“Isn’t there a law to cover this case?” asked Coralie.
“I do not remember any such law,” replied the queen, “but I will search in the Great Book and see if I can find anything that refers to strange people entering our land.”
“If not,” said the woman, “you must make a law. It is your duty.”
“I know,” answered Tourmaline, “but I hope such a responsibility will not fall upon my shoulders. These poor strangers are in a very uncomfortable position, and I wish I could help them to get back to their own country.”
“Thank you,” said Trot. “We wish so, too. Haven’t you any fairies here?”
“Oh, there are fairies, of course, as there are everywhere,” answered Tourmaline, “but none that we can call to our assistance or command to do our bidding.”
“How about witches?” asked Button-Bright.
“I know of one witch,” said Tourmaline thoughtfully, “but she is not very obliging. She says it makes her head ache to perform witchcraft, and so she seldom indulges in it. But if there is no other way, I may be obliged to call upon Rosalie for help. I’ll look in the Great Book first. Meantime, you will go home with Coralie, who will feed you and give you entertainment. Tomorrow morning come to me again and then I will decree your fate.” The little queen then picked up her stocking and began to darn the holes in it, and Coralie, without any formal parting, led the strangers from the miserable palace.
THE SUNRISE TRIBE AND THE SUNSET TRIBE
Although Trot and her comrades were still prisoners, they were far more comfortable than they had been in the Blue Country. Coralie took them to her own home, where she lived in great luxury, being one of the prominent women of the Pinkies. In this country the women seemed fully as important as the men, and instead of being coddled and petted, they performed their share of the work, both in public and private affairs, and were expected to fight in the wars exactly as the men did.
Our friends learned considerable about the Pinkies during that afternoon and evening, for their hostess proved kind and agreeable and frankly answered all their questions. Although this half of Sky Island was no larger than the Blue Country, being no more than two miles square, it had several hundred inhabitants. These were divided into two tribes, which were called the Sunrise Tribe and the Sunset Tribe. The Sunrise Tribe lived in the eastern half of the Pink Country and the Sunset Tribe in the west half, and there was great rivalry between them, and sometimes war.
It was all a question of social importance. The Sunrise Tribe claimed that every day the sun greeted them first of all, which proved they were the most important; but on the other hand, the Sunset Tribe claimed that the sun always deserted the other tribe and came to them, which was evidence that they were the most attractive people. On Sky Island—at least on the Pink side—the sun arose in wonderful splendor, but also it set in a blaze of glory, and so there were arguments on both sides, and for want of something better to argue about, the Pinkies took this queer subject as a cause of dispute.