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27. How the Fierce Warriors Invaded Oz (continued)
"I know," replied the General; "but they are not as clever as they think they are. When you get the Magic Belt you must at once wish the Whimsies and Growleywogs and Phanfasms all back into their own countries--and the Belt will surely take them there."
"Good!" cried the King. "An excellent plan, Guph. I'll do it. While they are conquering Oz I'll get the Magic Belt, and then only the Nomes will remain to ravage the country."
So you see there was only one thing that all were agreed upon--that Oz should be destroyed.
On, on, on the vast ranks of invaders marched, filling the tunnel from side to side. With a steady tramp, tramp, they advanced, every step taking them nearer to the beautiful Emerald City.
"Nothing can save the Land of Oz!" thought the First and Foremost, scowling until his bear face was as black as the tunnel.
"The Emerald City is as good as destroyed already!" muttered the Grand Gallipoot, shaking his war club fiercely.
"In a few hours Oz will be a desert!" said the Chief of the Whimsies, with an evil laugh.
"My dear Guph," remarked the Nome King to his General, "at last my vengeance upon Ozma of Oz and her people is about to be accomplished."
"You are right!" declared the General. "Ozma is surely lost."
And now the First and Foremost, who was in advance and nearing the Emerald City, began to cough and to sneeze.
"This tunnel is terribly dusty," he growled, angrily. "I'll punish that Nome King for not having it swept clean. My throat and eyes are getting full of dust and I'm as thirsty as a fish!"
The Grand Gallipoot was coughing too, and his throat was parched and dry.
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