Winkles Brewery was at full production now that Ansbach beer was being, well, if not poured down the privies of Ankh-Mopork, at least stored in cellars to be enjoyed in private. It looked like it would never be sold in Morpork again.
As Daniel Fillwater counted the bottles and barrels in the twilight coolness of the warehouse, his mind floated on a cloud of long profit figures that stretched indefinitely into the future. He paused to read the label on a palette of bottles of Winkles Morporkian Red. For Delivery To: The Bucket. He smiled. What was the Official Beer of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch now?
It had amazed him really how easy it had been. Just a nudge, and the Ansbachers had done exactly what he wanted. Forming their own Guild of Brewers wouldn't have inspired outright revolution if it wasn't for his tiny, well-placed rumours. Ankh-Morpork had been waiting for the foreigners in Ansbach to rebel. They would, Fillwater knew, accept the slightest hints that it had happened. As soon as the Morporkians believed it, the Ansbachers with their traditional hedgehog method of self preservation felt the need to make the rumours true. Human nature took its course.
And beer was brewed.
Fillwater took a clipboard down from the wall and ran his eyes across the rows of numbers. The orders coming in were beyond anything Winkles had ever seen. It was fascinating reading, numbers growing larger and longer down the page. He was lost in them.
The iron tip of an ebony stick came into his line of sight and with slow downward pressure pushed the clipboard out of his hands. It clattered to the floor.
"Good evening, Mr. Fillwater," said the Patrician.
Fillwater could not say that he was surprised. He'd never considered Jocko reliable. The man could fear the Patrician and his spies but turn informer himself.
"Welcome to my humble place of business, your lordship," said Fillwater. "To what do I owe the honour?"
Lord Vetinari rolled the stick between his palms. "I wanted to personally congratulate you and Winkles as a whole on your new-found prosperity," he said.
"Very kind of you," said Fillwater. His eyes followed the motion of the Patrician's stick.
"And I wanted to thank you."
Fillwater's gaze snapped up. He saw only a mildly pleased look in Lord Vetinari's blue eyes.
"Surely you have nothing to thank me for, your lordship."
"On the contrary." The Patrician strolled over to a stack of palettes and bent to read the labels. "Have you ever heard of the concept of a controlled revolution?" he said over his shoulder.
"No, your lordship."
"Ah. Well. You are a businessman, not a politician. You have other interests." The Patrician passed on to a row of barrels and tapped them with his stick. "A controlled revolution is a rebellion that occurs at a predictable time and place under circumstances that are foreseen. It is much like an experiment conducted within the bounds of the scientific method. Theoretically, a controlled revolution is simpler to observe and…influence."
Fillwater had followed the Patrician's progress down the palettes. He stopped when Lord Vetinari turned.
"It was kind of you to plant the first rumours of an Ansbacher rebellion," said the Patrician pleasantly. "I had been working on the issue myself for quite some time and only had to add a few of my own little touches to get things going in the proper direction. The Ansbachers were, as you so accurately observed, bound to revolt at some point. They have, in general, a restless political nature. Far more convenient that they rebel when I wish, under circumstances of my choosing."
Fillwater was no fool. "Pardon my ignorance, your lordship, but I have no idea what you're talking about."
The Patrician smiled. "There is no need for me to go into details. I will simply thank you once again for your help. I will no longer be needing it." His smile broadened, revealing a fine row of white teeth with slightly sharpened incisors. "Your family is in Pseudopolis, is it not?"
The question threw Fillwater off. He merely nodded.
"You must miss them," said the Patrician as he removed a folded paper from his pocket. "I've always felt it a tragedy when families are separated. But perhaps I can be of service…"
Hanna stood before the Ansbach Council of Elders like a lonely rowboat before a tidal wave. Lord Rust's ultimatum was due to expire in several hours. If it was anyone but Hanna requesting to speak to the council, the Elders would have refused. They desperately needed a beer or two to withstand what they saw amassed on the Morporkian side of the Platz. The Guild of Armourers, though its (former) membership was half Ansbacher, had supplied Lord Rust's volunteers well. The view across the Platz was alarmingly spiky.
