"IT'S MY OWN INVENTION" 145
riding," she ventured to say, as she was helping him up from his fifth tumble.
The Knight looked very much surprised, and a little offended at the remark. " What makes you say that?" he asked, as he scrambled back into the saddle, keeping hold of Alice's hair with one hand, to save himself from falling over on the other side.
" Because people don't fall off quite so often, when they've had much practice."
" I've had plenty of practice," the Knight said very gravely : " plenty of practice !"
Alice could think of nothing better to say than " Indeed ? " but she said it as heartily as she could. They went on a little way in silence after this, the Knight with his eyes shut, muttering to himself, and Alice watching anxiously for the next tumble.
" The great art of riding," the Knight suddenly began in a loud voice, waving his right arm as he
spoke, " is to keep------" Here the sentence ended
as suddenly as it had begun, as the Knight fell heavily on the top of his head exactly in the path where Alice was walking. She was quite frightened this time, and said in an anxious tone, as she picked him up, "I hope no bones are broken?"
"None to speak of," the Knight said, as if he didn't mind breaking two or three of them. " The