Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

‘Then you may SIT down,’ the King replied.

Here the other guinea-pig cheered, and was suppressed.

‘Come, that finished the guinea-pigs!’ thought Alice. ‘Now we shall get on better.’

‘I’d rather finish my tea,’ said the Hatter, with an anxious look at the Queen, who was reading the list of singers.

‘You may go,’ said the King, and the Hatter hurriedly left the court, without even waiting to put his shoes on.

‘—and just take his head off outside,’ the Queen added to one of the officers: but the Hatter was out of sight before the officer could get to the door.

‘Call the next witness!’ said the King.

The next witness was the Duchess’s cook. She carried the pepper-box in her hand, and Alice guessed who it was, even before she got into the court, by the way the people near the door began sneezing all at once.

‘Give your evidence,’ said the King.

‘Shan’t,’ said the cook.

The King looked anxiously at the White Rabbit, who said in a low voice, ‘Your Majesty must cross-examine THIS witness.’

‘Well, if I must, I must,’ the King said, with a melancholy air, and, after folding his arms and frowning at the cook till his eyes were nearly out of sight, he said in a deep voice, ‘What are tarts made of?’

‘Pepper, mostly,’ said the cook.

‘Treacle,’ said a sleepy voice behind her.

‘Collar that Dormouse,’ the Queen shrieked out. ‘Behead that Dormouse! Turn that Dormouse out of court! Suppress him! Pinch him! Off with his whiskers!’

For some minutes the whole court was in confusion, getting the Dormouse turned out, and, by the time they had settled down again, the cook had disappeared.

‘Never mind!’ said the King, with an air of great relief. ‘Call the next witness.’ And he added in an undertone to the Queen, ‘Really, my dear, YOU must cross-examine the next witness. It quite makes my forehead ache!’

Alice watched the White Rabbit as he fumbled over the list, feeling very curious to see what the next witness would be like, ‘—for they haven’t got much evidence YET,’ she said to herself. Imagine her surprise, when the White Rabbit read out, at the top of his shrill little voice, the name ‘Alice!’

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