“It’s Not the Years, It’s the Mileage”: An Indiana Jones Chronology, Part 2 — Risks and Rewards

Remarks in italics are not taken from explicitly-stated events in the canon material. They are my own speculations, logical inferences, gap-fillers, and extrapolations based on fragmentary references and passing mentions in the original sources.

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Early 1915 — Professor Henry Jones, Sr. returns to teaching at Princeton full-time, and Indiana completes his sophomore year of high school.

Indy, who as a youth never met an odd job he didn’t like, hires himself out as an errand boy for busy Princeton students.[1] Indy probably loathed asking his father for spending money, and liked to be out of the house as much as possible.

Summer 1915 — There is likely a round of summer school for Indy after missing his entire fall semester last year, and hopefully a trip to the New Mexico ranch he has grown attached to. His Uncle Fred and Aunt Grace provide the emotional stability his father does not, his similarly-aged cousin Fred, Jr. is one of his best friends, and ranch work agrees with him.

At some point this summer, Indy works shoveling coal at a train depot, either in Princeton or New Mexico. [2]

Autumn 1915 — Indy begins his junior year of high school. He gets a job as a soda jerk at the drugstore downtown. He also begins dating Nancy, the daughter of famous author Edward Stratemeyer, creator of the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew. Stratemeyer bases a lot of Nancy Drew on his daughter, who is independent and intelligent and loves mysteries.[3]  

February 1916 — Indy begins spring training for his high school baseball team.[3,4]

SpringBreakAdventureLate February, 1916 —  Indy is desperate to borrow Mr. Stratemeyer’s electric Bugatti car to take Nancy to the prom, but it needs a new generator. Indy takes the generator to an acquaintance of his father’s at Edison Laboratories in West Orange, N.J. Important plans for a long-lasting, powerful battery are stolen (along with, accidentally, the Bugatti generator). At first, German spies are suspected, but Indy and Nancy discover that a big oil company is behind the theft.[3]

February 26, 1916 —  Indy and Nancy attend the prom in triumph, much to the consternation of Indy’s rival, Butch.[3]

March 5, 1916 — Indy arrives at the New Mexico ranch for his spring break, accompanied by his father.[3]

March 8, 1916 — Indy and Fred, Jr. leave for a camping trip, promising to be back in time for Indy’s departure for Princeton on Sunday the 12th. What they actually intend to do is hitch a ride to the border town of Columbus, N.M., and visit the brothels. They arrive to find Columbus seemingly abandoned, but really just anticipating a violent raid by Pancho Villa and his Mexican revolutionaries. Indy and Fred get caught in the crossfire when the raid actually happens. Fred escapes, but Indy is taken by Villa’s men.[3]

Mid – Late March, 1916 — Inspired by Villa’s dedication for fighting for “the people,” Indy 2004c800-6554-11e4-871e-1b62bfda1b3c_young-indiana-jones-chronicles-sean-patrickquickly goes from hostage to participant. He meets Remy Baudouin, a hedonistic and temperamental Belgian ship’s cook several years his senior, who had jumped ship and settled in Mexico. Remy joined Villa after the federales raided his cantina and killed his wife. Indy also notices that one of the people Villa is trading with for weapons looks vaguely familiar and speaks Arabic. After spending a few days with Villa and his men, and observing their tactics which include theft and looting, Indy decides the revolution is hurting the people as much as helping. Upon seeing newsreel footage of the ongoing Great War, Remy decides to return to his homeland and fight for Belgium. Indy agrees to join him, but before he can do that, he finally recognizes Villa’s arms dealer as Dimitrios, the man who stole the jewel from the Egyptian tomb back in 1908. Indy recovers the jewel and rides to meet up with Remy in Veracruz and find a ship going to Europe.[3]

Early April 1916 — On the ship steaming from Mexico to Ireland, Indy and Remy have hidden themselves as stowaways. They are found out and put to work in the engine room. Indy gets them back in the captain’s good graces by overhearing a German saboteur attempting to induce the Mexican crew to mutiny. He tips off the captain, but not before nearly being tossed overboard.[5]

Indiana the dog dies in Princeton of old age as Indy is on his way to Ireland.[6]

Charming_Remy

Remy Baudouin

April 1916  Upon arrival in Dublin, Indy and Remy go to work as barmen in the local pub to afford the remaining fare to London, where they intend to enlist with the Belgian army. Indy’s flirtation with a young Irish girl, Maggie Leamass, prolongs their stay as he keeps spending his money on outings with her rather than saving it. Her brother Sean, who gradually builds a friendship with Indy, is a militant Irish Republican.[7]

April 24, 1916 — Indy witnesses the Easter Rebellion, a failed attempt to end Britain’s rule of Ireland and establish a free Irish republic. Many of the people known to Indy from his work at the pub and friendship with Sean and Maggie Leamass are involved.[7]

