In Baum's third Oz book (1907), Dorothy is traveling with her Uncle Henry by sea to visit relatives in Australia when she is swept overboard in a storm. She survives by climbing into a chicken coop that is also washed into the sea. When the strange craft makes landfall, the hen inside can talk, so Dorothy knows she's in a magic land and names her companion Billina. They are in Ev, to the east of the great desert that surrounds Oz. The king sold his wife and ten children into slavery with the Nome King, then drowned himself in sorrow; currently, Ev is "overseen" by Princess Langwidere, a niece who has 30 different heads that she trades off wearing. She locks Dorothy in a tower. But Ozma, Scarecrow, The Tin Woodman, The Cowardly Lion, and a small army arrive in Ev, free Dorothy, and decide to rescue the Royal Family of Ev from the Nome King -- who lives in caverns under the mountains where the Nomes make gold, silver, and precious gems which they hide under the earth. The Nome King says he turned all the Royal Family into little ornaments in his palace, and proposes a wager with the visitors to see if they can identify them -- or become ornaments themselves! Will he honor his promise? And how will our heroes beat his magic belt and huge armies? _Ozma_ also introduced the popular copper robot Tik-Tok, who will turn up in later Oz books.
This report prepared by David Loftus