The Brothers Nobody Knew: Collyer Brothers

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During the 20th century, just what exactly did these two brothers accomplish? Absolutely nothing.
—Cover page

The Brothers Nobody Knew: Collyer Brothers (誰も知らない兄弟『コリヤー兄弟』 Dare mo Shiranai Kyōdai "Koriyā-Kyōdai") is the third chapter of The Lives of Eccentrics series, written by Hirohiko Araki and illustrated by Hirohisa Onikubo. It was originally published in the second issue of Manga Allman in 2002.


The story narrates the life of the Collyer Brothers: Homer (born 1881) and Langley (born 1885). Although they attained notoriety, they accomplished exactly nothing of note except hoarding goods in their home.

Their life is narrated through a series of interviews. A merchant recalls selling to the Langley a car, although he doesn't know what Langley did with the vehicle afterwards. An old woman named Ms. Bender recalled that she was engaged to Homer, but that he abruptly ended their relationship. A real estate agent explains how the Collyer brothers lived in Harlem, which was (at the time) a rich neighborhood; but that the influx of black people drove the elite away. One of Langley's old classmates then shares that the Collyer brothers' father, a doctor, abandoned his family. This caused the brothers to disconnect themselves from the world. Finally, a shopkeeper narrates how he dealt with the brothers and used to sell them more than a hundred oranges each week to cure Homer's blindness; Langley then stopped buying oranges, and bought newspapers instead.

It is revealed that the interviewers are a duo of burglars who are interested in the Collyer brothers and their family fortune. Convinced that the brothers are hiding a huge fortune in spite of their strange way of life, the leader of the pair decides to sneak in the house with his acolyte. After breaking the front door open, the burglars find the entryway barred by a massive array of furniture, which the leader interprets as a barricade against intruders. With all the windows barred and the backdoor blocked, the burglars must find a way through the furniture.

The acolyte finds a tunnel behind a drawer, but it is revealed to be a trap covered in cacti. When they finally cross the first barrier, the acolyte finds a dollar bill on the floor. When he tries to pick it up, however, his finger is bitten by a rat that was formerly trapped under the bill. Angered, the acolyte decides to go first through a tight passage, just so that he can reach the Collyer brothers first and get revenge for himself. However, he steps on a piano key, triggering yet another trap - causing an ice pick to pierce his leg, and subsequently releasing a bundle of firecrackers which fall into and explode inside of his mouth. As the acolyte gesticulates, he triggers another trap, and is covered in a flammable liquid. After surviving the subsequent explosion, the leader manages to reach the Collyer brothers' room. However, when he opens the door, he discovers the corpse of Homer; and in the process, triggers a final trap, causing him to be crushed by a falling car.

When the police finally investigated the house, they found Homer's corpse and determined that he had died of starvation. For his part, Langley had been killed by one of his own traps. The value of all their possessions was estimated to be 100,000 dollars from the sales of their property - and, subsequently, the money was given to a family relative.

For unknown reason, the story jumps to a doctor who recalls an incident in which a man had to see her wife die from diabetes. To preserve his tranquility, he hid his wife's death and buried her beneath his house. He wasn't found out until years afterwards.




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