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Drumknott is aware of the rumours, of course. He had never really paid them that much attention – of all the rumours concerning the Patrician, they were not as amusing as some (invariably because they were so preposterous) and they weren't that interesting either – certainly nothing that would affect him. Nevertheless, this particular rumour, which had seemed almost as improbable as the rest, has lately made him wonder. He spends more time with the Patrician than anyone alive. It is inevitable that he would see more than most. More than anything, now, he wonders if what he sees, the things he noticed before, are new, or old but previously unobserved, or even – and this is the most intriguing, the most frightening possibility – if they are simply things that Vetinari has started allowing him to see.

The Vetinari shield is black on black; the Patrician’s robes are black. Certainly if he were, say, to wear a black ribbon, you’d have to look carefully for it. Or take it on trust.