The Narrative of the White Knight Concerning his Interactions with one Alice Liddell, Part Two.
Five minutes past, then ten and things were not at all as chivalrous as should have been.
“Please say go, sweet female child of unknown derivation.”
“You said you didn’t want me to say go, so I didn’t.”
“Please. Pretty please. Pretty please with sugar lemon drops and candy canes.”
Our mounts sprang forwards excitedly, then half as excitedly sideways. Luckily, I had strapped my trusty abacus to the reverse side of my shield and was with a few expert calculations able plot a joint line of attack that with luck and a good tail wind produced imminent contact. I shared the needed directions with my grateful foe and we proceeded forwards and sideways towards our juncture. The female person had decided to take a seat upon a handy toadstool.
“A goodly view from on that fly agaric!”
I must admit a certain sense of worth as I cunningly exposed my depth of fungal knowledge. For her part the child simply took an apple from her apron pocket and bit into the rouge skin releasing a spray of acrid juice in my general direction.
“Be careful there, that sinful fruit could be the end of we innocents!”
The minx ignored me utterly and started chewing pith and spitting skin. My mind perplexed by her uncommunicating ways I returned attention to my foe measuring trajectory to crown his currish pate. For his part the devil swung his club in some obtuse direction as if aimed towards an imaginary enemy of much greater threat that I.
He paid no heed.
His ignoring continued unabated despite my attempted intercedes leading me to question firstly his sanity and secondly his ulterior motives.
“Do you dare to attempt the Alexander defense?”
Chevalier again ignored my conjecture, but a slight bristling of his usually limp mustachios suggested some possible guilt.
“What’s holding up the show?”
The tormenting damsel had momentarily ceased her attack upon Smiths mothers’ mother and instead had aimed her incising orifice in my direction.
“The Red Knight is attempting the Alexander defense.”
“Is that like the Sicilian or the Kings Indian?”
I admit I was stumped. I knew a Sicilian once but had no knowledge of any citizen of the sub-continent in the Kings service.
“He’s inventing imaginary difficulties in order to deflect my attack. Does it all the time.”
“It all seems very boring from a purely spectating perspective. Hardly gladiatorial at all.”
The woman child had from somewhere produced another apple and recommenced her post lunch pre tea snack. I would have normally taken the opportunity to comment on her singular fruit fixation but a sudden rush of displaced air passing my left ear returned my attention to the melee in hand. That Dastardly Dick, the incorrigible blaggard Red Knight, had used the distraction to mount a sudden and unwarranted assault. Deservedly he had erred completely with his unsportsmanlike sortie and was, as a result of his extravagantly wide miss, looking for a suitable spot to plant himself headfirst on the dirt below.
“You fiend! You cheat! You bandicoot!”
My condemnation felt such overwhelming force that unintentionally I swung my own club with great force towards his hideous gourd. My shame at such unnecessary violence bought on by avoidable rage was great and I would have chastised myself unmercilessly had I connected, but I missed by some margin as Chevalier having finally picked a suitable spot fell ceremoniously from his saddle and butted the road. I was undone, both by my poor show of chivalrous action and by my just inability to connect my unwarranted blow. In recompense, in purgatorial atonement I toppled earthwards in a show of honest and unequivocal apology.
The world is inclined to seem a very different place when standing on one’s head. From my inverted position, balanced by serendipity amidst a freshly lain mound of dung supplied by my trusty stallion ‘Blanco Balderdash’ I considered momentarily the tale of Father William and how it might give a precedence to my current situation. After deliberate toing and froing, I decided none at all. From my reversed situation I should have had a clear view of my fellow fallers fate but found my vision blocked by a rather splendid pair of blue and white banded stockings that disappeared into a buttoned pair of well-polished black boots. I decide that the legs must be the property of the girl although I felt unable to look and check as any upward glance could easily have included a rather candid showing of her hopefully clean under pinning’s.
“You have me at a disadvantage Miss.”
I thought it best to keep as much politeness as possible in any interchange.
“You really are such stupid old men. Why would you possibly fall so dangerously from your steeds? If it were not so foolish it might be comical, like slapstick or pantomime.”
“And I suppose you are an expert in such matters?”
The interjection came from behind the ankles, presumably from Chevalier.
“I have been to both the music hall and circus so yes I would claim some knowledge.”
The child kindly felt the impulse to push on my knees causing me to first fall backwards and then continue in a rather dignified flip to end on my feet.