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Sir Wiley Gyle

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Sir Wiley Gyle
Sir-wiley-gyle

Real Name

Wiley Gyle

First Appearance

The Wizard of Oz (1902 Stage Production)

Created by

L. Frank Baum

Origin

Dorothy Gale, a Kansas girl, is blown by a cyclone to the fairy land of Oz, being accompanied by a pet cow named Imogene. When her house falls in this strange country, it crushes the wicked witch who has ruled the Munchkins, setting those people free. The good witch now becomes the ruler, and, in gratitude to Dorothy, gives her a magic ring and sends her to the wonderful Wizard of Oz, who alone is thought powerful enough to send the girl back to Kansas. By means of the ring, Dorothy wishes a scarecrow to life, and he, realizing he has no brains, goes with her to procure some from the wizard. They meet a tin woodman whose joints have rusted, and restore him by oiling his joints; he is lacking a heart, and joins Dorothy’s party hoping to get a heart from the wizard; his name is Niccolo Chopper and he was transformed to a man of tin by the wicked witch because he dared to make love to a beautiful munchkin girl named Cynthia. Being without a heart, he could no longer love his sweetheart and Cynthia, driven mad by her lover’s loss, wanders everywhere in search of him, hoping to recognize him by means of a favorite tune he was accustomed to play upon the piccolo.

The same cyclone that brought Dorothy from Kansas also carried Trixie Tryfle, a waitress at a lunch counter, and a Topeka motor man named Pastoria, who turns out to be the former king of the Emerald City now ruled by the wizard. Years ago, this wizard had come to the land of Oz in a balloon, usurped Pastoria’s throne and sent the ex-king adrift in the balloon; it carried him to Kansas; and now the cyclone returns him, and he determines to regain this throne and have revenge upon the wizard.

Meantime an aged citizen of Oz, Sir Wiley Gyle, has discovered the wizard’s tricks to be fraudulent, and plans to expose him and win the throne for himself. Pastoria, on his way to the Emerald City, encounters a cowardly lion, and disguises himself as the proprietor of a one-ring circus, with the lion as the chief attraction and Trixie premiere equestrienne.

Pastoria’s party joins that of Dorothy, and, in crossing a field of deadly poppy flowers they are all overcome by the poisonous scent of the poppies and only rescued by Dorothy’s ring bringing the good witch to their rescue. The witch invokes the Frost King and the Queen of the Snowflakes, who transfer the blooming poppy field into a wintry waste, destroying all the treacherous flowers.

On reaching the Emerald City, the scarecrow is given brains by the false wizard and the tin woodman receives a heart, but Dorothy cannot get back to Kansas. Sir Wiley, having nailed the bottom of the wizard’s trick basket, Pastoria is nearly murdered while endeavoring to expose the wizard’s tricks. But the people recognize their returned king, and he is restored to his proper station, his first act being to imprison all who have opposed him.

The scarecrow and the tin woodman succeed in escaping Pastoria, but Sir Wiley and the wizard become convicts and are sentenced to join a street-cleaning gang.

Dorothy is rescued by the good witch, who summons the spirits of the air to transport the girl back to her Kansas home.

Notes

For the 1902 Stage Play, L. Frank Baum created numerous new characters. Of these, only Pastoria ever made it into any of his books (although Imogene did resurface in a film). Donald Abbott did add Sir Wiley Gyle to one of his (non-PD) novels in the 1990s, however.

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