Peter’s First Post

But here, to Alice’s great surprise, the Duchess’s voice died away, even  in the middle of her favourite word ‘moral,’ and the arm that was linked  into hers began to tremble. Alice looked up, and there stood the Queen  in front of them, with her arms folded, frowning like a thunderstorm. ‘A fine day, your Majesty!’ the Duchess began in a low, weak voice. ‘Now, I give you fair warning,’ shouted the Queen, stamping on the  ground as she spoke; ‘either you or your head must be off, and that in  about half no time! Take your choice!’

The Duchess took her choice, and was gone in a moment. ‘Let’s go on with the game,’ the Queen said to Alice; and Alice was  too much frightened to say a word, but slowly followed her back to the  croquet-ground. The other guests had taken advantage of the Queen’s absence, and were  resting in the shade: however, the moment they saw her, they hurried  back to the game, the Queen merely remarking that a moment’s delay would  cost them their lives. All the time they were playing the Queen never left off quarrelling with  the other players, and shouting ‘Off with his head!’ or ‘Off with her  head!’ Those whom she sentenced were taken into custody by the soldiers, who of course had to leave off being arches to do this, so that by  the end of half an hour or so there were no arches left, and all the  players, except the King, the Queen, and Alice, were in custody and  under sentence of execution.