Salient. Victoria University of Wellington Students' Newspaper. Volume 31, Number 17. July 23, 1968
The Return Of The Triboldies — Part 17
The Return Of The Triboldies
Here we sit on a shellfish-shelf, side by side, myself. Mazinta, imacassar, Andromeda, Gastrophonic, Ruwenzori, and
on devices similar to those known in Aggabug as "chair".
X is where our wagon sank, taking with it all our possessions. It is possible that the level of water will drop further; if so, we shall be able to rescue it. This loss is my fault: I should have quickly shut one of the doors as soon as we fell from the top of the shellfish But instead I rushed to sec that none of my inventions had been damaged. The water-powdering apparatus was intact, but the eye-opener seemed to have been partly broken in that fall. Now they may be further damaged by water.
O is a pillar protruding from the water. Perhaps it is a tree surmounted by a carved two-legged giralTe. It is becoming very uncomfortable on the shellfish. We are afraid to move for tear that it will feel us, reach for us. then devour us It is also very damp and cold and we can no longer see our fellows. All we have saved from the wagon is this green book, an armful of food, some beads (in case we find it neccssary to trade with the natives), a few rugs which we have wrapped around ourselves, a tiny wheel which turns when the sun shines on it, a handful of pebbles, a green glass ball, and a set of cards So we are to sit here, amuse Ourselves with these baubles and speculative chatter, and finally die from dampness.
We are rescued! Ottoman's wagon sailed through the gap at the distant left, we attracted the attention of Partenopeus as he tried to dislodge the 2-legged green giraffe from its pillar, and we were rescued by a rope The next message is from Ottoman.
"It was some time before we discovered that one wagon was missing, Ocarina sent a message to all the wagons, asking who was missing. Nobody would admit that they were missing, but after clever reasoning he deduced that it was yourselves He was relieved to find it was you. since you would be sure to take care of you and not he forever lost. We drifted for a few days, till we reached this city and the water began to drop."
A City! Of course! I see now that it is very similar to Aggabug. We are surrounded not by shellfish but by tops of buildings! Truly there is perspicacity in numbers. Ottoman continued
"As we floated between the tops of buildings we saw treetops, so we made towards them. We anchored ourselves to treetops, and the following morning the water had receded. We found we were in a pleasant grove. interspersed with large stones. We then set out to explore our surroundings, which is what we were doing when we found you."
We are waiting anxiously for the water to go down. Ottoman told me. Do sou remember what caused us to leave Coldplace? he asked. Nenuphar found a large white stone, growing Straight out from the earth in our newly-found grove; on it were carved the words
The Rest In Pieces
Ocarina dreamed of a grey stone with the words "Rest in peace" addressed to ourselves by our ancestors In short. they think that we have reached our ancestral land. I can see the truth in what Ottoman told me; it seems very likely that we have attained our homeland. But 1 am very disappointed. Even if—as Otto assures me—the spot itself is congenial—the surroundings are dismal, and not interesting. now that I can see we are in a city. These are the points of similarity of this place with our homeland
|ii.||within a cily|
|iii.||surrounded by stone walls (so Ottoman has told me)|
|iv.||is it a peninsula? This is the last question I can ask, since this is all that I can remember of the ancients' description of our homeland. There could well be further hints scattered through the journals of Hexatriximenia and Quinquagesima. and even in the Meditations of Pandemonium.|
Ocarina has been studying the chronicles and decided the coincidence is great enough to be true: we have therefore arrived; our journey is at an end.
It is a very pleasant place, full of trees, mainly cedar, with a few large clearings, in one of which the main camp has been made, The walls are about half a day's walk around —less than I expected—with three gates, towards the north. towards the southeast, and towards the southwest. A curious thing is that the ground, which is mostly grass, is sprinkled with heavy, pale, square stones with some sort of inscriptions on them. These were obviously not left by our forebears, since they are nol inscribed in our script. Also, the ancients (as is well known) had a pathological horror of square stones.
Ocarina thinks that we are in the presence of truly ancient works, left by the ancients that our own ancient Hexatriximenia refers to. Ocarina is thinking of knocking off the corners of these stones, and making a while memorial building to us all. A splendid idea! Work has already begun on this. in the central clearing.
Haranguertang and Anaxagoras have taken their wagons to look in the deserted city for objects that may be useful to us. Cagliostro and Geranium have returned from a similar journey, their wagon loaded with oddities and enditics but not much that could be of use. Soon we are to leave with Ottoman. to see if the water has yet dropped far enough for us to recover our wagon, and to see where the animals are, (Geranium has found a few elephant-giraffes wandering in The streets.)
I am sitting now in the highest clearing in our homeland, which I see to be on a hilltop, (See the map.)
The Homeland Of The Triboldies
The Key To The Map Of The Homeland Of The Triboldies
|1||top clearing, where Whirligig proposes to settle|
|4||sight of hills|
|5||wall of stone|
|7||Ocarina's new building|
|12||around here Whirligig's wagon is lost|
A promising territory, except that there is a ridiculous pole projecting from the ground, thus
—Obviously a sign that some form of totem worship has been taking place here. Not by my ancestors! Some intruders must have been while we were away, and indulged in their disgusting riles at this very spot. But we shall soon pull down this pole. I thing I shall settle here, if others agree. I shall build a dwelling in a treetop. Or underground might be better, if the ground is solid and dry. Or both. with an ingenious interconnecting device; I can live in the treetop, and work underground on my inventions.
I went with Ottoman to rescue our wagon. We reached our northern gales (which Noilly Prat was polishing), and saw Haranguertang and Anaxagoras arguing with a group of strange people dressed mostly in grey and black, very large and clumsy looking people with loud voices. I saw immediately that the argument was being carried on in two languages, our own (by Haranguertang and Anaxagoras). and a barbarian tongue (by the others) Even in our own language, the argument was totally unintelligible, but it seemed that these strangers were claiming the objects that Harangue rang and Anaxagoras had brought back with them. I saw that there were many hundreds of strangers, in dozens of flimsy wagons drawn by those archaic creatures, horses, and immediately guessed that these people were coming to occupy the deserted city, which we have more right to than they, since we were here earlier. But if we are to share the spoils equally with them, we should lake the useful objects, and they the town. since we have no use for it. We certainly do not care for the buildings. When Ocarina's building is made, the rest of us shall probably dig large caverns under this homeland, and live in there. While the gates were opened after our exit. Harang and Anax rushed in, leaving the grey people watching. The grey ones made no attempt to chase them, but began to travel along the street which We were about to. So we waited for the grey people lo pass. They were contained in several hundreds of wagons that I counted before I reached a higher number than I knew. There are obviously many more of them than there are of us. We shall have to be careful when dealing with them. Some looked at us curiously—perhaps at our wornlooking wagon as much as at ourselves—and others shouted something that was unintelligible but seemed hostile. We ignored them, and after several hours of wailing for them to stop passing, we spat publicly on the roadway, and went to tell Ocarina what we have seen.