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Translated by Edward Gauvin

New York & London


You’re thirteen weeks old.
Cold shock, as never wished before:

to die and be buried, close


under the packed earth,

safe for an eternal instant


from my constant, fevered fear that

you’d die. Relief


warming my veins,

and you relieved forever


of my looming, teary watch.

– Deborah Garrison, Not Pleasant But True


Back then...
CHUK
CHUK
CHUK

...Life was simple


and sweet.
Everything was
simple and sweet...
The taste of cherries, the cool shade, the fresh smell of the river...
That was how
we lived, in a vale
among the hills...

...sheltered from
storms...
Ignorant of the world,
as though on an island...

...Peaceful and
untroubled.
And then...

...Then
everything
changed.
M-mm-
crick mommy?
crackle
rt
e Aw
Th Ste
of

What are you Go! Back to bed


Joachim? doing up? with you!

Mommy— I’m scared of


the shadows.
Well.
puff
puff
puff

Theeere now...
Come here,
sweetie!

Let’s get you


to bed.

Obviously Well, he did say


your daddy’s “Mommy” I’m scared
of the shadows!
far too busy
to tuck
you in. Ha H Ha
a

Okay.
Louis! Would you
please come Gladly.
here?

They’re
trees.

...there aren’t
any trees on top
of that hill!
I don’t
think so... And they were just
watching me through
the window…
You must’ve been
having a nightmare. It’s nothing.
Clearly,
they’re...

They—
They’re
...trees. moving!

Okay then! So there are


horsemen on
the hill!

So what??

Daddy... ...I’m scared of


horsemen.
Are you two
finished yet?
it’s rather
strange...

All the Really!!


same...

Some travelers
pass by on …while we’re
the hill… safe and snug I don’t see
at home! what’s so…

“strange”!

Back to
Well. bed, then?
I think your Okay,
You dad’s right. It’s late. Mommy...
know… You need
your sleep!

Alleyoop!
Here we go,
little fella!
Ha Ha To bed!
Ha
Joachim!! Hurry up, your
father’s waiting!

Comiiiing!
woof
woof

CHAAARRGE! WOOF!

ha ha h e e he e
Yeehaa! ha ee clippcety
h

lop

hah Hee hee!


Again!
Whew! No, no…it’s
time to go!
a
Ten-hut!
March!
Here, Mommy made
you a sandwich. Woof
Woof

Thanks!

Crunch…
Woof
Woof

Daddy?
Yes?

Ish iff far? Don’t talk with


ha ha your mouth full.
ha!

No, it’s not


very far—don’t
you remember?

A little under
an hour.
An
hour?! Does that
mean we won’t No, before then.
get there till
after lunch?

You just had


I’m still a sandwich.
hungry…

I think I want
Yeah, some sausage. Tut We’ll stop and eat soon.
but... tut
snap
rustle
snap
snap
Slim pickings! Can I
see?

Hmph.

Can I
Ewww! Is it touch it?
dead??

Here.

WOOFWOOF WOOF
Of course WOOF
you c—
WOOF
WOOF
WOOF WOOF WOOF
WOOF

woof
C’mon! Let’s wowof
see what’s oof
going on!

CAW WOOF CAW


WOOF WOOF
CAW CAW
CAW

CAW

CAW
CAW
CAW
CAW
Grrr CAW
Grrr
Good boy, Let’s take So... What have
Diego! a look! Good we here?
WOOF boy…
WOOF

Oh! Not our What?


lucky day!…

Look...

We caught
a handsome
jackrabbit…
But the crows
got him first!
What? What is
it, boy?
Gr rr rrr

WOOFWOOF
Diego!! F
WOO

WOOF
WOOF
WOOF
WOOF
We’ve gotta
DIIIIEEEEGOOO! Diego... go after
him!

Hm...

The fog’s set Can’t see a


in quickly. thing now.

We’d better
Oh well. head back.
Poor Diego.

What’s gonna
happen to
him?
He knows the Not cold,
Don’t worry. way better
than I do. You are you?
okay?
He’ll get
home on his
own.

Yeah.

A
little…
Chomp
Chomp
Chom
p
Mommy...
Do you think
he’ll find his
way back?

Say,
I’m sure Chomp Bessie...
of it! Chomp
Chomp

Not much
milk today!

Okay!
Done! That’s it
Chomp for today!
Chomp
Chomp

whap
Yes, once, when
I was little.
Have you ever
gotten lost in
the fog?
But—

I didn’t have a nose


like Diego’s!

How big A little Like this.


were you? This big? bigger!

Oh! Well, that’s


a long story.
How did you In fact,
find your I’d—
way home?
SPLASH

kling klang
klang
They gave
me such a
fright!

Brrr... Just thinking I don’t They just sit there,


about them… get it… unmoving…

What is it
they want?

That does it!

I’m settling
this, once and
for all!
Wait,
Louis!
It could be
dangerous! FOR CHRIST’S
SAKE!!

I’M NOT GOING Can I go


TO SIT IN MY HO US E out too?
LIKE A FOOL JUST BECAUSE—

No, you’re
staying here.

It’s too foggy


out there.
WHAM

They’re
gone.
I went I called
toward them... out…
Hmph.

Nothing.

Gone.

The fog’s lifting.


Listen to me.

Can I go
out now?

It’s important...

Joachim…

From now on, I Ever! Understand?


don’t want you
going out alone.

Yes, Father.
Louis...

