By Simon R. Green
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And there are always those who prefer the devil they know to the devil they don't. That still leaves a hell of a lot of people unaccounted for, but if we're going to persuade them to vote for us, we've got to be able to operate freely. " "But seven and a half thousand ducats! " "You might have to, if I didn't approach the right people. There are sorcerers to be paid off, so they won't interfere. There are Guard officers to sweeten, to ensure we get the protection we're entitled to. Then there's donations to the Street of Gods, to the Trade Guilds; do I really need to go on?
A first-class sorcerer could easily manage a thousand or more, as long as they didn't have to do much. When polling starts, they all troop off and vote for whoever was paying the sorcerer. Afterwards, the sorcerer would kill them all, so they couldn't talk out of turn. The mastermind is elected, becomes a Councilor, and there's no one left to say it was anything but fair and aboveboard. Don't take this so badly, Isobel. " "Yeah," said Fisher. " "Come on," said Hawk. " They got to their feet and started down the alley.
Fisher shrugged quickly. " Fisher shot him a sudden smile. " Hawk and Fisher turned down Martyrs' Alley, and made their way out onto the Harbourside Promenade. The market stalls quickly disappeared, replaced by elegant shop-fronts with porticoed doors and fancy scrollwork round the windows, and an altogether better class of customers. The Promenade had been "discovered" by the Quality, and its fortunes had prospered accordingly. Of late it had become quite the done thing for the minor aristocracy to take the air on the Promenade, and enjoy a little fashionable slumming.