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16. Pon Summons the King to Surrender (continued)
"Well," said the Scarecrow, "did the King surrender?"
"No; but he gave me a good drubbing!" sobbed poor Pon.
Trot was very sorry for Pon, but Gloria did not seem affected in any way by her lover's anguish. The grasshopper leaped to the Scarecrow's shoulder and asked him what he was going to do next.
"Conquer," was the reply. "But I will go alone, this time, for beatings cannot hurt me at all; nor can lance thrusts -- or sword cuts -- or arrow pricks."
"Why is that?" inquired Trot.
"Because I have no nerves, such as you meat people possess. Even grasshoppers have nerves, but straw doesn't; so whatever they do -- except just one thing -- they cannot injure me. Therefore I expect to conquer King Krewl with ease."
"What is that one thing you excepted?" asked Trot.
"They will never think of it, so never mind. And now, if you will kindly excuse me for a time, I'll go over to the castle and do my conquering."
"You have no weapons," Pon reminded him.
"True," said the Scarecrow. "But if I carried weapons I might injure someone -- perhaps seriously -- and that would make me unhappy. I will just borrow that riding-whip, which I see in the corner of your hut, if you don't mind. It isn't exactly proper to walk with a riding-whip, but I trust you will excuse the inconsistency."
Pon handed him the whip and the Scarecrow bowed to all the party and left the hut, proceeding leisurely along the way to the King's castle.
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