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The Broken Ear: Explanation of plot

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MoonRocket
Member
#11 · Posted: 12 Jan 2005 01:45
Wow. The story has far too many loose ends! I'm so glad that the rest of the Tintin adventures are more tidy than "The Broken Ear".
harishankar
Member
#12 · Posted: 12 Jan 2005 03:29 · Edited by: harishankar
As to how the fetish came to the museum in the first place, it is clear enough.

Walker, having escaped the wrath of the Arumbayas, carried back the fetish with him to Europe without having an idea as to the contents of the fetish. Being a famous traveller, he naturally donates the fetish to the Museum of Ethnography.

Note that Walker has no idea of the diamond stone. It is his interpreter, Lopez who hides it in the fetish. The Arumbayas are raving mad and I don't blame them.

About Tortilla carrying away the fake fetish. I seriously doubt whether he knew about the broken ear on the original. Otherwise, even the fake fetish would have been made with a broken ear in the first place. He would surely not have missed that point had he seen it. But in any case, even if he knew about it, he was too much in a hurry and flustered after murdering Balthazar to really be aware of his mistake at that time.

I think the end of the story is poetic justice. The diamond ends up at the bottom of the sea with none who can claim it as their own any more.
Jyrki21
Member
#13 · Posted: 12 Jan 2005 06:31
I think the end of the story is poetic justice. The diamond ends up at the bottom of the sea with none who can claim it as their own any more.

Well, if all worked out, you'd really want the Arumbayas to get it back... ;)
Harrock n roll
Moderator
#14 · Posted: 12 Jan 2005 06:56 · Edited by: Harrock n roll
harishankar: About Tortilla carrying away the fake fetish. I seriously doubt whether he knew about the broken ear on the original. Otherwise, even the fake fetish would have been made with a broken ear in the first place. He would surely not have missed that point had he seen it.

It clearly says “broken ear” on the note he acquired from Lopez, even if he did later drop it on his way to Europe. Added to that your earlier point; why was it necessary to have a replica made and then have to murder the sculptor to cover his tracks when he could have just pinched it and quietly schlepped off to South America? Did he feel sorry for the museum? My theory; Tortilla was obviously a complete dumbo.
harishankar
Member
#15 · Posted: 12 Jan 2005 07:28 · Edited by: harishankar
Harrock n roll
It clearly says “broken ear” on the note he acquired from Lopez, even if he did later drop it on his way to Europe. Added to that your earlier point; why was it necessary to have a replica made and then have to murder the sculptor to cover his tracks when he could have just pinched it and quietly schlepped off to South America? Did he feel sorry for the museum? My theory; Tortilla was obviously a complete dumbo.

That's a good point. I overlooked it...

And true, you are so right: Tortilla is a big dumbo.

If he were really clever, he would have created a replica first, then pinched the original and replaced it with no one the wiser.

Remember that Walker's book had detailed illustrations of the Fetish and he could have easily had a duplicate made without much trouble.
Jyrki21
Member
#16 · Posted: 14 Jan 2005 22:01
Why was it necessary to have a replica made and then have to murder the sculptor to cover his tracks when he could have just pinched it and quietly schlepped off to South America?

He probably figured the sculptor would hear about the theft on the news, and say, "Hey, I just made a fetish for some guy that look just like-- waitaminute..."

And Balthazar would have likely gone to the police.
Harrock n roll
Moderator
#17 · Posted: 15 Jan 2005 01:13 · Edited by: Harrock n roll
He probably figured the sculptor would hear about the theft on the news, and say, "Hey, I just made a fetish for some guy that look just like-- waitaminute..." And Balthazar would have likely gone to the police.

What I think happened is that Tortilla stole the fetish then got Balthazar to make a copy from the actual original - basically because of the timelag between it being missing then returned plus the fact that the original is later found to be in his Balthazar's trunk (inherited by his brother.) Balthazar might even have even made the second fake to fool Tortilla so he could take back the original or keep it for himself.

Actually, what I originally meant was why did Tortilla go to the trouble of having a replica made at all?

Also, if he knew from the note that there was a diamond inside why didn't he seek to extract it from the fetish as soon as he had his hands on it? Dear me, so many questions!
Mull Pascha
Member
#18 · Posted: 4 Feb 2005 20:47
One thing that still puzzles me are why the colonel who arrests Peréz and Bada says that "They won't keep it for long". Since this colonel is working for Tapioca (Alcazar was yet to seize the power) it must mean that Peréz and Bada are in leauge with the general, right?
Harrock n roll
Moderator
#19 · Posted: 5 Feb 2005 16:37
Since this colonel is working for Tapioca (Alcazar was yet to seize the power) it must mean that Peréz and Bada are in leauge with the general, right?

Good point Mull Pascha. The Colonel Jimenez episode (followed by the suitcase switch at the quayside) means there must be a number of other conspirators in the plot to steal the fetish. However, it wouldn't neccesarily mean that they were under orders from Tapioca. More likely Jiminez was a renegade Colonel or even just posing as one (“Good idea of yours to meet the boat”). One would think that the number of conspirators would have to be fairly limited. After all, between how many people could they split the proceeds from one solitary diamond..?
snafu
Member
#20 · Posted: 28 Feb 2005 03:45
I think the end of the story is poetic justice. The diamond ends up at the bottom of the sea with none who can claim it as their own any more.

Well, if all worked out, you'd really want the Arumbayas to get it back... ;)


Hard to say. The diamond both belongs and doesn't belong to everyone. The Arumbayas made the fetish but it was stolen from them, so they deserve it and the museum doesn't.
Conversely, the museum will stores the fetish and owns it as well as the diamond embedded in it. It was also stolen from them, so they too deserve it.

In a reluctant sense, since everyone had a claim to it, everyone had to lose it so that everyone was at an equal plane (they all had a chance to have it)... : (

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