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The Traveling Tradesman
NPC-Male-3
Biographical Information
World Land of Stories
Title(s) Unknown
Also known as "Mr Tradesman" (Alex)
Physical information
Species Human
Gender Male
Age (old)
Hair colour Grey
Eye colour Unknown
Other Traits One of his eyes wanders to the left and he has a long, grey beard.
Family information
Family Members Unknown
Affiliation Unknown
Land of Stories
First Appearance The Wishing Spell, ch 7
Appeared in Book(s) The Wishing Spell, The Enchantress Returns

Background

The Traveling Tradesman is a character appearing in several fairy tales as a shady salesman of "magical" items or magic tricks, for example in Jack and the Beanstalk.

In The Wishing Spell, he is the one who gives Mr. Bailey the information he needs to find Hagatha and ask her about the Wishing Spell. He also appears in The Enchantress Returns.

Appearance and Personality

"The traveling Tradesman was an odd, elderly, disheveled man. He wore several layers of raggedy clothing, and he had a long, grey beard. There were dark circles under his eyes, and one of the eyes wandered to the left, so it was difficult to tell what or whom he was looking at."[1]

When he is first introduced by mention in Mr. Bailey's journal, he offers Mr. Bailey several "deals", claiming the items he has on sale are magical (pebbles that grow into boulders, a loaf of bread that makes you never be hungry again).[2] In a later chapter, the twins meet him in the trolls & goblin slave cells, where he has apparently been held captive for so long it takes him a while to remember his own name. He refuses to flee, saying he is wanted in every kingdom anyway for doing many bad things, and helps the twins escape by stalling the trolls & goblins.[3]

"Maybe he thought trading his freedom for ours would be the only honest trade he'd ever make," Conner said.[4]

In The Enchantress Returns, it is revealed that he has tried to assemble the Wand of Wonderment himself, but eventually gave up and became a Tradesman instead. He gives away his last beans for free to help the twins regrow the Beanstalk.[5]

He says he never stays at one place longer than one day, and has a cart that disguises his tracks as a bird's footprints.[6] The cart has a small bed and a table inside, as well as many tradable items and livestock he received as payment.[7]

Relationships

The Traveling Tradesman is not mentioned to have any relatives, friends or companions. In The Enchantress Returns, he refers to Jack as his favorite customer, and him being "like a son" to him.

"After giving you those beans my sales went through the roof! You gave me my career, old boy! You'll always be like a son to me, Jack." -Conner cleared his throat. "The kind of son you rip off in a trade that sends him on a life-threatening adventure?" he asked. The Tradesman rethought his words. "More like a nephew, then."[8]

Story

1. The Wishing Spell

The Traveling Tradesman is the one to tell the twins that Hagatha is dead. He helps them escape the Troll and Goblin Territory.

2. The Enchantress Returns

He helps the twins' cause by giving him more of the magic beans he once sold Jack to regrown the Beanstalk.

3. A Grimm Warning

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Quotes

(Add your fave quote here!)

References

  1. TLOS I, ch 7 p. 136
  2. TLOS I, ch 7, p. 137
  3. TLOS I, ch 11, p. 260
  4. TLOS I, ch 11, p. 260
  5. TLOS II, ch 15
  6. TLOS II, ch 15, p. 257
  7. TLOS II, ch 15, p. 258
  8. TLOS II, ch 15, p. 263

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