“But, look,” said one of the soldiers. “I don’t know half the men here. If we’re going to close in, we want to know who’s on our side…”
“That’s right, hnah,” said Snouty. “I mean, some of them chasing us was watchmen!”
Vimes raised his eyes. The wide alley in front of them, known as Lobsneaks, stretched all the way to Cable Street. It was lined with gardens, and there were purple flowers on the bushes.
The morning air smelled of lilac.
“I recall a battle once,” said Dickins, looking up at a tree. “In history, it was. And there was this company, see, and they was a ragtag of different squads and all covered in mud in any case, and they found themselves hiding in a field of carrots. So as a badge they all pulled up carrots and stuck them on their helmets, so’s they’d know who their friends were and incidentally have a nourishing snack for later, which is never to be sneezed at on a battlefield.
“Well? So what?” said Dibbler.
“So what’s wrong with a lilac flower?” said Dickins, reaching up and pulling down a laden branch. “Makes a spanking plume, even if you can’t eat it…”
And now, Vimes thought, it ends.
– the lilac |
Terry Pratchett, Night Watch