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him. “A nice muddle their slates’ll be in, before the trial’s over!”
One of the jurors had a pencil that squeaked. This, of course, Alice
could not stand, and she went round the court and got behind him,
and very soon found an
opportunity of taking it away. She did it so quickly that the poor
little juror (it was Bill, the Lizard) could not make out at all what
had become of it; so, after hunting all about for it, he was obliged
to write with one finger for the rest of the day; and this was of very
little use, as it left no mark on the slate.
“Herald, read the accusation!” said the King.
On this the White Rabbit blew three blasts on the trumpet, and
then unrolled the parchment-scroll, and read as follows:
“The Queen of Hearts, she made some tarts, All on a summer day:
The Knave of Hearts, he stole those tarts And took them quite
“Consider your verdict,” the King said to the jury.
“Not yet, not yet!” the Rabbit hastily interrupted. “There’s a great
deal to come before that!” “Call the first witness,” said the King;
and the White Rabbit blew three blasts on the trumpet, and called
out “First witness!” The first witness was the Hatter. He came in
with a teacup in one hand and a piece of bread-and-butter in the
other. “I beg pardon, your Majesty,” he began, “for bringing these
in; but I hadn’t quite finished my tea when I was sent for.”
“You ought to have finished,” said the King. “When did you
begin?” The Hatter looked at the March Hare, who had followed
him into the court, arm-in-arm with the Dormouse. “Fourteenth of
March, I think it was,” he said.
“Fifteenth,” said the March Hare.
“Sixteenth,” said the Dormouse.
“Write that down,” the King said to the jury; and the jury eagerly
wrote down all three dates on their slates, and then added them
up, and reduced the answer to shillings and pence.
“Take off your hat,” the King said to the Hatter.
“It isn’t mine,” said the Hatter.
“Stolen!” the King exclaimed, turning to the jury, who instantly
made a memorandum of the fact.
“I keep them to sell,” the Hatter added as an explanation. “I’ve
none of my own. I’m a hatter.” Here the Queen put on her
spectacles, and began staring hard at the Hatter, who turned pale
“Give your evidence,” said the King; “and don’t be nervous, or I’ll
have you executed on the spot.” This did not seem to encourage the
witness at all: he kept shifting from one foot to the other, looking