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More from the book (Ch. 11):
‘You made me sack a lot of the craftsmen,' said Pony.
‘We didn't sack them. We "let them go",' said Gilt.
‘We... downsized,' said Greenyham.
‘Looks like you succeeded, sir,' said Pony. He took a stub of pencil out of one pocket and a grubby notebook out of the other.
‘D'you want it fast or cheap or good, gentlemen?' he said. ‘The way things have gone, I can only give you one out of three...'
‘Don't patronize me, my lord,' said Gilt. ‘We own the Trunk. It is our property. You understand that? Property is the foundation of freedom. Oh, customers complain about the service and the cost, but customers always complain about such things. We have no shortage of customers at whatever cost. Before the semaphore, news from Genua took months to get here, now it takes less than a day. It is affordable magic. We are answerable to our shareholders, my lord. Not, with respect, to you. It is not your business. It is our business, and we will run it according to the market. I hope there are no tyrannies here. This is, with respect, a free city.'
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