In the sixteenth part of Snuff, Vimes, Willikins, and Upshot make their first arrest. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Discworld.
This was a JOURNEY, y’all. Holy shit, Mr. Flutter was too much??? I did not think this would unfold like this, but here we are. So many of my questions were just answered, and I now have a much better idea of what happened the night that the goblin girl was murdered. Let’s start, then, with Flutter’s immediate reaction to the presence of the men who came to arrest him. He’s certain that he’ll be fine because Vimes didn’t have a magistrate’s warrant, and then Vimes immediately tricks him into revealing where he was hiding smuggled tobacco. My god, it’s so EFFORTLESS. But you know how I said I was excited to see what Upshot was gonna do? I DID NOT EXPECT HIS BADASS MONOLOGUE TO FLUTTER. It’s so very… Vimes? If that makes sense??? Like, that’s the type of clever bit of distraction that I expect of Vimes, and yet it’s Upshot who drops this warhead of a line:
“I’m a copper pure and simple, right, and in my hand I have this man what is only doing a favor to his employer by storing a few barrels of tobacco in his shed, but on the other hand, well, if I found a murderer in the other hand, why, gods bless you, I might totally forget all about the first hand… Don’t ask me to draw you a picture, Flutter, because my hands are full.”
HE IS DESERVING OF THE HIGHEST OF HIGH FIVES, HOLY SHIT. And it works, y’all. It’s not just a show; it’s a means to Flutter to realize what is at stake here. Smuggling is illegal, but accessory to murder? One of these crimes would definitely make Flutter a Bad Person, and by revealing these two options to him, Upshot pushes him towards confession.
But Vimes has a trick up his sleeve, too. Actually, he has a few, but the one he utilizes here is unique to him: he descends into the cellar, surrounds himself in darkness, and takes a witness statement from The Summoning Dark. WHICH IS A LOT!!! This is not something Vimes would have done when we first met in this series, but here he is, trusting a demon because he knows that the Summoning Dark will tell him the truth. That truth, by the way, is so damn disturbing that I don’t feel the need to repeat the details here. But that poor goblin girl suffered, and Stratford was unapologetic about how cruel he was to her. And to Flutter! And I get that he was afraid and in over his head, and I also feel repulsed by what Flutter was compelled to do.
So it’s no wonder that Flutter was willing to “turn King’s evidence” as quickly as he was. Stratford—who we haven’t even “met” at this point—sounds like a walking nightmare, someone who is so violent that even a horse throwing a shoe makes him want to murder it. He’s cruel for the sake of it, and that’s just a guess at this point. I imagine he’s even worse than this story makes him out to be, and Flutter clearly wants as little to do with him as possible.
But then there’s the troll drugs, and I completely did not see that coming. Holy shit, y’all, WHAT??? They’re smuggling troll drugs too? Where are they making them? Are they having the goblins make them, too? Oh my god, THIS WAS NOT A TWIST I WAS READY FOR. And if it is indeed made far away, as Vimes postulates to himself, then where is it made? Just how far away? I assume that the goblins kidnapped were taken there too, right? Jesus, this is so disturbing!!! But like Vimes, I also believe that Flutter had no idea that those barrels contained anything but tobacco. There was no reason to tell Flutter, right? And it’s not like he could have become a distributor; I don’t imagine there are many (if ANY) trolls in Hangnails or the surrounding parts. So I get why Vimes is more lenient on him and why he promises the man better facilities. He’s not excusing Flutter and certainly not exonerating him, but rather accepting that Flutter truly got in over his head because of Stratford. And maybe Lord Rust? I feel strongly that Lord Rust is another major figure in all of this. Perhaps he’s financing the tobacco production? I DON’T KNOW. I also don’t get what this meant in regards to where Jethro might be:
“Stratford said, ‘Don’t you worry sir, he’s going to see the Queen,’ and they both laughed, sir.”
Yeah, what??? Who is that? Or what is that? Y’all, I’m worried that he’s dead, and I DO NOT LIKE THAT.
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