I've read Baxter's and Pratchett's work The Long Earth and am looking forward to reading the rest of the series, but am taking a quick break to read Timothy Zahn's Thrawn.

The colonial party that the narrative intermittently follows picks up the blacksmith (whose name escapes me for the moment) and his payment seems to shock the party members. I don't know if I skipped over it or if it was too subtle for me to realize, but what was his payment? If there is an answer but it's in the later books, please answer with a simple "yes", that would be lovely. No spoilers, please!

2 Answers 2


The context seems to imply that it is simply an unexpectedly large amount of currency, or whatever was the equivalent they were using. See the word 'deposit'.

‘The engagement I’m looking for is three years.’ He was warming to his pitch now. ‘Under the aegis regulations I will have American citizenship by the end of the third year. You, ladies and gentlemen, will be way ahead of the curve.’ He held out his notebook, opened at a page. ‘And this is what you will pay me, please.’

There was a gasp from the would-be citizens of the New Frontier. Eventually Green said, ‘Is this negotiable?’

‘Only upwards, I’m afraid. You can make a deposit in Pioneer Support. Oh, if you want me to train up an apprentice then that will be extra, on account of they would be more of a hindrance than a help.’

Pratchett, Terry; Baxter, Stephen. The Long Earth (pp. 95-96). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.


The answer, as far as I can tell, is "No" - The blacksmith is Franklin Tallyman, who is also a natural stepper.

All subsequent interactions or mentions of Franklin Tallyman in The Long Earth make no mention of the value of his actual payment.

The closest is a mentioned that he has offered establish a forge etc on other westward worlds around world 754 (aka Reboot) for "multiples of his fee"

Chapter 25 (about half way through)

But of course you can't carry iron across the worlds, even stuff manufactured locally. So people are slowly moving backing 754, the world with the forge in it, rather than start up the whole process over again somewhere else (although Franklin offered to do just that for multiples of his fee).

Unfortunately he doesn't reappear in The Long War (book 2) or The Long Mars (book 3), and I haven't gotten to The Long Utopia or The Long Cosmos (book 4) yet.

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