The Mad Collector wrote:=Tamar wrote:Yes, but I suggest that there may have been more than one. That trip took a long time and someone had to make arrangements for the substitution, someone who looked right had to be trained and get the qualifications, and that would have taken time, regardless of who it was.
But it's the same double. Charlie was in The Truth and then brought back for Raising Steam, he already knew what to do.
Charlie is mentioned in Raising Steam, but I didn't think he was bright enough to be trained as a stoker. There was fierce competition for even the most minor railway jobs. On the other hand, I did just think of another angle. I still think it would have been difficult for Vetinari to spend enough time out of the office to be trained as a stoker and fake all the necessary time, even with Charlie doing most of the "being present at meetings" part of it. It's possible that Charlie was bright enough to be trained as a stoker and pass on what he learned as reports. However, we are told that Drumknott was enthusiastic and spent every possible moment being somehow involved with the railway. I think Drumknott would have been the obvious person to have become friends with railway men as an enthusiast and then passed information to Vetinari.
There remains the problem of how long Vetinari would have had to entrust running the city to Charlie-and-Drumknott. It would be difficult but not impossible to catch up to the train by some other means, whether by witch's broomstick, golem horse, or wizard-empowered coach, but possibly only the broomstick, or perhaps the golem horse, would have been unobtrusive enough to avoid comment. The train had to stop occasionally to take on water, so there were a few opportunities to make the switch, if there was a switch made.
If on the other hand Vetinari trusts Drumknott to run the city using Charlie as a front, then maybe Drumknott is going to be his chosen heir. Drumknott is younger than Vetinari; he got the top-aide position after the events of G!G!
But that's a different discussion.