May 13, 1916 — Indy and Remy leave for London as soon as the final executions of the Irish Rebellion ringleaders are complete. (They had stayed to offer the Leamasses moral support.)[7]

Mid-May, 1916 —  In London, Indy and Remy officially enlist in the Belgian Army. Indy gives his age as 22, and his name as “Henri Defense.” (Remy indicates they would have taken him no matter what.) While waiting to be called up for service, Indy begins a relationship with a well-educated, outspoken English suffragette, Vicky Prentiss.[7]

Late May, 1916 — Indy thinks enough of Vicky to invite her to Oxford to visit his old tutor, Helen Seymour. Miss Seymour does not approve of Indy’s recent life choices, and insists Indy write his father (who still thinks he is in Mexico) and update him. Miss Seymour invites Indy and Vicky to a dinner party with Winston Churchill, who has words with Vicky on the topic of votes for women. Back in London, Indy proposes marriage to Vicky, who declines. Indy and Remy’s call-up papers arrive, and they set off for the battlefield.[7]

June 1916 — “Henri Defense” and Remy are now privates in the 9th Belgian Infantry, and participate in basic training at Le Havre, France. During his downtime, Indy acquires an old soprano saxophone and teaches himself how to to play it.[8]

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July – August 1916 — The 9th Belgian Infantry goes into combat in Flanders. Indy and Remy get their first taste of vicious trench warfare, seeing heavy action, witnessing the death of several comrades, and losing all of their company officers. Indy, at some point having been promoted to corporal, is in charge of the decimated unit when it is finally pulled from the front lines.[9]

Trenches_of_HellAugust 1916 — The much-reduced Belgian 9th are attached to the 14th French Infantry, and thrown into the Battle of the Somme, one of the bloodiest battles in the history of warfare. Their first assault on the high ground ultimately fails in the face of heavy German machine guns, poison gas, and flamethrowers. The second assault (after a two-day break), initially succeeds, but they don’t have enough troops to hold the position, and the Germans counterattack. Remy is severely wounded, and Indy is taken prisoner. At the prison camp, he participates in a tunnel escape, which fails. Because he is caught wearing a coat with the ID of another soldier (a repeat escapee), Indy is sent to Dusterstadt, a fortress on an island in the Rhine River being used as a maximum security prison for “incorrigibles.” There he meets Charles De Gaulle, another incorrigible repeat escapee. They devise an escape plan (leaving the prison inside the coffins of two dead prisoners). DeGaulle is re-captured, but Indy makes it to freedom.[9]

September 1916 —  Indy has returned to the Belgian Army, and is now working as a f1fa00ce56d3ea54aeef369d8e02882c--indiana-jones-sean-patrick-flanerymotorcycle courier, taking messages from the trenches to the high command in their palatial estates far from the front lines near Verdun. He witnesses yet another failed frontal assault across no man’s land. The French generals are growing increasingly desperate. Indy, who speaks fluent German, volunteers for a dangerous mission — sneaking over to the German lines under cover of night, and eavesdropping to see what intelligence he can glean from conversations in the command bunker. He discovers that two massive railway howitzers (“Big Berthas”) are being brought to this position in advance of another French attack. When the French high command are informed of this, they fall to squabbling among themselves, ordering, cancelling, and re-ordering the attack. Indy finally “loses” the written orders in a staged motorcycle accident. He is sent back to the trenches, where he reunites with a recovered Remy.[10]

October 1916 — Indy and Remy are granted a two-week furlough in Paris. Indy stays with a colleague of his father’s and, out of politeness, is forced to attend a high society dinner party rather than carouse in the bars and brothels with Remy. There he meets the exotic dancer Mata Hari, and he begins a passionate affair with the older woman. They are clandestinely followed wherever they go. Indy struggles with the fact that she is obviously seeing other men. He is finally confronted by British and French authorities, and warned to stay away from her. His two-week furlough is cancelled. (Mata Hari is later revealed to be a spy for Germany, and is executed the following year.)[11]

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Leading a charge on the African front

November 1916 — Indy and Remy are promoted to lieutenants and transferred to the African front. They get lost on their way to their new posting near Nairobi, and stumble onto an Allied camp in the middle of the savannah. They are the 25th Royal Fusiliers, made up mostly of older veteran soldiers, and they have been tasked with destroying a massive German railroad gun that seems to be able to disappear at will. Reconnaissance by Indy and the Fusiliers uncovers a tunnel hidden behind an artificial cliff face. After a complicated hijacking of the train, they succeed in their mission. The Fusiliers then agree to escort Indy and Remy to back their unit. They are captured and get taken to the German camp commanded by the legendary General Von Letow-Vorbeck. Indy and the Fusiliers manage to turn the tables on Von Letow-Vorbevk, and take him hostage. Indy, Remy, and their hostage accidentally take flight in a hot air balloon. After traveling many miles, the balloon crashes in the wilderness. They escape an encounter with hostile tribesmen, and facing a rapidly approaching German unit, Indy and Remy let their prisoner go in order to make a quick escape. They are soon picked up by the Fusiliers.[2]

