raisindot wrote: SPOILER ALERT
The Vimes of Snuff, who thinks about the morality of his actions and fights against his own inner beast, was born on the desert of Klatch near the end of Jingo. Before this book, Vimes really was mainly a crime-solver who only accidentally discovered that the smaller crimes were symptoms of bigger crimes. The 'certain fire' was the act of a Vimes who was dedicated to upending the social order of things through vigiliante-type actions. The Vimes of post-Jingo books would never have set such a fire.
After Jingo, the importance of the Law (and in his own role in enforcing it without going beyond it) became a cornerstone of his thinking. Vimes' actions in TFE, some of which involved killing of people, was done completely in self-defense (the bandits), or, in the case of Wolfgang, a vigilante act that had been preceded by legal actions that failed to cause Wolfgang to surrender. Remember, too, that Wolfgang was attacking Vimes when Vimes killed him; an act of self-defense, but even Vimes realizes that he was on very moral shaky ground.
I don't know where you get the idea that Vimes only develops his belief in the Law after Jingo
(or where in Jingo
, for that matter, you think that happens). In fact, what you're suggesting in this post bears very little resemblance to the Vimes developed in Pratchett's books. Remember that the Vimes of G!G!
is a drunk at least partially because (at least since Vetinari took over) he has nothing really to do except go out and shout "All's Well" when it clearly isn't. But Vetinari hasn't (until the end of the book) realized what Vimes is capable of.He recognizes Sam's committment to the Law in his speech about the great sea of evil. Vetinari only then begins to see what Vimes and the Watch can be in contrast to what they have been in the past. In MaA
, Vetinari is playing games with Vimes, but Vimes believes that his job as a Watchman is to investigate crimes, to uphold the law. Vetinari threatens him with the loss of his badge even before the wedding. But Vetinari has not apparently recognized how dangerous the gun is, and that the possessor of the gun must be caught. But in his fight with Dr. Cruces, Vimes restrains himself--rejects the gun's blandishments, and is stopped from killing Cruces, apparently, by Carrot (who tells him to put the gun down). And it is Carrot (not Vimes) who kills the murderer, Dr. Cruces.
While Vimes may have caused the fire in FofC
, he does it to stop the attempts to disable Vetinari which are being organized by the Vampire (Dragon King of Arms), who has been responsible for the deaths of the two people on Vimes's home street--who are killed by the servant who brings home the candles. He may be slow to find the means of poisioning, but he forces Vetinari's hand and keeps Dorfl as a Watchman. He upholds the law.
What has become obvious as Pratchett developed Vimes as a complex character with a committment to law, but also with a dark side which he guards carefully. By Snuff
, Vimes has a very strong sense of JUSTICE and if the law hasn't caught up with it, he will provide justice anyhow. He upholds the law as the best protection for the ordinary man (as distinct from the peerage and/or the wealthy). It doesn't always work, but he sees that everyone has a responsibility to uphold the concept of justice--even if they are tenants, or "ordinary people." They have weapons--although they are not the weapons of the gentry. But you're just as dead if killed by a blow from a crowbar as you are from a "morning star". And the responsibility for justice belongs to everyone, not just the police.
Willikins is an odd throwback to the best elements of the feudal system. Although he, like Vimes, has a street background and skills, he has been for many years a part of the Ramkin family, rising from scullery boy to butler of the Ankh-Morpork establishment. He feels a great deal of responsibility to protect both Sam and Young Sam. It is significant that Sam has no idea that Wilikins is following the Quirm police transport taking Stratford to Ank-Morpork. And had they been able to deliver Stratford to Ankh-Morpork, there is no reason to think that Wilikins would have acted. But, Willikins gives the murderer "fair warning" and in spite of the odds, is able to execute him. One could say that he is still acting under the quasi legal status Sam gave him to take care of Sybil and young Sam while keeping Flutter locked up. This is one case where Sam will not ask Willikins what he did, although he keeps him on a tight rein in regard to the cross-bow.
I fail to see any relevance between what Pratchett is doing in this section of Snuff
and your "parody" of a very small part of the action which you've set in Florida (cum the Wild West).