It wasn’t a rock, because Ankh-Morpork was on loam. It was just some huge remnant of mortared masonry, probably thousands of years old, from somewhere in the city foundations. Ankh-Morpork was so old now that what it was built on, by and large, was Ankh-Morpork.
It had been dragged into the centre of the plaza, and Lady Sybil Ramkin had been chained to it. She appeared to be wearing a nightie and huge rubber boots. By the look of her she had been in a fight, and Vimes felt a momentary pang of sympathy for whoever else had been involved. She gave him a look of pure fury.
Lady Ramkin is brilliant.
Nobby looked down at the pond again. After a moment’s hesitation Colon joined him. They had the speculative faces of men who had seen many things, and knew that while you could of course depend on heroes, and kings, and ultimately on gods, you could really depend on gravity and deep water.
Another Pratchett truth.
‘You’re right,’ said Colon. ‘The thing about the captain, see, I read this book once . . . you know we’ve all got alcohol in our bodies . . . sort of natural alcohol? Even if you never touch a drop in your life, your body sort of makes it anyway . . . but Captain Vimes, see, he’s one of those people whose body doesn’t do it naturally. Like, he was born two drinks below normal.’
‘Gosh,’ said Carrot.
‘Yes . . . so, when he’s sober, he’s really sober. Knurd, they call it. You know how you feel when you wake up if you’ve been on the piss all night, Nobby? Well, he feels like that all the time.’
‘Poor bugger,’ said Nobby. ‘I never realized. No wonder he’s always so gloomy.’
He hadn’t even seen the lad close to. He looked personable enough, not exactly a great thinker, but definitely the kind of profile you wouldn’t mind seeing on your small change.
Mind you, after killing the dragon he could have been a cross-eyed goblin for all that it mattered. The mob had borne him in triumph to the Patrician’s palace.
Lord Vetinari had been locked up in his own dungeons. He hadn’t put up much fight, apparently. Just smiled at everyone and went quietly.
What a happy coincidence for the city that, just when it needed a champion to kill the dragon, a king came forth.
Vimes turned this thought over for a while. Then he turned it back to front. He picked up the quill and wrote:
Itym: What a happy chance it be, for a lad that would be Kinge, that there be a Draggon to slae to prove beyond doubt his boney fiddes.
One would think this could have come straight from a book on The Rise of Totalitarianism...
And I feel sorry for the poor instrumentalised dragons.