Cigars of the Pharaoh

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Cigars of the Pharaoh (French: Les Cigares du pharaon) is one of The Adventures of Tintin, a series of classic comic-strip albums, written and illustrated by Hergé, featuring young reporter Tintin as a hero. This was his fourth published adventure and is notable for the introduction of Rastapopoulos and Thomson and Thompson.



Tintin and his dog Snowy are on a cruise ship in the Mediterranean Sea when they meet Dr Sarcophagus, an Egyptologist who owns a papyrus that he believes will lead him to the undiscovered tomb of the Pharaoh Kih-Oskh (a pun on kiosk, a stand for the sale of petty merchandises such as newspapers, magazines, cigarettes, beverages and/or street foods). He invites Tintin to accompany him. Tintin also has an unpleasant encounter with Roberto Rastapopoulos, a wealthy businessman.

Later on the cruise, Tintin first meets Thomson and Thompson, who accuse him of smuggling opium and cocaine they have found in his cabin. Locked in the hold of the ship, Tintin craftily escapes and meets Sarcophagus in Port Said, Egypt.

Tintin and Sarcophagus set off and discover the tomb of Kih-Oskh. On a nearby sand dune, Tintin finds a cigar bearing the symbol of Kih-Oskh: a circle with a wavy line through it and two dots on it, rather like a yin-yang symbol. But when he returns to the tomb, Sarcophagus has disappeared.

Entering the tomb, Tintin and Snowy are startled several times by doors closing behind them. They come to a room where rows of Egyptologists are mummified. At the end of the row are empty sarcophagi with notices to indicate that they are intended for Tintin, Snowy (and Sarcophagus too in the later edition). Following items of Sarcophagus' clothing which have been left lying about, Tintin enters another room where opium vapor puts him to sleep.

That night drug smugglers embark some sarcophagi aboard a ship but they are later cast overboard. The sarcophagi contain Tintin and Snowy who therefore escape mummification. They are rescued from a gigantic wave by the crew of a sailing ship. On it they meet Senhor Oliviera de Figueira, a Portuguese salesman who travels the Middle East selling to local Arabs. He persuades Tintin to buy a top hat, ski equipment, a bow tie, an alarm clock, suspenders, a parrot, a water tin, a wooden golf club, a doghouse on wheels, and a lead for Snowy, and the overloaded Tintin walks away saying "Just as well I didn't fall for his patter; you can end up with all sorts of useless stuff if you're not careful".

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