Thud! Quotes

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Thud! (Discworld, #34; City Watch #7) Thud! by Terry Pratchett
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Thud! Quotes (showing 1-30 of 39)
“Coffee is a way of stealing time that should by rights belong to your older self.”
Terry Pratchett, Thud!
“Why bother with a cunning plan when a simple one will do?”
Terry Pratchett, Thud!
“He hated games they made the world look too simple. Chess, in particular, had always annoyed him. It was the dumb way the pawns went off and slaughtered their fellow pawns while the king lounged about doing nothing. If only the pawns would've united ... the whole board could've been a republic in about a dozen moves.”
Terry Pratchett, Thud!
“Night, forever. But within it, a city, shadowy and only real in certain ways.
The entity cowered in its alley, where the mist was rising. This could not have happened!
Yet it had. The streets had filled with… things. Animals! Birds! Changing shape! Screaming and yelling! And, above it all, higher than the rooftops, a lamb rocking back and forth in great slow motions, thundering over the cobbles…
And then bars had come down, slamming down, and the entity had been thrown back.
But it had been so close! It had saved the creature, it was getting through, it was beginning to have control… and now this…
In the darkness of the inner city, above the rustle of the never-ending rain, it heard the sound of boots approaching.
A shape appeared in the mist.
It drew nearer.
Water cascaded off a metal helmet and an oiled leather cloak as the figure stopped and, entirely unconcerned, cupped its had in front of its face and lit a cigar.
Then the match was dropped on the cobbles, where it hissed out, and the figure said: “What are you?”
The entity stirred, like an old fish in a deep pool. It was too tired to flee.
“I am the Summoning Dark.” It was not, in fact, a sound, but had it been, it would have been a hiss. “Who are you?”
“I am the Watchman.”
“They would have killed his family!” The darkness lunged, and met resistance. “Think of the deaths they have caused! Who are you to stop me?”
“He created me. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Who watches the watchmen? Me. I watch him. Always. You will not force him to murder for you.”
“What kind of human creates his own policeman?”
“One who fears the dark.”
“And so he should,” said the entity, with satisfaction.
“Indeed. But I think you misunderstand. I am not here to keep the darkness out. I am here to keep it in.” There was a clink of metal as the shadowy watchman lifted a dark lantern and opened its little door. Orange light cut through the blackness. “Call me… the Guarding Dark. Imagine how strong I must be.”
The Summoning Dark backed desperately into the alley, but the light followed it, burning it.
“And now,” said the watchman, “get out of town.”
Terry Pratchett, Thud!
“Little fussy Otto, in his red-lined black opera cloak with pockets for all his gear, his shiny black shoes, his carefully cut widow's peak and, not least, his ridiculous accent that grew thicker or thinner depending on who he was talking to, did not look like a threat. 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.”
Terry Pratchett, Thud!
“Vimes had got around to a Clean Desk policy. It was a Clean Floor strategy
that eluded him at the moment.”
Terry Pratchett, Thud!
tags: vimes
“Would a minute have mattered? No, probably not, although his young son appeared to have a very accurate internal clock. Possibly even 2 minutes would be okay. Three minutes, even. You could go to five minutes, perhaps. But that was just it. If you could go for five minutes, then you'd go to ten, then half an hour, a couple of hours...and not see your son all evening. So that was that. Six o'clock, prompt. Every day. Read to young Sam. No excuses. He'd promised himself that. No excuses. No excuses at all. Once you had a good excuse, you opened the door to bad excuses.”
Terry Pratchett, Thud!
“Shoes, men, coffins; never accept the first one you see.”
Terry Pratchett, Thud!
“WHERE'S MY COW? ARE YOU MY COW? ”
Terry Pratchett, Thud!
“His mind worked fast, flying in emergency supplies of common sense, as human minds do, to construct a huge anchor in sanity and prove that what happened hadn't really happened and, if it had happened, hadn't happened much.”
Terry Pratchett, Thud!
“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.”
Terry Pratchett, Thud!
“Sybil’s female forebears had valiantly backed up their husbands as distant embassies were besieged, had given birth on a camel or in the shade of a stricken elephant, had handed around the little gold chocolates while trolls were trying to break into the compound, or had merely stayed at home and nursed such bits of husbands and sons as made it back from endless little wars.  The result was a species of woman who, when duty called, turned into solid steel.”
Terry Pratchett, Thud!
“That's what I don't like about magic. It does everything by magic.”
Terry Pratchett, Thud!
“It was written in some holy book, apparently, so that made it okay, and probably compulsory.”
Terry Pratchett, Thud!
“Historical Re-creation, he thought glumly, as they picked their way across, under, over or through the boulders and insect-buzzing heaps of splintered timber, with streamlets running everywhere. Only we do it with people dressing up and running around with blunt weapons, and people selling hot dogs, and the girls all miserable because they can only dress up as wenches, wenching being the only job available to women in the olden days.”
Terry Pratchett, Thud!
“A young man of godlilke proportions* was standing in the doorway.

