Pratchett, Terry

started out as a perfect day. It would soon enough be an imperfect one, he knew, but just for these few minutes, it was possible to pretend that it wouldn’t.

He looked funny, a joke, a music-hall vampire. It had never previously occurred to Vimes that, just possibly, the joke was on other people. Make them laugh, and they’re not afraid.

Vimes could never get a handle on politics, which was full of traps for honest men.

“Full carts congesting the street, Vimes, is a sign of progress,” he declared. “Only in the figurative sense, sir,” said Vimes.

It’s something important, sir, I can feel it in my water.” Vimes considered the admissibility of Fred Colon’s water as Exhibit A. It wasn’t something you’d want to wave around in a court of law, but the gut feeling of an ancient street monster like Fred counted for a lot, one copper to another.

It was heady stuff, except that brains weren’t involved.

Fred Colon hesitated here. He knew in his heart that spinning upside down around a pole wearing a costume you could floss with definitely was not Art, and being painted lying on a bed wearing nothing but a smile and a small bunch of grapes was good solid Art, but putting your finger on why this was the case was a bit tricky.

The important thing is not to shout at this point, Vimes told himself. Do not . . . what do they call it . . . go postal? Treat this as a learning exercise. Find out why the world is not as you thought it was. Assemble the facts, digest the information, consider the implications. Then go postal. But with precision.

Dwarfs as a whole weren’t happy about newspapers, regarding such news as a lover of fine grapes would regard raisins.

“You can’t do this!” “Can we not? But we are doing it nevertheless,” said Ardent calmly.

Whose side are you on? If you’re not with us, you’re against us. Huh. If you not an apple, you’re a banana

One evening, after a trying day, he’d tried the Vimes street version: Where’s my daddy? Is that my daddy? He goes “Bugrit! Millennium hand and shrimp!” He is Foul Ol’ Ron! No, that’s not my daddy!

Vimes turned to the watchmen and debated for a moment whether to give that sheepish little grin and eye-roll that between men means “Women, eh?” and decided not to, on the basis that the watchmen consisted of Lance Constable von Humpeding, who’d think he was a fool, and Captain Carrot, who wouldn’t know what it meant.

the trouble with clues, as Mister Vimes always said, was that they were so easy to make. You could walk around with a pocket full of the bloody things.

He ought to be springing into action. Once upon a time, he would have done. But now, perhaps he should take these precious moments to work out what he should do before he sprang.

that sort of thing was wasted on Detritus. He treated humor as some human aberration that had to be overcome by talking slowly and patiently.

When people are trying to kill you, it means you’re doing something right. It was a rule Sam had lived by.

Vimes had to insist that Sybil traveled on the inside. Usually, she got her own way and he was happy to give it to her, but the unspoken agreement was that when he really insisted, she listened. It’s a married couple thing.

but I managed to make you a bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich.” “Thank you, dear.” Vimes cautiously lifted a corner of the bread with his broken pencil. There seemed to be too much lettuce, which was to say, there was some lettuce.

Beating people up in little rooms . . . he knew where that led. And if you did it for a good reason, you’d do it for a bad one. You couldn’t say “we’re the good guys” and do bad-guy things.

Alcohol didn’t seem to go to her brain at all. Maybe it couldn’t find it.

Fred Colon peered through the bars. He was, on the whole, a pretty good jailer; he always had a pot of tea on the go, he was, as a general rule, amiably disposed to most people, he was too slow to be easily fooled, and he kept the cell keys in a tin box in the bottom drawer on his desk, a long way out of reach of any stick, hand, dog, cunningly thrown belt, or trained Klatchian monkey spider.

it is not a religion, Commander. Tak wrote the World and the Laws, and then He left us. He does not require that we think of Him, only that we think.”

It took some while. You had to keep changing the shape of sentences to get them to fit into the currently available space in Tawneee’s brain.

magic has no place in coppering. We don’t use it to find culprits. We don’t use it to get confessions. Because you can’t trust the bloody stuff, sir. It’s got a mind of its own. If there’s a curse chasing these bastards, well, that’s its business.

good day to go cold turkey; it was turning out to be frozen roc.

What bits of his body weren’t aching? He checked. No, there seemed to be none. His ribs were carrying the melody of pain, but knees, elbows, and head were all adding trills and arpeggios.

Been there, done that, bought the singlet,

Even the long loaf of dwarf bread that he carried into battle, and which could shatter a troll skull, was by his side. Dwarf scholars had, with delicacy and care and the blunting of fifteen saw blades, removed a tiny slice of it. Miraculously, it had turned out still to be as inedible now as the day it was baked.

“Don’t look so glum! You’ll be upholding the honor of Ankh-Morpork, remember!” “Really, dear? What shall I do with the other hand?” said Vimes, settling back into the seat. “Oh, Sam! Tonight you’ll walk with kings!” I’d sooner be walking all by myself along Treacle Mine Road at three in the morning, Vimes thought. In the rain, with the gutters gushing. But it was a wife thing. She took such a . . . a pride in him. He could never work out why.