Salient. Victoria University of Wellington Students' Newspaper. Volume 31, No. 24. October 1, 1968
The Return of The Triboldies — Part 24
The Return of The Triboldies
A few more among us have added their names. Geranium, Antihexagram, Haranguertang, Parabellum, Onomatopeia (Nostaradamus will not be pleased!). Panjandrum, Edialeda, and Chattanooga. Yesterday, with Hotchkiss and Catalectric, he strolled out of the tunnel in which they, with ten others, have been lost for some years. They were surprised at the surprise with which they were greeted on their emergence; they had lost their time while they were in the tunnels. The thirteen who ventured together into the tunnels divided themselves into two groups at the first branching of tunnels, and the seven who went towards the left split again at the second branching, into three and four. After a few more branchings, Chattanooga, travelling alone, he came to yet another branching, where Hotchkiss and Cataleclric stood arguing over whether they should continue together or alone. All three went together along the branch that none of them had yet explored; that tunnel emerged in our Peninsula, near the spot where lifeless Ocarina was found.
For a long time no further people have added their names to the pole of departure, which stands neglected by Ocarina's Folly. Only twenty names are carved on the pole. I am disgusted—I expected twice as many names, or even more. Why, I asked Ottoman, will you not come with us? He answered that he was tired of travelling, and that it was not necessary for hundreds of us to go. As he spoke he moved away from me, towards his cabbage patch.
Rigmarole has promised that a monument will be built, so that we may remember ourselves. He suggested that the shape of one of the better known of Pandemonium's Meditations might be suitable: four pillars are surmounted by four beams arranged in the shape of a lozenge; in the centre of each of the horizontal beams comprising the facets of the lozenge there will be four more vertical pillars, surmounted by four more beams arranged in the shape of a lozenge; in the centre of each of the horizontal beams comprising the facets of the upper lozenge there will be four more vertical pillars, surmounted by the same again and again and again, repeated till those who are staying behind us run out of inclination—which they are sure to do before they run out of materials. An excellent suggestion! The whole structure should be coloured Narani, and will serve to remind the somnoolent that their territory is not yet fully populated. I suspect that unless we who are about to depart build this monument, it will remain latent. So, with the help of Cagliostro, I have tinctured Narani the ridiculous pole that protrudes from the ground, bearing on it the spot which is the metacentre of Netragrednik. Also I have tinctured the pillar of purloin (except for the carved giraffic Gnisu man). This pillar and this pole will be vertical embodiments of our departure, which, since it is sure to pass unnoticed, will occur in the middle of tomorrow night.
Without telling anybody, we have left: twenty-five of us, in four wagons: Sparadrap (...)'s, Cagliostro's, and Ocarina's, as well as my own. After only two days we are already among the hills that lie high on the man's stomach; the same hills that I have thought about almost all the time that we have been in Netragrednik. They are less interesting in proximity than at a distance, but what we see below us is very interesting. A wide river flows on the far side of Gnisu, and Gnisu is far smaller than we had thought: it is only a little larger than Netragrednik. And Ocarina's interpretations of the chronicles of Hcxatriximenia and of Quinquagesima have been upset, since there is no peninsula where Netragrednik lies. But why should the man have a peninsula at his navel? Have I a peninsula on my own navel? No. Nor his Mazinta. Nor has Nenuphar. Paraphernalia's navel has been lost; Phenobarbara regards hers as a private part; and Chrononhotonthologos is sleep on his stomach. Our predecessors, through neglect of the study of geographical anatomy, seem to have been deluded. This is important enough to write immediately That Either We Are Not Men or Netragrednik Is Not Our Home. But obviously we are men. I shall compare my thoughts with Cagliostro's.
The general opinion is that if Netragrednik is our home, then we were wrong in assuming it was the man's navel. If it is not at the navel then it must be somewhere in the sexual parts (for where else would a peninsula be found?). All is now clear. The great river beyond us is a River of Sweat; we need only continue in our present direction (away from the sun) and after some time has passed we shall arrive at the sexual parts, probably to find there our lost 880, revelling in a less lethargic climate than that of Netragrednik. These hills are the rolls of fat which ahound on the man's stomach, and between the hills run more and more Rivers of Sweat. Later we shall pass into a smoother, flatter zone, and later still into a dark, tangled forest, in the centre of which here will be a large open space, in which we shall find our homeland.
We continue with renewed hope. Our passage should be straightforward and quick; the hills aheads of us are smaller than we expected. Than I expected. Saved just in time from one of Ocarina's inaccuracies. What an evil man he was; we are lucky to be rid of him. If he had lived we should all be ploughing cabbages in Netragrednik, no doubt. Most of the twenty-five of us arc agreed that we should not turn hack now, even though we have new revelations. It would be impossible to prove to the 141 who remain in Netragrednik that they were stagnating in the wrong place. With even the fruits of our true home it may not be possible to move the 141.
This morning Nenuphar showed me an ancient chronicle, roughly written on a large folded cloth. He found this document while he dreamt, but thrusting his hand into a crevice in a nearby wall, and waking with the chronicle in his hand. I recognize that spidery script. Sparadrap ()'s journal has been found. Occasionally it was said (though never by Ocarina) that Sparadrap () kept a private record of his thoughts, which he would make public on our arrival at the homeland. Since his unfortunate engulfing. I have spread it open on the roof of this wagon (which, curiously enough, is Sparadrap ()'s former wagon, it having been confused with my own former wagon during the hurried preparations for our departure. The other three wagons here are Narani only outside, but every part of this one bears that tincture); nine people are reading at once.
We are travelling sideways down a hill, into a third valley. Where are the rivers? Perhaps it is not a hot day today, and the man is not sweating much. Behind the next line of hills I have seen at least five more lines of hills. The man must be very old, for his belly to be so worn. Perhaps, within a few of his years, he will die. But now his flesh is firm; there has been no earthquake, no palsy, since time turned on itself in the upper Shajat valley.
I found, in Sparadrap (