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22. The Country of the Quadlings
The four travelers passed through the rest of the forest in safety, and when they came out from its gloom saw before them a steep hill, covered from top to bottom with great pieces of rock.
"That will be a hard climb," said the Scarecrow, "but we must get over the hill, nevertheless."
So he led the way and the others followed. They had nearly reached the first rock when they heard a rough voice cry out, "Keep back!"
"Who are you?" asked the Scarecrow.
Then a head showed itself over the rock and the same voice said, "This hill belongs to us, and we don't allow anyone to cross it."
"But we must cross it," said the Scarecrow. "We're going to the country of the Quadlings."
"But you shall not!" replied the voice, and there stepped from behind the rock the strangest man the travelers had ever seen.
He was quite short and stout and had a big head, which was flat at the top and supported by a thick neck full of wrinkles. But he had no arms at all, and, seeing this, the Scarecrow did not fear that so helpless a creature could prevent them from climbing the hill. So he said, "I'm sorry not to do as you wish, but we must pass over your hill whether you like it or not," and he walked boldly forward.
As quick as lightning the man's head shot forward and his neck stretched out until the top of the head, where it was flat, struck the Scarecrow in the middle and sent him tumbling, over and over, down the hill. Almost as quickly as it came the head went back to the body, and the man laughed harshly as he said, "It isn't as easy as you think!"
A chorus of boisterous laughter came from the other rocks, and Dorothy saw hundreds of the armless Hammer-Heads upon the hillside, one behind every rock.
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