When I first read this installation, I did not know that it is Part 1 of a 2-part story. Imagine my frustration when I got to the end of the book and found out I have to read “The Prisoners of Sun” to see the conclusion!
The story opens with the members of the Sanders-Hardiman Ethnographic expedition came back befall with a strange sickness. An Inca tomb with a mommy believed to be the Inca Rascar Capac was excavated and displayed at the museum.
Tintin accompanies Captain Haddock to a magic variety show and found out General Alcazar (ex-President of the Republic of San Theodoros) had became a performing magician Ramon Zarate in one of the act. Out from General Alcazar’s dressing room, Captain Haddock made a fool of himself storming into the centre stage with a Ox head.
One by one the expedition members fell into a deep sleep. On every crime scene broken crystal ball fragments was found emitting strange gas. While trying to warm Dr. Midge (one of the expedition member) of the impending danger, he received a box a butterfly from a lepidopter. While the Thomsons were distracted with making sure the content of the parcel is safe. Dr. Midge had already being drugged. Tintin run after the suspect into the woods, but lost him. Professor Calculus, Captain Haddock and Tintin visited Professor Tarragon which has the mummy in his possession. A gun shot was heard out of the window and Tintin ran after the suspect again and lost him. While everyone is in the lounge, a ball of inflaming, swirling object flew around the lounge and before they know it the mummy is gone! In the middle of the night, all three (Calculus, haddock and Tintin) had the same nightmare where the mummy came through their doors and broke the crystal ball where they slept. The quickly ran to check on Professor Taragon and believed that he had fall into a deep sleep by the spell. Captain Haddock and Tintin ran into the woods again and lost the perpetrator.
During the day, Professor took a walk at the woods with a metal detector and found the bracelet and wore it in his wrist. While discovering the absence of Prof Calculus, Captain Haddock and Tintin looked out for him and was caught in a gun fight. Professor Calculus was kidnapped and the kidnappers escaped the police’s road blocks and changes into another car in a secluded hideouts. Meanwhile at a specific time of the day, the seven members of the expedition (affected by the spell of the seven crystal balls) go into some kind of a trance and seizure.
Captain Haddock and Tintin drove to Westermouth where the fawn coloured car of the kidnappers were last seen. At the port, Tintin found General Alcazar boarding a cruise ship ready to set sail, Tintin was told the General’s show assistant Chiquito is an Inca, named Rupac Inca Huaco. They found two children playing with Prof Calculus hat, which they found in shed no. 17 and the crates are loaded on a vessel named “Black Cat.” Prof Calculus was confirmed to be onboard the “Pachacamac” for Callao. The book ended with Captain Haddock and Tintin on a plane flying towards Peru.
To be continued in the “Prisoners of the Sun.”