Rincewind had known it was going to be a bad day as it had started out so well. The Professor of cruel and unusual Geography had just finished a wonderful breakfast of potatoes with masses of fresh slightly salted melting butter. The tea had been splendid and just the right temperature for swallowing without losing the lining of the throat. The toast had been crunchy and warm and even better with a jacket potato on top. He was suddenly aware that things were starting to go wrong when Modo the Dwarf came in with the letters and there was one for him. It caused no small ripple of amazement through the Hall. Arch chancellor Ridcully choked on his wow-wow sauce covered sausage and the Bursar giggled that Rincewind had a girlfriend.
“Mr. Rincewind”, the envelope said. Dash it, “Wizard!” The man couldn’t even spell!
Dear Mr. Rincewind,
I am, I believe, your younger brother. I know this must come as a surprise so let me explain.
My mother left me on the door mat of the Guild of Historians. Apparently she had the decency NOT to run away BEFORE I was born! I am sorry, that was a bad pune.
I would very much like to meet my clever and talented elder Brother of whom I hear so much and believe so little!
Why do we not meet up at Mother Borgia’s Pantry and we can talk about our lives!
We’ll never have enough time!” thought Rincewind
RSVP as the Historians expect that sort of thing!
Please reply by return as I have a student waiting outside.
“You will go!” boomed the Arch chancellor, after ripping the letter from Rincewind’s grip and reading it at speed. Ponder Stibbons looked as if he wished the Arch-chancellor would pay that much attention to all his paperwork.
“Do I HAVE to?”Complained Rincewind.
“YES!” boomed the Arch chancellor which, resulted in the Bursar dropping his wooden spoon, reaching for the dried frog pills and failing. The Doctor of Nice and Cuddly Magic helped him and soon order was restored.
Rincewind entered Mother Borgia’s Pantry and realized that either this was a busy shop or the word had got out. The word had got out! There were more Wizards present than usual for a lunch at the University! He pretended he didn’t see them and sat at the free table that held the sign “Rincewind Terminus”. If the rumours about Mother Borgia were right then the message was not a threat!
The door bell screeched and Rincewind looked over to see a man enter the shop.
“He looks like me! He thought.
The Ankh-Morpork ritual, of checking for poisonous thorns between the fingers was undertaken and hands were shaken. “You look just like me!” stated Rincewind by way of an ice breaker.
“Yes, you look like me!”
“That makes us related then!”
“Possibly!” Rincewind always erred on the side of caution.
“It’s nice to know we are related. I thought I was all alone in the world!”
“Get to know me and you will wish you were! Er, nothing! Just deciding what to eat!”
“This is my local. I suggest we have two coffees and a banana sandwich. They are the safest bets!”
“So-” Rincewind paused. “Your name is?”
“Rincewind! Oh, hahaha!”
He laughs like a maniac, thought Rincewind uneasily, I like him!
“Sorry, Stewart ‘klatch’ Rincewind”
“I have spent some time exploring Klatch and the major parts of the desert.”
“Wasn’t that rather dangerous?”
“Well, I did have fifteen guides, ninety five camels, three donkeys and a hunting dog.”
“So, what about you?”
They ignored the spluttering from those around them.
“I am the Professor of Cruel and Unusual Geography. I’m listing some unusual rocks at the moment. The librarian closes the library sometimes so that he can help me. Logging four rocks at a time is quite good going!”
“He is an ape, an Orangutan actually,”
“Aha!” Stewart pulled a wry face. Oh well, they said the Unseen University was full of weirdoes and It looks like they were right. “Well I don’t get out much, so I suppose I shouldn’t be amazed!”
“Oh be amazed please. But don’t ever call him-.” He looked around him “Don’t ever call him a monkey!”
“Riiight! Listen, the other reason I wanted us to meet is that we have a claim to the lineage of the Royal house of Sto-Lat. You could claim the crown after a short battle that I will - . Rincewind, you’ve gone white! Are you ill? Listen, once we win the battle we could live a life of luxury -. Rincewind?” He was looking at an empty chair.
Had Rincewind been able to make a cloud of dust appear round his scurrying feet as he ran, then he would have done so. He locked himself in his room at the University, penned a short and rather pointed note that he should take no interest in the Sto-Lat Monarchy and that Stewart could do as he wished. As a WiZZard (two z’s note), he should not really liaise with non Wizards!
Rincewind then hid under his bed for the next fortnight until he was certain Stewart had lost interest in him. He was kept fed by the Librarian who shoved slices of cheese under the door.
RINCEWIND’S BROTHER - PART TWO
It was only the Librarian luring Rincewind out with a very large baked jacket-potato smothered in melting chili-cheese, made by Glenda in the Kitchens that finally had Rincewind back to a normal life. Well, normal for him. Cataloguing the rocks and bones in his care and generally not getting in the way of most Wizards: mostly not getting in the way of Arch-chancellor Ridcully! Life returned to a comfortable normality in the University.
“How about a cooling drink? Some mineral water Sam, it’s from an Überwaldian spring?”
