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I SHALL WEAR

MIDNIGHT

Terry Pratchett

DOUBLEDAY

Contents

Cover

Title

Copyright

By Terry Pratchett

Chapter 1: A Fine Big Wee Laddie

Chapter 2: Rough Music

Chapter 3: Those Who Stir In Their Sleep

Chapter 4: The Real Shilling

Chapter 5: The Mother Of Tongues

Chapter 6: The Coming Of The Cunning Man

Chapter 7: Songs In The Night

Chapter 8: The King’s Neck

Chapter 9: The Duchess And The Cook

Chapter 10: The Melting Girl

Chapter 11: The Bonfire Of The Witches

Chapter 12: The Sin O’ Sins

Chapter 13: The Shaking Of The Sheets

Chapter 14: Burning The King

Chapter 15: A Shadow And A Whisper

Epilogue: Midnight By Day

Glossary

This eBook is copyright material and must not be copied, reproduced, transferred, distributed, leased, licensed or publicly performed or used in any way except as specifically permitted in writing by the publishers, as allowed under the terms and conditions under which it was purchased or as strictly permitted by applicable copyright law. Any unauthorised distribution or use of this text may be a direct infringement of the author’s and publisher’s rights and those responsible may be liable in law accordingly.

Version 1.0

Epub ISBN 9781409096306

www.randomhouse.co.uk

I SHALL WEAR MIDNIGHT

A DOUBLEDAY BOOK 978 0 385 61107 7

TRADE PAPERBACK 978 0 385 61796 3

Published in Great Britain by Doubleday,

an imprint of Random House Children’s Books

A Random House Group Company

This edition published 2010

1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2

Copyright © Terry and Lyn Pratchett, 2010

Illustrations copyright © Paul Kidby, 2010

Discworld® is a trademark registered by Terry Pratchett

Chapters 13 and 14 include lyrics from two songs – ‘The Larks They Sing Melodious’ and ‘The Shaking of the Sheets’ – both traditional folksongs where the lyrics are now, to the best of our knowledge, out of copyright. The publishers would be grateful to be notified if this is erroneous and will be happy to make good any errors in future printings.

The right of Terry Pratchett to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publishers.

The Random House Group Limited supports the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), the leading international forest certification organization. All our titles that are printed on Greenpeace-approved FSC-certified paper carry the FSC logo. Our paper procurement policy can be found at www.rbooks.co.uk/environment.

Set in 12/16pt Minion by Falcon Oast Graphic Art Ltd.

RANDOM HOUSE CHILDREN’S BOOKS

61–63 Uxbridge Road, London W5 5SA

www.kidsatrandomhouse.co.uk

www.rbooks.co.uk

Addresses for companies within The Random House Group Limited can be found at:

www.randomhouse.co.uk/offices.htm

THE RANDOM HOUSE GROUP Limited Reg. No. 954009

A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.

Printed and bound in Great Britain by Clays Ltd, St Ives plc

BY TERRY PRATCHETT, FOR YOUNG READERS

THE CARPET PEOPLE

THE CARPET PEOPLE Illustrated edition

TRUCKERS

DIGGERS

WINGS

THE BROMELIAD omnibus edition

(contains Truckers, Diggers, Wings)

ONLY YOU CAN SAVE MANKIND*

(*www.ifnotyouthenwho.com)

JOHNNY AND THE DEAD

JOHNNY AND THE BOMB

THE JOHNNY MAXWELL OMNIBUS EDITION

(contains Only You Can Save Mankind, Johnny and the Dead, Johnny and the Bomb)

Discworld novels

THE AMAZING MAURICE AND HIS EDUCATED RODENTS

THE WEE FREE MEN

A HAT FULL OF SKY

WINTERSMITH

I SHALL WEAR MIDNIGHT

THE ILLUSTRATED WEE FREE MEN

The Discworld series: have you read them all?