The revolution wasn't going well. As of day five, examination of the housing situation revealed that there would not be enough room in Ansbach for the refugees unless every building in the city received a two-story addition. This would be possible if the Ansbachers had enough brick. The factories, unfortunately, were in Ankh-Morpork. Even a housing shortage couldn't convince the Ansbachers to build out of wood.
The food situation wasn't much better. Vegetable cellars were raided, shops emptied, tables bared. Farmers from the countryside were too frightened to set up, as was their custom four days a week, on the Platz. The presence of two short-tempered mobs on either side of a barricade didn't help.
Many businesses had come to a complete stop. Shops which purchased their stock in Ankh-Morpork quickly ran out of basic goods. Factories with suppliers on the far side of the barricade slowed production. Even currency was starting to get scarce as people hoarded the Morporkian dollar.
The Council of Elders had been listening to these complaints for days. The old men at the long table before the windows were tired, cranky and not sure they would live to see the morning. It was the general feeling of the population as a whole. Hanna knew it because she'd spent the revolution criss-crossing Ansbach, observing, taking notes, talking. By her reckoning, the pulse of the revolution had slowed to a level that might just be manageable.
The main members of the Ansbacher Guild of Brewers arrayed themselves in a line behind Hanna, looking like an honour guard in the council chamber. Lotte was there, along with Brech, the president of the new guild. At the back, the galleries were packed with spectators who had nothing else to do. There wasn't enough work; overnight, the unemployment rate in Ansbach had jumped to twenty five percent.
"As you know, gentlemen," said Hanna, addressing the Council, "I have vorked vith heart and soul for the good of Ansbach."
There were here-here's from the audience.
"It is vith heavy heart that I have vatched the changing fortune of our city since Grune 2. Ansbachers driven from their homes on the other side of the barricade, Ansbachers vithout fresh vegetables, fruit and meat, Ansbachers vithout vork."
The galleries grumbled their agreement.
"And it has come to my attention after a discussion vith Mr. Brech of the Guild of Ansbach Brewers," she indicated Brech standing behind her, "that the breweries are approaching," she paused for effect, "their darkest hour."
The people in the audience gasped and whispered. The Elders shushed them.
"It is common knowledge that the barley and other grains needed for beer vere imported from the Old Country on roads that by necessity passed through Ankh-Morpork," said Hanna. "If the brewers vish to continue business, they must have access to those roads. Relations vith the Morporkians must be normalized."
There was fierce whispering from the galleries.
"Before I began vork on their behalf to expand the market for Ansbach beers, breweries vere threatened vith closure because there are not enough Ansbachers to drink vhat is produced." Hanna's voice was raised over the now constant buzz from the audience. "As Morporkians opened up to Ansbach beer, the brewers experienced a renaissance."
The brewers all nodded.
"It vas short-lived. Vithout the Morporkian market, ve estimate that half of Ansbach's ancient, proud breweries vill be closed vithin the year."
The gallery erupted, and the Elders, who had each wanted his own gavel and refused to acknowledge any of the others as chair, smashed the table for quiet. This wasn't easy; telling Ansbachers about shuttering a brewery was like breaking the news about a dead relative. A dozen shut breweries was like a massacre to public pride.
"It is the considered opinion of the brewers," Hanna said loudly, "that the revolution vill do irreversible damage to Ansbach's most prestigious industry. Even if relations vere normalized, Morporkians vould refuse to drink vhat they considered a foreign beer brewed by rebels."
The Elders worked a while with their gavels until the audience quieted again. They went into a huddle, whispering loudly for several minutes. Hanna wiped her face with her handkerchief and scanned the crowd for Mr. Beezle. He wasn't there. On the barricades, she hoped. The more radical CLAMs Ansbachers who manned the Platz would need more convincing about the situation than the people in the council chamber.
One of the Elders cleared his throat.
"If the Council vas to consider talking vith Ankh-Morpork, Miss Stein, how vould you propose that Ansbach negotiate in the face of that?" He pointed out the windows toward the array of armed Morporkians in the Platz.
Hanna removed a thick piece of paper from her handbag and flourished it at the galleries. "I have here, in my hand, a pledge that no violent action whatsoever will be made against Ansbach or its people. This document declares Ankh-Morpork's desire for a relationship with Ansbach based on mutual friendship and prosperity. It is signed by the Patrician and carries his personal seal as well as that of the city."
