Chapter Twelve

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Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four
Chapter Five
Chapter Six
Chapter Seven
Chapter Eight
Chapter Nine
Chapter Ten
Chapter Eleven
Chapter Twelve
Chapter Thirteen
Chapter Fourteen
Chapter Fifteen
Chapter Seventeen
Chapter Sixteen

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Chapter Twelve


Behind the screen they saw a little old man. He was terribly frightened.

"Who are you?" Dorothy cried out.

"I am Oz, the Great and Terrible," said the little old man in a small voice. 1 "Don't kill me—please! Don't kill me! I shall do all you want me to do!"

The friends looked at him in great surprise. They did not know what to say.

"I saw Oz in the form of a Great Head," said Dorothy.

"I saw Oz in the form of a Beautiful Girl," said the Scarecrow.

"I saw Oz in the form of a Terrible Beast," cried the Woodman.

"And I saw Oz in the form of a Ball of Fire," said the Lion.

"No," said the little old man, "you are all wrong. 2 I fooled you all the time."

"Fooled?" cried Dorothy. "Are you not a great Wizard?"

"No, I am not," said the old man. "It is my secret. I am not a Wizard, I am a poor old man."

"You are a humbug," cried the Scarecrow.

"Yes, I am. I am a humbug."

"But this is terrible," said the Tin Woodman. "How shall I get my heart?"

"How shall I get my courage?" asked the Lion.

"And how shall I get my brains?" cried the Scarecrow.

"My dear friends," said Oz, "please don't think about those little things! Think about me and help me!"

"Who knows here that you are a humbug?" asked Dorothy.

"Only you four," answered Oz. "For many years I fooled all the people of the Land of Oz. They never see me and they think that I am great and terrible!"

"Tell us, please," said Dorothy. "How could you take the form of a Great Head?"

"That was one of my tricks," answered Oz. "Come this way, 3 please, and I shall show you."

He took them to a small room behind the Throne Room. In a corner they saw the Great Head. It was made of thick paper.

"When you came to see me," the Wizard said to Dorothy, "I stood behind the screen and pulled a thread. So the eyes and the mouth opened and closed. Here are some other things!"

He showed the Scarecrow the dress and the mask of the Beautiful Girl. And he showed the Tin Woodman a lot of skins and said: "I made my Terrible Beast out of these skins. And my Ball of Fire was made of cotton and it burned brightly. And now I ask all of you to sit down. I am going to tell you my story."

And the Wizard began:

"I was born 4 in a small town near Kansas. One day a man

from a circus showed me some tricks. I began to work at a circus. I became a balloonist."

"What is that?" asked Dorothy.

"A balloonist is a man who goes in a balloon high up in the sky. Every day I went in a balloon high up in the sky. It was my work at the circus, to go up in a balloon and do tricks."

"What for?" asked Dorothy.

"People saw my balloon and bought tickets to see the other interesting things in the circus," answered Oz.

"Oh," said the girl. "I understand."

"Well," continued the Wizard, "one evening I went up in my balloon. It was windy. And the wind carried the balloon very, very far away. On the morning of the second day I looked down and saw a strange and beautiful country. Soon the balloon came down. I saw a lot of people. Men, women and children ran up to me. 'Look, a great Wizard has fallen out of the sky!' they all cried. I didn't tell them that it was a mistake. I let them think 5 that I was a Wizard. They were afraid of me and were ready to do all I wanted them to do."



1 in a small voice — тоненьким голосом

2 you are ail wrong — вы все ошибаетесь

3 Come this way — Пройдите сюда

4 I was born — Я родился

5 I let them think — Я позволил им думать

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