He took another step closer. Stratford took a step back. ‘And you, Mister Stratford, set out to kill Commander Vimes’s little lad, or worse. And do you know what is even worser? I reckon that if you’d done so, thecommander would have arrested you and dragged you to the nearest police station. But inside he’d be cutting himself up with razorblades from top to bottom. And he’d be doing that because the poor bugger is scared that he could be as bad as you.’ Willikins laughed. ‘Truth is, Mister Stratford, from where I sit he’s a choirboy, he really is, but there has to be some justice in the world, you see, not necessarily law justice, but justice justice, and that’s why I am going to kill you. Although, because I’m a fair man, I’m going to give you a chance to kill me first. That means one or other of us will die, so whatever happens the world is going to be a better place, eh? Call it … cleaning up. I know you have a weapon because you’d have run if you didn’t, and so I reckon you have a blade from one of those poor buggers from Quirm and I warrant that in all the confusion you probably stabbed him with it.’

‘I did, too,’ said Stratford. ‘And he was a copper and you’re just a butler.’

‘Very true,’ said Willikins, ‘and much older than you and heavier than you and slower than you, but still a bit spry. What’ve you got to lose?’

Only the horse, steaming patiently in the mist, saw what happened next, and being a horse was in no position to articulate its thoughts on the matter. Had it been able to do so it would have given as its opinion that one human ran towards another human carrying a huge metal stick while the other human quite calmly put his hand into his breast pocket. This was followed by a terrible scream, a gurgling noise and then silence.

Willikins staggered to the side of the road and sat down on a stone, panting a little. Stratford certainly had been fast, no doubt about that. He wiped his forehead with his sleeve, pulled out a packet of cigarettes and lit one, staring at nothing but the fog. Then he stood up, looked down at the shadow on the ground and said, ‘But not fast enough.’ Then, like a good citizen, Willikins went back to see if he could help the unlucky gentlemen of the law, who appeared to be in difficulties. You should always help the gentlemen of the law. Where would we be without them?

― Terry Pratchett, Snuff (Discworld, #39)