THE JUG WITH THE DEVIL'S POTION
This humble shop in a side alley of Athens belongs to antiques dealer Max Tiberias.
Business is great, as Max is selling some most peculiar wares under the counter ...
But first: the famous ruins of Port Levant:
Another illegal dig, Captain!
Unfortunate! Once again the perpetrators got away!
If they dug up something valuable, there's only one man who can sell it!
Me? Dealing in stolen antiquities? But Captain!
Don't give me that, old scoundrel! We know what the deal is!
You'd better tell me who has the statues, Tiberias!
I don't understand! All I sell is what you see here!
Don't believe me? Search my store!
Pointless! They got rid of the loot long ago! But I swear I'll get you someday!
Once the police have left ...
Are they gone?
Yes, you can come out!
Show me what you got, my friend!
Wonderful isn't it? I dug him up last night!
Meh! Full of scratches and cracks! I'll give you ten piasters tops!
What? But all my labor and risk of discovery!
Hm, imagine if someone told the cops how you spend your nights!
But Max, you can't do that!
Alright then, ten piasters!
Minus five to compensate me for MY risk!
As usual the statue earns Max a small fortune ...
A masterpiece, signora! And practically free at that price!
A genuine Greek classic! My friends will be so jealous!
Call me a fence, but this poor orphan is now the richest man in town!
But what use is all my money? I would gladly give it up to be as young as those two!
Next day the proprietors of the orphanage request a donation ...
You must be kidding me! I'm working much too hard for my money to give it up!
But the city is full of desperate children, and they say you are very wealthy!
And you were an orphan yourself!
Yes, and I starved and toiled! Let the brats take a lesson from that!
Come on, it's useless!
Next day ...
A friend sent me! He thinks you might be interested!
I've never seen an amphora like that! Where did it come from?
I was diving in a cave when I found something ...
A shipwreck! The oldest I've ever seen!
When I found the vase I took it with me! I thought it might be worth something!
So, what will you give me for it?
Hmm, even if it has an unusual shape, there are many of these you know!
I'll gladly give you three piasters!
Thank you so much! I can really use it!
The sponge harvest is failing! Should I bring more items?
This one's a steal! I know an English dealer who'll buy any amount for a hundred piasters each!
A few days later ...
I can't pay as much for this one! It is smaller!
Alright sir! I must feed my children!
That's odd! the other vases were empty, but this one is still sealed!
Curious, Tiberias opens the flask ...
A golden liquid!
Looks like the finest wine!
Bah! Probably some chemical residue formed by the effects of salt water! Take your money and go!
Then Max begins to study the amphora ...
An inscription! What might it mean?
The answer appears after lengthy studies ...
Got it! Those symbols mean "nectar"! The nectar of the gods!
So what! Nothing but superstition! No matter how much I stir, it remains wine!
But what's that? The pencil is changing color...turning green!
AAAH! It's turning into a twig!
How can this be? Does the book have an answer? Yes, here it is!
Through this magic potion, the Greek Gods enjoyed eternal youth!
Eternal youth! What I desire more than anything! I'll have to test it!
Oh no, the cat is drinking my potion!
Cursed animal! Scram! Get out of here!
My goodness! The cat's transforming too!
But wait! There's a warning! A terrible fate awaits any mortal who imbibes this holy liquid!
Hah! I must become young to enjoy my great wealth!
To the last drop! It must work!
Max Tiberias casts the mug aside ...
It's happening! I can feel it! My years are retreating!
My hair is dark again, with smooth skin! I barely look forty!
Ever more youth pulses through Max's body ...
My clothes are tightening! So what, I have enough money to buy new ones!
Moments later ...
What? I'm still rejuvenating! Did I drink too much?
As Tiberias speeds towards his childhood, his wealth is forgotten ...
I want to play with the kitty!
Come here, kitty! - kitty! - Puss!! Puss!! - UMGLBF!
Next afternoon ...
You see Captain, that's how I found him when I entered the store!
Goodness! And no trace of Tiberias!
A shattered amphora! Something curious happened here!
Leave it be! First we must deal with the baby!
But at the orphanage ...
Impossible! We're bursting at the seams! We couldn't get funding to expand our premises!
Just a few days ago we were at the wealthy Tiberias! But he wouldn't spare a single piaster!
Why was this poor boy alone in his store? How strange.
In that case, I'll have to find another home for him! Maybe he'll turn out alright, or he could end up a miserable beggar!
So Max Tiberias got to repeat his youth. But not in the way he had wished for!
Sweep faster or no supper for you, get it?
A fantastical tale? But so it is written.