…We can’t
go on like
this!
Something must
be done...
What would you
have me do??

I don’t know what


they want.

They’re like... ...eels.

—they slip
away!
The minute
you tighten
your grip—
Honestly... …I just don’t
get it!

I was thinking...that
perhaps we might go see...
I was
thinking…

...Mistress
Pike.
THAT OLD PIKE HAG?

We don’t need that crazy old


No way! woman’s help to get rid of…
Ab-so-lute-ly NOT!

Do you
hear?
…of…

To get rid...
Yes, ...of what?
Louis?

Of
those... ...things...
CREAK
creak

creak
creak
creak

scrrrrrrr
glug SCRITCH!
glug
glug

glug
glug
glug Scritch
Scritch

h
Scritc

Diego?
hooo hooo hooo hoooo
Scritch
Scritch
Scritch
That
you?
Scritch

Scritch
Scritch

Woof! Diego!

I’m coming,
Ha ha! boy! Scritch
Scritch
Scritch
I’ll let you in!
Click!

C’m’ere,
bo—
WHAM!
Woof
Woof
Sshhhh...

I’m
It’s here.
over.

There
now...
huff

huff

...it’s going to be okay…

Sshhh... e...
There ther

huff huff
huff
huff

huff

GOY!
AWA
GET OUT OF HERE,
YOU —

KLING

kling kling

klang klang
Zzzzzz
WOOFWOOF
woof
woof
woof
woof Woof

Mom Daddiee
Dad ad Mom
D Mommm
Mm mm…
Sshh...

Lise?
clip clop
clip clop

H EEE H A AAW !
Crrr
rrr

Easy,
Mabel…

Easy...
clip clop
clip clop
Louis,

Fear and anger won’t


protect Joachim.

We need to know.

I’ll be back tomorrow. I love you.

Lise
clip clop

clip
clop
Alms!
zzzzz... ...
zz
zzz mm... Shhh!

gling People are


gling trying to
sleep here!

Haaave piteee on a poor blind man!

Shuuut up!!
clip

lop
p clip c
o
cl
clip
And
you?

You can talk


to flies?

I
Yes, I mean…
can!

...almost...

Let’s say I
understand fly…

SUZETTE PIKE SUZETTE PIKE


Midwife
Exorcist
ic Ear
Sympathet

…but I can’t Can I tell


speak it. you a secret?
Actually... Flies aren’t very
nice to me.

So, to get back


They say I’m big at them...
and smelly!

zzz

…I eat ’em!
Psst! Hey! Miss!

Ya want Huh?? Wha—?


Mmgnm…
one?

Dimitri!

Leave the lady alone!


I didn’t do
nothin’!
That boy
Kof wears me out!
kof!

teclop
teclop

Aha! I’ll take that! Suzette?

My
flies!

Boohooohooo Tut tut! Off to bed You have no


Dimitri! with you! business here!
Yes, Mistress Pike…
sniff
* sigh *
It’s been
...my
so long.
chickadee... I know…
Lise...
So you’ve got a
new tenant?

Are you
Dimitri? Yes! He’s a Of okay? Ohhhh. Yes,
nice boy. course! thanks. This dratted
old body’s
Give me a hand, started playing
would you? tricks on me.

So...
…what brings
you to my house
in the middle of
the night?
I…

Oh, I’m so happy


Suzette! to see you
again!

My chickadee...

There, there...
Tell me all
about it.
Smoke? No, thanks.

zzzz
Pufff…

Helps get me
through the day.

An old lady’s aches and


Heh heh… Puffff… pains...
CRACK!

Uh...
Suzette?
Sometimes I werish… it
were all ov Oh, pardon
me, I’m
rambling.

My chickadee...
None of this is
good news.
Now, I may be …and I’m not
mistaken... even sure that—

Please...

I came to Hmf. Well.


find out... As you wish.

I believe these Joachim? My


“things” have God, what can—
come for Nothing. We
Joachim. can do nothing.

CRACK
I—I don’t understand...Joachim?! But why?
Take this journal. I’ve
underlined a passage that
will provide some answers.

But listen well, my chickadee: don’t try to


fight these “shadows”...it’s no use.

Make the most of …with Joachim...


each moment…

...so long as he’s with you...

I have to go.
Yes, of course.

Go back
to them.
Did that
crazy old bat
put that in
your head?

WHAM
Good I didn’t
God! want—

Don’t shout.
You’ll wake
Joachim.

You didn’t want


I didn’t want you to go me to…
I… see that old woman! …because
you know
she’s right.

And you’re
angry…

…precisely because
there’s nothing you
can do.
I won’t let those
“things” take my son.
Louis...
Please...

No. Daddy?

Mommy...

Why are you fighting?

My
darling...

Come here!
Puff
Puff
Puff

* sigh *

Puff
Puff
SUZETT
E PIKE
Midwif
e
SympaExorcist
the tic E

click
clack
Teclop
Teclop Teclop

Teclop
Teclop splash
splash

Teclop
Teclop
They’re really
close tonight…

Louis...
Are you sure
you want to
leave now?
It’s going to be That’ll
foggy out there… help us.
I won’t stop you from going, Joachim will leave us:
but I don’t know if I’ll be able I know this, and I’m
to forgive you for it. prepared.
Unlike you.

Lise... Let me It probably won’t be long before


finish! the shadows take him away.