1. THE COLOUR OF MAGIC

2. THE LIGHT FANTASTIC

3. EQUAL RITES

4. MORT

5. SOURCERY

6. WYRD SISTERS

7. PYRAMIDS

8. GUARDS! GUARDS!

9. ERIC

(illustrated by Josh Kirby)

10. MOVING PICTURES

11. REAPER MAN

12. WITCHES ABROAD

13. SMALL GODS

14. LORDS AND LADIES

15. MEN AT ARMS

16. SOUL MUSIC

17. INTERESTING TIMES

18. MASKERADE

19. FEET OF CLAY

20. HOGFATHER

21. JINGO

22. THE LAST CONTINENT

23. CARPE JUGULUM

24. THE FIFTH ELEPHANT

25. THE TRUTH

26. THIEF OF TIME

27. THE LAST HERO

(illustrated by Paul Kidby)

28. THE AMAZING MAURICE AND HIS EDUCATED RODENTS

(for young readers)

29. NIGHT WATCH

30. THE WEE FREE MEN

(for young readers)

31. MONSTROUS REGIMENT

32. A HAT FULL OF SKY

(for young readers)

33. GOING POSTAL

34. THUD!

35. WINTERSMITH

(for young readers)

36. MAKING MONEY

37. UNSEEN ACADEMICALS

38. I SHALL WEAR MIDNIGHT

(for young readers)

Other books about Discworld

THE SCIENCE OF DISCWORLD

(with Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen)

THE SCIENCE OF DISCWORLD II: THE GLOBE

(with Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen)

THE SCIENCE OF DISCWORLD III: DARWIN’S WATCH

(with Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen)

THE NEW DISCWORLD COMPANION

(with Stephen Briggs)

NANNY OGG’S COOKBOOK

(with Stephen Briggs, Tina Hannan and Paul Kidby)

THE PRATCHETT PORTFOLIO

(with Paul Kidby)

THE DISCWORLD ALMANAK

(with Bernard Pearson)

THE UNSEEN UNIVERSITY CUT-OUT BOOK

(with Alan Batley and Bernard Pearson)

WHERE’S MY COW?

(illustrated by Melvyn Grant)

THE ART OF DISCWORLD

(with Paul Kidby)

THE WIT AND WISDOM OF DISCWORLD

(compiled by Stephen Briggs)

THE FOLKLORE OF DISCWORLD

(with Jacqueline Simpson)

Discworld maps

THE STREETS OF ANKH-MORPORK

(with Stephen Briggs, painted by Stephen Player)

THE DISCWORLD MAPP

(with Stephen Briggs, painted by Stephen Player)

A TOURIST GUIDE TO LANCRE – A DISCWORLD MAPP

(with Stephen Briggs, illustrated by Paul Kidby)

DEATH’S DOMAIN

(with Paul Kidby)

A complete list of other books based on the Discworld series – illustrated screenplays,

graphic novels, comics and plays, can be found on

www.terry pratchett.co.uk.

Non-Discworld titles

GOOD OMENS

(with Neil Gaiman)

STRATA

THE DARK SIDE OF THE SUN

THE UNADULTERATED CAT

(illustrated by Gray Jolliffe)

Chapter 1

A FINE BIG WEE LADDIE

WHY WAS IT, Tiffany Aching wondered, that people liked noise so much? Why was noise so important?

Something quite close sounded like a cow giving birth. It turned out to be an old hurdy-gurdy organ, hand-cranked by a raggedy man in a battered top hat. She sidled away as politely as she could, but as noise went, it was sticky; you got the feeling that if you let it, it would try to follow you home.

But that was only one sound in the great cauldron of noise around her, all of it made by people and all of it made by people trying to make noise louder than the other people making noise. Arguing at the makeshift stalls, bobbing for apples or frogs,1 cheering the prize fighters and a spangled lady on the high wire, selling candyfloss at the tops of their voices and, not to put too fine a point on it, boozing quite considerably.

The air above the green downland was thick with noise. It was as if the populations of two or three towns had all come up to the top of the hills. And so here, where all you generally heard was the occasional scream of a buzzard, you heard the permanent scream of, well, everyone. It was called having fun. The only people not making any noise were the thieves and pickpockets, who went about their business with commendable silence, and they didn’t come near Tiffany; who would pick a witch’s pocket? You would be lucky to get all your fingers back. At least, that was what they feared, and a sensible witch would encourage them in this fear.

When you were a witch, you were all witches, thought Tiffany Aching as she walked through the crowds, pulling her broomstick after her on the end of a length of string. It floated a few feet above the ground. She was getting a bit bothered about that. It seemed to work quite well, but nevertheless, since all around the fair were small children dragging balloons, also on the end of a piece of string, she couldn’t help thinking that it made her look more than a little bit silly, and something that made one witch look silly made all witches look silly.