“No thanks Mustrum, I’m on business!”
“Really? Here? Surely not? At MY University?” No one threatened his University.
Vimes spoke only to stop Ridcully asking short questions. “This request,” he handed over the piece of official and headed note-paper, “I thought it was a joke but it appears from my watch in Treacle Mine Road that Rincewind was seen lurching all over the street as if he was drunk. He then disappeared down a nearby alley. This morning the Patrician received that note from the Duchess of Sto Lat and that’s why I am here! Some-one, with that description, complete with a few bloodthirsty half crazed non-descript idiots, attempted to storm the castle and take power.
The Patrician and I knew immediately, from the description, just who it was that the Duchess found standing by her bed demanding she handed the title over. And, he even used the name ‘Rincewind’!”
“OUR Rincewind?!” for a few moments a truly amazed Ridcully thought of handing over the annoying Rincewind and end the University’s long-term problem in one fell swoop: but then Rincewind had saved the world, the Necrocommunicon, and the University more than once so he deserved at least one fair trial before he got to the Patrician and the Scorpion pit! “We’ll have to ask him, you know that don’t you?”
“Yes. Let’s keep this as open as possible!”
“Sam, as much as someone who spells Wizard with a double Z is irritating, I doubt he has been outside the walls of the University for weeks now. He’s been stuck in his rooms busy with his rocks and things for a month at least. And he’s always present for meals: all nine a day.”
Vimes felt faintly sick. How could people eat nine meals a day? People were starving in Howonderland or at least some were going hungry on the Disc and these Wizards were putting food away and probably wasting enough to feed thousands! “Go get him then Mustrum?” he prompted.
Rincewind had just finished logging his 19th thousand rock-let and still had an unknown number of rocks to go. He looked up as Ridcully entered without knocking.
“My office, NOW!” And Ridcully left the room. He was waiting when Rincewind cautiously left the room. “Ah, there you are!” He put his arm around the now alarmed Rincewind.
“Now come along with me, my lad, and we’ll have a little talk with Sir Samuel Vimes of the Watch!” Rincewind tried to run. His integral nervous system was already pre-set. It only needed the freedom to move. But Ridcully had him in a tight grip.
Sir Samuel looked in a reasonably good bad mood. Rincewind backed into the pool table.
“Rincewind, I take it. A few questions and we can go! Tell me, where and what have you been doing since your brother was here?”
“How did you know about your – my brother?” stammered Rincewind.
“The Patrician told me and you know he never misses anything!”
“I stayed here! I’ve got rocks to log you know!”
“And who can corroborate that?”
Rincewind looked confused at the word then understood after Ridcully opened a dictionary and pointed to the word. “The Librarian!”
“ALL the time?”
“Sort of? What did you do when he wasn’t there?”
“I logged rocks! It’s nice and soothing.”
“I can get one of my Sergeants to check that fact!”
Vimes nodded, he didn’t need Angua sniff the room over, Rincewind was a coward for the true definition of coward! And he wasn’t brave enough to be stupid. “Have you seen your brother lately?”
“I’ll speak to the Librarian if that’s ok, Mustrum? Thank you, Mr. Rincewind. Two things! Stay in the University until I say otherwise and if your brother tries to contact you, you contact me straight away!”
No damn it! It wasn’t. So where was Rincewind no. 2? “The Librarian, Mustrum?” He hinted
The Library was deserted except for a mound of blankets heaped under the desk and a distant reverberating “ook” echoed amongst the long rows of books.
Vimes had never been in the library before. He felt uneasy around magic and here the books crackled and sparkled as if they lived. He’d be happy to get out. A shadow passed overhead and then the Librarian swung himself elegantly into his seat! He saluted Vimes in a rather sloppy ape way but smart for the ape brain. Vimes was almost tempted to salute back but stopped himself.
“I need you to tell me where Rincewind has been for the last month?”
“In his room!” translated Ridcully after a little thought.
“And were you with him all the time?”
“Ook, Eek, ook!” his leathery fist hit the table with some power. The wood, ancient already, creaked in pain. “Ook, ook, ook, ook, ook. OOK!”
“Ok, I get the point!”
“Ook!” the leathery hand slapped a smart ape-salute; the Librarian swung himself up into the top row of books from where he let loose a long-blown raspberry!
“I need to find Rincewind 2, Mustrum!” he stated as they left the Library.
“You mean the Patrician insisted you find him?”
“Politics. The Patrician wants to keep us on good terms with Sto Lat and this Rincewind 2 has threatened the peace. The Duchess has threatened all sorts, not that she can do much mind you! Sto Lat owes much of their wealth to Ankh-Morpork.”
“What will you do now?”
“Put my best officers on tracking him down. I think he’s not far away. He’s safe here. He can hide here with ease. I’d like you to put your best Bledlows on it. The minute he shows up we’ll have him. I’d like to leave one of my men here - .”
“Some of them are old enough to go to better things without a shock of meeting a werewolf or Vampire!”
“Ok, ok, how about a couple of Gargoyles?”
To be continued…
"Veni, Veci ....Vetinari!"