A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
"Well, I didn't expect you had, but I thought I would ask, to make sure; it's the way I've
been raised. Now you mustn't take it unkindly if I remind you that as we don't know you,
we must go a little slow. You may be all right, of course, and we'll hope that you are; but
to take it for granted isn't business. You understand that. I'm obliged to ask you a few
questions; just answer up fair and square, and don't be afraid. Where do you live, when
you are at home?"
"In the land of Moder, fair sir."
"Land of Moder. I don't remember hearing of it before. Parents living?"
"As to that, I know not if they be yet on live, sith it is many years that I have lain shut up
in the castle."
"Your name, please?"
"I hight the Demoiselle Alisande la Carteloise, an it please you."
"Do you know anybody here who can identify you?"
"That were not likely, fair lord, I being come hither now for the first time."
"Have you brought any letters--any documents--any proofs that you are trustworthy and
"Of a surety, no; and wherefore should I? Have I not a tongue, and cannot I say all that
"But your saying it, you know, and somebody else's saying it, is different."
"Different? How might that be? I fear me I do not understand."
"Don't understand? Land of--why, you see--you see--why, great Scott, can't you
understand a little thing like that? Can't you understand the difference between your--why
do you look so innocent and idiotic!"
"I? In truth I know not, but an it were the will of God."
"Yes, yes, I reckon that's about the size of it. Don't mind my seeming excited; I'm not. Let
us change the subject. Now as to this castle, with forty-five princesses in it, and three
ogres at the head of it, tell me--where is this harem?"
"The castle, you understand; where is the castle?"