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.'And some mushy peas would go down a treat.'But the wine was good.Not incredibly good, though.Not one of the great vintages.But it did explain why Teppic had gone through the whole of the day with a headache.It had been the hangunder.His friend had bought four bottles of otherwise quite ordinary white wine.The reason it was so expensive was that the grapes it was made from hadn't actually been planted yet.[8]Light moves slowly, lazily on the Disc.It's in no hurry to get anywhere.Why bother? At lightspeed, everywhere is the same place.King Teppicymon XXVII watched the golden disc float over the edge of the world.A flight of cranes took off from the mist-covered river.He'd been conscientious, he told himself.No-one had ever explained to him how one made the sun come up and the river flood and the corn grow.How could they? He was the god, after all.He should know.But he didn't, so he'd just gone through life hoping like hell that it would all work properly, and that seemed to have done the trick.The trouble was, though, that if it didn't work, he wouldn't know why not.A recurrent nightmare was of Dios the high priest shaking him awake one morning, only it wouldn't be a morning, of course, and of every light in the palace burning and an angry crowd muttering in the star-lit darkness outside and everyone looking expectantly at him.And all he'd be able to say was, 'Sorry'.It terrified him.How easy to imagine the ice forming on the river, the eternal frost riming the palm trees and snapping off the leaves (which would smash when they hit the frozen ground) and the birds dropping lifeless from the skyShadow swept over him.He looked up through eyes misted with tears at a grey and empty horizon, his mouth dropping open in horror.He stood up, flinging aside the blanket, and raised both hands in supplication.But the sun had gone.He was the god, this was his job, it was the only thing he was here to do, and he had failed the people.Now he could hear in his mind's ear the anger of the crowd, a booming roar that began to fill his ears until the rhythm became insistent and familiar, until it reached the point where it pressed in no longer but drew him out, into that salty blue desert where the sun always shone and sleek shapes wheeled across the sky.The pharaoh raised himself on his toes, threw back his head, spread his wings.And leapt.As he soared into the sky he was surprised to hear a thump behind him.And the sun came out from behind the clouds.Later on, the pharaoh felt awfully embarrassed about it.The three new assassins staggered slowly along the street, constantly on the point of falling over but never quite reaching it, trying to sing 'A Wizard's Staff Has A Knob On The End' in harmony or at least in the same key.'Tis big an' i'ss round an' weighs three to the-' sang Chidder.'Blast, what've I stepped in?''Anyone know where we are?' said Arthur.'We - we were headed for the Guildhouse,' said Teppic, 'only must of took the wrong way, that's the river up ahead.Can smell it.'Caution penetrated Arthur's armour of alcohol.'Could be dangerous pep - plep - people around, this time o' night,' he hazarded.'Yep,' said Chidder, with satisfaction, 'us.Got ticket to prove it.Got test and everything.Like to see anyone try anything with us.''Right,' agreed Teppic, leaning against him for support of a sort.'We'll slit them from wossname to thingy.''Right!'They lurched uncertainly out on to the Brass Bridge.In fact there were dangerous people around in the pre-dawn shadows, and currently these were some twenty paces behind them.The complex system of criminal Guilds had not actually made Ankh-Morpork a safer place, it just rationalised its dangers and put them on a regular and reliable footing.The major Guilds policed the city with more thoroughness and certainly more success than the old Watch had ever managed, and it was true that any freelance and unlicensed thief caught by the Thieves' Guild would soon find himself remanded in custody by social inquiry reports plus having his knees nailed together[9].However, there were always a few spirits who would venture a precarious living outside the lawless, and the five men of this description were closing cautiously on the trio to introduce them to this week's special offer, a cut throat plus theft and burial in the river mud of your choice.People normally keep out of the way of assassins because of an instinctive feeling that killing people for very large sums of money is disapproved of by the gods (who generally prefer people to be killed for very small sums of money or for free) and could result in hubris, which is the judgement of the gods.The gods are great believers in justice, at least as far as it extends to humans, and have been known to dispense it so enthusiastically that people miles away are turned into cruet.However, assassin's black doesn't frighten everyone, and in certain sections of society there is a distinct cachet in killing an assassin.It's rather like smashing a sixer in conkers.Broadly, therefore, the three even now lurching across the deserted planks of the Brass Bridge were dead drunk assassins and the men behind them were bent on inserting the significant comma [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]