These final moments with my son— I give to you.


this time…
So that when he leaves …will be at peace.
you, your heart…

I shall lose a son. I hope we won’t lose


each other too.
huff

huff

huff

huff

huff
huff
huff
huff

hhhh… hhhh… hhhh… hhhh… hhhh…

huff huff
PIKE
SUZETTE

2
p te mber f
e
ay, S amt o
er2 Tuesd oorly. Dre ain…
temb p ag
day,
Sep Slept e shadows uth,
Tues re r
the th ith such t uch
am w nd s
A dre mories, a t it
e ha
such m details t
se
preci rrified me…
te
Slept
poorly…

Dreamt of the three


shadows…

…again…

…such memories…

A dream filled with such truth...

…and
such
precise
details… …that it terrified me.
I screamed.
I spilled a bowl of
boiling water.

I cried. …My arm


was covered in
blisters.

This pain… …that


won’t stop.
She saw
nothing.

Yet the shadows were there…


Mother slept beside me…

…sitting by the bedside


…waiting…

like three vultures


on a branch.

I wanted to
cry out...

...but I couldn’t.
I have
awaited you...

...for so
long...
This time…

I’m ready…

hhh hhh hhh hhh


Ahhhhh!

Hello, Joachim. Hi, Dad.

Are you
hungry?

A little.

Yeah.
Yes?

Daddy?
Crunch
Crunch
CruncCh Crunch
runch

What’re we
doing here?
Where’s
Mom?

I know I could
have lied…
…but I didn’t.
Joachim
listened closely. I have no doubt he
perfectly understood
the stakes of our
journey.

Still, we hit the


road again with
light hearts.
Our fear had
left us.

After walking for a


day, I knew why. Perhaps it wouldn’t last,
but for now the shadows
had stopped trailing us.
Tomorrow we’ll head west,
toward the river.
Then
what?

Then we’ll cross the river, We’ll be safe


and keep heading west. there.

That’s where your


grandfather’s from.
What’s it like
Oh across the
good… river?

I don’t I’ve never


know. been.
Well? I’ve never seen a
river so wide!

hehe... Pretty,
isn’t it?

Yeah.

How’ll we
cross it? We’ll take
the ferry.

There’s a landing
a bit further
down the bank.
In your grandfather’s If we grab a boat before
time, it took three the shadows catch up, we’ll
days to cross. have a six-day lead.
It’s probably
the same today.

And be out of Daddy—


their reach!
I’m a little
tired.

I know. We’ll Ready?


sleep on the
boat, kiddo.

Holding on
tight? Yeah!

Let’s
go! YAH
ha
O OOO
h a ha
What do
you mean, you Just wait’ll I
Fresh water! WAAAH “forgot” your bag? get my hands on
Fresh water!! you, you—
Is it much Hmm…
Daddy? farther?
I don’t know…

All these
people!

Do you see
It’s making something?
me dizzy.

Yeah!! A bunch of people


Way over there! in a long line…

Well that must be the—


Aaaah!
Out of the
way, fatso!
Joachim!! You all
Idiot! right?

ow ow
ow
OW! Yeah, I’m
okay…
But my
butt hurts.

Heh Hae HHeea Ha


He

Well!
Let’s go check
out the line.
Heh
Mommmmieee—
Mommmmieee—
Mommy, where are yooou?

Hmm.

Let’s tie ourselves That way, we’ll be sure


together, okay? not to lose each other.

Okay,
Dad.
I hafta
Keep an eye on go pee… Well, you’ll have
your bag! to wait.

moo

But I really Stop I can’t take


hafta— this, Victor,
pushing! let’s go home.
M oo

MOO O ...for two * sigh *


You’re not going to days...
start that again. They told me it’d
be a hard crossing, I didn’t expect a
Oh yes but really… crowd like this...
I am.
On the Excuse me?
other hand…
But I
…it makes us wonder if...
harder to find.
You in the
trade too?

Now I just work with


I stopped handling kids. the ladies!

Too
fragile.
Too many
losses.

I’ve got a good client Between you


down south who orders and me, he goes
some every month! through a lot…

I’d rather not


know what he
does with them!
How else am
er
Num5b!!
Uh— I going to
sell her?
But— 17 That’s me!
Aha!

You’re not
going to sell her
like cattle?

Lessee...What did I do Here we are! See ya later!


with that—? On the
boat!

’Scuse
me. Number 175 Daddy? Do we have
here.
a ticket
’Scuse me. too?
Dear God.
No.
If I’d known about
all this...

Tickets are up at the In the shed.


front of the camp.
Thanks,
ma’am.

Come, Joachim.

Thanks.
Let’s
go.

You’re Good luck.


welcome.
KNOCK
KNOCK
KNOCK

Hmm...
WHAAMM WHAM
WH
WOOF
WOOF
WOOF
Oooh!
Yes? Uh...
Yes? What is it? SHUT IT,
NEPTUNE! Do you
WOOF SIT!
have any...
tickets?

WOOF Ah! One


moment,
WOOF please.

SLAM!!

woof
woof
woof
Sorry to have Come in, sir.
kept you waiting.
Come in...

Let me just show these ladies


out, and I’ll be right with you.
COMPANY

Tip Tap Tip Tap Tip Tap Tip Tap


Wait here,
my sweet.
WHAM! So...

You’re here
for...tickets? Is that it?

And no
Exactly. boarding pass...
Yes... meo w
Ha ha, of No ticket,
course! no boarding
pass!
meow
...no
crossing!

