Lewis Carroll: Through the Looking Glass

CHAPTER 8: `It's my own Invention' (continued)

            Whose look was mild, whose speech was slow,
             Whose hair was whiter than the snow,
             Whose face was very like a crow,
             With eyes, like cinders, all aglow,
             Who seemed distracted with his woe,
             Who rocked his body to and fro,
             And muttered mumblingly and low,
             As if his mouth were full of dough,
             Who snorted like a buffalo--
             That summer evening, long ago,
               A-sitting on a gate.'

As the Knight sang the last words of the ballad, he gathered up the reins, and turned his horse's head along the road by which they had come. `You've only a few yards to go,' he said,' down the hill and over that little brook, and then you'll be a Queen-- But you'll stay and see me off first?' he added as Alice turned with an eager look in the direction to which he pointed. `I shan't be long. You'll wait and wave your handkerchief when I get to that turn in the road? I think it'll encourage me, you see.'

`Of course I'll wait,' said Alice: `and thank you very much for coming so far--and for the song--I liked it very much.'

`I hope so,' the Knight said doubtfully: `but you didn't cry so much as I thought you would.'

So they shook hands, and then the Knight rode slowly away into the forest. `It won't take long to see him OFF, I expect,' Alice said to herself, as she stood watching him. `There he goes! Right on his head as usual! However, he gets on again pretty easily--that comes of having so many things hung round the horse--' So she went on talking to herself, as she watched the horse walking leisurely along the road, and the Knight tumbling off, first on one side and then on the other. After the fourth or fifth tumble he reached the turn, and then she waved her handkerchief to him, and waited till he was out of sight.

`I hope it encouraged him,' she said, as she turned to run down the hill: `and now for the last brook, and to be a Queen! How grand it sounds!' A very few steps brought her to the edge of the brook. `The Eighth Square at last!' she cried as she bounded across,

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