairieswho created a pair of enchanted boots, which wouldalways carry their mortal wearer away from danger—andnever into it.”
“What a great boon to those blundering mortals!”cried the queen. “And whatever became of theboots?”
“They came at last into the possession of a greatgeneral who did not know their powers. So he worethem into battle one day, and immediately ran away,followed by all his men, and the fight was won bythe enemy.”
“But did not the general escape danger?”
“Yes—at the expense of his reputation. So heretired to a farm and wore out the boots tramping upand down a country road and trying to decide whyhe had suddenly become such a coward.”
“The boots were worn by the wrong man, surely,”said the queen; “and that is why they proved a curserather than a blessing. But we want no enchantedboots. Think of something else.”
“Suppose we weave a magic cloak,” proposed Espa,a sweet little fairy who had not before spoken.
“A cloak? Indeed, we might easily weave that,”returned the queen. “But what sort of magic powersmust it possess?”
“Let its wearer have any wish instantly fulfilled,”said Espa, brightly.
But at this there arose quite a murmur of proteston all sides, which the queen immediately silencedwith a wave of her royal hand.
“Our sister did not think of the probable consequencesof what she suggested,” declared Lulea, smilinginto the downcast face of little Espa, who seemedto feel rebuked by the disapproval of the others. “Aninstant’s reflection would enable her to see that suchpower would give the cloak’s mortal wearer as manyprivileges as we ourselves possess. And I supposeyou intended the magic cloak for a mortal wearer?”she inquired.
“Yes,” answered Espa, shyly; “that was myintention.”
“But the idea is good, nevertheless,” continuedthe queen, “and I propose we devote this evening toweaving the magic cloak. Only, its magic shall giveto its wearer the fulfilment of but one wish; and Iam quite sure that even that should prove a greatboon to the helpless mortals.”
“Suppose more than one person wears the cloak,”one of the band said; “which then shall have theone wish fulfilled?”
The queen devoted a moment to thought, and thenreplied:
“Each possessor of the magic cloak may have onewish granted, provided the cloak is not stolen fromits last wearer. In that case the magic power willnot be exercised on behalf of the thief.”
“But should there not be a limit to the number ofthe cloak’s wearers?” asked the fairy lying at thequeen’s feet.
“I think not. If used properly our gift will proveof great value to mortals. And if we find it is misusedwe can at any time take back the cloak andrevoke its magic power. So now, if we are all agreedupon this novel amusement, let us set to work.”
At these words the fairies sprang up eagerly; andtheir queen, smiling upon them, waved her wandtoward the center of the clearing. At once a beautifulfairy loom appeared in the space. It was notsuch a loom as mortals use. It consisted of a largeand a small ring of gold, supported by a tall pole ofjasper. The entire band danced around it thrice, thefairies carrying in each hand a silver shuttle woundwith glossy filaments finer than the finest silk. Andthe threads on each shuttle appeared a different huefrom those of all the other shuttles.
At a sign from the queen they one and allapproached the golden loom and fastened an end ofthread in its warp. Next moment they were gleefullydancing hither and thither, while the silver shuttlesflew swiftly from hand to hand and the gossamer-likeweb began to grow upon the loom.
Presently the queen herself took part in the sport,and the thread she wove into the fabric was themagical one which was destined to give the cloak itswondrous power.
Long and swiftly the fairy band worked beneaththe old moon’s rays, while their feet tripped gracefullyover the grass and their joyous laughter tinkled likesilver bells and awoke the echoes of the grim forestsurrounding them. And at last they paused andthrew themselves upon the green with little sighs ofcontent. For the shuttles and loom had vanished;the work was complete; and Queen Lulea stoodupon the mound holding in her hand the magiccloak.
The garment was as beautiful as it was marvelous—eachand every hue of the rainbow glinted andsparkled from the soft folds; and while it was lightin weight as swan’s-down, its strength was so greatthat the fabric was well-nigh indestructible.
The fairy band regarded it with great satisfaction,for every one had assisted in its manufacture andcould admire with pardonable pride its glossy folds.
“It is very lovely, indeed!” cried little Espa.“But to whom shall we present it?”
The question aroused a dozen suggestions, eachfairy seeming to favor a different mortal. Everymember of this band, as you doubtless know, wasthe unseen guardian of some man or woman or childin the great world beyond the forest, and it was butnatural that each should wish her own ward havethe magic cloak.
While they thus disputed, another fairy joinedthem and pressed to the side of the queen.
“Welcome, Ereol,” said Lulea. “You are late.”
The new-comer was very lovely in appearance, andwith her fluffy golden hair and clear blue eyes wasmarvelously fair to look upon. In a low, grave voiceshe answered the queen:
“Yes, your Majesty, I am late. But I could not helpit. The old King of Noland, whose guardian I havebeen since his birth, has passed away this evening,and I could not bear to leave him until the end came.”
“So the old king is dead at last!” said the queen,thoughtfully. “He was a good man, but woefullyuninteresting; and he must have wearied you greatlyat times, my sweet Ereol.”
“All mortals are, I think, wearisome,” returnedthe fairy, with a sigh.
“And who is the new King of Noland?” askedLulea.
“There is none,” answered Ereol. “The old kingdied without a single relative to succeed to his throne,and his five high counselors were in a great dilemmawhen I came away.”
“Well, my dear, you may rest and enjoy yourselffor a period, in order to regain your old lightsomespirits. By and by I will appoint you guardian tosome newly born babe, that your duties may be lessarduous. But I am sorry you were not with usto-night, for we have had rare sport. See! we havewoven a magic cloak.”
Ereol examined the garment with pleasure.
“And who is to wear it?” she asked.
Then again arose the good-natured dispute as towhich mortal in all the world should possess themagic cloak. Finally the queen, laughing at thearguments of her band, said to them:
“Come! Let us leave the decision to the Man inthe Moon. He has been watching us with a greatdeal of amusement, and once, I am sure, I caughthim winking at us in quite a roguish way.”
At this every head was turned toward the moon;and then a man’s face, full-bearded and wrinkled, butwith a jolly look upon the rough features, appearedsharply defined upon the moon’s broad surface.
“So I’m to decide another dispute, eh?” said he,in a clear voice. “Well, my dears, what is it this time?”
“We wish you to say what mortal shall wear themagic cloak which I and the ladies of my court havewoven,” replied QueenLulea.
“Give it to the first unhappyperson you meet,”said the Man in the Moon.“The happy mortals haveno need of magic cloaks.”And with this advice thefriendly face of the Manin the Moon faded awayuntil only the outlines remainedvisible against thesilver disk.
The queen clapped herhands delightedly.