Alice felt that this could not be denied, so she tried another question. `What sort of people live about here?’
`In THAT direction,’ the Cat said, waving its right paw round, `lives a Hatter: and in THAT direction,’ waving the other paw, `lives a March Hare. Visit either you like: they’re both mad.’
`But I don’t want to go among mad people,’ Alice remarked.
`Oh, you can’t help that,’ said the Cat: `we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.’
`How do you know I’m mad?’ said Alice.
`You must be,’ said the Cat, `or you wouldn’t have come here.’
`How do you like the Queen?’ said the Cat in a low voice.
`Not at all,’ said Alice: `she’s so extremely–‘ Just then she noticed that the Queen was close behind her, listening: so she went on, `–likely to win, that it’s hardly worth while finishing the game.’
The Queen smiled and passed on.
`Who ARE you talking to?’ said the King, going up to Alice, and looking at the Cat’s head with great curiosity.
`It’s a friend of mine–a Cheshire Cat,’ said Alice: `allow me to introduce it.’
`I don’t like the look of it at all,’ said the King: `however, it may kiss my hand if it likes.’
`I’d rather not,’ the Cat remarked.
`Don’t be impertinent,’ said the King, `and don’t look at me like that!’ He got behind Alice as he spoke.
`A cat may look at a king,’ said Alice. `I’ve read that in some book, but I don’t remember where.’
`Well, it must be removed,’ said the King very decidedly, and he called the Queen, who was passing at the moment, `My dear! I wish you would have this cat removed!’
The Queen had only one way of settling all difficulties, great or small. `Off with his head!’ she said, without even looking round.
`I’ll fetch the executioner myself,’ said the King eagerly, and he hurried off.
The Cat’s head began fading away the moment he was gone, and, by the time he had disappeared; so the King and the executioner ran wildly up and down looking for it, while the rest of the party went back to the game.