ANOTHER PAGE FROM THE ALICE MANUSCRIPT
As Alice walked along, she was delighted to see that on one side of the road there was a beautiful old building with the word 'Library' on it. Oh, that's just what I need right now, she thought. After all these awful conversations, she was beginning to feel tired and irritated. I could just go inside, sit down on a comfortable chair and read a book.
But just as she walked up the steps to the Library, a frightening creature with big jaws and claws and a giant pair of scissors in his hands, jumped out from behind one of the pillars and roared:
'You can't come in. I have locked the doors. This library is closed.'
'Oh,' said Alice, 'that's a pity. Are you saying that the library is closed for now, or forever?'
'For forever,' said the frightening creature.
'Do you have a name?' said Alice, who had learned that when people say that you can't have something it's always a good idea to find out who they are.
'I am the Georgerwock,' it said, 'don't you know the poem? “Beware the Georgerwock, my son! The jaws that bite, the claws that catch, the scissors that cut, snip, snip, snip!"'
Alice thought for a moment. Yes, she did remember a poem that went something like that but something was different...
'Well, Georgerwock, I think it's a great shame the library is closed. I wanted to read a book. Did you close the library?"
I did,' said the Georgerwock, 'we have to live within our means.'
'What does that mean?' said Alice.
'It means we can't spend more money than we have,' said the Georgerwock.
'That seems very sensible,' said Alice, 'but a shame all the same I can't read a book.'
The Georgerwock was just about to say something when they both heard a clinking sound. It came from a building next door to the library. Alice looked across to it. It had a big sign outside saying, 'The Counting House.'
'What's that?' said Alice.
'No need to worry your little head about that,' said the Georgerwock.
'Oh I'll look for myself, then,' said Alice and she walked over to the Counting House with the Georgerwock flapping along behind her.
Inside was the King and he was counting out his money.
I'm sure I've heard about that before, thought Alice.
Alice looked through the window at the pile of money sitting on the table in front of the King. It was enormous. And there were sacks more of it sitting behind him and piles on the floor too.
'Are you going to spend all that?' said Alice through the window.
'Good Lord, no,' said the King.
Alice turned to the Georgerwock, 'So why can't we use some of that money to open the library?'
The Georgerwock and the King looked at each other and laughed and laughed and laughed and laughed.
'What I mean,' said Alice to the Georgerwock , 'is when you said 'we', 'we' had to live within our means, did you count the King in with that 'we'. Is he part of 'we'?'
Again the two of them laughed and laughed and laughed.
'Of course not,' said the Georgerwock, wiping tears of laughter from his face.
'Now you run along, little girl' said the King, 'and don't...'
'....bother my little head about such things?' said Alice in a mocking sort of a way.
'Exactly,' said the Georgerwock.
But Alice thought she would like to find out more about all this.