12

At Vimes' wedding at the climax of Men at Arms, as the shooter flees the tower, Carrot suggests that in order to catch the criminal they would need to announce that Edward was caught and visit the Unseen Library. Immediately afterwards the scene jumps to Vimes talking to Dr. Cruces in the sewers, having somehow easily found him and caught up with him.

It took me a while to figure that the library was mentioned because of the tunnel that Cuddy and Detritus dug, but the point about the misleading information about Edward is never developed.

Is there a logical jump in between scenes that just forgot about this point mentioned just a few paragraphs earlier? Or am I missing something in the story?

18

When Cuddy and Detritus had fallen into the sewers, they'd come upon a dead body dressed as a clown. They assumed it to be the missing Beano from the Fools' Guild. However, Carrot realise that they only assumed this because the body is wearing Beano's makeup - and further realises that the body is actually Edward.

By announcing that they'd arrested Edward, they hoped to flush whoever had left his body in the sewer - and this is where Vimes is waiting when Cruces comes looking for the body that is no longer there.

Vimes even says as much to Cruces:

And now, doctor, you've had time to think, you're an intelligent man... What were you doing down here, please? It can't be to look for the mortal remains of young Edward, because our Corporal Nobbs has taken him off to the Watch morgue this morning...

  • That is one heck of a logical jump. Now that you say it, it makes sense, but I would have never picked up on the fact that they'd met Dr. Cruces where Edward's body should have been. Was this just deduction on your part, or is it mentioned somehow in their exchange? – Dirk101 Oct 1 '19 at 7:35
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    Which is all fine, but throughout the book, if the reason behind a character's decision is not immediately apparent, it's always explained sooner or later. These two scene are the only case where we go from set up to payoff without any in-character explanation linking the two. Everything is left to the powers of deduction of the readers, and if they don't get it, it feels like a jarring plot jump. I actually initially believed that my e-book was missing pages. Now I can safely assume the structure was intentional. – Dirk101 Oct 1 '19 at 7:59
  • I don't mean things being spelled out, but hints are always given for the reader to link a train of thought, or a sequence of events together. When I had read the scene in the sewers immediately after the scene at the wedding, with Vimes' immediate semi-monologue that includes your quote, I had an image of them bumping into Cruces randomly and Vimes simply going off on the author's prepared speech. But the quote you added does make your answer stronger. – Dirk101 Oct 1 '19 at 8:52
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    @Dirk101 Terry Pratchett is a writer like that. His writing style has a lot of smaller and larger gaps for the reader to fill in, and he expects the reader to fill in those holes through extrapolation and thought process. I've found it quite jarring personally when trying to start to read Discworld, and I've found that it hinders my enjoyment of the series to the point that it's not a series I'd like to continue. – Nzall Oct 1 '19 at 14:04
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    @Nzall not to turn this into a conversation, I'll mention that after 15 consecutive books this is the first structure discrepancy I have found in his stories – Dirk101 Oct 1 '19 at 16:09

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