Rufus Drumknott

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Rufus Drumknott
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Name Rufus Drumknott
Race Human
Age
Occupation Chief Clerk to Lord Vetinari
Physical appearance
Residence The Patrician's Palace
Death
Parents
Relatives at least one nephew
Children
Marital Status unmarried. Although at the end of Unseen Academicals, there is a very unsubtle hint that this may soon be remedied, in the form of Lady Margolotta's librarian, Miss Healstether.
Appearances
Books Feet of Clay, Jingo, The Fifth Elephant, The Truth, Night Watch, Going Postal, Making Money, Thud!, Unseen Academicals
Cameos {{{cameos}}}

Rufus Drumknott is a faithful and loyal servant to Lord Vetinari. Drumknott has been Vetinari's chief clerk and secretary, since the previous incumbent, Lupine Wonse, had the book thrown at him by (then Constable) Carrot Ironfoundersson.

A quiet, studious man, Drumknott is ever adept at performing whatever task Vetinari requires. He is an excellent clerk, and cannot abide such malpractices as deliberate misfiling. He is also affronted by a suggestion made by Vetinari concerning his never having had to buy a paperclip in his whole life. He asks for the record to be made straight, in that he has always bought paperclips for his personal use.

He has a nephew, who collects stamps. His own hobbies are said, by Vetinari, to include collecting stationery and designing newer and more efficient forms of ring-binder.

Prone to losing his pencils in the presence of Moist von Lipwig, despite his best efforts to prevent this.

Drumknott is also seriously inconvenienced in the footwear department in Making Money, when his best pair of boots mysteriously goes missing. This in turn inconveniences Vetinari, who muses that there is a pattern emerging from assorted seemingly random thefts around the city. As Vetinari is good at solving puzzles - one of Drumknott's lesser tasks is to ensure the evening copy of the Times is laid open, just so, at the puzzle page for his master's convenience - it is possible the Patrician has worked it out, and is quietly awaiting, with interest, the outcome of the latest assault on his life and position. However, whilst waiting to see, out of intellectual interest, how the latest attempt to depose him fails, he remarks mildly on the squeaking of Drumknott's new footwear...

Generally, however, Drumknott moves with all the rattle and clanking of a feather falling in a cathedral at midnight. Has proved himself adept at knowing his master's mind, and often hovers with exactly the correct file ready for when Vetinari requests it. Despite having no discernible personality, he is often taken into Vetinari's confidence and asked his opinion on various matters pertaining to all sorts of vexed questions, to which he answers in a measured way. Not as between equals, but in a spirit of being taken seriously. It may well be that of all Vetinari's acquaintances, Drumknott is the most valuable to him.

Despite Drumknott's elevated position in the palace, he is content to take his lunch in the same communal kitchen as all other Palace staff. This may be intentional, a way of monitoring the mood of the below-stairs employees.

Vetinari displays his concern for possibly his most valued employee in Unseen Academicals, where he remarks to Lady Margolotta that "he might change his life for the better should he meet a young woman who is willing to dress up as a manila envelope". Not very long after this, he meets Miss Healstether. Lady Margolotta's personal librarian, who readily consents to viewing his new designs for ringbinders....


Annotations

Name Origin

Rufus is an ancient Latatian name meaning "red-haired". Even though there has never been any mention of the colour of Mr. Drumknott's name anywhere, it is highly unlikely that he is a natural redhead as this would interfere with the discharge of his duties as Lord Vetinari's manservant, wherein rapid and quiet service is demanded of butlers everywhere (to take a random example, Mr. Tibbs in Roald Dahl's "The BFG").

The Drum Knot, or "taiko musubi", is the neatest and simplest way to tie an obi or the sash to a kimono. This knot is simple, efficient, and unobtrusive. It is most frequently used by housewives and female servants who need a simple way to keep their kimonos neatly tied up so they can do their jobs with a minimum of fuss.

British Prime Minister Robert Peel had a secretary named Drummond. Drummond was assassinated in 1843 by Daniel M'Naghten.

Or perhaps it's just a way of tightening the installation of a drum's skin across a drum using red rope.

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