“I think my dear Deety that we must accept as proven the hypothesis, that my darling wife came up with. that universes which we access in our continua craft by rotation about the axis of one of the six dimensions are in reality places which we formerly considered to be fictional.” Jacob paused to see if Deety was nodding or shaking her head. “If that is so, then to inhabitants of some of those universes we were, until we encountered them, also fictional.”
Deety mused on this for a few moments before replying, “I must agree. However I do have some reservations. The principle one being where are all the authors? We have only met one so far and he might be a special case. That dear don, Lewis Carroll, was so entwined in his own stories that he seemed to inhabit his own fictional world. That may have been in addition to his own 'real' world I suppose. I propose that we should visit him again to check out just how much of his universe is 'real' and how much fictional. It may be that the fictional part does not extend beyond the range of his senses.” Jacob nodded his agreement and suggested,”We should make sure we do not induce too great a time paradox by arriving say an hour after we departed. He should still be on the riverbank or reasonably close by. I don't think landing a shiny flying machine in the quadrangle of an Oxford college in the 1850s would be a good move.”
Next morning, suitably attired for a summer afternoon by a Victorian riverbank, the Carter/Burroughs family strapped themselves into the continua craft 'Gay Deceiver'. They waved to the two red headed twin girls who had agreed to babysit their offspring during this trip. Zeb was at the controls with Deety as co-pilot while Jacob and Hilda were in the rear seats as Science Officer and Skipper respectively. Zeb called out, “Report readiness for space!” and as soon as he had confirmation from all the passengers spoke to the flying car's computer, “Gay Deceiver! Program retrieve Wonderland. Execute!”. A sultry voice from the dashboard complained, “You forgot the magic word again you big lunk, but as it's you. Off we go!”.
In the blink of an eye they settled down in the same depression in the grass that they had left, to an observer from 1856, only an hour previously. Although to the travellers over a year had passed and many adventures and new experiences had befallen them. Zeb somewhat chagrined attempted to pacify his vehicle by saying “Nice job Gay, Thank You! Now, pretty please, open the doors and let us out and then go to sleep until one of us calls you by your full name.” The doors of the craft slowly opened and the travellers climbed out to be greeted by Charles Dodgson (later to be known as Lewis Carroll) and a young lady who somehow looked familiar.
The normally quiet don called out excitedly, “Welcome back my friends. I am so glad you got my message Doctor Deety, just let me rip up this page of my notebook so I don't send it to you.” Deety looked at him with a puzzled expression and asked, What message would that have been Charles? None of us has had a message from you.” Charles replied as he finished reducing a page of his note book to shreds, “This note, which I would have sent if you had not arrived and which now has served its purpose as you must have read it already in the future. Or perhaps not. Oh dear! Have a made a faux pas? Will you now vanish to prevent a paradox? Please stay, this young lady needs your help.”
The academic beckoned the young lady forward. “I understand that Miss Rosalie here already knows of you and your most curious vehicle by reputation although she has never met you. She tells me she read of you in a book in her future, or is that my future and her past? She also tells me that you, Deety, know of her great-great grandmother from reading another book that I have not yet written”. At this point Deety realised why the youngster looked so familiar, she was a grown up version of photographs she had seen of Alice Lidell to whom the Alice in Wonderland book had been dedicated. But just what was a descendent of Alice doing in the same meadow at the same time as Alice? “Curiouser and curiouser.” said Deety.