Never trust a species that grins all the time. It’s up to something.
“Right. Good. So noon would be age 35, am I right? Now considering that most children can toddle at a year or so, the four legs reference is really unsuitable, wouldn’t you agree? I mean, most of the morning is spent on two legs. According to your analogy–” he paused and did a few calculations with a convenient thigh bone–“only about twenty minutes after 00.00 hours, half an hour tops, is spent on four legs. Am I right? Be fair.”
“They say he killed himself and ran away.”
“And ran away afterward?”
“On a camel, they say.”
These men are philosophers, he thought. They had told him so. So their brains must be so big that they have room for ideas that no one else would consider for five seconds. On the way to the tavern Xeno had explained to him, for example, why it was logically impossible to fall out of a tree.
He was turning over in his mind an interesting new concept in Thau-dimensional physics which unified time, space, magnetism, gravity and, for some reason, broccoli.
“The trouble with you, Ibid,” he said, “is that you think you’re the biggest bloody authority on everything.”
As far as camels were concerned, the way to mighty intellectual development was to have nothing much to do and nothing to do it with.
He reached the crest of the dune, gazed with approval over the rolling sands ahead of him, and began to think in logarithms.
Seeing, contrary to popular wisdom, isn’t believing. It’s where belief stops, because it isn’t needed anymore.
Broadly, therefore, the three even now lurching across the deserted planks of the Brass Bridge were dead drunk assassins and the men behind them were bent on inserting the significant comma.
He needed something to distract himself. He could send for Ptraci, his favorite handmaiden. She was special. Her singing always cheered him up. Life seemed so much brighter when she stopped.