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13. How the General Talked to the King
When General Guph returned to the cavern of the Nome King his Majesty asked:
"Well, what luck? Will the Whimsies join us?"
"They will," answered the General. "They will fight for us with all their strength and cunning."
"Good!" exclaimed the King. "What reward did you promise them?"
"Your Majesty is to use the Magic Belt to give each Whimsie a large, fine head, in place of the small one he is now obliged to wear."
"I agree to that," said the King. "This is good news, Guph, and it makes me feel more certain of the conquest of Oz."
"But I have other news for you," announced the General.
"Good or bad?"
"Good, your Majesty."
"Then I will hear it," said the King, with interest.
"The Growleywogs will join us."
"No!" cried the astonished King.
"Yes, indeed," said the General. "I have their promise."
"But what reward do they demand?" inquired the King, suspiciously, for he knew how greedy the Growleywogs were.
"They are to take a few of the Oz people for their slaves," replied Guph. He did not think it necessary to tell Roquat that the Growleywogs demanded twenty thousand slaves. It would be time enough for that when Oz was conquered.
"A very reasonable request, I'm sure," remarked the King. "I must congratulate you, Guph, upon the wonderful success of your journey."
"But that is not all," said the General, proudly.
The King seemed astonished. "Speak out, sir!" he commanded.
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