As Hanna walked the letter up to the Elders, she realised she'd dropped her accent by mistake. No one seemed to have noticed. The chamber was silent. The audience in the galleries leaned over the railing to catch a glimpse of the document she set on the council table.
The Elders quickly adjourned the meeting and retired to their study to examine the pledge. No one else left the main council chamber. More people arrived to pack the galleries and overflow into the aisles and out the doorway into the anteroom, where still more people had gathered. They'd heard the news, and being much like their Morporkian cousins, Ansbachers gravitated toward rumour.
Hanna milled around with the brewers. She wiped her face and neck with her handkerchief now and again and didn't pass up the offer of a cold beer when an enterprising seller, known locally as "Halsab" Dippler, showed up with a supply tucked on an ice tray around his neck. The audience in the galleries spoke in low tones as if they were in church.
Outside, Mr. Beezle had explained some things to the more radical Ansbachers who manned the barricades with pitchforks, knives and oaken beams in their hands. After the shock of realization, the current president of the CLAMs accused Mr. Beezle of being a Morporkian spy. Mr. Beezle decked him. For a man who looked like he had the personality of cream cheese, he had a great right hook.
Two hours later, the Elders, faces grim, filed back into the council chamber. They paused to look out of the windows that faced the Platz. The Morporkians were still there. With crossbows.
The Elders seated themselves. The silence in the chamber thickened. Hanna felt the thump of her heart as it protested a jump in stress levels it thought had reached maximum hours ago.
One of the Elders waved a liver spotted hand at the windows, at the weapons, at the Morporkians.
"There vill be no negotiations vith them."
The galleries exploded into loud cheers, stomps, whistles, chants. They lasted several minutes. Hanna stared up at the defiant faces of the Ansbachers, unsure what to do next. Lotte grabbed her arm and pulled her back into the circle of the brewers, who whispered at her fiercely. She shook them off and went back out onto the council floor.
It was the look on the face of one of the Elders that gave her a clue. He was the oldest, had a grey, scraggly beard down his chest and eyebrows that had a mind of their own. His old eyes never left her face.
She snatched up his gavel and banged it on the table until the room quieted. She pointed out the window as the Elders had done.
"Those are Lord Rust's men," she said loudly. "The Patrician did not send them."
The gallery was silent.
"We can negotiate with Lord Vetinari in the knowledge that he did not insult us by sending arms against us."
Hanna turned to the Elders. All of them listened to her with the air of people who were relieved to hear what needed to be said, things they couldn't say themselves. Not in public anyway. They were, after all, an elected body.
The old man with the beard caught Hanna's eye and nodded slightly.
"If the Council would like to draft a letter to the Patrician," she said more calmly, "I will take it to his lordship myself."
It was unusual for the Patrician to have the windows in the Oblong Office thrown wide open, allowing the less than pleasant air of the city and the street noises to interrupt him at his work. It was all right that day because he wasn't working that hard. A few papers to sign, a report or two to read. He scanned the paper in front of him, his foot tapping under his desk and disturbing his pet terrier in its sleep.
His foot went tap, tap, tap to a beat that came from outside his windows, far below in the Plaza of Broken Moons.
A brief knock at the door, the call to enter, and Hanna came in wearing a summer dress the colour of pomegranate.
"How could you work on a day like today?" she demanded.
"I am already finished." He set the report aside and fetched from a drawer another paper. "I have something for you."
He'd said this often to Hanna in the weeks since the rebellion of Ansbach ended. Every day he had presented her with another piece of the jewelry or artwork she had sold during her campaign for the Ansbach brewers. He'd also given her a revised version of her contract. She now had three weeks paid vacation she intended to use later in the year when Ankh-Morpork turned grey and rainy or when the Patrician became too much to bear without a break.
She took the paper he offered her, read it, read it again, and glanced up. Lord Vetinari was looking pleased with himself.
"Some negotiation was necessary," he said, "but he finally sold it."
He was Daniel Fillwater and it was Winkles Brewery. He had suddenly left Ankh-Morpork just before the end of the Ansbach rebellion and was reportedly back with his family in Pseudopolis.
The Patrician looked over Hanna's shoulder at the deed of ownership.