Ha ha!

Yes... We all
know how
it works.
You’re in luck!
I’ve still got
two tickets
left…

…for next
month’s
ferry. But—
—we can’t—

You don’t understand!! We can’t wait until next


month! We—it’s—

Ohh...I see.

So it’s a
matter of life Isn’t it?
and death.
Hmm... Perhaps there’s a way...

There’s
always a way.

How much?

All of
it.
clack

Ah-ah-ah
I don’t know I know.
what’s keeping
me from—

flap
flap

Isn’t that
right, my boy?
Now beat it.
Go on—
Okay.
PONK
Go on in.
Thank
you.

whew!

This time
we’ve—

...

Joachim—
It’s over now.

I wanted I wanted to kill him!


to...sniff...
Don’t say
such things.

The shadows haven’t


followed us.

That’s the most


important thing.
Zzzzzzzz...

Sshhh...

Kof... Koff...

Zzzzzzzz...

Mommy?

What’s the matter?


Zzzzzzz...

I wanna
throw up.

Drink some
water.
Zzzzzzzz ...

It’ll make you


feel better.
Will someone
Mommy... Zzzz shut those
Is that glug
better? glug I don’t kids up?
glug
feel good
either.

You’re one to talk! What’s with


the wench? Got a
problem?

I sure do!
Hic Hic
Mister Snore-All-Night Huh! And I was so sure
telling other people to be she was here.
quiet, really—!
Oh, you too?
Did you see
I had this feeling anything?
someone was prowling
around last night. Bless you.

Aaachoo!

Not a thing.
But—
Charms?
Amulets?
It’s high time we hit
shore. We’re not in very
good company here.

Evil eye...Storms...
Broken hearts...
Ask for my
magic amulets.
You got
anything for
seasickness?
Look—I’ve got Two days
pretty silver rings to Yeah... without wind…it
settle the stomach. just takes so long.
This boat’s
I’ll give you a hardly moving.
good price.

Dad? I’m still


I didn’t think you could get hungry.
sick in such calm waters.

Yeah, but I’m


Joachim, I just made still hungry.
you a sandwich.
My little You know...
trooper...
We need to
be careful with
our food.

It seems the crossing And I don’t


will be longer than want you—
expected.

hee hee
Go ahead, They’re
carinho, blackberries.
try some.
Joachim!
Ahem...no faïchte mas
grande do peïch, da Heh
Heh heh comer tre di meïch!!… heh
kof Kof kof
Kof
KOF kof

ha ha ha ha!

So...you’ve come back


My father was. to the old country.
Are you from
around here?
heehee…

I was born on
the other side
of the river. Yes...you
could say
that.
Kof
Kof
kof
We’re headed back home. It’s been so long.

Can you
imagine?

Yes—I
think so.

Would you like to


join us?
All right... My thanks.

We’ve got
some churasco
left! Here...

I’ve got some bread.


Dad?

Whaf did thaf man


shay to you earlier? I
couldn’t understand.

Heh heh— That you were as


small as a bleakfish— —but ate enough for
three sea bass!

Welf I don’ shee


whafs so funny
about that…

It’s a saying they Your grandfather


have around here. used to say it too.
KOFKOF KO It’ll pass.

Kof Kof F KO
F K
FF
KO of
Easy
there.

Kof Ever since we got


Has he been Kof on the boat. We’re too old
like this long? Kof to sleep out in
querinha… the open.

When I have Mom makes


a cough— me a poultice.

Kof Kof Kof But how would


we heat cloth for
bandages?
The boy’s right:
poultices are useful.
Hmm... We should be able
to find a way.

I’ll ask Can you watch over


around. Joachim for me?
Oh yes! Gladly.

Tell me, Joachim,


do you also like
strawberry jam?

Well...I’m not that


hungry anymore.
heh
But I’ll heh…
try some.
Stay here.
I’ll be right
back.
Sister, don’t or.
fall for a sail ..

e’ll le
For as soon as you meet one h ave you
Oh, sister, don’t love a s lor...
a i

plink
plink
Poultices??

Gee... Better ask the bosun.


I dunno...
Yeah! Which one’s
he?

That big guy


with the mustache
over there.

Which one?
The one in the
jacket?
Yeah, that one.
Ha ha ha...

...The one who’s all


dolled up.

ha haa
HAHA ha h h a
ha
HA HA

Poultices? Hmm...
yes... Might have to
take that up with
the captain.
It’s for a sick We just need to Right, I get it.
old man. warm up some
bandages!

But all special requests go I’ll take you to


through the captain. his cabin.

Oh don’t make
that face at me.

Hope the wind picks I’m not


up. It’s making complaining.
everyone sick.

At least no
one’s died yet.
People die on It’s like they come
the boat?? on board just to kick
the bucket.
All the
time. Pests.

Yeah.
These are poor That’s what I said. It’s no fun throwing
people here. Most them overboard,
of them are hungry, I tell you.
frightened, or… They come
on board just
to croak.

I don’t
imagine it is...
No.
You’re like me. A sensitive soul. Say... If I
may...

What?

What do you think of my jacket? Frankly. I don’t


know...

Your ...hand-
some?
jacket?

Hmm…that’d be the It bother


embroidery. you too?
I hesitated I wasn’t Perhaps it’s too Well. I’ll leave
a bit. sure... dainty for a you now.
man’s jacket?
Uh...
It’s silk
thread.

I would’ve liked
to see the
captain...

