Intelligence was in rather short supply among the Cockbill kids. We're talking about young boys and girls who nicked whole watermelons for thrills. They couldn't even carry the watermelons. Just how far did they think they were going get, rolling their loot around the streets of Morpork? Obviously the point wasn't to meet the desperate need for watermelons on Cockbill Street. The point was to impress. (After a while, you learn to think like that too. Even if it's something you personally would never do, just to keep the rest of them happy you start coming up with really flashy, really stupid ideas, like, "Let's everyone put a hand on that butcher's stand over there and grin cockily at the butcher! Whoever keeps his hand there longest wins. Oh, and don't leave any fingers behind or it's a loss by default.")
Being the only one who had more brains than testosterone meant that I was the only one who actually thought things through. I came up all the ideas, and, most importantly, everyone listened to me. I wouldn't have switched places with any of the other kids, not even the gang leader, whomever it happened to be that week. I could never understand why everyone wanted to lead. It was such a superficial position: if you were too brainless to figure out what to do (most of our gang was), let alone what everyone else should do, does it matter whether anyone listens to you?
The position of the leader constantly shifted, passing from person to person like some sort of wonderful prize. The moment you got your hands on it, everyone who hadn't was looking enviously at you, cracking their knuckles and showing their teeth.
Nobody ever wanted to take my position, which I guess was slightly telling: yes, of course there were disadvantages. I told everyone what to do, but only as long as they wanted to listen. At all times I danced half a step from being a punching bag. But so long as I kept them entertained, I wasn't entertainment, which was better than what I had before.
As it was, I became very good at coming up with ideas.
You could say it was a life skill.
Yet at the moment, there are no ideas, and I think I know why. Ever since I read that journal, I have been trying to prove that I wasn't like Lord Winder's clerk, most especially by way of homicidal urges. I have come to the conclusion, however - and this is most regrettable - that as long as my Lord is in power, there is no way for me to reach The Goal.
I have utmost respect for my Lord, but the very things that cause me to respect him as a person make him the worst possible instrument in attaining The Goal. He is not pliable, my Lord. He has no hidden desires, no weaknesses to exploit. I suppose I could poison his dog and offer the antidote for his resignation, but then I would have to invent some poison hitherto unknown to man (and, by extension, my Lord), and even then I fear he'd simply raise his eyebrow at me and somehow everything would fall back into his favor again.
No, a future with my Lord as the Patrician is not the future I need.
I will not kill him (must always put that line between myself and Lord Winder's clerk, myself and insanity; besides, he'd probably refuse to die). He will just have to be put out of office somehow.
I see two options: I could either expose some hidden failing of his, or I could increase Guild interest in another candidate. Either way I would need a suitable person to take the figurehead as the next Patrician. Someone popular, friendly, very obedient, but not given to quiet reflection. Or thinking at all, for that matter.
In other news, an interesting letter arrived at the Palace today. For the first time in recent history, someone has volunteered to join the Watch. A dwarf, no less, straight from the mines - I doubt he would fit in with the Day Watch. I'll have a word with Captain Vimes about it, but I don't think he will need much convincing. He only has four members at the moment, after all, including himself. I believe he needs all the help he can get.