If it was thought inappropriate that the Patrician should walk a dog himself, there was certainly no-one prepared to actually isay/i so to Havelock Vetinari. Besides, the rumours said, walking Mr Fusspot was merely a pretext. Perhaps while the Patrician was out he was also visiting prisoners who might never see the light of day again, or observing the torture of mime artists or...

No-one knew. Really, no-one wanted to.

Someone had dared to suggest once to the Captain of the Guard, Sir Samuel Vimes, that it might be unsafe to allow the Patrician to take such strolls on his own. The reply had been a long, steady stare, and an incredulously asked "Unsafe for who?". Certainly the Assassins' Guild found it far too advantageous to have him alive to think of taking a contract on him, and if anyone else thought of having a go... well, the Assassins' Guild usually took care of them too. Possibly it was the safest person Mr Fusspot could have had to walk him.

So, off they went, Vetinari setting a good pace despite the limp, occasionally pausing to lean on his cane for a moment, smiling coolly at anyone nearby. Those on receipt of such a gaze usually found reason to be elsewhere. Mr Fusspot followed behind, shuffling along at the end of the black lead, farting gently as he went.

And... here they were. Not at a cell, or a torture chamber, but instead a small grave.

Really, it could hardly even be called that. Just a small sad heap of earth with a piece of wood to mark it, the name roughly engraved. Vetinari stopped, leaning on his cane again. It might just have been to catch his breath, but, had anyone been observing, they might have said his head bowed for a moment, as though in silent respect. And they might have wondered at that, for who did the Patrician, the dictator who ordered people put to death as easy as blinking, mourn for?

But there was no-one here to see. He made sure of that, in the same way he quietly made sure of a great deal of things that no-one ever paused to question. Only the Patrician and Mr Fusspot came here.

After a moment, Mr Fusspot shuffled forward, and reverentially laid a dog biscuit on the grave.

The Patrician nodded, very slightly, and together the pair turned to return to the Palace.