On the other hand, if you tied it to a hedge somewhere, there was bound to be some kid who would untie the string and get on the stick for a dare, in which case most likely he would go straight up all the way to the top of the atmosphere where the air froze, and while she could in theory call the stick back, mothers got very touchy about having to thaw out their children on a bright late-summer day. That would not look good. People would talk. People always talked about witches.

She resigned herself to dragging it again. With luck, people would think she was joining in with the spirit of the thing in a humorous way.

There was a lot of etiquette involved, even at something so deceptively cheerful as a fair. She was the witch; who knows what would happen if she forgot someone’s name or, worse still, got it wrong? What would happen if you forgot all the little feuds and factions, the people who weren’t talking to their neighbours and so on and so on and a lot more so and even further on? Tiffany had no understanding at all of the word ‘minefield’, but if she had, it would have seemed kind of familiar.

She was the witch. For all the villages along the Chalk she was the witch. Not just her own village any more, but for all the other ones as far away as Ham-on-Rye, which was a pretty good day’s walk from here. The area that a witch thought of as her own, and for whose people she did what was needful, was called a steading, and as steadings went, this one was pretty good. Not many witches got a whole geological outcrop to themselves, even if this one was mostly covered in grass, and the grass was mostly covered in sheep. And today the sheep on the downs were left by themselves to do whatever it was that they did when they were by themselves, which would presumably be pretty much the same as they did if you were watching them. And the sheep, usually fussed and herded and generally watched over, were now of no interest whatsoever, because right here the most wonderful attraction in the world was taking place.

Admittedly, the scouring fair was only one of the world’s most wonderful attractions if you didn’t usually ever travel more than about four miles from home. If you lived around the Chalk you were bound to meet everyone that you knew2 at the fair. It was quite often where you met the person you were likely to marry. The girls certainly all wore their best dresses, while the boys wore expressions of hopefulness and their hair smoothed down with cheap hair pomade or, more usually, spit. Those who had opted for spit generally came off better since the cheap pomade was very cheap indeed and would often melt and run in the hot weather, causing the young men not to be of interest to the young women, as they had fervently hoped, but to the flies, who would make their lunch off their scalps.

However, since the event could hardly be called ‘the fair where you went in the hope of getting a kiss and, if your luck held, the promise of another one’, the fair was called the scouring.

The scouring was held over three days at the end of summer. For most people on the Chalk, it was their holiday. This was the third day, and most people said that if you hadn’t had a kiss by now you might as well go home. Tiffany hadn’t had a kiss, but after all, she was the witch. Who knew what they might get turned into?

If the late-summer weather was clement, it wasn’t unusual for some people to sleep out under the stars, and under the bushes as well. And that was why if you wanted to take a stroll at night it paid to be careful so as not to trip over someone’s feet. Not to put too fine a point to it, there was a certain amount of what Nanny Ogg – a witch who had been married to three husbands – called making your own entertainment. It was a shame that Nanny lived right up in the mountains, because she would have loved the scouring and Tiffany would have loved to see her face when she saw the giant.3

He – and he was quite definitely a he, there was no possible doubt about that – had been carved out of the turf thousands of years before. A white outline against the green, he belonged to the days when people had to think about survival and fertility in a dangerous world.

Oh, and he had also been carved, or so it would appear, before anyone had invented trousers. In fact, to say that he had no trousers on just didn’t do the job. His lack of trousers filled the world. You simply could not stroll down the little road that passed along the bottom of the hills without noticing that there was an enormous, as it were, lack of something – e.g. trousers – and what was there instead. It was definitely a figure of a man without trousers, and certainly not a woman.

Everyone who came to the scouring was expected to bring a small shovel, or even a knife, and work their way down the steep slope to grub up all the weeds that had grown there over the previous year, making the chalk underneath glow with freshness and the giant stand out boldly, as if he wasn’t already.

There was always a lot of giggling when the girls worked on the giant.

And the reason for the giggling, and the circumstances of the giggling, couldn’t help but put Tiffany in mind of Nanny Ogg, who you normally saw somewhere behind Granny Weatherwax with a big grin on her face. She was generally thought of as a jolly old soul, but there was a lot more to the old woman. She had never been Tiffany’s teacher officially, but Tiffany couldn’t help learning things from Nanny Ogg. She smiled to herself when she thought that. Nanny knew all the old, dark stuff – old magic, magic that didn’t need witches, magic that was built into people and the landscape. It concerned things like death, and marriage, and betrothals. And promises that were promises even if there was no one to hear them. And all those things that make people touch wood and never, ever walk under a black cat.

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