Salient: Victoria University of Wellington Students' Newspaper. Volume 31 Number 19 August 6, 1968
The Return Of The Triboldies — Part 19
The Return Of The Triboldies
My wagon is rescued! and with it my devices. In the middle of last night Haranguertang felt lively and went for a ride in the nearby town, which he calls Gnisu. While he gallivanted round a pillar (trying to overturn it with a chain) he struck my wagon with a great force and fell off his perch. As he lay meditating on the cobblestones, he noticed Antimacassar's sign, and Andromeda's, and Ruwenzori's. and Gastrophonic's, and Shitarangski's.* and Loewenguthtavuth's, and Caractacus's, and mine, and Mazinta's. As soon as he fell so inclined he tied my wagon behind his own with part of the chain (using the rest of the chain to pull the dislodged pillar)—and returned it to me. Morning came before Harang returned (the Gnisu people live behind the sun), and he saw some of our lost animals frolicking in the streets, kicking holes in the hard road, grunting loudly in unison, hoicking at length, and seeming to anger some early Gnisu people who carelessly bombarded our animals with small pieces of metal. Some of these people approached Uertang. He made off, Tearing that they would claim the pillar. We have planted it in the main clearing; it accompanies the pole of which I have already spoken. I have seen this pillar before. It resembles a tree surmounted by a carved two-legged giraffe (which I see now to be a deformed Gnisu man). Harang brought a number of objects back with him. His wagon was loaded with booty— in the new colour. Narani. I am disappointed how can it he that these barbarians over the wall have discovered this beautiful colour before we did? There can be only one explanation. Someone has been intruding into our territory, and has taken a nut Narani. (Another part of this explanation is that a nut was carried away in the recent flood But U is not a nut! This part of the explanation must be wrong; do not read it.) U is suspended from the pole, when all may delight in it.
I have been looking through my wagon, to make sure than nothing has been damaged by the water or by the wicked people of Gnisu. I found that one wall was partly crushed The wood was broken; a large, thick, pale hand protruded Out of curiosity I enlarged the aperture, so that I could where the hand grew from. It was the man Clodagh's. He whole body was trapped in the wagon's wall and his other hand clutched a paper inscribed in the Shajat language. choped up the body for fuel and took the paper to Ottoman who translated it into—
"To my master Sumynoru
I am doing what you asked me to. I have made friend of these people. They have taken me entirely into theirpage 7 confidence. I know all their plans. What they will do is revealed to me. They are dangerous lunatics and they are fluent liars. We must be very careful when running into them. I have taken a fatal machine. I shall send it wilh this missive. If they discover"
As we read this missive, Ottoman and myself grew very angry. We marched from Ottoman's place in the main clearing to where my wagon lay in the upper clearing. We took the pieces of Clodagh outside the walls of this country and immediately made them into a fire. They burned with a green flame.
This afternoon I went to see Cagliostro at the opposite corner of this clearing. The magicians seem to prefer the pure air and rarefied climate of this hilltop: of the seventeen people who have settled up here, six are magicians. I found Cagliostro, joking and indolent as usual. He was gathered with Quidditas, Geranium, Rubadub, and Asanisimasa, and they quaffed the foul brew begun in the village of Polloma Lu (). Recently Cagliostro has had a custom of not observing the custom that when two magicians meet they press their right feel heavily to the ground, and walk around each other twice. . . .∗
∗ At this point I have omitted a clumsy expression meaning clockwise. This symbol
was not then known. [K.K.]
This afternoon, Quidditas and Asanisimasa (who since they too were being approached should have initiated the greeting) observed Cagliostro's new custom. I asked Cagliostro if it is from logic or from indolence that his new custom has come about. Both, he replied: the old custom was due to a fear of impostors who might discover the secrets of the philosophers. Here, within our own walls and with only a few dozen of our 123 philosophers remaining, we can be safe. So I told Cagliostro that Clodagh had been discovered with an offensive missive. Cagliostro's mouth fell open. Having gained one advantage over him, I told him that I was interested in fast trees, and that I had a strong worm I wanted grown; it could dig tunnels for me. He could not help, he said: the usual way to hurry trees is to pour goose-juice over them (to make them mirror-like) then to stretch their roots. I told him of our Calcutta cat's sudden enlargement, and he sadly agreed. I know he was telling me truth, for he admitted that if he had discovered a way to grow cats, he would long ago have experimented on Calcutta. I walked with Cagliostro around a large rock, in which he proposes to make an entrance to his cave. An extraordinary rock! It has almost perpendicular sides, almost squares, corners, and an almost flat top. How regular nature is in this pleasant place. Cagliostro seemed very perturbed. I feared he would once more inflict on me his private woes, and complain that Quidditas was again in difficulties with him. I suppose it is Cagliostro's peculiarity that makes him so anguished. I asked him what work was interrupted when NARAN1 was found. Work to do with obtaining water when there is none, he answered suspiciously. I told him of my powdered instant water. He did not seem to listen, but explained that sometimes his method brought too much water, sometimes none. At last he admitted to me what concerned him: at the time of our encounter with the recent flood he had been trying to produce water. Needless lo say I shall tell nobody his secret, which only Quidditas, Asanisimasa, Rubadub, and Geranium know.
I hear that prisoners have been taken near the lower clearing. Glagolitsa, wistfully searching tor more new colours, was exploring in the upper branches of a tree and saw two large strangers below. Uttering a terrifying cry, Glaggo jumped onto the back of one stranger, but was viciously attacked by the other. Chattanooga (who was also searching in the vicinity) heard strange noises, and went to see what caused them. Others came, running, and after a brief struggle the strangers were captured and tied to a tree.
I have been to see the prisoners. Harmony-in-a-treetop directed me to them. In the near dark I could see the gestures of insolence and contempt that they were trying to send to us. I ignored these gestures and made a low whistling noise that might have passed for peacemaking. What can we do with these people? If nobody else claims them, I shall use them to lest my inventions. To keep them more securely I have locked them in the lower compartment of my wagon.