"I thought it wise to put it in your sister's name," he said. "Tax purposes and so on. And she does seem just the woman to mould 500 employees into brewers capable of working under the strict standards of the Ansbach Purity Law of the Year of the Distressed Wombat."
"She is," said Hanna, smiling.
When Lord Vetinari met with the Ansbach brewers soon after the end of the crisis, Lotte slapped him on the back so hard that a hand-shaped bruise developed just below his left shoulder blade. At his insistence, daily treatment consisted of Hanna massaging his back with ointments she suspected were rather useless.
It was all right, though. "Application of ointments" was not listed as a duty in her contract but Hanna was beginning to see just how diverse her responsibilities could be.
She set the deed on his desk. "You're welcome," she said. "Now come down to the festival."
The brewers had been encouraged to follow through with their original plan to hold a festival in the Plaza of Broken Moons. After the unpleasantness between Ankh-Morpork and Ansbach, the Patrician had thought it useful to allow the festival to extend to three days. The Palace subsidized beer from all brewers regardless of ethnicity who wished to sell at the festival stalls. By the second day of sunshine, music and large quantities of lagers, ales, stouts and weisses, Morporkians and Ansbachers were clanking mugs like the old friends they'd forgotten they were.
It was the last day of the festival and the Patrician had yet to put in a personal appearance.
"Come to the party, sir," urged Hanna.
"I am not much of a merrymaker."
"I can't believe it."
"I usually have far too much work to do."
"Come as a favour to me. Haven't I done so much for you lately?"
Lord Vetinari lifted a bit of her hair that had fallen out of a pin. "You did do very well," he said as he pinned the strands back up. "The city has shown its gratitude."
At its last session, the City Council formally apologized for the arrest warrant for treason, and Lord Rust, on the friendly advice of Lord Vetinari, sputtered a ten-minute speech of praise for Hanna's work to bring the Ansbachers to their senses. Otherwise, all shows of gratitude had come from the Patrician himself. The crisis had been some sort of watershed. For the first time since their arrangement began, he seemed to trust her enough to put down his guard a little in private.
The other night he took a dart board out of a box he kept locked under the bed along with a series of quite passable drawings of various municipal leaders and noblemen. They put Lord Rust up on the board and threw darts at designated targets on his face, a shot between the eyes counting as bulls eye. Hanna had noticed that all of the drawings were well pierced, and a couple well shredded, as if the Patrician had thrown knives instead of darts. Regardless, it was a relief to see that he really did blow off steam some time. Normally, the man was like an iceberg.
"Alas," he was saying, "I still think it too sunny." He waved a pale, blue-veined hand. "I have a sensitivity."
Hanna went out into the hallway and returned with a small package. "A friend of mine in the Glassmakers Guild made this for me. For you. Special." She smiled. "Happy Slightly Early Half-Year Anniversary."
It occurred to Lord Vetinari as he unwrapped the package in his meticulous fashion that this was the first time Hanna had ever given him a gift. It was certainly the first time he'd ever had an anniversary, though he assumed Slightly Early Half-Year ones were relatively unusual. Like men everywhere when confronted with a special occasion related to a woman, he wondered if he was required to come up with a gift for her. He suspected the things he'd given her the past weeks wouldn't count; they weren't specifically anniversary gifts. Flowers might do. She thought orchids were for funerals so those were out. Roses bored her because her clients had always given them to her. She did love those bright red poppies but they died as soon as they were cut. Perhaps he could have some planted in the Palace garden...
"What do you think?" Hanna asked.
The wrapping paper fluttered to the floor. Lord Vetinari opened the small box and stared at its contents. His reflection stared back.
He settled the darkened lenses on his face, strode over to his desk and rang the bell. Drumknott entered, but came up short at the sight of the Patrician. It took him a second to shift his expression from surprised terror to its usual mildness.
Lord Vetinari could tell that the clerk looked into his mirrored glasses and saw a reflection of himself. Like it or not.
He smiled slowly. Smoked lenses and mirrors.
After waving the clerk out of the office, the Patrician adjusted the sit of the shades and fetched his walking stick.
"We shall try the effect in public," he said.
He tilted Hanna's chin up, kissed her for a long moment, then offered his arm. She took it after checking her lipstick for smudges in the reflection of his lenses.
He was still wearing them at the festival long after the sun went down.