Ah. All
He’s just right.
behind that
door.

Thanks…

Knock Come in!


Knock
Knock
Uh...
Good morning,
Captain.
Mm...

I wanted to
I... ask you a Anytime.
favor...

Smack

Might I… ha
ha
ha
Why...
it’s—
Had ya, didn’t I? ha ha
ha ha
Zzzzzz

So, just Well, my friend, looks


…you wanted like you’re gonna have
like that... to see the to come back later.
captain?
Here!
Um...well,
I mean...

Yes.

The only captain on board’s sleeping like a baby!


ha
ha
Zzzz
Zzzz ha ha
GlugGlugGlug

glug glug aah


h

What a Between you and me, this


night! young man held his own!
Zzzz
Zzzz
Zzzz

A good A very good


gambler! gambler!

Zzzz
Ding
kling
ha ha
But not much ha
of a drinker!

Zzzz
clink I’ll come
back later…

Bit of fresh air


Wait! I’m would do me good.
coming Wait right
too. there...

I’ll get
my
jacket.

Zzzz zzzzzzz Ding


kling
Ding
kling

Ding
kling
Found
it!
All set!
Couldn’t find
my treasure.

Heh...

h a ha h a Tell me all about


Come! just why it was you
wanted the captain!

WHAM!
Still no
Mmmm.... wind, eh?
Does she stay
chained up...all
the time?

Who? In exchange
Oh—the for a good
girl? cabin.

I let the captain rent


her for the crossing.

Don’t look at
me like that.

She cooks and cleans,


that’s all.

If he I’ll kill
touches him.
her—
I’ve got a
businessman’s
You have values.
strange moral My client only
values. buys virgins.

You’re the one


who should be But that
killed… wouldn’t change
anything for
her…
Perhaps.

And
besides...
I’m not sure murder’s
more moral than the
slave trade.
Ahhh, “morals.”
Frankly, just
getting by in this I haven’t run into you
world, such as it is, since we left. Were you
is enough trouble. avoiding me?

We were sleeping You’re not really in the


on deck. trade, are you?

I don’t know what you’re up


to with your little kid. But if you care
Listen—
about him, don’t
stay on deck.
The captain predicts
bad weather for tonight
or tomorrow. It’s going to be hell belowdecks.

Amulet?

Guaranteed
protection!

I don’t
have a
choice. At any rate, I—

I’m sure you’d No thanks.


Looking for like to know—
adventure?
And yours are far
You need help. All men from over...
have problems.
Stop it!
Leave me be!

Something fo
ll
gguuh-gu
Ggg- ggggg…h- you think you can es ows you…
cape
gaah i t , b u t—

ENOUGH ! !
LEAVE US BE, BITCH!

C’mon!
Well?

Come and
get some!

STOP!
You are making
waaay... ...too much
noise.

Manfred— Please put your


knife away.

Let her finish the crossing


in the hold, so I never have to
see her on the bridge again.
We’ll get rid of
this riffraff.
DIE, dirty dog! Shut it.

But… You didn’t


have to go
and do that!

She lived off other I find that


people’s fears. despicable.

You, who live off


Of course. other people’s
suffering.

That’s much
nobler.
Who’s that?
In fact,
I have no
idea.
Strange...

I thought he had
something to ask Yeah...
you, but… Well...

It seems that in the end


he found me unworthy
of his request.
ha ha
Yep. What a ha I tell you this I’d rather you
hoity- didn’t kill anyone
toity! in friendship,
Manfred… on my boat.

You’d find Don’t worry. I intend to


the brig enjoy my cabin
uncomfortable. to the fullest.

Anyway, I’m not done


cheating you at cards...ha ha ha!
Are you joking?!

Truth is, you had a brazen


run of luck last night!

That kind of luck doesn’t


come around twice...
kof
kof kof

You’ll see. This’ll soothe him.

Yes… Chta bem!


Aaaahh...
Well, I’ll leave
you to it. I’m going
to check on
the boy.

kof
kof

Uh— Sure...it was nothing.


kof
Aaahhh. kof

Thanks again
for the hot
water.

Good night!

zzzzz
sshhh!!
You okay?
Not too
cold?
I’m okay,
Dad.

You’re Sleep well, Do you think


safe here. now. I’ll be Giuseppe’ll get
right by you. better?

Dad?

I hope so, We’re taking care


son. of him, you know.
Now go to sleep,
it’s late...

fff
Dad?

Do you think the


shadows’ll come back?

Sshhh...
I’d like to go We’ll go back once
Everyone’s we’re sure it’s
home and see safe, understand?
Mom now. sleeping.
Yes, Dad.

kling

ding
HIC

ha ha ha
Bravo! Hats off, my
little captain!

When your luck has turned, it’s Back to my quarters now!


time to stop!
hic!

G’night,
Manfred!

od
Goniiight sweet
captaaain! hee hee hic!
,
Good night
everyoone!
hhhh

ha ha ha

ha ha
h a
h h hh
BAM

h hh h
h hh
h
B OO M!
DIE, FOU
DOG!! L
Hrm…?
Hrmm... ZZZZ…

Hurry! We can’t
stay here!

Coming…
I represent the law
on this ship—

Even our nation’s


authority.

As such…

I must be
unyielding.
Those behind this crime will be
put in irons and handed over
to the port authority...

Daddy! Good.
I can’t see
anything!

And swiftly hanged from a short rope!

