Vimes ran down Cock-a-bull Street. He should be in a meeting with the Patrician, he should have been there more than half an hour ago but this was important. Important to the owner of the curry house that had just something at knife-point, but it was most important Vimes. He felt his policemen instincts being satisfied by the chase. There is guard difference between a policeman and a dog when they are in the chase. Both will willingly run after its preferred pursued be it criminal or cat, then when the case it over the enemy is caught neither really knows what to do. Vimes didn't have to worry about that now, now there was the chase.
Sir Samuel fell down some steps onto his wounded arm leaving a red stain on the pavement. One day he would have to come back to sign it, he was too busy now. With his armour arm, he pushed himself back to his feet. The street he was in backed onto some gardens with high stone walls. He jumped and caught the top of one, it took most of his remaining strength to pull himself over but he managed it and dropped into the garden on the other side. He crouched down catching his breath, the wall was taller than him but he felt safer crouching. The sound of running clattered on the street, there was no shouting, shouting wastes breath. Sir Samuel waited for the footsteps to fade away before he relaxed. Then the pain started again, he had almost forgotten about his arm. He squeezed it above the cut. It had been a lucky shot from a novice. Damned beginner's luck, but that beginner wasn't going to be lucky ever again, he made sure of that. With a sliver of silk he cut from the inside of his jacket he wrapped the cut tightly as he could one-handed, then took stock of his inventory. He had run out of arrows and dropped his crossbow or more accurately thrown it at a guard, back at the palace. He did have six out of his eight knives left, after leaving one in a neck artery the other in a liver. He also had device his employer had provided, but he was reluctant to use it, he never trusted anything wizard-made. His brown suit was blood stained but not enough to call attention. If anyone asked he could say he works in the slaughterhouse. Where was he? Near Cock-a-bull street, not too far from safety, if he kept up a brisk pace, he could there before he bled out. No one had recognised him, he was sure of that, not in these clothes or with the scarf around his face. He pulled the scarf down, a man walking through the streets with a scarf over his face in summer did turn heads. If he could get home and get cleaned up, he could be out of the city before the blood on the pavement dried.
Vimes almost fell down some steps and skidded into an unknown ally-way with high-walled gardens, his prey was nowhere to be seen. Above him, the sky was almost black, lightning flicking about the clouds like eels.
Sir Samuel pulled himself up, there was no gate he could see, so he jumped the wall again. He managed it but it took him longer than his pride would have liked. He was getting too old for this, He should have taken a professor position at the assassin school, but he just couldn't lower himself to teach. This job was meant to be his retirement, he could have moved to Quirm and spend his twilight years drinking wine, eating snails and learning Quirmian from nice local women. It wasn't only for financial gain, mostly it was for financial gain, but there was a twinge of moral duty behind this job. There had been some bad kings in the past but this one... this one was legendary. His plan had gone so well to start, he entered the ball as a guest along with three-hundred others including at least fifty other of his old alumni. He slipped away during a toast, changed his jacket to this weaponed ladened one which had been stashed in a grandfather clock for him. Assassinate the King, change, slip back into the crowd, easy job, done. If it hadn't been for that blasted guard seeing him before he even lined up the shot.
Just as he dropped down on the other side of the wall he heard shouts. The palace guards had doubled back and spotted him. Summoning the energy he bolted back down the alleyway. Above him, thunder roared.
The guards on his heels he pulled out the wizard device from his pocket and pulled the tab as instructed. It fizzed and sparked, lightning flashed and Sir Samuel disappeared.
Vimes waited in the mouth of the ally poised scrutinising every shadow. Above him, thunder roared and lightning flashed. In the flash, he saw the thief, huddled against the wall.
"I see you, Greg Howard." Vimes barked he darted down the alley towards the fleeing thief. Lightning flashed. Vimes vanished.