"Come on," growled the Mudger at his head and gave the rope around his 부천오피 neck a sharp tug. But before the clown had a chance to move or speak, there was a shrill scream, and out rushed Bob Up, almost upsetting old Tazzywaller. He flung both arms around the trembling lion.

"You shan't take him away," cried the little boy stormily. "It isn't a lion. It's Notta!"

"Notta?" roared Mustafa, lurching forward and looking at Bobbie with astonishment.

"Not a lion," cried the clown, rising on his hind legs and hastily removing his lion head.
There was a moment of absolute silence following Notta's disclosure. With his lion body and clown head he presented an amazing and ridiculous appearance. Nothing like this had ever been seen in Mudge, and the Mudgers simply gaped with astonishment.

"Steady now, Bob," whispered the clown, putting his lion paw around the little boy. "All we have to do is to be polite—rule two, you know!"

Mustafa was the first to recover.

"Not a lion!" cried the Monarch of Mudge hoarsely. "Why, how dare you disappoint me like this? Did you hear that, Tazzywaller, Panny, Mixtuppa—all of you? He says he's not a lion." A sob of rage choked Mustafa's voice.

"I apologize for not being a lion," said Notta, in a polite, slightly shaky voice. "Ten thousand pardons!"

"Ten thousand puddings!" screamed Mustafa furiously.

"Puddings by all means, if your Highness prefers them," corrected Notta hastily.

"I told you there were no more lions in Mudge," wheezed Tazzywaller with a triumphant glance at Panapee. "I knew it wasn't a lion all along."

"Well, what is it then?" asked Mustafa angrily. "The little fellow's a boy of some kind, but this other?" He waved scornfully at the poor clown.

"A wizard, your Highness!" hissed Panapee. "A wizard, that's what he is."

"Now don't call me names," begged Notta, extending the front paws of his disguise. "I'm Notta."

"Not a wizard, I suppose," said Tazzywaller scornfully.

"Why don't you ask him how he got here?" sighed Mixtuppa, reasonably enough. Notta stared curiously at the large head of Mixtuppa, wagging through the blue curtain. Perhaps here was someone who would understand politeness.

"Madam, your Highness, gracious and lovely lady," began the clown with a deep bow, "we fell into this charming country through no fault of our own."

"Well, it wasn't our fault; we have no faults here," snapped Mustafa ungraciously.

"How did you get past the lion enclosure?" demanded Panapee. "How do you explain this being a lion one minute and a creature of another sort the next?"

"Well, there is something very queer about it," admitted Notta, rubbing his forehead in a puzzled way. "One minute Bob and I were in a circus doing a bit of a trick and—"

"I knew it was a trick," exclaimed Panapee triumphantly. "He admits it!"

"Silence!" cried Mustafa, who was beginning to enjoy the recital. "You were in a circus? Tazzywaller, what is a circus?"

"It's a show," explained Notta hastily, for he could tell by the puzzled faces of the Mudgers that they had never heard of such a thing. "And we were in it. I put Bob on my shoulder and shouted a silly rhyme, and in a flash he is gone. I shout it again and I'm gone too!"

"Gone where?" asked Mustafa, rubbing his chin.

"To here," replied Notta, gazing about him uneasily. "Funny how a little verse could carry us so far. He recited:

"Udge! Budge!
Go to Mudge!
Udger budger,
I'm a Mudger!"
No sooner had he done so than Mustafa sprang into the air and all the Mudgers began roaring with fright and fury.

"He's discovered the secret of Mudge," shrilled Mustafa, pulling out a handful of his whiskers. "How dare you use our own privately patented, particular, magic transformation formula? Now you'll be wishing all sorts of people into the country!"

"He's a wizard!" screamed Panapee. "I told you he was a wizard! Twist his tail; off with his head; throw him to the lions!"

"Wait, let me explain," pleaded the clown, but his voice was drowned in the angry hubbub. Then all at once a gong at the back of the tent rang thunderously. Mustafa, who had already seized the tail of Notta's disguise, paused. So did the others. On a platform at the other end of the tent stood Tazzywaller, thumping the gong with all his might. The noise was so terrible that even Notta and Bob, frightened though they were, had to cover their ears. Not until Mustafa ran to the little platform and commanded Tazzywaller to stop, did the awful clangor cease.

"What do you mean by this impertinence?" panted Mustafa, seizing Tazzy's arm.

"It was the only way I could get your attention," said Tazzywaller calmly. "I have something important to say. About lions," he finished meaningly.

"Well, what is it?" puffed Mustafa eagerly. "Be quiet!" he called to the Mudgers who were again closing in on Notta and Bob.

"That person," cried Tazzywaller, with a wave toward Notta, "is undoubtedly a wizard. Instead of snatching off his head, which will be of no use to us, even as an ornament, why not compel him to serve us? He is a wizard, or he would not be in Mudge. Well then, let him go to the Emerald City and bring back the Cowardly Lion!"

Mustafa stared at his former chamberlain in amazed admiration, then flinging both arms about his neck, hugged him almost to suffocation. Next instant he had clapped his hands and issued a dozen orders to as many little servitors. At the first the shouting Mudgers retired backward from the tent, at the second Panapee also retired, leaving Bob and Notta alone with Tazzy and their Majesties. Outside, the marching and countermarching of the blue guard could be heard as they surrounded the royal tent.

"The rules aren't working at all well, Bob," breathed Notta anxiously. Bob said nothing. He just clutched the clown's hand a little tighter and stared at Mustafa in open-eyed wonder.

"Now then," chuckled the monarch of Mudge, "now then, my handsome wizard, what do you call yourself?"

"Notta," began the clown, resolved to be polite as long as possible, "Notta Bit More."

"Notta!" coughed Mustafa, opening his eyes wide. "That doesn't sound like a name. It sounds like—"

"A joke," put in the clown, with one of his broad smiles, "a little joke on me. You see it is meant to be funny."

"Well, it doesn't amuse me at all." Mustafa stared solemnly into the clown's face. "Why are you so white? And why is his hair,"—Mustafa jerked his thumb at Bob—"so red?"

"For the same reason that your Majesty's whiskers are blue," replied Notta promptly. Mustafa did not quite like this answer.