Old Man of the Sea

Roger Viollet/AFP

Dream weaver: De Monfreid went from smuggling drugs to writing books

The pages of the Tintin children's comic books are not where you would expect to find drug dealers cast in a favorable light. But in Cigars of the Pharaoh, our cowlicked protagonist owes his life to a passing sea captain, who rescues him and his faithful fox terrier Snowy from the Red Sea, into which they have been thrown overboard. That captain was based on the real-life French adventurer, hashish smuggler and sometime opium grower Henry de Monfreid — and the recent reissue of De Monfreid's beguiling 1933 memoir Hashish: A Smuggler's Tale is a...

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