I do not own the Wizard of Oz or its characters and affiliates. Heaven knows I wish I did.
I concentrated on getting to my room. My mind was clouded with thoughts of delegations and parliment meetings and the rounds I would have to make in the next few months to see the people again. I didn't mind being the ruler of my fair country, with its surrounding desert sands and the magic inside its borders. I relished in it. I had friends who helped me immensly and there were no people I loved more then my subjects. I loved Oz with every fiber in my being.
But even someone who loved the country as much as I did would find, that at times, a break was needed. Right now was one of those times. I almost made it to my room when I suddenly ran into someone.
"My apologies! Your Majesty, my apologies!" A young man stuttered, grabbing my shoulder's to keep me from falling.
"Oh no, really! I should have seen you...I'm afraid I don't know you kind sir." I looked at his stormy gray eyes and honey blonde hair that waved all over his scalp quite elegantly. I had never seen him before in my life. Had he been at my court long?
"Phineas, Phineas Amplehouser. Uh...Your Majesty." He bowed a bit inderectly, and not very low. I smiled a bit at his attempted formality.
"Rise Mr. Amplehouser, pray tell, where are you from?" I inquired.
"The same place as your friend Dorothy I understand. Kansas. In the Americas. I arrived here last month quite unexpectedly, and you wouldn't believe the adventures I've had..."
"I believe I can. I've had many adventures probably very similar to yours in my country. How did you manage to get into my court?"
"Again, Dorothy. You see, she is a cousin of mine..." He put his hand behind his neck, as if wondering if he should have said that earlier. The explanation certain't explained the similarities, but I though Dorothy was an orphan, so I said as much.
He smiled warmly at the question. "Ah, yes, I just discovered the relationship my self only a while back. My mother is her aunt and her brother is Dorothy's father. I've been looking for her since I discovered the link." He looked at me again, light in all his features, so I smiled back. Everything about him was warm and inviting, very similar to my dear friend Dorothy. He could not have been more lovable then if he had carried the love magnet itself.
I met Dorothy in the castle courtyard with her friend the Scarecrow, who was here for a short visit. I asked her of her cousin and she smiled hugely at the recolection of her newfound family.
"And he is so nice and friendly! Why he made it all the way to the Emerald City just by being courteous and clever. He told of the time he was passing through a scary forest in Munchkinland and how he escaped terrible beasts by simply talking to them! Tricked a spider out of eating him, and did you know he met the Tin Man? Somehow, Phineas made it all the way from Munchkinland to Winkie Country and met him by the river. His adventures are so fascinating! So similar to ours Ozma!" She grinned, and if possible, it was bigger then her initial smile.
"I'm so glad for you!" I took her hands in mine and squeezed them. "What will your Auntie Em and Uncle Henry think of him do you think?" I asked.
"I'm not sure, but I'm certain they'll like him. I'm supirsed they never mention him to me before. And why they didn't tell me I had family? And in the same state! Imagine, I had relatives so close to me and I didn't knoww it the whole time!" She shook her head in disbelief, but a smile still plastered her features. We continued talking about our different meetings with him, untill Scraps came running out to us. The Scarecrow, who had said nothing during our conversation leaped up as she trilled her news.
"Something has been stolen from the palace!" She did a back flip and two somersalts before continuing. "The priceless vase given to you from the Oogaboo embassy last year! Its gone!" She did cart wheels and spins untill the scarecrow picked up the patch work doll and held her in the air.
"Impossible." He demanded. "There are no theives in Oz. There is no need to steal. Maybe it was simply misplaced by Jellia when she was cleaning the place. Went out for polishing or something." His proposition was eloquent, and made perfect sence, but Scraps just wailed.
"I thought of that. I asked Jellia, she said she didn't touch it, and she wouldn't lie!" She flailed around so, that the Scarecrow, although uneffected by her whaling fists, didn't want to bother with it.
"Are you absolutely sure?" I asked, getting face to face with the doll.
"Positive Ozma, it was there only this morning. Now its a quarter to four and its gone! I have to go tell the others!" She cartwheeled off, yelping her news to all who would hear of it.
"This is awful!" Dorothy cried, sitting hard on the grass. "Who would do such a thing? Why would they?" She started ripping at the grass, and the Scarecrow sat next to her.
"We'll figure it out Dorothy. It can't be that bad. Why, with my brains, and your..."
"Glinda's book!" I shouted before he could finish.
"And Ozma's quicker thinking." The Scarecrow muttered.
"Of course! Everything is written down in her book." Dorothy was elated at the prospect, then just as quickly, was sullen again. "But Glinda is out of reach. She wen't somewhere in seclusion to work out some spells. She probably took the book with her."
"Well, if she read it..." I offered, but remembered suddenly. Glinda didn't really read the book anymore. Nothing ever happened, and at the time I agreed with her. Life was too peaceful in Oz. Not that it was a bad thing, but it offered no reason to read the book. Why had I let it slip?
"We'll just have to conduct an Investigation I suppose." Dorothy chimed in.
"A what?" The Scarecrow looked at her curiously. "I've never heard of it."
"Of course not." Dorothy sighed. "Its never needed in Oz. But in the rest of the world, bad things happen all the time. So they conduct an Investigation to solve the problems. Its a way of getting answers I suppose." She stood up. "Maybe my cousin can help. He's from a big city, Wichita is pretty big you know, so maybe he know how the Investigation works!" She raced off with a quick "Bye Ozma!"
"I better go too, I wonder what you need in an investigation..." The Scarecrow muttered and walked off, without even a good bye.
I didn't mind, I was curious to understand the theft. Who on earth would have done it? Who in Oz? No one came to mind, so I just wandered in the garden, lazily remembering a few things that had been disscussed in Parliment. The Wizard had mentioned immigration laws...
My foot had fallen in a hole, barely covered by brush from the garden. I felt it hit something solid and I quickly pulled my self up and crouched next to the hole to peek in.
It was the vase! How very odd! Along with it in the small hole were some silver spoons, a necklace, and a tiny figurine encrusted with diamonds and saphires. The vase was the largest thing in the hole, and I assumed the rest had been stolen as well. I pulled the items out, but decided to put them back to show Dorothy later, as evidence.
My satin slipper was ruined with dirt and the hem of my gown was dirty as well. Oh bother. It can't be helped I suppose. I kept walking though the garden when I came upon none other then Phineas Amplehouser, lounging on a small bench.
"Phineas! Your cousin is looking for you." I called, approaching quickly to greet him.
"Oh, is she now?" He asked lazily, watching me approach. "I had better find her too." His eyes trailed to my dirty shoe. "What happened, majesty?" He beseeched.
"My foot fell in a hole with stolen good in it. Can you imagine? Someone has been stealing in the Palace! Its unheard of." I sat on the bench next to him, and he watched me scrupulously.
"Really? Now that is a shock. I understood this place to be a very perfect sort of place, and I was eager to settling in. Do you have any suspects?" He inquired good naturedly.
"No, not really. How strange it all is. You come from a big city, Wichita. Does this happen often there?" I asked.
A glint came to his eye, and a smile played at his lips. "Oh yes, all the time." He stood suddenly and took my hands in his. "I had better be off to find my cousin don't you think? So long your Majesty." He smiled playfully and kindly before whisking away behind a hedge.
My hands had dirt on them now, dirt that had been initially on his.