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31 da Sarrafada

31 da Sarrafada


And now for something completely different...


 «(...) "Yet I am Goldeneyes Silverhand Dactylos", said the craftsman. "I made the Metal Warriors that guard the Tomb of Pitchiu, I designed the Light Dams of the Great Nef, I built the palace of the Seven Deserts. And yet-" he reached up and tapped one of his eyes, which rang faintly," when I built the golem army for Pitchiu he loaded me down with gold and then, so that I would create no other work to rival my work for him, he had my eyes put out."

"Wise but cruel," said the Arch-Astronomer sympathetically. 

"Yah. So I learned to hear the temper of metals and to see with my fingers. I learned how to distinguish ores by taste and smell. I made these eyes, but I cannot make them see.

"Next I was summoned to build the Palace of the Seven Deserts, as a result of which the Emir showered me with silver and then, not entirely to my surprise, had my right hand cut off."

"A grave hindrance in your line of business" nodded the Arch-Astronomer.

"I used some of the silver to make myself this new hand, putting to use my unrivalled knowledge of levers and fulcrums. It suffices. After I created the first great Light Dam, which had a capacity of 50,000 daylight hours, the tribal council of the Nef loaded me down with fine silks and then hamstrung me so that I could not escape. As a result I was put to some inconvenience to use silk and bamboo to build a flying machine from which I could launch myself from the top-most turret of my prison."

"Bringing you, by various, diversions, to Krull," said the Arch-Astronomer. "And one cannot help feeling that some alternative occupation - lettuce farming, say - would offer somewhat less of a risk of being put down to death by installments. Why do you persist on it?"

Goldeneyes Dactylos shrugged.

"I'm good at it," he said. 


Terry Pratchett, The Colour of Magic, Copyright 1983 


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