Thanks to this young woman, It was a


who knew the victim— We know heinous crime.
that several
valuable items
were stolen
from him.
I ask your cooperation in
emptying your bags and pockets
before the crew.

Let’s get it I’d be surprised if we


over with. found anything...

...but a little show


of force never hurt
anyone.
This way,
please…

Single file, or we’ll


never finish...

No, this way!

Whose bag Yes, I distill it


You’ll have to is this? myself…
empty your
pockets, Miss.
Above all, don’t let
C’mon! Keep it moving! go of my hand!

Yes,
Dad.

And stick with


me during the
search!
Yeah,
Dad.

You’re fine. This line’s not


moving at all!

Chta
bem.
WHAP!

Missed. LET ME GO!!


LET GO, I SAID!

Don’t you dare Well...


Daddy! touch my son!
Did you
find some- Uh...
thing??
This!
I have no idea
what that is!
Of course.

Someone must’ve
slipped it in my
pocket!

Hm… Well.
Do you recognize
this object?
Yes.
I didn’t
Well. Anything to add? do it.

Mm. I doubt that’ll be


enough to keep you
from hanging.

Lock him up
until we land.
What a pity.

Put ’im with his dad.


What should we
do with the kid?
I don’t see
another
solution.
I won’t let you hang that child! What is Who are you? His
it now? grandmother?

Do you know this I want my


My little woman, kid?
Joachinho... daaaddiee!

Do you
want to stay
with her?

* sigh *
At any rate, we’ll hand Until then, if he wants
them over to the authorities his last few moments
tomorrow. It won’t be my with his father—
problem anymore.
Well, I won’t
deprive him of
that.
What the hell
are you doing
SAINTS ALIVE! there??

I said: Everyone in the


rigging!!

Might I remind you all that we


have a ship to bring into port!

It’s going
to be a long
night...
The shadows...

They were
here.

I saw them
last night...

They killed
that man!
They’re
here.

They’ve found us.

Dear God...

Have mercy on us.


Reduce all sails, by Christ! F A ST E R !!

Creeea KRACK

V LAAAM!!
thwack
splash

HURRGGGHH AAAH! AAAH!


TURN,
YOU—
Ding! Ding!
Ding! Ding!
Ding!

Ding! Ding!

Breach!
Ding! Ding!
Breach! To the rafts!
We’re sinking!

Kling
Hurry!!
Klong Get out!

Klang
Daddy? What’s
going on?
I’m warning you: The captain’s dead. Come!
if your captain
thinks—

We must
leave now! You aren’t a killer.

The captain— They’ve killed


him too!

They followed us all the way here! I don’t know what you’re talk-
They brought death, and the storm!! ing about, and I don’t care!

Do you
understand?
Enough!

You have
to go!

The ship’s
sinking!
INTO THE WATER,
It’s no Where would FOR CHRIST’S SAKE!
good. We can’t you have us go?
escape them.
JUMP
NOW!

Do you Yes…
hear me?
Yes, all right.

JUMP!

What–
I have to make sure
about everyone’s gone first.
you?
The water’s Hang on to
not that cold. a plank—

And you’ll
reach land.

Did you hear, Joachim?


We have to jump.

I’m scared.

It’ll be okay.
It’ll be just like when
we jump into the
pond, remember?
Don’t let go of my
hand, all right?

sniff...
Yes, Daddy...
Good luck!
WOOF
kof kof
WOOF
plik

plik plik plik


mmh…
rmm...
Relax...
Ssshhh...

Hrggh

You’re safe The little


here. boy too.

Sshh...

Duerme chtino.

Dueeeerme... do noïte na vench...

Dueeeerme... do noïte na vench mastina


drip
drip
drip
Careful.

It’s hot. You okay?


kof kof Yes.
kof

Thank you.
Daddy??
kof kof kof

All’s
well… …I’m here. He’ll be
back.

Where’s
the man?

Go back to
sleep.
plunk

kof
kof
How’s the
boy? Much
better.
So?

The fever’s broken,


but he’s still tired.

I wanted
Good. to say... For Joachim and myself...
I know that without you…

I went back to the


Sluuurp You owe me river this morning.
nothing.

And—?
I found
nothing. That can’t
be—

Tut tut—you shouldn’t


KOF have sat up. kof
kof
There must’ve been a
hundred passengers…
kof
KOF You still
need sleep.
KOF They couldn’t all
have—kof kof

KOF

Rest now. Crisscrossed by


complex forces and
The river is currents. And not everyone
vast...capricious. would have jumped at But there,
the same spot… where I found
you, there was
no one else.

Of that I am
certain.
Drink.
It will make you
feel better.

Kof Kof

It’s all my
fault.

What are you


talking about?

I really I wanted
thought we to protect My God...
could escape Joachim.
them.
Those... They killed the slave trader. Then the
“things” captain...
followed us.
...then all the
passengers.

They’re They’re They’re


See here, the storm— shadows. here. stalking us.
No.

Come now…Look
around you.

Where are the


ghosts you speak of?

And anyway, who


You yourself would come all the
see there way here?
are none.
I have nothing
I’m an old anymore. I am of
man now. interest to no one.

There’s nothing
You don’t understand. They’re after to be done.
Joachim.

All that time


wasted, running away.
We fled in vain.

Look at this fire,


this warmth...

...my sleeping I now know just


son... how precious such
moments are…
It’s time for us
to go home. To my wife, so together we might
share what could still be...

