Alice's Fight For Hatter
Hatter guided Alice, Charlie, Ten of Clubs, and the other suits down to the doorway that led to the Great Library. As Alice remembered from when she had first met Hatter, he knocked on the door and was answered with the same riddle Duck had given him then.
Hatter answered, "He poured water from the Nile on every golden scale."
With that answer, Duck slowly opened the door and let everyone onto the bus. He pushed the button that controlled it and lowered them down to the hallway of the library. Once the bus stopped, Owl met them as they all exited off the bus. Both she and Duck had once again pulled out their guns and kept them aimed directly on Hatter, since he was the one who had a sledgehammer for a fist. They feared him most, especially after their last encounter that did not go very well.
"When will the two of you learn that I am not a threat to you," Hatter said. "The suits are welcome here now. What do you have against me?"
"Our last meeting didn't end so well," Owl answered.
Duck added, "We just want to make sure you are on the level."
Owl said, "And for your information, we don't exactly like the suits coming in here either. They come in here and steal all of the books and knowledge that we have saved. They only come in here to take what belongs to us."
"They take what belongs to all of Wonderland, not just you," Hatter replied. "I helped you three to smuggle it all here to save it from the Queen of Hearts. Now that she's gone, it's all free to be enjoyed again."
Duck interrupted Hatter as he asked, "What do all of you want now, anyway?"
Alice finally spoke up as she responded, "We were hoping that the two of you would know where Dodo is. He has something we need. Please, if you know anything."
"Dodo disappeared years ago to find something or someone in your oyster's world," Owl answered. "He didn't tell us what, but he never came back. We figured that he abandoned us as you had abandoned your world for her, Hatter."
"He came back through the looking glass after he accomplished what he went to my world to do," Alice replied.
"Listen, we just want to know if the two of you know of any place that Dodo has mentioned that could be a possible hideout for him," Ten of Clubs said.
Alice begged, "Please, we have to find him. Hatter will…"
Before Alice could finish, she looked over at Hatter and saw that he had suddenly doubled over in pain. She and Charlie quickly knelt by his side and helped him to sit as Alice placed her free hand on his forehead. She felt that a fever was beginning to rise.
He tried to push their hand away and assure Alice he was fine, but she ignored him as she quickly loosened his tie and unbuttoned his shirt so that she would be able to look at the wound. However, she didn't need to remove the bandage to see that the strange, yellow and greenish discoloration that formed around the wound was now spreading slowly across his chest.
Tears formed in her eyes as she slowly looked up into his. However, he only smiled as he moved to re-button his shirt, tighten his tie, and moved to stand again. Alice and Charlie helped him to do so and Hatter thanked them both.
"I'm fine, Alice," he said once he was upright. "The pain comes and goes. We need to get moving. I don't think that Duck and Owl do know where Dodo is."
"You, Harbinger, are certainly not fine," Charlie responded. "You must allow us to bring you back where you will be able to rest. Perhaps, his Majesty has heard from some of the others. They may have had more luck, since we seem to have none. I have tried to search the cosmos through the black arts, but that weasel and coward seems to know how to disappear from even them."
Hatter shook his head and replied, "We do not have time to go back. We must keep searching. I will be all right."
Duck spoke saying, "Dodo probably isn't there, but he did once talk of a cave somewhere in the middle of the woods on the outskirts of Wonderland. He mentioned long ago that he once ran and hid from the queen before he arrived here. Now, go and get out of here. Do not ever come back or we will shoot you, all of you."
"Do you know where this cave is?" Ten of Clubs asked. "We would find it much faster if you helped us."
"We do not know where it is," Owl answered. "Even if we did, we have not left here for years, nor do we ever plan to do so. Now, get out of here."
Hatter nodded and replied, "They won't help us. We need to go."
Alice responded, "Fine. We'll keep going, but we need to pick up some horses, or at least one for you to ride on. You will not be able to keep going as long as you keep riding yourself so hard. The poison may be spreading faster the more you keep on this pace. Please, let us help you, Hatter."
"A horse doesn't sound so bad, then," Hatter agreed finally.
"We will go and get Guinevere then," Charlie said. "She is a fine horse and has served us well in the past."
Charlie and Alice helped Hatter out of the Great Library as he worked to keep walking despite the fever and the pain that was building up throughout his body. Ten of Clubs and the rest of the suits followed them out.
Once they were all back outside, Ten of Clubs called for a scarab that would bring them to Charlie's home in the forest, where he kept his horses. From there, they would ride the horses through the forest in search of the cave Duck had mentioned. No one mentioned it, but they all remembered that the Jabberwocky was still roaming around out there. They hoped they would not run into it, but chances were that they would.