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.
After squeezing himself into the room, Squire Bomble turned toward the camera to address the audience directly. From time to time there were glimpses of the mighty Barribal himself, but these served only as reminders of the new speaker’s overwhelming presence on the broadcasting stage.
“This is all part of a plan,” he began. “I might have thought of it myself if only I hadn’t been waylaid by a disturbance in the street, which helped cure my plaster leg, if you get my drift. It’s a terrible thing when a dwarf is seen as a giant! It defies logic, and the result is that persons of quality are being trampled by jeering crowds. A gentleman’s lot in life is very hard indeed when he...”
Jobes turned off the set with a troubled sigh, and the cheerless room turned dark and quiet.
“I should have known, if I may be so bold,” he muttered sadly as he gathered up his belongings.
“Fascinating,” Professor Zicboq mused, not far from there. “Such a hopeless rube, and yet capable of cutting a media giant completely down to size. Brain volume never entered the equation, of course, so that helped. But we’ll have to see how the masses react before putting it all together in my final chapter, ‘The Message, the Messenger and the Manipulated Mind.’”
Squire Bomble was just a few lines into his address when the mayor picked up the telephone.
“What’s going on, Bulles?” he bellowed. “There’s an illegal broadcast on the air right now, haven’t you noticed? It features Bomble talking out of his head. As it turns out, that giant, that Barribal, that so-called mighty leader, is a dwarf for crying out loud! Why didn’t you know that? What do we have police for?”
There was a slight attempt at rebuttal from the other end, but not enough to put the city’s chief executive off his very irate stroke.
“All this time I’ve been listening to that Barribal!” he continued, “and not just me, either. We all thought we were dealing with giant ideas. And now it turns out to be nothing but the rant of some puny half-wit. And on top of it, I now have to put up with Bomble’s lecturing everybody on squirific ideals! Don’t you know your job, Bulles? Take that broadcaster off the air! Immediately! Throw the book at him, understand?”
The police captain put the receiver back in its cradle and turned to inspector Sherson, who had been looking on smugly from across the room.
“Mayor’s orders,” he said with a satisfied smile. “Barribal turns out to be a half-wit and so his clandestine operation needs to be mopped up. Apparently, he causes small-minded thinking amongst his admirers. But if you need time to digest this, Sherson, I’ll understand. No rush...”
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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