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Professor Hercules Tarragon (French: Professeur Hippolyte Bergamotte) was a member of the Sanders-Hardiman Expedition and an old friend of Professor Calculus. He was the last to fall victim to the seven crystal balls in the adventure of the same name.


Tarragon and Calculus had known each other for several years as both of the professors studied together in their youth at university. During the events of The Seven Crystal Balls when the researchers of the Sanders-Hardiman Expedition were being targeted with black magic by Rupac Inca Huaco, an Inca descendant, for them intruding Rascar Capac's tomb and taking his mummified body along with them, Tarragon was the one who kept Capac's body at his residence and was the only member of the expedition at the time who did not become a victim of getting hit by a crystal ball. Tintin, Captain Haddock, and Calculus subsequently pay a visit to his highly-protected and prosperous estate and Calculus introduces them to Tarragon, who greets them with much warm but over the top welcome.

Shortly after this introduction, the tyres of Haddock's car at the estate are punctured due to the heat from the sun and then it shortly starts raining, Tarragon offers the three heroes shelter and rest for the night. Then, after Tarragon offers a translated inscription originating from scriptures of Rascar Capac's tomb to Tintin where he learns of a prophecy, all four within the estate witness the mummy of Capac vanishing completely when a lighting fireball invades through the chimney, putting Tarragon in great danger as he now knows he will be the last of the members of the expedition to be struck by Capac's curse, which unfortunately happens not too long after that scene when he is hit by the last crystal ball launched by Huaco. He is then later hospitalised alongside the other members of the expedition, suffering the recurring nightmares of Capac casted from the crystal balls.

Tarragon in his ill state

Tarragon was thankfully eventually awakened after Tintin gained the trust from the Incas and their leader to release the professors from their curse at the end of the events of Prisoners of the Sun.


Professor Tarragon is portrayed as a very generous and welcoming man of booming masculinity. He was very enthusiastic when being reunited with Professor Calculus in The Seven Crystal Balls and treated Tintin and Captain Haddock with equal respect and friendly greeting (albeit, not being so aware of his hefty strength when giving them a bit too much pressure when shaking hands, befuddling Haddock the most.) Despite his exceptional wealth, Tarragon was proven to be quite a humble, considerate man as he gladly allowed his three visitors to stay at his residence for the night when their source of transportation was crippled, without even wanting to charge them with any money. He also had a good sense of humour and like the other professors of the research venture on Rascar Capac's history, he was immensely knowledgeable on the subject and well-articulate in general archaeology.