PhantomTrainOfDoomLate November, 1916 — Back with his unit, Lt. “Defense” leads his mixed Belgian-African unit against an entrenched position under heavy fire. When Indy notices the enemy’s machine gun has jammed, he goes against Major Boucher’s withdrawal orders and continues the attack, which succeeds. Indy earns a promotion to captain, and the enmity of Major Boucher. Indy and the major are then ordered to lead a large expedition 2000 miles through the Congo region to retrieve a shipment of heavy machine guns that has foundered on the west coast of Africa, near Port Lopez. [11]

December 3, 1916 — The expedition across the Congo begins.[11]

Mid-December, 1916 — The trans-Congo expedition encounters a village wiped out by smallpox, except for one small boy, who seems healthy. Major Boucher orders the boy be left behind to die, but the company defies his orders.[11]

December 24, 1916 — Most of the company has perished from disease, and those that remain alive are very ill.[11]

Late December, 1916 — The steamboat the expedition has hired is ordered by Major Boucher to continue past a hospital that could treat them because it is run by a German — Albert Schweitzer. They make it to Port Lopez, drop off the boy with an orphanage, and bury Major Boucher, who died shortly before arrival.[11]

January 1917 — The French garrison at Port Lopez cannot spare any men to take theOganga guns back, so Indy and what’s left of the company will have to do it themselves. They are soon stuck down by fever, and forced to stop at Albert Schweitzer’s hospital. Indy recovers, but the hospital is shut down by the French, and the guns (and Indy) are re-directed to the European front.[11]

Late January, 1917 —  Indy and Remy request and are granted transfer to the Belgian military intelligence program. They quickly realize the program is disorganized and the rote classwork is boring. Indy forges paperwork to get them transferred to the more sophisticated French intelligence service.[1]

March 22, 1917 — French Intelligence assigns Remy to work undercover as an innkeeper in Brussels, and Indy is assigned to the 124th Squadron (the “Lafayette Escadrille”) as an aerial reconnaissance photographer for two weeks until a more permanent assignment is arranged. The 124th is made up largely of American volunteers, and the average survival rate for photographers is eight days.[1]

Late March, 1917 — Indy barely survives his first assignment when his plane is attacked by an entire German squadron. They make an emergency landing, the wounded pilot is taken to a prison hospital, and the unharmed Indy is invited to lunch by the pilot who shot them down, Manfred von Richthofen — the Red Baron. Von Richthofen points out that the 124th’s best pilot, Charles Nungesser, shot down his brother (who was wounded but not captured.) After the lunch, Indy is to be transferred to a prison camp, but he escapes and is picked up by a 124th pilot. As they arrive back at the French air base, the base is buzzed by a German pilot who drops a written challenge to Nungesser, inviting him to face the Red Baron in one-on-one aerial combat to avenge his brother. Nungesser accepts, and brings a reluctant Indy along to photograph his victory. He manages to shoot down von Richthofen, but they are themselves shot down by another group of German pilots. Everyone survives their landings. Von Richthofen meets with plane designer Anthony Fokker regarding a new tri-wing fighter plane, and Indy has his picture of Nungesser shooting down the Red Baron published in the newspaper.[1]

April 6, 1917 — Indy completes his two-week assignment with the Lafayette Escadrille on the same day the U.S. enters the war.[1]

AttackOfTheHawkmenEarly April, 1917 — Upon his return to Paris, Indy’s new mission is to convince Fokker, a Dutchman, to switch his allegiance from the Germans to the Allies. He is dropped by parachute into Hannover, Germany, by Nungesser, and manages to contact Fokker. Fokker declines the French offer, saying the money is not sufficient and German facilities are more suited to his needs. Indy overhears that Fokker’s latest prototype — a ten-engine bomber capable of crossing the Atlantic — is flying into a French air base. Disguised as a German officer, Indy infiltrates the base to take photos, but is spotted by security. In the ensuing gunfight, the hydrogen tanks are sparked, triggering an explosion that levels the base’s hangars, including Fokker’s prototype. Indy escapes via motorcycle to his rendezvous point with Nungesser.[1]

April 1917 — Indy is assigned to escort two emissaries — Princes Xavier and Sixtus of Bourbon-Parma — to meet with their brother-in-law, Emperor Charles I of Austria, in order to negotiate a separate peace between Austria and the Allies. Utilizing all Indy’s knowledge of spycraft and subterfuge, the trio make it safely into Austria, secure an offer of peace from the Emperor, and return safely to France despite being pursued at all times by German agents. Unfortunately, the German Kaiser finds out about the deal, and Austria is forced to withdraw its offer of peace.[12]

