The Giant Plant

The Giant Plant



The Trigan Imperial Guard was on parade, marching with the impeccable precision for which the crack regiment was famous throughout Elekton. Leading the guardsmen was their commanding officer, Tax Toru—a haughty Trigan aristocrat. But after the parade . . . Colonel ! You are under arrest ! Aaaah ! Because of his high rank, the accused man was tried by the emperor himself. The evidence against him was brief—but damning. Letters have been found showing that he has been selling military secrets to the Empire's enemies. Trigo passed sentence. Tax Toru ! You have betrayed the Empire and shamed your family name. You will be stripped of your rank and condemned to labour in the mines for the rest of your natural life ! Tax Toru was publicly disgraced. Then, chained, he became a slave in the dreaded mines. Curse Trigo ! Curse him ! If I ever escape from this living death, I'll bring his wretched Empire down about his ears !
Meanwhile, the great scientist Peric was at work in his laboratory, watched by his young friend Janno. You see, the seeds of the ibis plant are a staple diet of our poorer people. I am trying to increase the size of the plant to provide more food for them —not with any success, for this compound is my last hope. Later that day, Peric returned to the plant—and— By all the stars ! I have succeeded beyond my wildest dreams ! The ibis has doubled its size ! He raced out to spread the news. It was then that the plant's swollen seed pods burst —and scattered their contents to the winds. Most of the seeds fell on infertile ground, but a few landed in the small garden of a poor peasant. Within a few days, the peasant couple were staring in delighted amazement at the towering plants. I never saw such ibises ! The seeds of these fine plants will make nourishing soup for the little one. Before the end of the lunar month, the once-sickly child was a sturdy stripling ! It is like a miracle ! We never thought we'd rear him —and now he's bigger and stronger than lads twice his age !

This installment was originally published in Look and Learn issue no. 474 on 13 February 1971.

 

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