The Gryphon has brought Alice into a courtroom, where an effort is about to take place.
The King and Queen of Hearts are presiding (therefore the King looks very silly, since he could be wearing his crown in addition to a judge’s wig). The Knave of Hearts — that is, the Jack — whom we saw briefly in Chapter 8, is standing in chains, apparently accused of some crime. The White Rabbit is acting as court herald, holding a scroll in a single hand and a trumpet into the other, as well as in the jury box sit twelve animals that are little acting as jurors. On a table stands a plate of tarts — delicious-looking fruit pastries — whose presence makes Alice very hungry.
Alice notices that the twelve jurors have slates and pencils (that is, little chalkboards and pieces of chalk, when planning on taking notes). When she asks the Gryphon what they’re writing prior to the trial has even begun, the Gryphon explains that they are writing down their very own names, in case they forget them during the trial. Alice, startled by this idiocy, exclaims out loud, “Stupid things!”, and sees to her amazement that they write down whatever she says that they are so suggestible.
Irritated by the squeaking pencil of one associated with the jurors from him, so the confused Bill tries during the rest of the trial to write on his slate with his finger— it is Bill the Lizard, in fact (who came down the Rabbit’s chimney in Chapter 4) — Alice sneaks up and takes it away.
The King orders the White Rabbit to see the “accusation.” The Rabbit unrolls his scroll, and reads the start of the nursery rhyme that goes: “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!” It seems that this is basically the accusation from the Knave of Hearts. The King asks the jury for its verdict, nevertheless the Rabbit reminds him that they need to hear the data first. So the Rabbit blows his trumpet to summon the first witness — who turns off to function as hatter that is mad.
The King interrogates the terrified Hatter, but the questioning is ridiculous and no information that is real from it. While this is being conducted, Alice suddenly finds that she has begun to cultivate again, and it is getting large every quickly. The Dormouse, that is sitting close to her, complains that he’s being squished and moves to another seat.
The interrogation continues, however the Hatter can’t remember anything he’s asked, and never gets to finish his sentences anyway. People in the audience — namely, two guinea pigs — keep cheering, consequently they are suppressed because of the officers of this court. (Carroll explains that this is done by putting the guinea pigs into a canvas that is large, and sitting to them. This is not, of course, how people are “suppressed” in courtrooms anywhere outside of Wonderland.) Losing her temper, the Queen orders the Hatter beheaded, but the King allows him to leave.
The witness that is next the Duchess’s cook (from Chapter 6), who buy an essay will not answer any queries at all. Once the King attempts to cross-examine her by asking her what tarts are made of, she replies, “Pepper.” The Dormouse — that is talking in its sleep — suddenly says “Treacle” (it should be thinking of the story concerning the molasses-well which it told Alice in Chapter 7), together with Queen loses her temper completely. The Dormouse has been tossed out of the court, the Cook has disappeared by the time. The King tells the Queen she must cross-examine the witness that is next. Alice, very curious as to that will be called next in this trial that is ludicrous is shocked to listen to the Rabbit read off its scroll: “Alice!”
Chapter 12 – Alice’s Evidence
Hearing her name called as a witness, Alice calls out, “Here!”, and jumps up to go to the front associated with the courtroom. But she’s got forgotten that she’s been growing, and it is now gigantic when compared to everyone else. The side of her skirt knocks over the jury box, and all the animals that are little out. Since Alice remembers accidentally knocking over a bowl of goldfish the other day, she’s got the confused idea that if she does not put them all back in they’ll die, so she quickly tucks them back to the jury box again. (Bill the Lizard gets stuck in upside down, so Alice needs to put him side that is back right.)
The court is called by the King to order, and asks Alice what she is aware of the problem for the Knave while the tarts. Alice says she does not know any single thing about any of it, as well as the King and jury try for a while to find out whether this might be unimportant or important. Then your King, that has been busily writing inside the notebook, announces that the court’s Rule Number Forty-two says that all people more than a mile high leave the court must. Everyone stares at Alice, who protests that she’s not a mile high (though this woman is certainly now very big!), and therefore the King just made the rule up anyway. The King claims so it’s the oldest rule into the book. For this Alice cleverly replies that it if it is the oldest rule within the book, it should be Number One; the King turns pale, shuts his notebook and changes the niche.
The White Rabbit announces that a new bit of evidence is here — a letter which will need to have been compiled by the Knave of Hearts and should be examined as evidence. The paper is not in the Knave’s handwriting, and has now no true name signed to it, but the King and Queen decide that this proves the Knave’s guilt together with Queen starts to condemn him to death. However, Alice, that is now so large when comparing to the others that she actually is not scared of the King or Queen, interrupts them, saying that nothing at all has been proved in addition they don’t even understand what the paper says. The King orders the White Rabbit to see clearly aloud.
The paper works out to contain a nonsense poem, that your King attempts to interpret with regards to the Knave. This will be difficult, considering that the poem makes no sense, nevertheless the King finds meaning on it anyway: for instance, it mentions somebody who can’t swim, additionally the Knave of Hearts certainly can’t swim (since he is a playing card, and so manufactured from cardboard). It also mentions somebody having a fit, which the King things might make reference to the Queen. During the suggestion that she has ever had a fit, the Queen grows enraged and throws a bottle of ink at Bill the Lizard.
The King, making a poorly-received pun on your message “fit,” gets annoyed when nobody laughs, and tells the jury to take into account its verdict. The Queen demands, “Sentence first — verdict afterwards,” but Alice protests, “Stuff and nonsense! The concept of getting the sentence first!” Enraged, the Queen orders Alice’s head to be cut off, but nobody moves to get it done (since Alice is currently huge). Alice, emboldened, shouts, “Who cares for you personally? You’re nothing but a pack of cards!”
When she yells this, suddenly the entire pack of cards rises up into the air and comes flying down onto her. Alice, that has by this time reached her size that is full again screams and attempts to beat them off — but opens her eyes to locate herself lying regarding the river bank, where her sister is gently brushing away some dead leaves which may have drifted down onto her face.
Alice is amazed to discover that she’s got been asleep for a very very long time. She tells her sister exactly about her astonishing dream. Her and tells her to run in and have her tea when she is done, her sister kisses. But as Alice trots off, still marvelling about her dream that is wonderful sister sits from the river bank, also thinking over everything Alice has informed her.
Watching the sun that is setting she falls into a daydream, and seems to see all Alice’s adventures for herself. But she understands that if she opens her eyes, she’ll find herself back into the real life again. And last but not least, she thinks about how when Alice is a woman that is grown children of her own, she’s going to tell them this story, and watch their eyes grow bright with wonder; and she thinks about how exactly Alice will recall the joys and griefs of her very own childhood, and — as Carroll puts it within the final words — “these happy summer days.”