“Alice, is something wrong?”
She skipped ahead, turned page after page. The Pool of Tears, the caterpillar, her aunt Redd: It had all been twisted into nonsense.
“I admit that I took a few liberties with your story,” Dodgson explained, “to make it ours, as I said I would. Do you recognize the tutor fellow you once described to me? He’s the White Rabbit character. I got the idea for him upon discovering that the letters of the tutor’s name could be made to spell ‘white rabbit.’ Here, let me show you.”
Dodgson took a pencil and small notebook from the inside pocket of his coat, but she didn’t want to look. He had indeed said it would be their book, his and hers, and she had found strength in that—strength to suffer the indignities that came from insisting on truths no one else believed. But what she held in her hands had nothing to do with her.
“You mean you did it on purpose?” she asked.
The grinning Cheshire cat. The mad tea party. He’d transformed her memories of a world alive with hope and possibility and danger into make-believe, the foolish stuff of children. He was just another in a long line of unbelievers and this—this stupid, nonsensical book—was how he made fun of her. She had never felt more betrayed in all her life.
“ No one is ever going to believe me now!” she screamed. “You’ve ruined everything! You’re the cruelest man I’ve ever met, Mr. Dodgson, and if you had believed a single word I told you, you’d know how very cruel that is! I never want to see you again! ever, never, never!”
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