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  • Jonathan Trouba

    Oooh. Clever girl… This one’s a keeper, Henry. But you already know, er, WILL know that, won’t you?

  • Darkoneko Hellsing

    Someone knows how to bargain XD

    Then again, it’s a really good idea to lighten the vehicle as much as you can right now.

  • Mujaki

    Ahh, well. It was so nice, having her own private library.
    But at least the Cunningham Collection has been known to allow selected researchers access to the archives.
    If they make an appointment in advance, instead of just barging in.

    • DavidArgall

      It wasn’t as bad as in earlier centuries, but English books were rather rare and expensive, and those on a specialty subject even more so. Our miss working as a gardener would have had quite a problem getting even a couple of works much less a small library. It’s not our interest, but she may well have an interesting background.

      • svartalf

        High-end research wizard. She probably did a lot of things not unlike what she just did to bargain into all of it.

  • Geoff

    That last panel is going in the Relationship Goals pile.

  • SleepingDragon

    He will crash it…

    • Before that last panel there was a CHANCE he might not…

      • Stinemite

        I’m going to call it now: Isabelle is gonna be the one to crash it.

        • Quite likely, now you mention it.

          But it’s gonna wind up in itty-bitty pieces, one way or another.

          • svartalf

            With him saying that, yeah… Doomed the Sailfin. Period. End of story.

          • Sanjay Merchant

            “Technically we ‘scuttled’ it. ‘Crash’ implies it wasn’t on purpose.”

    • Del

      Poor Sailfin….

  • Columbine

    Isabelle is awesome. Henry will end up in the water again. That is all.

    • Sanjay Merchant

      At this point I think Henry/large-bodies-of-water rivals Henry/Isabelle for shipping.

      • Columbine


  • Darth Fez

    Naturally Henry had to add that bit about the favor, ’cause Henry is the smartest, cleverest, handsomest bloke he knows.

    Much as I want to see Henry crash the sailfin, I want to see Vic protect the vardo from Superbia more.

  • Lightseid

    *very quietly, with a tone both horrified and resigned* Oh no…the OT3…I ship it.

    It was the books that did it. How very much dare you, Kate.

  • Mah.

    So… Cunningham shipped it. Literally.

  • TWO WEEKS LATER: “You had ONE job on this ship…”

  • One more thought – The Roma have a certain reputation in the field of dealing and horse-trading.

  • ThisCat

    Isabelle is all kinds if awesome.
    Also, I think she might be missing the whites in her eyes in panel five? It doesn’t look that bad, but it’s noticeable.

  • Sanjay Merchant

    Flattery will get you nowhere. Bribery, on the other hand….

    • MoeLane

      And flattery PLUS bribery makes sure that you get all the little bits that would have otherwise fallen out.

  • Dr. Tim

    Sooo, he’s James Bond? He has the girl who also helps him when he needs
    it most, a scientist giving him gadgets (Q) that he invariably destroys
    (and also uses at great speeds), he escapes seemingly inescapable
    situations, and he has quips thrown at enemies as he defeats them. Yep,
    sounds like an old tyme James Bond to me.

    • Sanjay Merchant

      Unless James Bond is a new-fangled Henry Barber. (Yes, I’m ignoring the timeline of real-world authorship. What of it?)

    • Sapphire altera

      Except Isabelle is certainly no girl of the week.

    • David Argall

      Well, both are heroes who get in trouble, but much beyond that…
      Bond is, or would like to be, a proper English gentleman, and rather a snob. Both may be somewhat ashamed of a lower class background, but our boy largely laughs it off whereas Bond makes sure no trace of that background is allowed to surface.
      Bond is a killer and direct in dealing with problems. Confronted with the sins trying to catch him, he would battle them, or allow himself to be caught, not scramble to escape. He likely would be rather at a loss in finding the wizard. Not hopeless, but not nearly as fast as Barber. For the most part he is directed to the problem.

      • Actually, Henry has an upper class background that he’s ashamed of :)

  • kuku

    How I love this comic.

  • Welp, I continue to fall more and more in love with Isabelle. :)

  • rhapsha

    Huh. If imbuing emotions into objections changes their physical properties, that’s such a huge area of study.

    What I’m saying is I continually enjoy the magic in this comic.

  • Alasni

    Good choice, books make the best incentives, even barbarians like the vikings like them… even if they can’t read them.

    • Illuminated manuscripts are pretty, and some of those books even have jewels inlaid on the covers! Vikings always liked the shinies . . .

      • Alasni

        Oh yes though apparently they did find the books themselves valuable regardless, apparently wrapped books or their remains were found in viking hoards along with the usual goods, apparently they had respect for learning. Puts them ten steps above the mongols who instead destroyed books and scrolls out of contempt for settled societies, the worse of their destruction being the destruction of the Baghdad libraries which reportedly made the rivers run black with ink.

        • Euodiachloris

          You might want to take that back: the Mongols did nab books, scrolls and manuscripts, that’s true. But, they tended to translate what they found useful for their own texts and ditch what they disliked. Yup: they had their own writing system. Showing its works to people outside the tribe, however, was taboo. :/ Some have survived. Including some very socially advanced laws, given the time period.

          Don’t fall for Han, Islamic or Christain propaganda about the Mongols being total barbarians, OK? Sore losers will be sore. ;)

  • Michael Brewer

    I like how she’s really happy to ride on this thing even though she has no idea what it is.

  • rainycity1

    “YES!” Love Isabelle completely.
    (and it looks like the Verity / Harry relationship was forged before they were even born ;-)

  • Odo

    Potential crossover mention in Girl Genius. Or maybe just a use of a word. bottom left.

    • Khlovia

      Dang, how did I miss that?
      The professional-courtesy tip-of-the-chapeau from the Foglios would not be unprecedented, considering that when we first entered Mechanicsburg, we passed a passel of billboards, shop signs, etc, all of which were references to other webcomics.

    • Phlebas

      Hmm, possibly. It seems like a sensible use of the word in its own right, though.

      • That’s how I was reading it, it *is* an actual word, after all! Always have a little smile when I see it though.

  • awhorl

    Panel 4 family resemblance. Do love the variety of faces and facial expressions and the subtlety therein. Handsome, blonde, and irritable rings the changes. Good set up of rivals.

  • DatComment

    I ship em. I shipfin em.

  • Euodiachloris

    Those poor, lonely, socially deprived books! Whatever will they do? xD

  • awhorl

    Now I am obsessed with wanting a samophlange. But what does it DO, other than (I presume) spin–and be dangerous to mishandle?

    • Honestly I just named it from this piece of ancient internet ephemera
      (NWS for THUNDERCAT SWEARS) and essentially wrenched a piece off an early steam engine for the design.

      Whatever it does, it is definitely vital, and Henry probably already broke at least three.

  • Just reading Henry’s dialogue there is reminding me that I do sound quite awfully London these days.
    I never had a particularly Welsh accent… Always sounded a bit more BBC as a kid. My mother’s doing… But my time in London has doubtless corrupted my voice something vicious.

  • Anne-US

    The last panel is so Florrie! You can see where Florrie gets her enthusiasm.

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