May – June 1917 — Indy is assigned to the French embassy in Petrograd (St. Petersburg), SecretServiceRussia, where he decodes and translates communications regarding a possible Bolshevik revolution in the wake of the czar being dethroned and the establishment of a weak provisional government. A Bolshevik victory would mean Russia pulling out of the war, shifting hundreds of thousands of German troops to the Western Front. Indy shares a large apartment with a group of young Russians, some of whom are Bolshevik revolutionaries. They are well aware he is a French spy, and they become friends despite differences in political loyalty. [12]

July 3, 1917 — Indy uses inside information to attempt to prevent his friends from taking part in a premature Bolshevik uprising, knowing it will lead to a government ambush. He fails to persuade them, and one of his roommates is killed.[12]

July 1917 —  Barcelona, Spain, is Indy’s next assignment. Spain is a neutral country unknowingly hosting a small team of Allied spies. His task is to assist in convincing Spain to join the Allies against Germany. The espionage team’s attempts to create a scandal leading to a diplomatic incident ends inconclusively. Indy works briefly undercover as a scimitar-wielding extra in the Russian ballet’s touring version of Scheherazade.[13]

August 5 – 8, 1917 — On a mysterious mission in Prague, Indy is told to wait in a specific apartment for a phone call that may change the course of the war. When the apartment’s phone is stolen, Indy goes through a three-day bureaucratic nightmare to get another phone installed. He gets the phone hooked up just in time for the important call, which just tells him to go to another apartment in Berlin — and have a phone installed.[13]

Early August, 1917 — Indy’s Berlin assignment comes to nothing.

August – October, 1917 —  Indy is on assignment in Cairo, working undercover as a merchant.[14] He probably meets up again with Sallah at this time.

DaredevilsOfTheDesertOctober 1917 — On the recommendation of his friend T.E. Lawrence (now known in the press as “Lawrence of Arabia”), Indy is attached to the British army in Palestine. The British are planning an attack on Beersheba, and need someone fluent in Arabic and Turkish for an infiltration mission. Fake battle plans have been planted to mislead the German-Turkish defense at Beersheba into thinking the British attack would be on Gaza. The Turkish commander, Col. Bey, decides to rig the wells with dynamite just in case. It is explained to Indy how the 50,000 British troops that will march across the desert over a period of two days to attack Beersheba will only be carrying one canteen of water each. If they can’t take Beersheba the same day they arrive with the wells intact and full of water they may die of thirst. Indy’s mission is to do everything he can to protect the wells. The mission fails due to the actions of a double-agent, and the wells are rigged to explode.[14]

October 31, 1917 — The British begin their charge on Beersheba, led by the Australian Light Horse Brigade. Indy and his fellow agent, Kazim, begin cutting the wires to the explosives as the Australians advance fast enough to ride in under the Turkish guns. Indy and Kazim manage to cut the wires around all of the wells except for one. Bey orders the wells to be re-wired, which Indy and Kazim, pinned down by the combat around them, cannot prevent. They finally manage to get to the tower where the main switchboard controlling the explosives is located. Bey flees the garrison while the German commander runs into the tower and orders the explosives to be triggered, but Indy shoots him at the last second. The British forces successfully capture Beersheba.[14]

Late 1917 – Early 1918 — Indy assists in combat operations along the Hejaz Railway in Palestine (which ultimately led to the liberation of Damascus on September 30, long after Indy was gone.)[8]

He also participates in an unrecorded mission in Vienna.[15]

Early Summer 1918 — In northern Italy, Indy is busy persuading Czech conscripts in theTales_of_Innocence Austrian army to desert to the Italian lines. He has also been romancing a young Italian girl, Giulietta, but he has a rival suitor in this department. He gets advice from his new friend, volunteer Red Cross ambulance driver Ernest Hemingway. He quickly discovers that Hemingway is his rival. They both desperately one-up each other for her affections.[8]

July 8, 1918 — Indy and Hemingway discover that Giulietta has rejected them both, and is  engaged to another man. They are still squabbling as they head back to headquarters, when they come under attack. Both are badly wounded.[8]

July 1918 — Indy recuperates from his injuries in a Venice hospital.[8]

August 1918 — With a cover identity as “Captain Duval” of the French Foreign Legion, Indy is sent to Morocco to uncover the source of guns and ammunition that are being smuggled to pro-German native rebels. His secondary mission is escorting famous writer Edith Wharton on her travels through the area. He traces the weapons to the household arsenal of Kamal, sheik of Hidron, and French loyalist. Indy uncovers a conspiracy between one of the sheik’s bodyguards and a traitorous French colonel that is funneling the weapons to the rebels.[8,16]

