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  Wikipedia: Cigars of the Pharaoh

Wikipedia: Cigars of the Pharaoh
Cigars of the Pharaoh
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Cigars of the Pharaoh (Les Cigares du Pharaon) is a Tintin book by Hergé.

Tintin exposes a ring of opium distributors. Like the other early adventures it is a sequence of short, unconnected skirmishes; but for the first time Hergé introduces a common thread, the mysterious cigars. The book version is considerably shorter than the version that was published serially. This original version is now also available in book form.


Tintin is on a ship with Dr Sarcophagus, an Egyptologist, who tries unsuccessfully to keep a paper from going overboard. Sarcophagus then realizes that the paper is not the Kih-Oskh papyrus he thought it was but a travel agency prospectus. Tintin then bumps into Roberto Rastapopoulos, also a passenger on the ship, and apologizes.

This is also where Tintin first meets the Thompson twins, who have found heroin in Tintin's compartment that had been planted there. They are chasing Tintin throughout the book, with often comic results.

Sarcophagus is on a trip to Egypt to explore Kih-Oskh's tomb, and Tintin decides to come along, craftily escaping his imprisonment by the Thompsons.

In the tomb, Tintin and Sarcophagus are startled several times by doors closing behind them. They come to a room where rows of Egyptologists are entombed. At the end of the row are three empty sarcophagi, one for each of Tintin, Snowy, and Sarcophagus. A drugged vapor fills the room, and they fall asleep.

Next thing they know, they are in the sarcophagi, which are thrown overboard and float in the sea. Tintin and Snowy tie their coffins together, but Sarcophagus's drifts away.

They are rescued from a gigantic wave by a small boat, who take care of him until they get to shore. On it they meet one Senhor Oliveira da Figuera, a Portuguese salesman, who runs a shop in the middle of the desert. He somehow manages to persuade Tintin to buy all manner of utterly useless items. Tintin walks away overloaded with stuff, including a top hat, ski poles, a doghouse on wheels, and a lead for Snowy, accompanied by the thought "Just as well I didn't fall for his patter; you can end up with all sorts of useless stuff if you're not careful"

Tintin hears a woman screaming and rushes to her aid. The woman turns out to be an actor in a movie that Rastapopoulos is making; he rushes up angry. After Tintin apologizes profusely, they talk for a while, and Rastapopoulos confesses that he has been following Tintin's adventures for some time.

When Tintin returns to the boat, he discovers, much to his surprise, that it has been smuggling guns. There is a lengthy comic sequence involving the Thompson twins.

Tintin then sets out across the desert, and accidently runs into Sheik Patrash Pasha, whose anger immediately turns to happy surprise when he learns that his captive is Tintin, whose exploits he has read of for years. He is the only character to have read a Tintin book in the series. He also shows Tintin one of the books he has read: in the first B/W version, Tintin in the Congo, in the second, Tintin in America, but oddly in the third, Destination Moon, an adventure that for Tintin wouldn't happen for many years.

In Arabia, Thomson & Thompson are fighting someone and hit a local Arab on the head, mistaking him for someone else. Shortly afterward, Tintin arrives and finds a procession of armed Arabs. "One of our sheiks was bashed on the head by two men from the Djelababi tribe," explains one of them. "And that means war!" Tintin is enlisted in their army under the name Ali-Bhai.

While cleaning the colonel's office, he finds a cigar label with Kih-Oskh's sign - a circle with a wavy line through it and two dots on it, rather like a yin-yang symbol. He is charged with spying and executed by firing squad. Fortunately, he does not actually die, and is dug up later alive. From there he flees in a military airoplane pursued by others. To save himself Tintin takes a dive and lands in India.

In India, he meets a large group of people, taken to them by elephants. Later, he talks with one of them, Zloty the poet, who is explaining the opium trade and oppression of farmers when the fakir, outside on his rope, blows a dart at him. He explains that it is poisoned with Rajaijah juice, which drives one mad.

Tintin finds the hideout of a secret society including the fakir, the colonel, and several others. He also finds Sarcophagus, who is mad and thinks he is Ramses II. He takes Sarcophagus and Zloty to the asylum with a letter from the doctor, but someone in the secret society has substituted the letter and Tintin ends up imprisoned. He escapes by jumping on an inmate and over the wall. Later Snowy survives angry Indians chasing him for frightening the holy cow by acting as the Nataraja.

Tintin suspects that The Maharaja of Gaipajama is next, whom he had met in the jungle, so he puts a dummy in his bedroom and sleeps somewhere else. Indeed the dummy was hit by a dart.

He finds the hideout in a tree. The people within look rather like the K.K.K., as Tintin comments.

Chasing the chief of the secret society, he recovers the Maharaja's son (Kidnapped by the chief), but the chief falls off a cliff and (presumably) dies, his identity still unknown (revealed in The Blue Lotus as Rastapopoulos). The cigars turn out to be tobacco wrapped around opium.

The followup to Cigars of the Pharaoh was The Blue Lotus in 1936.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 
Modified by Geona