Oh! By the way Tony, the parrot says 12 and a half %. Is there any connection between this and Reacher Gilt dressing as a pirate?
But I'm sure everyone here already knows that 12 and a half percent is an eighth. So the parrot is actually saying 'Pieces of eight!' just like Long John Silver's parrot (Captain Flint) in Treasure Island.
12 1/2% also denotes Gilt as a thief. Not a B&E, take the family silver away in a sack thief, but a legal thief.
Even Slant, the lawyer, can't charge more than every 1/6 of an hour (US), so Gilt "steals" twice as much as Slant and legally.
The rates bring up the question of usury. Forbidden to Christians throughout western Europe during the Middle Ages, usury was the sole province of the Jews because they were thought to be 'without souls' in the X-tian view.
Apply this non-soul bit to Gilt when Vetinari offers him his angel...
I don't like Moist. He is the stockbroker, the brokerage that swindles and smiles.
My family lost almost a quarter million to a fellow like Moist.