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The Sea Fairies (1911)
L. Frank Baum
As a boy, Bill often fought with his brother, Joe. Joe eventually went off to sea and became captain of the Gladsome, which was later lost at sea.
Bill was the captain of a trading schooner called the Anemone until the accident in which he lost his leg. After that he retired and moved into a boarding house run by the wife of his replacement and former first mate, Charlie Griffiths.
Around that same time, Charlie's wife gave birth to a daughter named Mayre, who was later nicknamed "Trot." Bill became her protector and companion and the two were inseparable. Bill told her stories of the sea and she enjoyed his company more than playing with any of the children in the nearby village.
One day when Trot and Cap'n Bill were discussing Mermaids, Trot wished she could see one. Princess Clia heard her wish and granted it, turning Cap'n Bill into a merman with an emerald green tail.
During their visit to the undersea world, Trot and Cap'n Bill were made prisoners of Zog the Terrible. While in Zog's castle, Bill was temporarily reunited with his brother Joe. King Anko destroyed Zog and the prisoners were rescued. Trot and Cap'n Bill returned to the surface world soon after.
When Button-Bright arrived in California with his Magic Umbrella, Trot and Cap'n Bill joined him on a picnic trip that ended up at Sky Island. They landed in the Blue Country and were captured by the Boolooroo. Bill was enslaved as the Royal Nectar Mixer until he and his companions escaped through the Fog Bank to the Pink Country. There they gathered an army of Pinkies and returned to the Blue Country, which they eventually conquered. Trot re-organized the governments of both sides of the island, and the travelers returned home to America.
Trot and Bill were later caught up in a whirlpool, and pulled below the surface to a subteranean cave. There, they encountered an Ork who accompanied them through dark caverns to eventually escape into the sunlight. After a few more adventures they found themselves in Jinxland, which is part of the Land of Oz. King Krewl of Jinxland suspected that Bill was a powerful wizard, so the witch Blinkie transformed the old sailor into a grasshopper (with a wooden leg). The Scarecrow made the witch reverse the enchantment, and brought Bill and Trot over the mountains into the Land of Oz proper, where Princess Ozma of Oz invited them to stay.
Public Domain Appearances
- The Sea Fairies
- Sky Island
- The Scarecrow of Oz
- The Magic of Oz
- The Royal Book of Oz
- Baum had attempted to close the Oz series the previous year: in the brief concluding chapter of The Emerald City of Oz (1910), Dorothy Gale writes to the author to explain that "You will never hear anything more about Oz, because we are now cut off forever from all the rest of the world." Baum was tired of Oz, and wanted to tell new and different stories. When the new series did not sell as well as its predecessor, Baum resumed the Oz series, and eventually Trot and Cap'n Bill were brought into the series when they emigrated to the Land of Oz.
- While the original character who appeared in Oz books published before 1923 is in public domain, any versions published post-1923 are NOT.