...and the
Hmm... “shadows”?

We’ll see… Not long ago, I would


I don’t have given anything to
know.
save Joachim. But now...

...your
You would life?
have given...

Without
hesitation.

...perhaps there
Well, then... is something I
can do for you.
What’re you—

hhhh

Your heart It’s no longer


is broken. worth much.

But I would
buy it from
you.

To help you.

At a good price, too.


For this beating heart I would give you the
strength and power you need to save your
little boy.

Daddy!
Don’t do it!
unhh
unhh

Please. It scares me.

Go back to
sleep, Joachim. BACK TO SLEEP!!

But
Daddy...
You say that...I could You would have the
save Joachim? strength and power to do
so—I promise.

No. It can’t
be...

No one can Don’t you even


do that. want to try?

Go
Very ahead.
well.
I’m ready.
hhh
The old man hadn’t lied.
He kept
his word.
With Joachim hidden in my fist…

And my fist in
my pocket…

Who could
come and take
him?
I no longer
feared
anything.

Or anyone.

Madness.
I was as a golem.

A body driven With wrath where


by defiance. a heart should be, I
roamed the plains.

Forded rivers.

Drove back
storms.
Douse flames. Bite dogs.
Break bones.
Bare my teeth.
Kill their masters.

And run...
That’s all I know.
How long has it been now? Days...months,
perhaps.

I can remember nothing. Nothing but this


exhaustion.

Endless.
Catch my breath. And keep
moving.

Quickly. My breath...

A moment. Just a
moment...
Daddy. Listen to me—please. I can’t live hidden
away any longer.

There’s no room for me Please let me out. I’m not afraid of the
to grow inside your fist. shadows anymore.

It’s boring here.

Joachim...
I— I’m so tired...
Hello, Joachim.

Are you
ready?
Where are you
taking me?

We will accompany But I cannot tell you That is yours to


you for the what awaits you on discover.
crossing. the other side.
Of that, I
know nothing.

It is only life
that ends here
and now.
You must come with us. Now.

Joachim.

But I’m worried about leaving my dad


Yes. I understand. here like this.

Not today.
We did not come It’s time we were
for him. on our way.
That way...
Are we leaving right now?

First, an
appointment.

With one who cheats.


Baste those birds,
kitchen boy!
And hurry
up with the
brioche!
Yes,
sir!
scrik
scrik

Watch it!

hee
hee

Excuse me Your Grace Back to the


Pardon lion’s den…
Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah
Good luck!
...and he
fell down! Ha ha!
blah blah
h ee
hee hee ha ha blah
he e h
ee
ha ha
ha

Does it please you?


blah blah
blah
You’re get-
ting warmer, hee
my dear! hee
Look at
this!

It’s This way, my Whi-iii-ile dancing


perfect. pretty pet! a jig, my pretty,
my pet!!

hee hee
tired and his heart
Grew ut,
g ave o pretty,
your ar ms, o pretty, o
The old baron, in
my pretty, my pet...

old baron
hee
hee Hee hee hee
Tdheno longer… That old
coul What about
bag?
la Du Mon-
theuil?
You’re so
Pathetic. naughty!

...and I say that little pest


Oh! Monsieur Come, my doesn’t deserve this much
de Rougeret! sweet... consideration…
A charming Your turn,
little quatrain! Madame de
Charon.
That damned
Baron fleeced me!

Have you got


A it, my friend?
I’m in! hee!
hahaha hundred
pistoles!
Hmmm... heh heh

Your Grace, a young A “young lady,”


lady begs a seat you say? Heavens! What
at your table. have we here?
Hmm.
“Mademoiselle Don’t know
Aurore”... her.

Why didn’t you say ha ha


Is she pretty? so before?
Baron,
ha ha hee hee you devil!

Very, Your
Grace.

Well. What a fortunate


coincidence…

De Percy here was just nod- Me? Not at


ding off and about to retire. all...
Don’t be a fool,
de Percy! Consider your gambling
debts.
So be
The Baron it.
rewards
well.

My dear It grows late. Permit me


friends— Madame de Percy my leave.
surely pines for me.
Baron…

Be off!
Fortune Pascal—
favors the
early to bed.

Show the
young lady in.
Mademoiselle Please, sit
Aurore! Come in, my down.
child!

We were about to The honor is


place our bets. yours!
My dear Baron, I
have a confession What the
to make. These little devil would you
monetary play for?
bets bore me
terribly.

Then, my
dear...

Hmm...
A kiss,
perhaps?
Let’s
see...

What cheek!
Oh!! A single round of “king’s
rummy” against you. Splendid!
Ha ha!
Baron, here’s a little Ha ha!
lamb just waiting to And if I
be fleeced! lose?

You will give me an


object of my choice.

So be But you shall have to come


it. over and get it yourself.

My I must ask you to leave us.


friends— Oh, Baron!
You deprive us
He’ll make of some promising Agreed,
Incorrigible short work
of her!
entertainment, dear
scoundrel! dear Baron. friend.

But this game


no longer
concerns you.

Good. We shall not be Will you give me


disturbed.
a moment to
It’s stifling freshen up?
in here.
Click

But of course. Psst—

Click
You can take
my place. What fun!
hee
Fortune, it’s hee! That’s what
your game. bothers me…

This is ridiculous. What a


Ssh! Enough talk!
killjoy!
Go on!

