- "DID YOU SAY HUMANS PLAY IT FOR FUN?"
- "Some of them get to be very good at it, yes. I'm only an amateur,
- "BUT THEY ONLY LIVE EIGHTY OR NINETY YEARS!"
It looked like the sort of book described in library catalogues as "slightly foxed", although it would be more honest to admit that it looked as though it had beed badgered, wolved and possibly beared as well.
"The knuckles! The horrible knuckles!"
I WAS AT A PARTY, he added, a shade reproachfully.
A Thaum is the basic unit of magical strength. It has been universally established as the amount of magic needed to create one small white pigeon or three normal sized billiard balls.
He moved in a way that suggested he was attempting the world speed record for the nonchalant walk.
- "What is it that a man may call the greatest things in life?"
- "Hot water, good dentishtry and shoft lavatory paper."
The old shaman said carefully, "You didn't just see two men go through upside down on a broomstick, shouting and screaming at each other, did you?" The boy looked at him levelly. "Certainly not," he said. The old man heaved a sigh of relief. "Thank goodness for that," he said. "Neither did I."
Something small and distant broke through the cloud layer, trailing shreds of vapour. In the stratospheric calm the sounds of bickering came sharp and clear. "You said you could fly one of these things!" "No I didn't; I just said you couldn't!"
"Early to rise, early to bed, makes a man healthy, wealthy and dead."
The druid stiffened. "*Nice?*" he said. "A triumph of the silicon chunk, a miracle of modern masonic technology -- nice?" "Oh, yes," said Twoflower, to whom sarcasm was merely a seven letter word beginning with S.
"Shut up and tell me what that other idiot ish doing!" "No, but look, if I've got to shut up, how can I --" The knife at his throat became a hot streak of pain and Rincewind decided to give logic a miss.
The point that must be made is that although Herrena the Henna-Haired Harridan would look quite stunning after a good bath, a heavy-duty manicure, and the pick of the leather racks in Woo Hung Ling's Oriental Exotica and Martial Aids on Heroes Street, she was currently quite sensibly dressed in light chain mail, soft boots, and a short sword. All right, maybe the boots were leather. But not black.
"Students made it long ago," said Rincewind. "Handy way in and out after lights out." "Ah," said Twoflower, "I understand. Over the wall and out to brightly-lit tavernas to drink and sing and recite poetry, yes?" "Nearly right except for the singings and the poetry, yes," said Rincewind.
- "Pull me up, then," he hinted.
- "I think that might be sort of difficult," grunted Twoflower. "I don't
actually think I can do it, in fact."
- "What are you holding on to, then?"
- "I mean besides me."
- "What do you mean, besides you?" said Twoflower.
- "If you're going to suggest I try dropping twenty feet down a pitch dark
tower in the hope of hitting a couple of greasy little steps which might
not even still be there, you can forget it," said Rincewind sharply.
- "There is an alternative, then."
- "Out with it, man."
- "You could drop five hundred feet down a pitch black tower and hit stones
which certainly are there," said Twoflower.
Dead silence from below him. Then Rincewind said, accusingly, "That was sarcasm."
The point is that descriptive writing is very rarely entirely accurate and during the reign of Olaf Quimby II as Patrician of Ankh some legislation was passed in a determined attempt to put a stop to this sort of thing and introduce some honesty into reporting. Thus, if a legend said of a notable here that "all men spoke of his prowess" any bard who valued his life would add hastily "except for a couple of people in his home village who thought he was a liar, and quite a lot of other people who had never really heard of him."
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