The fourth book in the Oz series, "Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz" by L. Frank Baum, takes place mostly below the earth after a California earthquake. A trip to Oz only occurs later in the story as a way for Dorothy and Company to escape their troubles (etext found
characterized by directness in manner or speech; without subtlety or evasion
The author is having fun punning on his own name, although here, the "he" refers to the fictional character Zeb. L. Frank Baum also wrote in the opening letter to his readers: "It seems the jolly old fellow made hosts of friends in the first Oz book, in spite of the fact that he frankly acknowledged himself 'a humbug.'" This pun is more meaningful, because in many ways, the author is like the Wizard.
He laughed at that, and his laugh was merry and
But by and by, as she stared ahead into the black
chasm with a beating heart, she began to dimly see the form of the horse Jim--his head up in the air, his ears erect and his long legs sprawling in every direction as he tumbled through space.
The man's mood is expressed in two synonyms here and another synonym in a later sentence (see the beginning of the next example sentence). "Calm," "serene," and "tranquil" all mean the same thing. The author emphasizes this man's mood in order to set the reader up for the contrasting mood of Dorothy when she sees the man walk off the edge of the roof, yet keep on walking in the air.
He was not a very large man, but was well formed and had a beautiful face--calm and
serene as the face of a fine portrait.
There was no expression of either fear or surprise upon his tranquil face, yet he must have been both astonished and afraid; for after his eyes had rested upon the
ungainly form of the horse for a moment he walked rapidly to the furthest edge of the roof, his head turned back over his shoulder to gaze at the strange animal.
Jim, the former cab-horse, is not hanging his head in desperation here. Rather, he is hanging his head because he is embarrassed and sad that Dorothy has noticed that he is "dreadfully skinny." But his response shows that he is trying to defend himself by explaining why he is so skinny.
"Oh, well; I'm old," said the horse, hanging his head
despondently, "and I've had lots of trouble in my day, little one. For a good many years I drew a public cab in Chicago, and that's enough to make anyone skinny."
"Nothing is more dangerous than being without food," declared the horse, with a sniff at the
rebuke of his young master; "and just at present no one can tell whether there are any oats in this queer country or not.
The word "alight" could've been deliberately chosen to emphasize the lightness that Jim does not actually have (he has a "great weight" of about half a ton), but somehow, the magic of falling inside the earth helps him to alight softly. This pun is not as obvious as a later one when Jim is described shouting something in a "hoarse voice."
His great weight made him fall faster than the children walked, and he passed them on the way down; but when he came to the glass pavement he
alighted upon it so softly that he was not even jarred.
several things grouped together or considered as a whole
"Aggregation" and "menagerie" have similar meanings, except that an aggregation can be a collection of general things for any purpose (in this case, the Wizard is referring to the three rings and the menagerie of the circus), while a menagerie is a collection of animals for display or study.
"I belong to Bailum & Barney's Great Consolidated Shows--three rings in one tent and a menagerie on the side. It's a fine
aggregation, I assure you."
marked by balance or equilibrium and readiness for action
On the central stalk stood
poised the figure of a girl so exquisitely formed and colored and so lovely in the expression of her delicate features that Dorothy thought she had never seen so sweet and adorable a creature in all her life.
As the new arrivals gazed upon this exquisite scene they were enraptured by its beauties and the fragrance that
permeated the soft air, which they breathed so gratefully after the confined atmosphere of the tunnel.
highly attractive and able to arouse hope or desire
In front of each place was a plate bearing one of the delicious dama-fruit, and the perfume that rose from these was so
sweet that they were sorely tempted to eat of them and become invisible.
Our greatest Champion, Overman-Anu, once climbed the spiral stairway and fought nine days with the Gargoyles before he could escape them and come back; but he could never be
induced to describe the dreadful creatures, and soon afterward a bear caught him and ate him up."
Notice the alliteration in the verbs "fluttered" and "floundered" that emphasizes the difficulty Jim has flying through the air without feeling frightened of falling.
Dorothy was a little anxious about the success of their trip, for the way Jim arched his long neck and spread out his bony legs as he fluttered and
floundered through the air was enough to make anybody nervous.
"Dwindle" is not a verb usually used to describe a dragon's body, but what Dorothy had come across are "dragonettes" that might need a hundred more years to grow to the size of their mother. The fact that the dragonettes' tails are tied around rocks in the caves also helps Dorothy's fear dwindle.
Their front legs, which grew just back of their heads, were also strong and big; but their bodies were smaller around than their heads, and
dwindled away in a long line until their tails were slim as a shoe-string.
That meant that their world—the real world--was not very far away, and that the succession of
perilous adventures they had encountered had at last brought them near the earth's surface, which meant home to them.
"I couldn't help it," returned the other, rather
crestfallen. "Ozma sprinkled me with a magic powder, and I just had to live. I know I'm not much account; but I'm the only horse in all the Land of Oz, so they treat me with great respect."
Because the Sawhorse had never seen a real horse before, when he describes Jim's bones as "distinct," he is actually admiring what he sees. But the reason Jim's bones are distinct is that he's "dreadfully skinny."
"I can see the bones all right," replied the Sawhorse, "and they are admirable and
In the chariot rode Ozma and Dorothy, the former in splendid
raiment and wearing her royal coronet, while the little Kansas girl wore around her waist the Magic Belt she had once captured from the Nome King.
After the people had been dismissed with this promise our friends joined Princess Ozma at an elaborate luncheon in the palace, where even the Tiger and the Lion were sumptuously fed and Jim the Cab-horse ate his oatmeal out of a golden bowl with seven rows of rubies, sapphires and diamonds set around the rim of it.
As a pet, Eureka is very different than Toto. While Eureka causes Dorothy to scold her about being impudent, Toto makes Dorothy laugh by playing with her all day long. Additionally, Eureka is a cat while Toto is a dog, Eureka talks while the other just barks, and most importantly, Eureka creates the conflict at the end of the book while Toto is the one who accidentally reveals the Wizard as a humbug.
deviating from what is considered moral or right or proper or good
The "she" here is Eureka. This makes the prosecuting Woggle-Bug's use of the adjectives "wicked" and "depraved" to describe an appetite for pork seem silly, because kittens eat meat. What makes this a criminal case is that Eureka is suspected of having eaten the miniature pet pig of the Princess.
And finally she made a wicked plan to satisfy her
depraved appetite for pork.
They were all together (except Eureka) in the pretty rooms of the Princess, and the Wizard did some new tricks, and the Scarecrow told stories, and the Tin Woodman sang a love song in a
sonorous, metallic voice, and everybody laughed and had a good time.