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intransigent enemy would prove futile, he finally agreed that using the charm of the Cap was their only feasible alternative. “You possess the Golden Cap, Dorothy,” he said at last. “Summon the Winged Monkeys.”

Knowing that even one misplaced syllable would probably nullify the charm, Dorothy carefully perused what was printed inside the Cap. Only then did she begin to intone the incantation. Gliding her index finger back and forth over the letters as she spoke produced a pleasant tactile sensation that helped soothe her. In a few moments the entire band of Monkeys stood before her.

“What is your command?” inquired the King of the Monkeys, bowing low.

“Please carry us over the hill to the country of the Quadlings,” answered the girl.

“It shall be done,” said the King, and at once the Monkeys took the travelers in their arms and flew away with them. As they passed over the hill, the irate Hammer-Heads repeatedly shot fusillades of flying heads in the air, which, even at their apogee, couldn’t reach the high-flying Monkeys.

Chapter 26 “The Flying Monkeys”

Dorothy found herself being carried easily by the King, and after a time her curiosity impelled her to ask, “Why is it that you have to follow the command of whoever owns the Golden Cap?”

“It’s a long story,” he answered, “but since we have some time before we reach the country of the Quadlings, I’ll tell you. I just hope it won’t bore you too much.”

“Of course not,” replied the girl, wondering if asking may have been a mistake.

“Very well. You see, once we were a free people, living capriciously in a great forest, flying from tree to tree, eating nuts and fruit, and doing just as we pleased without having to answer to anyone. Some of us were a little too puckish at times, flying down to pull animals’ tails, or chasing birds, or bedeviling people who walked in the forest by throwing nuts at their heads. You could say our hallmark was a refusal to behave in an civil manner, but we were happy and carefree and we enjoyed every minute of our untrammeled freedom.

“There was living here then, too, a wise and beautiful Princess hailed by all as the very avatar of goodness. Though everyone loved her, she couldn’t find anyone to love in return because all the men here were too ugly or stupid. At last, however, she found a young boy, the scion of a genealogically respectable family, who was both handsome and smart and who, she was convinced, possessed many latent abilities. The Princess made up her mind that when he grew up she would make him her husband. She discreetly took him to her palace and molded his malleable young mind into one as wise and good as hers, for she knew that having these fine attributes in common augured well for conjugal felicity.

“When the boy at last reached adulthood, he was said to be the wisest and handsomest man in all the land. The Princess was greatly

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