do the fish
About half a mile away he found a dead man hidden by a corner of masonry that stood a little above waist height. Retz knelt down and studied him curiously. He lay as he had fallen while running away from someone, his limbs askew and one arm evidently broken. He was heavily built, dressed in a white shirt and black moleskin trousers tied up below the knees with red string. He had on a fish-head mask with lugubrious popping eyes, worn in such a way that if he had been standing upright the fish would have been staring into the sky. Green ribbons were tied round his upper arms. Beside him where he had dropped it lay a knife from which there rose, as it burned its way into the rubble, a steady stream of poisonous yellow motes. They had taken off his boots. His feet were decorated with veinous looking tattoos. Retz climbed on to the wall and looked thoughtfully both ways along the empty road. Then he jumped down again, to emerge ten minutes later dressed in the dead man’s clothes. The fish head had given him some trouble, but he had tied on the string and ribbons; and he had the knife.
from “Viriconium Knights”, 1977
Absolutely brilliant. Thank you for reminding us that the Viriconium sequence stands the test of time.