Late August 1918 —  French Intelligence places Indy undercover at the Balkan News Agency in Istanbul as “Nils Anderson,” a Swedish journalist.[15]

September 1918 — While on assignment in Istanbul, Indy has romantically involved himself with Molly, an American volunteer at an orphanage run by Halide Edib, a politically-connected Turkish nationalist. Indy uses her connections to get a meeting with Turkish General Kamal. French Intelligence hopes to negotiate a separate peace with Turkey, but their efforts are undermined by a double agent working within Indy’s small team at the Balkan News Agency. Kemal spurns the offer, and the double-agent is uncovered, but not before he kills Molly in a case of mistaken identity. Indy is transferred to Venice.[15]

Masks_of_EvilOctober 1918 —  Indy receives an assignment to investigate the capture of several Allied POWs by a rogue Romanian warlord, General Mattias Targo. Scouring the Romanian countryside, Indy’s team discovers a castle and locates the missing soldiers. Investigating the castle, Indy experiences another brush with the supernatural – the castle owner is revealed to be General Targo himself, a vampire that has created a personal army of undead soldiers. Indy succeeds in killing the vampire, possibly a reincarnation of Prince Vlad Tepes, which frees the soldiers from Vlad’s influence and allows them to finally rest in peace.[15]

October 24, 1918 — In failing health, Indy’s former tutor Helen Seymour writes him a letter urging reconciliation with his estranged father.[17]

November 4, 1918 — Helen Seymour dies in Oxford, England.[17]

Early November 1918 — French Intelligence reunites Indy and Remy, and sends them back into the trenches to arrest a corporal suspected of passing information to the enemy.[17]

November 11, 1918 — During the last few hours of combat before the armistice is to go into effect, Indy and Remy spot their target, but before they can get to him, he is shot by the German he was communicating with. The German’s attempt to search the body is interrupted by Indy and Remy, who search the body themselves and find a partial map in his boot. [17]

Late November, 1918 — Indy and Remy are discharged by French Intelligence, and head Totpefor England. Indy learns of Miss Seymour’s death and reads her final letter to him, but he is still not ready to face his father. Indy and Remy decide to use the clues on the map to track down the Peacock’s Eye, a massive diamond once in the possession of Alexander the Great.[17]

December 1918 – January 1919 — Indy and Remy begin their search for the Peacock’s Eye in Alexandria. Their map is stolen by Zyke, the same German they spotted the last day in the trenches. They trail Zyke all the way to Java on the far side of the Indian Ocean, where he meets with a group of conspirators in a hotel cafe, hoping to sell the diamond in Singapore. At the cafe, Indy also meets a tempestuous young woman named Lily, who was keeping company with the conspirators until she is dismissed from their presence. The next morning, Indy and Remy discover that Zyke has double-crossed his partners and is heading to the temple indicated on the map to get the diamond for himself. While Zyke looks in the wrong part of the temple, Indy and Remy manage to find the small iron box containing the diamond. Zyke takes it from them at gunpoint, steals their horses, and escapes. Indy and Remy return to the hotel on foot, and discover Zyke has been shot and killed and the box is gone.

Zyke had booked passage on a steamship to Singapore with his compatriots, so Indy and Remy get aboard and attempt to see if any of them have the box. Lily is forcibly put aboard the ship by Javan officials for unspecified reasons. Before Indy and Remy can discover anything, the ship is attacked by Chinese pirates, who take everything of value, including the box, which had been in Lily’s possession. Lily had been Zeke’s partner in a separate deal, and he had betrayed her as well. It was Lily who shot Zyke. Indy, Remy, and Lily board a lifeboat and chase the pirate ship, successfully boarding it. Before they can recover the box, they are discovered, and a gunfight breaks out in the ship’s hold. Lily is killed, and a massive fire breaks out. Indy and Remy use a lifeboat to trail the remaining pirates’ lifeboat to an island off the coast of New Guinea, inhabited by hostile headhunters. A melee ensues on the beach, and the pirates are killed.

Remy recovers the box, and he and Indy flee to a nearby island, where the natives are friendlier. They meet up with Polish anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski, who informs them that cargo ships pass through the area every so often and can get them back home. Remy pries open the box and discovers that it does not contain the Peacock’s Eye, but a simple inscribed stone. Indy translates the inscription, and it is another clue to the diamond’s actual location.

Indy_remy_peacockseye

Indy and Remy search for the Peacock’s Eye

Remy vows to continue the hunt. Indy decides it is time to make his way back home, and the two part ways.[17]

January – April 1919 — Indy makes an epic but unrecorded journey from New Guinea to Paris. 

