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The Calculus Affair: The red dress woman & the glasses and moustache man

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Balthazar
Moderator
#11 · Posted: 16 Dec 2011 17:07
jcjlf:
This woman was already there in the Cigars of the Pharaoh! Probably she was then married to another man, much smaller and stouter as you can see on p.38.
I don't know the name of the couple in the English translation, but it could be Snowball, as in the Dutch version.

Yes, the name's Snowball in the English translation too.

I like your theory, jcjlf! She does look quite similar (even if, as mct says, Hergé may not have been intended her to be the same person).

jcjlf:
I suppose that after a conviction and doing time in India, she divorced and remarried a much more law-abiding and more conventional husband.

Given her mysterious trip to Borduria though, and the fact that she seems to be stalking Tintin generally, I don't think she's necessarily settled into a law-abiding life since The Cigars of the Pharaoh. I agree with mct that maybe she's become spy. Or Is her new husband another criminal, with whom she bumped off Mr Snowball? Maybe her new husband/lover is actually the Fakir (who, as someone pointed out recently in another thread escapes at the start of The Blue Lotus and is never reported as being recaptured) who's undergone drastic cosmetic surgery.

mct16:
the man addresses the woman with the formal "vous", which is the way you would normally address a stranger rather than someone to whom you are married.

To make that interesting observation fit my bonkers theory, I'd suggest that the disguised Fakir is controlling her, and insists on her addressing him with vous.

To get back to what Hergé probably intended, though, maybe this use of vous was a deliberate satirical jibe at the cold, respectable formality of the bourgeois married couple he was portraying. Maybe they represented his fear of what he and his first wife, Germaine, were becoming!

mct16:
Tintin and Haddock do address each other as "vous" all the time

That's very interesting. Possibly worth its own separate thread if we're going to unravel possible reasons for that.

Anyway, if Mrs Snowball is the red dress woman, she must age even better than Tintin does, as I think she actually looks younger in 1950s Europe than she does in 1930s India. Maybe she takes the same reverse-ageing pills as General Alcazar seems to take between his appearances in the books!

(Though of course the chronology of Cigars of the Pharaoh is quite odd anyway, what with Explorers on the Moon appearing in the sheikh's tent.)
mct16
Member
#12 · Posted: 16 Dec 2011 19:40
Balthazar:
Maybe her new husband/lover is actually the Fakir... who's undergone drastic cosmetic surgery.

Tintin's enemies have a habit of changing their names: Boris becomes Jorgen, Muller becomes Smith, Rastapopoulos becomes di Gorgonzola. Now you're suggesting the Fakir changed his nose, height and race!

I'd have hated being the surgeon who would had to have performed such an operation.
jcjlf
Member
#13 · Posted: 18 Dec 2011 19:15
Of course there are more theories on this site than intentions from the artists in Tintin. Maybe they were a little lazy, maybe just giving a wink-of-the-eye to true followers. But let's go on:

1) The fakir never showed up again. Hergé could not use him anywhere, so he was transformed into a similar villain who lived in the Naja Valley.

2) Jock123 almost convinced me about the spying couple, saying:
"I think the husband of your couple may also be looking warily over Haddock’s shoulder in frame 3 on the same page." Indeed it look if he is eavesdropping.
But why, after failing in Borduria, they just spend their evenings in B-Western movies (Red Sea Sharks, p.1)? No more duties? Not interested anymore in Tintin and Haddock? Not willing to work for Rastapopoulos?
Balthazar
Moderator
#14 · Posted: 18 Dec 2011 22:57
jcjlf:
But why, after failing in Borduria, they just spend their evenings in B-Western movies (Red Sea Sharks, p.1)?

Ah, but are they simply spending an innocent evening at the cinema? Perhaps they shadowed Tintin and Haddock to the cinema, as part of their general duties of keeping them under surveillance. Or maybe they were lurking in the cinema ready to in intercept and follow General Alcazar.
rodney
Member
#15 · Posted: 18 Sep 2013 12:22
From this thread:

John Sewell:
similar to that little chap who turns up at both beginning and end of The Seven Crystal Balls as Tintin makes his way to Marlinspike...

apologies to bump up a very old thread quote but this comment just got me thinking!
Who are you referring to here as the person who pops up twice in the adventure?
Are you referring the the man at the start who warns Tintin 'it'll lead to trouble'?
He does look a bit like the man who appears at the end of the story at the harbour masters office but i'm sure it's not him..

Can someone clear this up for me :)

Moderator Note: It should be said that this post is very off-topic for the thread it was in; while topics can stand a little tangential input, rather than derail a discussion whole-sale with a completely different subject, you can always look for an old thread on the subject (the first port of call), or failing that, start a new thread with a reference back to the point of departure ("As x was saying in the "Unknown Discussion" thread..."
The gent in question has been discussed before, so your post is moved here.

The Tidy Tintinologist Team
robbo
Member
#16 · Posted: 18 Sep 2013 13:55 · Edited by: robbo
rodney:
Can someone clear this up for me :)

I don't think it's the same person, the hairline is not the same; in the first case it extends higher underneath the hat, and also the glasses are smaller in the former case.
The two characters are also quite unconnected in their roles. We know the time is 8 o'clock and I would say it's morning not evening as Tintin twice greets with bonjour not bonsoir and they go to the theatre later that evening which if 8pm already would be too late to go. In which case the man with glasses would be travelling the wrong way to be going to work as Tintin was heading south to Moulinsart from Brussels.

Whereas, in relation to minor characters popping up again, there is a stronger case for the character Walter who is connected with Rastapopoulos and appears in 2 Tintin albums; as asserted in my copy of Les Archives de Tintin Vol 714.

mat
mct16
Member
#17 · Posted: 18 Sep 2013 17:59
robbo:
in relation to minor characters popping up again, there is a stronger case for the character Walter who is connected with Rastapopoulos and appears in 2 Tintin albums; as asserted in my copy of Les Archives de Tintin Vol 714.

I've often wondered how the guy with the binoculars in "Flight 714" identified Tintin just by looking at him. In which other album does she appear in?
robbo
Member
#18 · Posted: 18 Sep 2013 18:24
mct16:
I've often wondered how the guy with the binoculars in "Flight 714" identified Tintin just by looking at him. In which other album does she appear in?

It was in Red Sea Sharks pages 15 - 16, although unnamed in this instance. This was actually discussed in a previous thread.

mat
Mikael Uhlin
Member
#19 · Posted: 18 Sep 2013 22:39
robbo:
mct16:
I've often wondered how the guy with the binoculars in "Flight 714" identified Tintin just by looking at him. In which other album does she appear in?

It was in Red Sea Sharks pages 15 - 16, although unnamed in this instance. This was actually discussed in a previous thread.

Hasn't it been suggested that he's also the guy in Blue Lotus who helps Mitsuhirato to sabotage the railroad (pages 20-23), working for Rastapopoulos and/or his allies in all three cases.
mct16
Member
#20 · Posted: 18 Sep 2013 23:25
The sabotage of the railroad was for the benefit of the Japanese government and military, not the drug smugglers, though Mitsuhirato had interests in both parties.

They do not strike me as the same man: the one in "Blue Lotus" looks rather thin and has round glasses, while the one in "Red Sea Sharks" looks more heavily built and has oval glasses.

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