Reacher Gilt

From Discworld & Terry Pratchett Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Reacher Gilt
Name Reacher Gilt
Race Human
Occupation ex-Director of the Grand Trunk
Physical appearance One eye, eyepatch, and a smile like a tiger
Residence Ankh-Morpork
Death Presumably at the end of Going Postal at the Patrician's Palace
Marital Status
Books Going Postal

Antagonist of Moist von Lipwig in Going Postal, and Chairman of the Grand Trunk. He dressed in the manner of a retired pirate, and lived as such, with a cockatoo named Alphonse which had been taught to say the phrase "12 and a half percent" (that is, a single piece of eight). Other than being the Chairman of the Grand Trunk, nobody knew much about him, though two things were certain: he threw the most incredible and extravagant parties(1), and he was rich enough to purchase his own ancestors as well as the services of an Igor. Some say he owned a gold mine. Others say he was a pirate, though considering the fact that he practically dressed up as one, most may have dismissed it out of hand.

Gilt was actually a con artist of legendary skill; Moist instantly recognized Gilt's inner nature and he would have begged Gilt to teach him the trade had he not been Gilt's primary enemy at the time. He told people he was going to fleece them and they loved it. This brings friends very quickly, such as Messrs Nutmeg, Greenyham, Horsefry and Stowley. And so with his help they stole the Grand Trunk from the Dearhearts via a method called the "Double Lever"; purchasing the company with its own money. While head of the Grand Trunk, Gilt had his office in the Tump Tower, though as with everything that is "gilt", that was mainly for show.

Gilt proceeded to squeeze as much money as possible out of the Grand Trunk, raising fees, cutting down on maintenance and development, presumably to a degree that would have worried his supporters. Had the Trunk failed and gone bankrupt, he would have sold off his assets in the company long before that happened and, through another company, re-bought them at rock bottom prices only to proceed to run it into the ground once more.

So for a while, for Gilt and company, life was good, and Greenyham, Horsefry and Stowley happily rode the tail of the tiger until the resurrection of the Ankh-Morpork Post Office by Moist von Lipwig through the machinations of Lord Vetinari.

While both were at heart con artists, Gilt differed from Moist by being utterly ruthless and willing to resort to murder. Any obstacle tended to be removed, courtesy of a Mr Gryle, an inhumanly efficient killer. Soon Greenyham, Nutmeg and Stowley (minus Horsefry, thanks to the aforementioned Mr Gryle) found it difficult to get off the tiger that they were riding. Gilt was a proud person, and the constant piques and humiliations he suffered at the hands of Moist eventually become too much to bear. Infuriated, he failed to anticipate Moist's plan and was caught in a trap.

He is presumably dead: after discovering that he'd been trapped by Moist, he fled. Despite assuming a new identity and changing his appearance he was apprehended, probably by Mr Pump, and brought before the Patrician. He was offered the job of re-structuring the Royal Mint, which came with a salary, and some kind of hat. He was also freely given the choice to decline and walk out of the office. He declined, and it is inferred he walked out of a door with a treacherous first step, as the second was several stories below. While he wasn't a believer in angels he was a firm believer in (his) personal freedom, to the extent that he might well have been aware of the terminal consequences of his choice, but was determined to be the one to make the choice.

(1) At one party a troll stripper was hired, and as a result three people jumped out of the windows (despite the fact that troll strippers actually don more clothing instead of removing it).