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L. Frank Baum: The Tin Woodman of Oz
Chapter 21. Polychrome's Magic (continued)
"Nor I," said Woot; "but something hit me, just the same."
"Some invisible person struck me a heavy blow," declared the Tin Woodman, struggling to separate himself from the Tin Soldier, whose legs and arms were mixed with his own.
"I'm not sure it was a person," said Polychrome, looking more grave than usual. "It seems to me that I merely ran into some hard substance which barred my way. In order to make sure of this, let me try another place."
She ran back a way and then with much caution advanced in a different place, but when she reached a position on a line with the others she halted, her arms outstretched before her.
"I can feel something hard - something smooth as glass," she said, "but I'm sure it is not glass."
"Let me try," suggested Woot, getting up; but when he tried to go forward, he discovered the same barrier that Polychrome had encountered.
"No," he said, "it isn't glass. But what is it?"
"Air," replied a small voice beside him. "Solid air; that's all."
They all looked downward and found a sky-blue rabbit had stuck his head out of a burrow in the ground. The rabbit's eyes were a deeper blue than his fur, and the pretty creature seemed friendly and unafraid.
"Air!" exclaimed Woot, staring in astonishment into the rabbit's blue eyes; "whoever heard of air so solid that one cannot push it aside?"
"You can't push this air aside," declared the rabbit, "for it was made hard by powerful sorcery, and it forms a wall that is intended to keep people from getting to that house yonder."
"Oh; it's a wall, is it?" said the Tin Woodman.
"Yes, it is really a wall," answered the rabbit, "and it is fully six feet thick."
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