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19. The King of Ev (continued)
"I have no reason to complain of my lot," replied the Scarecrow. "A little fresh straw, now and then, makes me as good as new. But I can never be the polished gentleman that my poor departed friend, the Tin Woodman, was."
You may be sure the royal children of Ev and their Queen mother were delighted at seeing again their beloved country; and when the towers of the palace of Ev came into view they could not forbear cheering at the sight. Little Evring, riding in front of Dorothy, was so overjoyed that he took a curious tin whistle from his pocket and blew a shrill blast that made the Sawhorse leap and prance in sudden alarm.
"What is that?" asked Billina, who had been obliged to flutter her wings in order to keep her seat upon the head of the frightened Sawhorse.
"That's my whistle," said Prince Evring, holding it out upon his hand.
It was in the shape of a little fat pig, made of tin and painted green. The whistle was in the tail of the pig.
"Where did you get it?" asked the yellow hen, closely examining the toy with her bright eyes.
"Why, I picked it up in the Nome King's palace, while Dorothy was making her guesses, and I put it in my pocket," answered the little Prince.
Billina laughed; or at least she made the peculiar cackle that served her for a laugh.
"No wonder I couldn't find the Tin Woodman," she said; "and no wonder the magic belt didn't make him appear, or the King couldn't find him, either!"
"What do you mean?" questioned Dorothy.
"Why, the Prince had him in his pocket," cried Billina, cackling again.
"I did not!" protested little Evring. "I only took the whistle."
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