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CHAPTER 8: `It's my own Invention' (continued)
`You will observe the Rules of Battle, of course?' the White Knight remarked, putting on his helmet too.
`I always do,' said the Red Knight, and they began banging away at each other with such fury that Alice got behind a tree to be out of the way of the blows.
`I wonder, now, what the Rules of Battle are,' she said to herself, as she watched the fight, timidly peeping out from her hiding-place: `one Rule seems to be, that if one Knight hits the other, he knocks him off his horse, and if he misses, he tumbles off himself--and another Rule seems to be that they hold their clubs with their arms, as if they were Punch and Judy--What a noise they make when they tumble! Just like a whole set of fire-irons falling into the fender! And how quiet the horses are! They let them get on and off them just as if they were tables!'
Another Rule of Battle, that Alice had not noticed, seemed to be that they always fell on their heads, and the battle ended with their both falling off in this way, side by side: when they got up again, they shook hands, and then the Red Knight mounted and galloped off.
`It was a glorious victory, wasn't it?' said the White Knight, as he came up panting.
`I don't know,' Alice said doubtfully. `I don't want to be anybody's prisoner. I want to be a Queen.'
`So you will, when you've crossed the next brook,' said the White Knight. `I'll see you safe to the end of the wood--and then I must go back, you know. That's the end of my move.'
`Thank you very much,' said Alice. `May I help you off with your helmet?' It was evidently more than he could manage by himself; however, she managed to shake him out of it at last.
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