Home / News
11. How the General Met the First and Foremost (continued)
So the old Nome climbed the foothills and trudged along the wild mountain paths until he came to a big gully that encircled the Mountain of Phantastico and marked the boundary line of the dominion of the Phanfasms. This gully was about a third of the way up the mountain, and it was filled to the brim with red-hot molten lava in which swam fire-serpents and poisonous salamanders. The heat from this mass and its poisonous smell were both so unbearable that even birds hesitated to fly over the gully, but circled around it. All living things kept away from the mountain.
Now Guph had heard, during his long lifetime, many tales of these dreaded Phanfasms; so he had heard of this barrier of melted lava, and also he had been told that there was a narrow bridge that spanned it in one place. So he walked along the edge until he found the bridge. It was a single arch of gray stone, and lying flat upon the bridge was a scarlet alligator, seemingly fast asleep.
When Guph stumbled over the rocks in approaching the bridge the creature opened its eyes, from which tiny flames shot in all directions, and after looking at the intruder very wickedly the scarlet alligator closed its eyelids again and lay still.
Guph saw there was no room for him to pass the alligator on the narrow bridge, so he called out to it:
"Good morning, friend. I don't wish to hurry you, but please tell me if you are coming down, or going up?"
"Neither," snapped the alligator, clicking its cruel jaws together.
The General hesitated.
"Are you likely to stay there long?" he asked.
"A few hundred years or so," said the alligator.
Guph softly rubbed the end of his nose and tried to think what to do.
"Do you know whether the First and Foremost Phanfasm of Phantastico is at home or not?" he presently inquired.
This is page 66 of 180. [Mark this Page]
Mark any page to add this title to Your Bookshelf. (0 / 10 books on shelf)
Buy a copy of The Emerald City of Oz at Amazon.com
Customize text appearance:
(c) 2003-2012 LiteraturePage.com and Michael Moncur.
For information about public domain texts appearing here, read the copyright information and disclaimer.