Night Watch

Pratchett, Terry

Nobby had been giving his age as “probably thirty-four” for years; the Nobbs family were not good at keeping count.

down at his feet. “The new deacon’s

Vimes found it better to look to Authority for orders and then filter those orders through a fine mesh of common sense, adding a generous scoop of creative misunderstanding and maybe even incipient deafness if circumstances demanded, because Authority rarely descended to street level.

he saw plots and spies everywhere throughout his waking hours, and had men root them out, and the thing about rooting out plots and spies everywhere is that, even if there are no real plots to begin with, there are plots and spies galore very soon.

He patted it gingerly; as one of nature’s pedestrians, he’d never been at home around horses.

His glare ran from face to face, causing most of the squad to do an immediate impression of the Floorboard and Ceiling Inspectors Synchronized Observation Team.

Salciferous in the waiting room.” “Why,

he’d been as visible as the breeze.

In a world where we all move in curves he proceeds in a straight line. And going straight in a world of curves makes things happen.”

Oh dear, here were go again, thought Vimes. Why did I wait until I was married to become strangely attractive to powerful women? Why didn’t it happen to me when I was sixteen? I could have done with it then.

plans were what people made instead of thinking.

—that’s the sergeant from last night—” and some sort of sotto voce

found that people like Carcer were not mad. They were incredibly sane. They were simply men without a shield. They’d looked at the world and realized that all the rules didn’t have to apply to them, not if they didn’t want them to. They weren’t fooled by all the little stories.

they’d both be bursting with aggrieved self-righteousness, both yelling, their wives would either be having a private scrap on the side or would have adjourned to a kitchen for a shared pot of tea and a chat,

People expected all kinds of things from coppers, but there was one thing that sooner or later they all wanted: make this not be happening.

“Well, no, Clive,” said the captain, looking embarrassed. “I’d be very worried if I saw a man singing the national anthem and waving the flag, sir. It’s really a thing foreigners do.” “Really? Why?” “We don’t need to show we’re patriotic, sir. I mean, this is Ankh-Morpork. We don’t have to make a big fuss about being the best, sir. We just know.”

Still warm. Here you go, kid!” “Cor,

Men come and go, but dust accumulates

timber had settled into a tangled mass. Since every piece belonged to someone, and Ankh-Morpork people care about that sort of thing, it was being dismantled by collective argument. This was not least because people who had donated a three-legged stool to the common good were trying to take away a set of dining chairs, and similar problems. And then there was the traffic. Carts that had been held up outside the city were trying to make their way to the destinations before eggs hatched or milk got so rotten it could get out and walk the rest of the way. If

If Ankh-Morpork had a grid, there would have been gridlock. Since it did not, it was, in the words of Sergeant Colon, “a case of no one being able to move because of everyone else.” Admittedly, this phrase, while accurate, did not have the same snap.

He looked around the shop. It was packed wall to wall. “Who are all these people?” “You said ‘in here,’ Sergeant,” said a soldier. “Yeah, and we didn’t need

He looked around the shop. It was packed wall to wall. “Who are all these people?” “You said ‘in here,’ Sergeant,” said a soldier. “Yeah, and we didn’t need telling ’cos it was raining arrows,” said another soldier.

Dickins had taken the lead. The old coppers were best at running, having run so much during their lives. As on the battlefield, only the cunning and the fast survived.

My mate Scratch ’n’ Sniff is the under–boot boy at the palace and he was in the yard and heard ’em talking, Sarge!” I should have known, Vimes thought. Snapcase was a devious devil. And now Carcer’s got his feet under another bastard’s table. Captain of the Guard… “I haven’t been making a lot of friends lately,” said Vimes. “Okay, gentlemen, I’m going to run. If you lot melt away into the crowd you’ll be fine, I expect.” “No fear, Sarge,” said Sam, and there was a general murmur of agreement. “We had an amnesty,” said Dickins. “They can’t do this!”

My mate Scratch ’n’ Sniff

they found themselves hiding in a field of carrots. So, as a badge, they all pulled up carrots and stuck them on their helmets, so’s they’d know who their friends were and incidentally have a nourishing snack for later, which is never to be sneezed at on a battlefield.”

It didn’t get quite the laugh he’d expected. A lot of the men he’d been able to collect had a more physical sense of humor.

“You can take our lives but you’ll never take our freedom!” he screamed. Carcer’s men looked at one another, puzzled by what sounded like the most badly thought-out war cry in the history of the universe. Vimes could see their lips moving as they tried to work it out.

Reg Shoe, who was sitting on the barricade, staring at the sheer weight of arrows in him. As he watched, his brain evidently decided that he must be dead on this evidence, and he fell backward. But in a few hours, his brain would be in for a surprise.

melee. He gave Vimes a weak smile. “What’s

And it is very hard, with your hands, to kill a man who does not want to be killed.

Some dwarfs live in the cellars now…” “Yes, Commander. But dwarfs…well, dwarfs are so refreshingly open about money. The more money the city offers, the less dwarf there is.