I say again, we
weren’t forced to And don’t forget, Silkie
give ourselves up to needs to replace you when
this farce. the round’s over.

I thought you’d been kid-


At last! napped by prowling brigands! Come now,
Baron...
Ha ha!
You know how
the saying
goes:
“One must know how to
make one’s enemies wait.”
flick
fleck
heh heh
flick
fleck

Let the
games begin. The honor
is yours.

Draw. Pass.

sniff
Pass.
Run of three. Draw.
sniff
sniff

Your turn,
Heh heh...three my pet.
Pass. of a kind.

Hmm... Ahem—
Well. Voilà.
Royal run!
Tee
hee!

I don’t know how you do it, but


you cheat better than I do! Excuse
My Hic!
me.
word! Bravo.

Hic! The wine, no doubt… to—


I’m not
used— Hic!

Hic!
...
Heavens above!

Your hair! My God! Please excuse


What the— me, I must—
Hic!

How dare
Not so fast! You can’t leave you—!
without explaining
this feat!

Unhand me
immediately. Aaah!
Wham
Witchcraft doesn’t
Aarrgh!! impress me!
Cursed
woman!

Now answer Who are you?


me! Hic!

What do you
think?
What do
you want?

That’s it!

This joke’s gone


far enough!
You’d have stopped at noth- Is your life so
ing to delay us, wouldn’t you? very precious?

It’s worth all You know that


the gold in quite well.
the world!

You cheated and


stole from a man. He cheated
himself.

His life
belongs to
me now!
If you
want it— You have
to come and
get it!

hahahaha

KRAASH
Hmph! What a waste
of time!
Hic!
KRACK KRICK
Raargh! u n h hh

Whatever pos- How long are


Hic! sessed you to try Hmph! you going to
that wine? keep this up?
Hic!
huff
huff

screee

WHAM huff
huff

tap
tap tap Hic!
tap

tap
tap
tap
tap tap
tap tap tap
WHAM!

hhh
hhh

huff
huff
huff huff hhh
hhh

Raaaa!
WHAM

Watch out!!
Baron.

Your time is we
ll beyond its end.

You know this. You cannot


usurp another’s
life with
impunity.
snip
You had thought to escape yourself.

In reality…

…you only hastened


toward your fate.
Henceforth…

…you shall have all


eternity…
…to pay the price for
this stolen life.
Joachim…
What a funny idea.
There remains
I thought you’d one last task
never come back! before us.

We do not have the power


to restore the breath of Only you can do so,
life to your father’s heart. before leaving.

Thank
you.
Do not thank us. We decide nothing.

It is so.

When his day …we shall


comes… return for
your father.
sniff

aaahh
aaahh
aaahh
aaahh

We must go.

Joachim…

Goodbye, Dad.
All
right.
It’s strange…

My journey back Yet nothing


was no doubt long remains of it but
and arduous. vague memories.
A vital spark that drove
me onward through long
Apart from this months of marching.
one desire...

Seeing Lise
once more.
WHAM
whfff
whfff

whfff
Daddy!
Daddieeee!
Daddieeee! ha ha

Yay!
We fournadwwbild Mommy says you can’t eat them
st erries! because foxes pee on them!
Fabulous!
Look!

And pee !makes


you sick

Hmm…hmmm… We haven’t
In that case… any choice.

We’ll have to try


one and see.
Ewww!
slurtch
slurp Well? Yum…delici— AAARGH!
Are they
okay?

He e
Ha ha! hee
!
Arrrggh!
Help!!

This basket is —but I’ll just Ha ha ha…No, I


extremely heavy— muddle on through!
Try another think your mother
pee berry! needs my help.
C’mon,
Daddy!

Don’t
mind me!
So, how was it?
You should’ve seen it. Your daughters
peck
were really quite
good at finding
strawberries.

Good! The
woods are
beautiful right
now.
Shall we go for a
picnic tomorrow?

Yes, if you
want.

I know…
Me too…
Hee hee
hee
Look at
them… Mommieee!

Don’t you
Do chickens believe me?
really like them?

See? We could even go


Yay! swimming after
ha ha I told the picnic, right?
ha you so.
ha ha ha
bock bo Not so fast!
ck bock You’ll eat
them all!

We have to make the


Oh yes, that’d most of the summer.
be great.
It never lasts
long enough.
A dear friend returned to
me from the faraway lands
of the East and brought
back a strange poem.
Three lines…

…that give
me solace…

…in times of grief.


“In this our springtime
there is no better,
there is no worse.

Blossoming branches
burgeon as they must.
Some are long,
some are short.”
Stay upright.
Stay with life.
New York & London

Copyright © 2007 by Cyril Pedrosa


English translation copyright © 2008 by First Second

Published by First Second


First Second is an imprint of Roaring Brook Press,
a division of Holtzbrinck Publishing Holdings Limited Partnership
175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010

All rights reserved.

Distributed in Canada by H. B. Fenn and Company Ltd.


Distributed in the United Kingdom by Macmillan Children’s Books,
a division of Pan Macmillan.

“Not Pleasant But True”, from THE SECOND CHILD by Deborah Garrison,
copyright © 2006 by Deborah Garrison. Used by permission of Random House.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Pedrosa, Cyril, 1972-


Three shadows / by Cyril Pedrosa ; translated by Edward Gauvin.
p. cm.
Cover Design by Danica Novgorodoof
1. Graphic novels. I. Title.
PN6747.P38T57 2008
741.5’944–dc22

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