The King and Queen of Hearts were seated on their throne when they arrived, with a great crowd assembled about them—all sorts of little birds and beasts, as well as the whole pack of cards: the Knave was standing before them, in chains, with a soldier on each side to guard him; and near the King was the White Rabbit, with a trumpet in one hand and a scroll of parchment in the other. In the very middle of the court was a table, with a large dish of tarts upon it. "I wish they'd get the trial done," Alice thought, "and hand 'round the refreshments!"
The judge, by the way, was the King and he wore his crown over his great wig. "That's the jury-box," thought Alice; "and those twelve creatures (some were animals and some were birds) I suppose they are the jurors."
Just then the White Rabbit cried out "Silence in the court!"
"Herald, read the accusation!" said the King.
On this, the White Rabbit blew three blasts on the trumpet, 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 away!"
"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[Pg 44] a teacup in one hand and a piece of bread and butter in the other.
"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.
"Give your evidence," said the King, "and don't be nervous, or I'll have you executed on the spot."
|Title: Alice in Wonderland. Publisher: Macmillan, 1898. First Published 1865. Author: Lewis Carroll. Illustrator. Length: 192 pages, with original illustrations by Sir John Tenniel (28 February 1820 – 25 February 1914)|
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