Friday, January 1, 2021


By L. Frank Baum
Author of The Lost Princess of Oz, The Boy Fortune Hunters in the Yucatan, Daughters of Destiny, etc.

Originally published in the Chicago Times-Herald, January 15, 1896. This transcription has been prepared from reprintings in Detroit Free Press, January 28, 1896, and the Buffalo Evening News, January 31, 1896, which differ slightly.

The Mystery of the Voice That Miraculously Saved a Traveler’s Life Though it Delayed Him.

It was nearly midnight when I boarded the train, and, entering the chair car, prepared to doze during the hours of my journey. “Call me at Perry,” I said to the conductor, as I surrendered my ticket, “for I may be asleep.”

He promised and I settled myself comfortably for my nap.

I don’t know how long I had slept, when some one shook me by the shoulder and shouted, “Perry!”

Opening my eyes I found the train was slowing up, and presently it came to a full stop. “Perry!” again shouted the voice in my ear. This time I sprang to my feet, seized my valise and stepped from the car to the platform just as the train glided away up the track.

I turned to look for the town and found myself confronted by a station agent holding a lantern.

“In which direction is the town?” I asked.

“Town!” he answered, in surprise; “there’s no town here.”

“Isn’t this Perry?”

“No; this is Head’s Crossing. Perry is twenty miles further on.”

“But the conductor,” I said, angry at my misadventure, “called Perry, and so I left the car. I shall report him to the superintendent.”

“The conductor was on the front car,” replied the man, “and you stepped from the rear car. He could not possibly have called you.”

“But some one shouted ‘Perry.’”

The agent looked at me incredulously and said nothing.

“Is there another train?” I asked.

“Not till morning.”

“Where can I sleep?”

“I’ll give you the cot in my office, if you like. The station is the only building within miles.”

Rather ungraciously, I fear, I accepted his hospitality; but the cot was hard and I was too much annoyed to sleep, so I tossed about until suddenly the agent, who was at the telegraph key, startled me by exclaiming:

“Good God!”

“What’s wrong?” I asked.

“No. 16 has gone through the bridge at Coon Rapids, and the whole train is lying twenty feet under water!”

No. 16 was the train I had left to spend the night at Head’s Crossing.

Originally published in the Philadelphia Public Ledger, September 23, 1917.
The Supposies and the Bachelor Giant
You remember the 
Bachelor Giant, no doubt,
Whom just awhile back
I was telling about?
He lives, as you know,
Near that realm of renown--
Delightful, delicious
Supposyville town;
But, alas, the poor fellow,
The last of his tribe,
Has more troubles than I
Have time to describe.

The holes in his socks
Are as big as barn doors,
While the state of his kitchen
He daily deplores;
The buttons are burst from
His coat and his breeches;
Insecurely he mends them
With safety pin stitches;
No wife to keep house
Nor to mend, nor to bake;
A condition, my loves,
Fair to make one's heart ache.

All breathless from flying,
The help-a-bit bird
One night to Supposyville
Comes with the word
Of the giant's distress;
First the King is aroused;
In a minute not one
Of the populace drowsed;
In a trice they are dressed
And off over the wall,
Right into the castle.
There's work here for all.

While the giant, unconscious
Of everything, sleeps;
The spirit of order
O'er everything creeps;
They sewed on his buttons,
They mended his socks,
They patched up his breeches
And laundered his stocks.
And resolving at least
Once a month to come back,
Scampered chuckling away
Leaving never a track!
(Well, did you ever?)

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