When the old gypsy fortune-teller reads Captain Haddock's palm she foresees trouble at Marlinspike. Indeed, Tintin, Snowy and the Captain are scarcely home again before misfortune strikes. An accident, an unexpected visitor, an invasion by press and television, and then a robbery. Bianca Castafiore's emerald disappears. All of Tintin's skill is needed to reveal the identity of a strange and ingenious thief.