`I can tell you more than that, if you like,’ said the Gryphon. `Do you know why it’s called a whiting?’
`I never thought about it,’ said Alice. `Why?’
`It does the boots and shoes.’ the Gryphon replied very solemnly.
Alice was thoroughly puzzled. `Does the boots and shoes!’ she repeated in a wondering tone.
`Why, what are your shoes done with?’ said the Gryphon. `I mean, what makes them so shiny?’
Alice looked down at them, and considered a little before she gave her answer. `They’re done with blacking, I believe.’
`Boots and shoes under the sea,’ the Gryphon went on in a deep voice, `are done with a whiting. Now you know.’
`And what are they made of?’ Alice asked in a tone of great curiosity.
`Soles and eels, of course,’ the Gryphon replied rather impatiently: `any shrimp could have told you that.’
`If I’d been the whiting,’ said Alice, whose thoughts were still running on the song, `I’d have said to the porpoise, “Keep back, please: we don’t want you with us!"’
`They were obliged to have him with them,’ the Mock Turtle said: `no wise fish would go anywhere without a porpoise.’
`Wouldn’t it really?’ said Alice in a tone of great surprise.
`Of course not,’ said the Mock Turtle: `why, if a fish came to me, and told me he was going a journey, I should say “With what porpoise?"’
`Don’t you mean “purpose"?’ said Alice.
`I mean what I say,’ the Mock Turtle replied in an offended tone. And the Gryphon added `Come, let’s hear some of your adventures.’
`I could tell you my adventures—beginning from this morning,’ said Alice a little timidly: `but it’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.’
`Explain all that,’ said the Mock Turtle.
`No, no! The adventures first,’ said the Gryphon in an impatient tone: `explanations take such a dreadful time.’
So Alice began telling them her adventures from the time when she first saw the White Rabbit. She was a little nervous about it just at first, the two creatures got so close to her, one on each side, and opened their eyes and mouths so very wide, but she gained courage as she went on. Her listeners were perfectly quiet till she got to the part about her repeating `you are old, father William,’ to the Caterpillar, and the words all coming different, and then the Mock Turtle drew a long breath, and said `That’s very curious.’
`It’s all about as curious as it can be,’ said the Gryphon.
`It all came different!’ the Mock Turtle repeated thoughtfully. `I should like to hear her try and repeat something now. Tell her to begin.’ He looked at the Gryphon as if he thought it had some kind of authority over Alice.