April – May 1919 Before making the final leg of the return journey to the U.S., Indy picks up employment as a translator for the American delegation to the Paris Peace Conference that will finalize the end of the war. His up-close work with the diplomats as they compromise, break promises, and often make decisions based on greed, ignorance, and vindictiveness proves greatly disillusioning to the idealistic Indy. His friend T.E. Lawrence’s lengthy work for an independent Arabia comes to nothing as Britain and France divide up the region for themselves, and Indy’s personal intervention on behalf of the Vietnamese delegation meets a similar fate.[18]

c.May 10-15, 1919 — Indy finally sails for the U.S. The journey is brightened by meeting a young New York socialite, Amy Wharton, on board the ocean liner.[18]

Mid-May – Early June, 1919 — Soon after his arrival at Princeton, Indy runs into his high school girlfriend Nancy (who has married his old rival, Butch, and had a son). His father is still angry over how Indy left, and does not offer a warm welcome. Indy makes the trip up to Manhattan to visit Amy on weekends, while he works on weekdays as a lab assistant to Robert Goddard, the pioneer of rocket science. He also reconnects with his childhood friend, Paul Robeson, a future African-American civil rights activist who is graduating at the top of his class from Rutgers University.[18]

June 10, 1919 — Indy attends Paul Robeson’s graduation from Rutgers, and hears his “New Idealism” speech, which would one day achieve iconic status.[18]

henrysr

Henry Jones, Sr., 1919

Mid-June, 1919 — Indy’s relationship with his father continues to deteriorate, and after one final dinner table clash, Indy leaves home with the intention of studying archaeology at the University of Chicago in the fall.[18]  

Late June, 1919 — Indy pays a visit to the New Mexico ranch, and goes on a multi-day “vision quest” arranged by his old Navajo acquaintance Changing Man. Indy discovers his “spirit animal” is an eagle.[19]

Summer 1919 — Indy reaches out to the University of Chicago’s leading archaeology professor, Abner Ravenwood, who he had met as a child in Jerusalem. Ravenwood arranges for Indy to join an ongoing dig in North Africa supervised by a colleague.

Mid-July – August 1919 — Indy travels to North Africa for his first archeology dig, sponsored by the Smithsonian Institute and led by a Dr. Lucas.[20] He begins second-guessing his desire to be an archaeologist.

September 1919 — Indy begins attending University of Chicago. He declares his major as linguistics, although he will occasionally refer to himself as an archaeology studentThis may have been a last-minute olive branch to his father, who preferred that course of study for Indy. Indy definitely took archaeology classes when his schedule allowed, and maintained a close relationship with Abner Ravenwood, who served as a surrogate father figure. He also became friends with Professor Charles Kingston.

Fall 1919 — Indy gets a part-time job as a waiter at Colosimo’s Restaurant, where he can indulge his growing passion for jazz music, for which Colosimo’s is a live venue. His freshman dorm roommate is a studious, uptight killjoy named Eliot Ness.[21] Although a baseball fanatic, and a great high school player, in college Indy gravitates towards more unconventional sports, like javelin throwing.[19]

Spring 1920 — Indy has befriended several of Colosimo’s African-American musicians, MysteryOftheBlueswho encourage him to continue to practice his soprano sax, and even allowing him to sit in occasionally.[20] He probably meets hardcore jazz aficionado Jack Shannon at this point.

May 11, 1920 —  Restaurant owner (and underworld figure) Joe Colosimo is murdered.[21]

Mid-May, 1920 — Indy, his roommate Eliot Ness, and reporter Ernest Hemingway begin an investigation and trace Colosimo murder to a young bartender named Al Brown — soon to be known as Al Capone. They take their findings to the police chief, who refuses to do anything about it and destroys the evidence.[21,22]

June 1920 — Indy travels by train to New York City for a summer job. The job falls through, but he manages to get hired as assistant stage manager for the Broadway review George White’s Scandals (intended to be a rival to the Ziegfeld Follies). For a few weeks, he juggles the demands of his job and three attractive women — the bohemian literary critic Kate, the socialite Gloria, and Peggy, the naive midwestern girl he meets on the train. Peggy has a good singing voice, and Indy gets her a part in Scandals.[23]

July 1, 1920 — Despite advice and assistance from his new friend George Gershwin, maintaining three romantic attachments proves too much, and he ends up losing his job and all three girls — on his 21st birthday.[23]

HollywoodFolliesAugust – Early September, 1920 — Indy is hired by Universal Studios owner Carl Laemmle to travel to Hollywood and inform out-of-control director Erich von Stroheim that his latest over-budget epic, Foolish Wives, needs to finish filming in ten days or it will be shut down. He works with Universal executive Irving Thalberg to pare the script down without compromising von Stroheim’s artistic vision. They believe they have succeeded, but von Stroheim gathers his cast and crew and heads for Mexico to continue filming. Indy is dismissed by Laemmle, but lucks into a job as an assistant to western director John Ford. Indy ends up earning his entire tuition by performing a stunt in the film. He heads back to college with his leg in a cast.[24]

September 7, 1920 — Indy begins his second year at the University of Chicago.[24] He moves out of the dorms and into an apartment with Jack Shannon, a tall, red-headed economics major and cornet player with ties to the local Irish mob.

