Oliver B. Bomble, a gentleman of independent wealth, and his good friend Ocelot delve into the mystery of a mighty giant on a mission to set things straight in the world. The story is published in daily installments and will run until Election Day. All previous installments can be found below the current episode.
On orders of the chief of police, the illegal broadcaster was shut down at a leisurely pace, giving Squire Bomble and his protégé Barribal ample time to clear out. Professor Zicboq followed their movements with scientific detachment as he worked on a particularly incisive passage in his manuscript, and so they left the building without further complications.
“This business has ended quite well, I must say,” said Squire Ollie after rejoining Ocelot outside the town. “And most enlightening as to the thinking of several amongst us. I think I’ll put my business with Grandgrub on hold for a while, and at my club, too, we’ll need to sort a few things out. Expecting a gentleman to fit his rich inner life into the narrow mindset of a faux-giant is just plain wrong. How about you, young friend?”
“Wait a minute!” the not-so-mighty Barribal squeaked. “I may not be a giant in size, but my thinking is still gargantuan. Please don’t underestimate me, Mister Bomble!”
The gentleman pondered this thought for a moment, but then Bomble Manor came into view, and he dropped the subject. A dark figure was waiting for them at one of the towers.
“And there’s Jobes, too!” exclaimed Squire Ollie, with feeling. “So this shows how very instructive that broadcast was to one and all!”
“Very instructive, indeed, Squire Olivier,” the servant agreed, hat in hand. “I would like to give it another try, if I may be so bold. For someone of my position, there are no giants other than true gentlemen, by your leave.”
Squire Bomble entered the ancient manor accompanied by Ocelot and Barribal, as a reenergized Jobes turned to the preparation of a simple but hearty meal. By all appearances, then, things were back to normal, but there was still some tension in the air, which Squire Ollie failed to notice at first.
“I do hope that you’re taking this lesson to heart, Mr. Dwarf,” he said suavely. “Things have turned out well because of the clever plan thought up by Ocelot and me, but they might easily have gone the other way. Just imagine a world filled with those little ideals of yours...”
“Then the world would be a better place!” the dwarf rebutted. “Laws would be more just. Punishments more fitting of the crime. Simple, robust words and none of that woolly language. And no more libertine thinking to mess things up! But I am only small; I realize that now. I know my place.”
“Then stop interrupting a bigger and wiser person,” Squire Bomble replied sternly. “Don’t try to know everything better than others and listen to...”
“But I also know my strengths,” Barribal interrupted anyway. “And they are not here but in the mountains, in my cave. That’s where I was truly the mighty Barribal. I have to go now. Farewell.”
With these words he got up, and with tripping steps, left the manor. But once outside, he held back with a strangulated cry. And no wonder: the trail of monster footsteps revealed by the light of the silver moon was like nothing he had seen before.
“A giant passed by here...” the fellow muttered excitedly. “And a real one, too! So maybe, if we joined hands... Oh, what a beautiful dream!”
Translation Copyright © 2014 by Adrian Meerman © Text and Images Toonder Company, Netherlands
‘Tales from the life of Olivier B. Bomble, gentleman,’ was serialized in Dutch newspapers for many years, and Squire Bomble, his good friend Ocelot and many others have become household names in the Netherlands. This is their first appearance in the US after the successful translation into English by Adrian Meerman, a Sparta resident.
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