Thief of Time

Pratchett, Terry

There are the Brothers of Cool, a reserved and secretive sect, which believes that only through ultimate coolness can the universe be comprehended, and that black works with everything, and that chrome will never truly go out of style.

And—hah!—although it was set hundreds of years ago when even in Uberwald there were only natural cuckoo clocks, the artist had drawn a long case clock of the sort that wasn’t around even fifteen years ago. The stupidity of some people! You’d laugh if it wasn’t so tragic!

Lu-Tze at least cared for people even if he did not care for rules.

There weren’t many people Lu-Tze respected. Mostly, they just got tolerated.

back in her chair when Miss Susan looked up. The girl had this terrible ability to give you Her Full Attention. You had to be a better person than Madam Frout to survive the intensity of that attention. It inspected your soul, putting little red circles around the bits it didn’t like. When Miss Susan looked at you, it was as if she was giving you marks.

Listening was an art he had developed over the years, having learned that if you listened hard and long enough people would tell you more than they thought they knew.

“And you will teach me everything?” “I don’t know about ‘everything.’ I mean, I don’t know much forensic mineralogy. But I will teach you all that I know which is useful for you to know, yes.”

“Cultural, is it?” Dr. Hopkins looked relieved. He was a man who tried to see the best in everybody, but the city had got rather complicated since he was a boy, with dwarfs, and trolls, and golems, and even zombies. He wasn’t sure he liked everything that was happening, but a lot of it was “cultural,” apparently, and you couldn’t object to that, so he didn’t. “Cultural” sort of solved problems by explaining that they weren’t really there.

But young Master Jeremy was beginning to worry him. He never laughed, and Igor liked a good maniacal laugh. You could trust it.

Since giving up the medicine Jeremy had not, as Igor had expected, begun to gibber and shout things like “Mad! They said I was mad! But I shall show them all! Ahahahaha!” He’d simply become more—focused.

“Well, I’m thorry, thur,” said Igor. “It’th the climate dithagreeing with me. I’m uthed to regular thunderthtormth.” “I’ve heard that some people really seem to come alive in thunderstorms,” said Jeremy, carefully adjusting the angle of a crystal. “Ah, that wath when I worked for Baron Finklethtein,” said Igor.

“Algebra?” said Madam Frout, perforce staring at her own bosom, which no one else had ever done. “But that’s far too difficult for seven-year-olds!” “Yes, but I didn’t tell them that and so far they haven’t found out,”

It was possible to deal with the Death of Rats provided you thought of him as a very small Jason.

The wise man does not seek enlightenment, he waits for it.

“Very flexible things, human minds,” he said. “It’s amazing what they can stretch to fit.

Igor had to admit it. When it came to getting weird things done, sane beat mad hands down.

doing wonderful handstands on the edge of the mental catastrophe curve,

Igors did not believe in “Forbidden Knowledge” and “Things Man Was Not Meant to Know” but obviously there were some things a man was not meant to know, such as what it felt like to have every single particle of your body sucked into a little hole, and that seemed to be one of the options available in the immediate future.

But this situation was morally different for two reasons. Her ladyship wasn’t his master, Jeremy was, and that was where his loyalty lay. And Igor had decided it was morally different.

“Is there a problem?” said Jeremy, in the diffident voice he used for conversations not involving clocks.

Death was nonplussed. It was like asking a brick wall what it thought of dentistry.

“There’s a big pile of white dust over there,” said Lobsang. “Man with Big Fig Leaf,” said Susan absently, her eyes still intent on the gray figures. “They’d dismantle a clock to search for the tick.” “How do you know it’s Man with Big Fig Leaf?” “I just happen to remember where it is, that’s all.” “You, er, you appreciate art?” Lobsang ventured. “I know what I like,” said Susan, still staring at the busy gray figures.

She also knew what to do if you were sharing the same stretch of water with a hippopotamus, which was to find another stretch of water.

“It’s amazing what a lady will understand, if you find the right way of putting it,”

she would be immortal for as long as she lived.