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Cigars of the Pharaoh: Senhor Oliveira a gun-runner?

#1 · Posted: 13 Apr 2012 20:57
In the black-and-white version of Cigars of the Pharaoh, something weird happens when Tintin returns to the dhow. As Tintin finds out that the boat is in arms trading, he says, "who would believe it, with Senhor Oliveira providing the perfect cover?" Does this mean that Oliveira is also involved in gun-running? It happens on page 37.

Also, I think I remember another part of the book where it is also mentioned that Oliveira is involved in gun-running. I seem to not be able to find this part as I read again, so I don't know if I imagined it, or I'm not looking in the right place.
#2 · Posted: 13 Apr 2012 23:14 · Edited by: mct16
Page 107: during the meeting of the hooded leaders of the criminal cartel, one of them announces that he has disposed of "a dhow captain and of his second-in-command, a Portuguese, who were competing against us: they were supplying the desert Arabs with arms and ammunition".

On the other hand, the same member announces that they are also "rid of our enemy, Tintin". Since Tintin is at the meeting in disguise it could be that he was wrong on both counts.

It may not necessarily mean that Da Figuira is involved in the trade: the assumption that he is is based on the suspicions of both Tintin and the hooded member (who may be the Arab colonel). If he was involved then Herge would quite likely have actually have shown him in the scenes in which the police are about to board the dhow on page 38. If he was innocent then that would explain why he and Tintin have a pleasant reunion in "Land of Black Gold".
#3 · Posted: 26 Nov 2018 15:42
I was also struck by this revelation that Senhor Oliveira was a gun-runner when I read the facsimile. However, even if we take that the hooded criminal was providing wrong information, there was no way Tintin could have understood that. Given Tintin's highly suspicious nature, his familiarity to a person who is supposedly a gun-runner is highly contradictory, unless they cleared the matter between themselves.

I think, Hergé originally intended our Senhor Oliveira to be a minor villain. I would like to attract attention to the fact that The Land of Black Gold (the next appearance of Senhor Oliveira) was published in 1950 in album format, while the revised colour edition of Cigars of the Pharaoh was published only in 1955. So it was quite easy for Herge to correct this small mistake in continuity of our favourite salesman.

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