WOOL AND WATER. 89
with each "better," till it got quite to a squeak at last.
Alice was just beginning to say " There's a
mistake somewhere------," when the Queen began
screaming, so loud that she had to leave the sentence unfinished. " Oh, oh, oh! " shouted the Queen, shaking her hand about as if she wanted to shake it off. " My finger's bleeding! Oh, oh, oh, oh!"
Her screams were so exactly like the whistle of a steam-engine, that Alice had to hold both her hands over her ears.
" What is the matter? " she said, as soon as there was a chance of making herself heard. " Have you pricked your finger?"
"I haven't pricked it yet" the Queen said, "but I soon shall------oh, oh, oh ! "
" When do you expect to do it ? " Alice asked, feeling very much inclined to laugh.
"When I fasten my shawl again," the poor Queen groaned out: " the brooch will come undone directly. Oh, oh!" As she said the words the brooch flew open, and the Queen clutched wildly at it, and tried to clasp it again.
"Take care ! " cried Alice. " You're holding it all crooked ! " And she caught at the brooch ; but it was too late: the pin had slipped, and the Queen had pricked her finger.