Rychlé šípy ("Rapid Arrows") is the name of a fictional club of five boys, consisting of Mirek Dušín, Jarka Metelka, Jindra Hojer, Červenáček ("Red Cap"), Rychlonožka ("Speedy") and a dog named Bublina ("Bubble"). They were invented by the Czech writer Jaroslav Foglar. Rychlé šípy are universally known in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, virtually everyone is familiar with them. The name Mirek Dušín has even become proverbial, referring to someone who is extremely upright, honest and hard-working, and usually used sarcastically.
Rychlé šípy was originally a comic series issued from 1938 to 1989 with stand-stills enforced by the Communist regime of Czechoslovakia. Whilst it was always Jaroslav Foglar who wrote the text, the first series was drawn by Dr. Jan Fischer , the second series (around the Prague Spring 1968) was drawn by Marko Čermák. The first series was issued in the magazines Mladý Hlasatel ("Young Herald") and Vpřed ("Ahead").
Rychlé šípy are the main characters of the trilogy Dobrodružství v temných uličkách ("Adventures in the Dark Alleys"): Záhada hlavolamu ("Mystery of the Teaser", 1941), Stínadla se bouří ("Stínadla in Revolt") and Tajemství Velkého Vonta ("Secret of the High Vont"). Mystery of the Conundrum was made into a movie in 1993 – director: Petr Kotek and a TV series in 1969 – director: Hynek Bočan. Its famous props include the Tleskač flying bicycle, the mysterious Em, the dark alleys of Stínadla ("The Shades") and the song of the Vonts, which has no lyrics.
The most of the adventures from trilogy "Adventures in the Dark Alleys" (written by Jaroslav Foglar) happened in old town quarter called Stínadla, where lived boys organized in Vont organization, inimical to boys from other quarters and the whole quarter was introvertive.
Meaning of word Stínadla
Stínadla is an old Czech word, archaism, which is translated as "The Shades" but it is not exact. There is great similarity to the Czech word "stín" (=shadow) but it is only a semblance. The real meaning of this old Czech word Stínadla is place of execution. This word came from word "stínat" (=to behead).
Boys from other parts of town often laughed at boys from Stínadla that they lived on a former execution place. That was also the reason for the rise of the Vont organization, which was established by Vojtěch Vont, the first High Vont (the head of the organization). Vonts (and their organization) have their name for his honor. Once organized they were able to arrange "punitive expeditions" to the other quarters to punish the local boys for the mockeries. Thanks to this organization Vonts achieved reputation and respect of youngsters from the other parts of town, who were no more laughing at them, but feared them instead.
There are several places in the Czech Republic named Stínadla, Na Stínadlech etc.; however, the old town quarter as described in the trilogy is fictional.
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