Indy takes a massively heavy class load, continues discussing archaeology with Professor Ravenwood, and also befriends one of Ravenwood’s star pupils, graduate student Harold Oxley. Oxley, an Englishman in his early thirties, seems to be one of those “professional students,” going from institution to institution collecting degrees. Marcus Brody, his father’s friend and Indy’s chaperone on his second trip to Egypt, is also working in Chicago at this time, and checks in on Indy occasionally.

Indy earns money as a language tutor.[19]

Fall 1921 — Indy is on track to earn a bachelor’s degree in three years, but this is imperiled by too much partying with Jack Shannon and too many late nights in the South Side jazz clubs.[19]

May 1922 — Despite almost being expelled for a Founders’ Day prank, Indy manages to graduate the University of Chicago with an undergraduate degree in linguistics.[19]

Summer 1922 — In anticipation of continuing with graduate studies at the prestigious University of Paris (generally known as “the Sorbonne”), Indy moves to France. Jack Shannon, wanting to explore the Parisian jazz scene, soon follows.[19]

This is the biggest continuity breaker in the entire canon. The novel Indiana Jones and the Peril of Delphi was published in 1991. An opening chapter depicts Indy’s graduation from the University of Chicago as taking place in 1920, and he is a third-year grad student at the Sorbonne when the main events of the novel take place in 1922. The producers of the “Young Indy” TV series, which began production the following year, completely ignored the Peril at Delphi and followed its own timeline, which contradicts the novel’s version of 1920. So the reader (and chronology maker) must take a leap of imagination, and pretend Peril at Delphi’s “1920” prologue is really 1922, and Indy is a first-year grad student at the Sorbonne.

October 1922 Despite being a languages student at the Sorbonne, Indy, as heIndianaJonesAndThePerilAtDelphi did in Chicago, manages to squeeze in archaeology courses. He is invited by his archaeology professor, Dorian Belecamus, to assist with her investigation of the ancient shrine of Delphi in Greece, which had recently suffered earthquake damage. The quake has opened a crevice, which is emitting a mysterious vapor. Dorian and her lover, Col. Mandraki, are actually part of a coup attempt to dethrone the Greek king. After double-crossing Mandraki, Dorian says she has no real interest in the coup, but is interested in the power that is generated by the Omphalos — the conical stone from which the Oracle of Delphi supposedly derived her prophetic power. She forces Indy to retrieve the Omphalos from the crevice. (When he get stuck, he makes a promise to himself to never go anywhere without his bullwhip.) Indy manages to escape and is allowed to leave the country with the Omphalos (described as nothing more than a polished meteorite — “a mere curiosity.”)

As Indy begins his journey back to Paris, he decides to send the Omphalos to Marcus Brody, currently working as a curator at the National Museum’s Chicago branch. He also decides to officially change the focus of his studies from linguistics to archaeology, which is what he had really wanted all along.[19]

December 1922 In his second month as an archaeology grad student, Indy works on a dig in southern Iraq during his winter break. There is some controversy over the credit for the discovery of an important artifact, the Pu-Abu Harp of Ur. A South American archaeologist, Dr. Adres Uribe, claims that Indy stole credit for the find, and carries a violent grudge against him for decades. (Indy later calls it a “misunderstanding.”)[25]

Late December, 1922  — Before returning to Paris, Indy makes a brief holiday visit to his father, and helps celebrate Marcus Brody’s move from the National Museum branch in Chicago to the more prestigious New York branch. It is at this point that Indy reveals he is dropping linguistics in favor of archaeology. This leads to another explosive argument with Henry Jones, Sr. and Indy has little contact with him for the next fifteen years. In his father’s absence, he becomes good friends with Brody.[26]

Early 1923 – Early 1925 — While continuing his studies at the Sorbonne, Indy spent time on his breaks working as a digger on various archaeological sites, learning the trade from the ground up. He spent time in the Caribbean, particularly in Haiti. There was also a visit to Tibet, and probably a long stay in Cairo with Sallah, who was married and beginning a family.

