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The Broken Ear begins with a bizarre robbery. A fetish created by the South American Arumbaya tribe is stolen from the Museum of Ethnography, only to be returned the following day - apparently stolen only as a prank. Tintin realises the 'returned' fetish is a fake and quickly discovers that a local sculptor who specialised in making primitive art has died under odd circumstances. Rightly believing the theft and the sculptor's death to be linked Tintin begins his investigation.

Having had a run in with the crooks Ramon and Alonso (also on the elusive trail of the real fetish) Tintin takes ship for the troubled South American republic of San Theodoros where he ends up caught up in a revolution and the intriuges that follow before he finally manages to track down the Arumbayas. Unfortunately Ramon and Alonso are still after the fetish and are fully willing to kill to lay their hands on it.

The Broken Ear introduced General Alcazar, later an important reccurring character and ally of Tintin. With San Theodoros (and it's neighbour Nuevo-Rico) Hergé also created the first of his fictional countries and languages - in the original French edition the Arumbayas speak a language based on Marollien (a Flemish dialect) and in the English translation they are speaking phonetic Cockney English!


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