Blind Hugh

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Blind Hugh
Name Blind Hugh
Race Human
Occupation Beggar
Physical appearance
Residence Ankh Morpork
Death Possibly sometime before the events of Jingo, the continuity seems unclear.
Marital Status
Books The Colour of Magic
Cameos Jingo

Blind Hugh is a beggar first encountered in The Colour of Magic as one of the first people to be aware of Twoflower's arrival in Ankh-Morpork at Pearl Dock carrying a disconcertingly large amount of gold. Hugh's report, first to the Thieves' Guild and then to the Patrician's intelligence service, is so full of detail that the suspicion grows that either his other four senses are working overtime to compensate for his lack of sight, or he might just be exaggerating his sensory disability just a teeny bit. (Then again, "Slightly Myopic Hugh" or "Not Quite Twenty-Twenty Vision Hugh" might not have the same sort of ring to fill the ol' begging bowl)

Blind Hugh could also refer to his impact on other's visual system, along the line of "Blind you!", which could be considered a pune, or play on words.

Hugh appears again in Jingo, where Samuel Vimes is discussing with Carrot as to which active street informants the Watch has who might be able to provide any leads as to the attempted assassination of Prince Khufurah.

"Talk to... Blind Hugh-"
"I'm afraid he passed away last month, sir"
"Did he? No-one told me!"
"I thought I sent you a memo, sir"

(Jingo, Corgi paperback, p107)

However, there appears to be a continuity error here, or perhaps an error not picked up in the editing process, as later in the book, temporary Patrician Ronald Rust has assembled assorted street beggars and informants, to find out what he can of the circumstances of Sir Samuel Vimes' First of Foot suddenly setting off for Klatch.

"What did he take the boat for?" asked Rust.
"Dunno, m'lord" said Cumbling Michael, scratching his head.
"Damn! Did anyone else see them?"
"Oh, there weren't many people around, m'lord"
"That's a small mercy, at least"
"Just me and Foul Ole Ron and the Duck Man and Blind Hugh and Ringo Eyebrows and No Way José and Sidney Lopsides and that bastard Stoolie and Whistling Dick and a few others, m'lord"

(Jingo, Corgi paperback, p220)

Either Carrot was misinformed (unlikely?), or Blind Hugh is a honorific Guild title passed on to deserving members on the demise of the current postholder, or Terry Pratchett's editor missed a continuity error (or Michael is just confused or he's blowing smoke in the direction of an obnoxious toff who isn't as sharp as Vetinari's dog, and probably isn't going to give him any money, either.) Or Cumbling Michael may, like so many Ankh-Morpork beggers, be a few old boots short of a barbecue.

Then again, the name Blind Hugh sounds as if it could be a pune or play on words on the name of the God Blind Io. Just as Io is blind yet has lots of eyes, Hugh is blind yet somehow manages to miss nothing of significance going on around him. Perhaps his fellow beggars, sensing a scam of the "not as blind as he claims to be" variety, gave him this nickname in a spirit of dark irony...

Blind Pew is also a character in Robert Lewis Stevenson's Treasure Island.