During the academic year, Indy earns his tuition as a laboratory assistant in the Sorbonne’s archaeology department. He has developed mild astigmatism, and occasionally wears a pair of wire-rimmed eyeglasses.[26]

1924 — A fellow grad student at the Sorbonne, Rene Belloq, wins the Archaeological Society Prize with a brilliant paper on stratigraphy — the basis of which was research notes he stole from Indy.[27]

Indy is also visited by Harold Oxley at several points during his time in Paris.[28]

Summer 1924 —  The Sorbonne sponsors a ten-day trip to allow its grad students to observe Ice Age era cave paintings in the Trois Freres region of southern France. Indy attempts to instigate a relationship with an art history student, Mara Rodgers of Utah, but she is leaving for Rome at the end of the summer. The trip ends in a bizarre tragedy. The group leader, Walcott, falls into an underground river in the moments after threatening Indy’s life over credit for discovery of a cave full of Ice Age artifacts. Indy and Mara maintain a written correspondence over the next four years.[29]

May 1925 — Indy graduates from the University of Paris with a Ph.D in archaeology.[26]

1. The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones (AYIJ), Ch. 12: “Attack of the Hawkmen”

2. AYIJ, Ch. 10: “The Phantom Train of Doom”

3. AYIJ, Ch. 6: “Spring Break Adventure.” “Nancy Stratemeyer” is fictional.

4. In the comic book series Indiana Jones: Thunder in the Orient, Indy mentions once having the “best arm in Ivy League baseball.” Since the University of Chicago is not an Ivy League school, he may be jokingly referring to playing for the high school team in Princeton.

5. “Young Indiana Jones Chronicles: Mid-Atlantic, 1916”

6. Indiana Jones: The Ultimate Guide. Young Indiana Jones and the Secret City states that Indiana died sometime in 1913-14 after being bitten by a rattlesnake, but he is definitely mentioned as still alive in the TV episode “Spring Break Adventure,” which is higher canon and set in 1916. So we shall say the rattlesnake incident “nearly” killed Indiana.

7. AYIJ, Ch. 7: “Love’s Sweet Song”

8. AYIJ, Ch. 16: “Tales of Innocence”

9. AYIJ, Ch. 8: “Trenches of Hell.” A screw-up by the TV production team really bothered me here. According to the original broadcast, they set this in August. But the trees are bare, there’s snow on the ground, and it’s visibly freezing cold. Since I am no longer bound by the original broadcast dates, I tried like hell to squeeze this into October, or even late September. But events in subsequent episodes are tied to actual historical events, and I couldn’t make it all fit in a reasonable amount of time. So this is one chilly August.

10. AYIJ, Ch. 9: “Demons of Deception”

11. AYIJ, Ch. 11: “Oganga, the Giver and Taker of Life”

12. AYIJ, Ch. 13: “Adventures in the Secret Service.” Historically, these secret peace negotiations took place in March, not April.

13. AYIJ, Ch. 14: “Espionage Escapades”

14. AYIJ, Ch. 15: “Daredevils of the Desert”

15. AYIJ, Ch. 17: “Masks of Evil”

16. The original TV broadcast accurately portrayed Edith Wharton’s visit to Morocco as the summer of 1917. The DVD re-edit now has her erroneously there in 1918.

17. AYIJ, Ch. 18: “Treasure of the Peacock’s Eye”

18. AYIJ, Ch. 19: “Winds of Change.” Indy is depicted as witnessing both Robeson’s speech (June 10) and the signing of the Versailles Treaty (June 28, long after his return to the U.S.)

19. Indiana Jones and the Peril at Delphi

20. Indiana Jones and the Army of the Dead

21. AYIJ, Ch. 20: “Mystery of the Blues”

22. Historical error here. Ernest Hemingway was still working in Toronto in the spring of 1920. He moved to Chicago in September. Also, Eliot Ness did not begin attending the University of Chicago until the following year.

23. AYIJ, Ch. 21: “Scandal of 1920”

24. AYIJ, Ch. 22: “Hollywood Follies”

25. Indiana Jones and the Arms of Gold

26. Indiana Jones and the Dance of the Giants

27. Raiders of the Lost Ark novelization. Alternatively, Indy meets Belloq for the first time in the novel Indiana Jones and the Dinosaur Eggs, set in 1933. But he is clearly known to Indy in both Indiana Jones Adventures digest comics, set in 1930 and 1931. I think the Raiders novelization version is more fun, and his initial line to Indy in Dinosaur Eggs ( “I have waited such a long time to meet you”) is just fuzzy enough to be open to interpretation. (Maybe he waited at that particular place a long time?)

28. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Indy mentions he and Oxley were “obsessed” with the Mitchell-Hedges crystal skull, and implies they frequently discussed it. The Mitchell-Hedges skull wasn’t discovered until 1924, so Oxley either visited Indy in Paris, or they shared their obsession via letter.

29. Indiana Jones and the Unicorn’s Legacy

There is a brief trip to Panama in the spring of 1922 with Professor Kingston, but this only appears in the PSP hand-held version of the Staff of Kings video game, so I felt it did not merit inclusion on the main timeline.

 

 

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