The deinzens of Bunbury, as incorrigible a bunch of punsters as the Utensians, were happy to let Dorothy eat of their inanimate objects, but when Toto and Billina unwisely started sampling the citizenry, the trio were run out of town.
By this time, Ozma had looked in on Dorothy and the others via the Magic Picture, then idly wondered what had ever become of old Roquat the Red. The hidden kingdom of the Nomes appeared in the Picture, and in this way Ozma discovered the Nome King’s plot. From then on she made it a point to check in on the progress of the tunnel each day.
Banned from Bunbury, Dorothy and her two friends made for Bunnybury, where, in what was undoubtedly a nod to Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Dorothy met a well-dressed white rabbit and had to shrink down in order to enter the city. Reluctantly leaving Toto and Billina outside, Dorothy soon met the King of Bunnybury.
This melancholy monarch explained his dislike of his station to the girl, who cleverly talked him around until he realized there was more he liked than disliked about his job.
Finally, Dorothy, Toto, and Billina returned to camp and told their adventures to the grownups. After another night, they continued on their way. and soon found themselves in Rigmarole Town, where the inhabitants talked and talked and talked without ever coming to the point.
Next stop was Flutterbudget Center, whose citizens worried needlessly over potential disasters which had little likelihood of happening.
On the Sawhorse drew his passengers until they reached the Tin Castle of the Emperor of the Winkies. Having already met Dorothy’s old friend the Cowardly Lion, Aunt Em and Uncle Henry were now introduced to the Tin Woodman, who seemed to Dorothy to be not quite his old self.
After a night spent in tin splendor, Nick Chopper delivered the grave news about the Nome King and his allies.
“‘Ozma sent me word yesterday that the tunnel was all completed except for a thin crust of earth at the end. When our enemies break through this crust, they will be in the gardens of the royal palace, in the heart of the Emerald City.'”
The Tin Woodman joined them on their return to the Emerald City. On the way, they visited the new home of the Scarecrow, a five-story mansion in the shape of an ear of corn designed by Jack Pumpkinhead. Despite circumstances, Em and Henry were delighted to meet their niece’s old friends, and the feeling was mutual.
Accompanied by the straw man, the travelers returned to Ozma, who seemed oddly unconcerned. In the Picture she showed them the horrifying armies massed against Oz. Ozma was utterly opposed to meeting violence with violence, despite her subjects’ insistence that something be done.
“‘”Self-preservation is the first law of nature,”‘ quoted the Shaggy Man.
“‘True,’ she said, readily. ‘I would like to discover a plan to save ourselves without fighting.'”