* The better class of gods, anyway. Not the ones with the tentacles, obviously.”
Terry Pratchett, Thud!
tags: humor, thud
“Ye gods, it was so much better when there were just four of us up against that bloody great dragon, Vimes thought as they walked on. Of course, we nearly got burned alive a few times, but at least it wasn't complicated. It was a damned great dragon. You could see it coming. It didn't get political on you.”
Terry Pratchett, Thud!
“I believe the term is ‘eminent domain.’
Ah, yes. That means ‘theft by the government,”
Terry Pratchett, Thud!
“Once you had a good excuse, you opened the door to bad excuses.”
Terry Pratchett, Thud!
“I let you sleep, Sam," said Lady Sybil. "You didn't get in this morning until after three."
"Everyone's double-shifting, dear," said Sam, daring Carrot and Sally to even think about telling anyone they'd seen the boss wearing a blue shawl covered in ducks. "I've got to set a good example."
"I'm sure you intend to, Sam, but you look like a horrible warning," said Sybil.”
Terry Pratchett, Thud!
“Sybil entered, with a plate.

"You're not eating enough, Sam," she announced. "And the canteen here is a disgrace. It's all grease and garbage!"

"That's what the men like, I'm afraid," said Vimes guiltily.

"I've cleaned out the tar in the tea urn, at least," Sybil went on, with satisfaction.

"You cleaned out the tar urn?" said Vimes in a hollow voice. It was like being told that someone had wiped the patina off a fine old work of art.

"Yes, it was like tar in there. There really wasn't much proper food in the store, 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 is to say, there was some lettuce.”
Terry Pratchett, Thud!
“Vimes shook some lather off the blade. "Hah! I bet they have. Tell me, Willikins, did you fight much when you were a kid? Were you in a gang or anything?"

"I was privileged to belong to the Shamlegger Street Rude Boys, sir," said the butler.

"Really?" said Vimes, genuinely impressed. "They were pretty tough nuts, as I recall."

"Thank you, sir," said Willikins smoothly. "I pride myself I used to give somewhat more than I got if we needed to discuss the vexed area of turf issues with the young men from Rope Street. Stevedore's hooks were their weapon of choice, as I recall."

"And yours...?" said Vimes, agog.

"A cap-brim sewn with sharpened pennies, sir. An ever-present help in times of trouble."

"Ye gods, man! You could put someone's eye out with something like that."

"With care, sir, yes," said Willikins, meticulously folding a towel.”
Terry Pratchett, Thud!
“The nose is also the only organ that can see backwards in time.”
Terry Pratchett, Thud!
“Upstairs, in what had been until then the cash office, Young Sam slept peacefully in a makeshift bed. One day, Vimes hoped, he would be able to tell him that on one special night he'd been guarded by four troll watchmen. They'd been off duty but volunteered to come in for this, and were just itching for some dwarfs to try anything. Sam hoped the boy would be impressed; the most other kids could hope for was angels.”
Terry Pratchett, Thud!
“War, Nobby. Huh! What is it good for?" he said.
"Dunno, Sarge. Freeing slaves, maybe?"
"Absol—well, okay."
"Defending yourself against a totalitarian aggressor?"
"All right, I'll grant you that, but—"
"Saving civilization from a horde of—"
"It doesn't do any good in the long run is what I'm saying, Nobby, if you'd listen for five seconds together," said Fred Colon sharply.
"Yeah, but in the long run, what does, Sarge?”
Terry Pratchett, Thud!
“She turned. A young man of godlike proportions* was standing in the doorway.

*The better class of gods, anyway. Not the ones with the tentacles, obviously.”
Terry Pratchett, Thud!
“There was an old military saying that Fred Colon used to describe total bewilderment and confusion. An individual in that state, according to Fred, ‘couldn’t tell if it was arsehole or breakfast time.’


This had always puzzled Vimes. He wondered what research had been done. Even now, with his mouth tasting of warmed-over yesterday and everything curiously sharp in his vision, he thought he’d be able to tell the difference. Only one was likely to include a cup of coffee, for a start.”
Terry Pratchett, Thud!
“None of these lads here were out getting fighting drunk last night. And thus we wear down mountains. Water dripping on a stone, dissolving and removing. Changing the shape of the world, one drop at a time. Water dripping on a stone, Commander. Water flowing underground, bubbling up in unexpected places.”
Terry Pratchett, Thud!
“Is that you, Sergeant Angua?" said a voice in the gloom. A lantern was open, and lit the approaching face of Constable Visit. As he drew near, she could just make out the thick wad of pamphlets under his other arm.

"Hello, Washpot," she said. "What's up?"

"...looks like a twist of lemon..." said a damp voice from the shadows.

"Mister Vimes sent me to search the bars of iniquity and low places of sin for you," said Visit.

"And the literature?" said Angua. "By the way, the words "nothing personal" could have so easily been added to that last sentence.”
Terry Pratchett, Thud!
“And yet we say this. Here is the cave at the end of the world, peace is made between dwarf and troll, and we will march beyond the hand of Death together. For the enemy is not Troll, nor is it Dwarf, but it is the baleful, the malign, the cowardly, the vessels of hatred, those who do a bad thing and call it good...”
Terry Pratchett, Thud!

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