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Page:Carroll - Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.djvu/185

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WHO STOLE THE TARTS?


meaning of it at all. However, “jurymen” would have done just as well.

The twelve jurors were all writing very busily on slates. “What are they all doing?” Alice whispered to the Gryphon. “They can’t have anything to put down yet, before the trial’s begun.”

“They’re putting down their names,” the Gryphon whispered in reply, “for fear they should forget them before the end of the trial.”

“Stupid things!” Alice began in a loud, indignant voice, but she stopped hastily, for the White Rabbit cried out “Silence in the court!” and the King put on his spectacles and looked anxiously round, to see who was talking.

Alice could see, as well as if she were looking over their shoulders, that all the jurors were writing down “stupid things!” on their slates, and she could even make out that one of them didn’t know how to spell “stupid,” and that he had to ask his neighbour to tell him. “A nice muddle their slates will be in before the trial’s over!” thought Alice.

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

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