“Listen to me. If Rhys falls, the next Low King will not be one who is prepared to talk to the trolls. Can I make it simple for you? Those clans whose leaders have been dealing with Rhys will in all likelihood feel they have been made fools of, overthrow said leaders, and replace them with trolls too belligerent and stupid to be fools. And there will be a war, Vimes. It’ll come here. It won’t be a gang crumble such as you thwarted last night. We won’t be able to hold fast or stand aloof. Because we have our own fools, Vimes, as I’m sure you know, who’ll insist we pick sides. Koom Valley will be everywhere. Find me a murderer, Vimes. Hound them down and bring them into the daylight. Troll or dwarf or human, it doesn’t matter. Then at least we shall have the truth, and can make use of it. It is rumor and uncertainty that are our enemies now. The Low King’s throne trembles, Vimes, and thus do the foundations of the world.”
Vetinari paused, and carefully squared up the paperwork in front of him, as if he now felt he’d gone too far.
“However, obviously I do not wish to put you under any kind of pressure,” he finished.
In Vimes’s confused, lukewarm brain, one word bobbed to the surface.
“Crumble?” he said.
Lord Vetinari’s secretary leaned down and whispered into his master’s ear.
“Ah, I believe I meant ‘rumble’,” said Vetinari brightly.
– so close to perfect |
Terry Pratchett, Thud!