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.
1934 — Abner Ravenwood dies in Nepal. Marcus Brody returns as curator of the National Museum after three years working for the American Museum of Natural History.
Late Summer 1934 — A large-scale excavation Indy had been organizing for the Rub al Khali desert in Saudi Arabia has to be abandoned because Rene Belloq got to the site first.
Fall 1934 — Indy begins his first year of teaching at Barnett College, located in upstate New York, and closely associated with the National Museum. Marcus Brody sits on the college’s Board of Regents.
December 1934 — Indy is hired by Caspar Zzyzx to recover a treasure map in the South Pacific island chain known as the Marquesas Islands. The map is recovered with some difficulty, and Indy’s colleague Dr. Lopez is killed by headhunters.
January 5, 1935 — Aboard their chartered ship, the Julie Anne, Indy, Zzyzx, and the ship’s captain, Whitby, analyze the map and determine it leads to the “Shrine of the Sea Devil,” an underwater temple of major archaeological significance 1900 miles to their north. The Julie Anne heads there, while her crew plots mutiny. They believe the shrine to be filled with pearls, and the first mate, Turps, has a score to settle with Indy.
January 11, 1935 — While Indy is diving below the surface, the crew takes over the ship. Indy finds the shrine, but in the process, awakens a giant octopus, which causes catastrophic damage to the Julie Anne, killing the mutinous crew. (Zzyzx and Whitby escape on a dinghy.) Turps, the last surviving crew member, attempts to fight off the giant octopus with hand grenades, but only succeeds in destroying the ship once and for all. Clinging to the wreckage, Indy is rescued by Amelia Earhart, who is making her historic solo Hawaii-to-California flight.
April 1935 — On an expedition in Ceylon, Indy has a run-in with a Nazi SS colonel called Albrecht von Beck, and recovers an artifact known as the Heart of Koru Watu.
Late April, 1935 — Indy is visited at Barnett College by two Chinese officials, Kai Ti Chan and his female assistant Mei Ying. They commission him to find the massive black pearl known as the “Heart of the Dragon,” located in the tomb of the first Chinese emperor. (Indy had been inside the tomb before — very briefly — in the spring of 1934.) The Heart is said to have immense power, and the Chinese government is worried it will be found by dangerous people. To navigate the tomb’s treacherous paths, Indy will need to assemble the “Mirror of Dreams,” the first piece of which is to be found inside the artifact he had just brought back from Ceylon.
May 1935 — Indy travels to Prague Castle in Czechoslovakia to recover the second piece of the Mirror, and goes on to Istanbul for the third (outwitting von Beck and his Nazis at every turn.) Mei Ying approaches him in Istanbul, and informs him that Kai is a Triad crime lord in league with the Nazis. Indy and Mei Ying travel to Hong Kong to rendezvous with Indy’s associate Wu Han and infiltrate Kai’s stronghold. Before they can act, Mei Ying is abducted by von Beck and taken by submarine to Kai’s private East China Sea island. Indy and Wu Han tail them there on a junk, and overhear Kai and von Beck agree that Hitler can have the Heart once Kai has used it to take over China. Leaving Wu Han behind, Indy makes a dangerous trip through the bowels of Kai’s fortress, picking up an ancient weapon known as Pa Cheng (“Dragon’s Claw”). He frees Mei Ying, collects Wu Han, and the trio flees back to Shanghai. Indy and Mei Ying continue on the the tomb’s location near Xian. Using the Black Mirror, they navigate most of the way to the center of the massive tomb’s interior, but become separated. In a final attempt to kill Indy, von Beck appears driving a drilling machine straight at him. Vo Beck loses control and goes over the edge of a chasm and vanishes for good. Indy finally gets to the Heart, but the power it unleashes causes him to drop it. Kai shows up and is able to briefly harness the power, summoning a some of the emperor’s terra-cotta soldiers, and a massive dragon. With the help of Mei Ying and the Pa Cheng, Indy manages to turn the power of the Heart against Kai and destroy him.
Late May 1935 — After abandoning the search for the Peacock’s Eye diamond back in 1919, Indy is offered the chance to finally possess it. In exchange for Indy recovering the cremated remains of Chinese emperor Nurhachi, Chinese millionaire (and organized crime boss) Lao Che will give him the diamond in payment. Indy does not seem to be in any great hurry to get started, lingering in Hong Kong with Mei Ying before heading back to Shanghai.
Early June 1935 — Indy and Wu Han recover the ashes of Nurhachi in an adventure that goes unrecorded. Indy also befriends a young Shanghai orphan boy, Short Round. Short Round, somewhere between 10 and 12 years old (no one is really sure) had attempted to pick his pocket, but Indy quickly became fond of him and promised to get him to the U.S.
June 14, 1935 — On high alert, Indy goes to his pre-arranged meeting with Lao Che in a Shanghai nightclub. Wu Han is already there, disguised as a waiter. One of Lao’s sons, Kao, had attempted to steal the ashes the night before, and got a maimed hand for his efforts. The nightclub’s singer (and Lao’s mistress) Willie Scott joins them at the table. In a tense confrontation, Lao finally turns over the diamond when faced with Wu Han’s pistol — but he has poisoned Indy’s drink. Chaos erupts in the nightclub as Wu Han is shot and killed by Lao’s other son, Chen. Kao opens up with a submachine gun. The diamond is lost in the confusion, but Indy knows that Willie has the antidote to the poison. He grabs her and jumps out the window, their fall broken by several awnings. They land in a car driven Short Round, who gets them to the Shanghai airport after a brief street chase. They arrange transport on a Ford Tri-motor freight plane, unaware that the freight company is owned by Lao Che.
June 15, 1935 — The freight plane pilots, on orders from Lao Che, dump the plane’s fuel and bail out. Indy attempts to use his limited piloting skills, but when he discovers the fuel situation, realizes they must bail out, too — with no parachutes. They use an inflatable raft to slow their fall when they bail out at low altitude. They ride the raft down the snowy foothills of the Himalayas, and end up in a river passing an impoverished village in northern India. The village began suffering from extreme drought when its protective “Sankara stone” was stolen from its shrine — along with all the village children. The village’s holy man asks Indy (who he believes was sent from the sky by Shiva) to go to nearby Pankot Palace (believed by most to be abandoned) and retrieve the stone and the children.
June 16, 1935 — Feeling obligated to help the people of the village, Indy, Willie and Short Round ride on elephants toward Pankot Palace.
June 17, 1935 — After a day-and-a-half’s ride, the party arrives at Pankot Palace, which is not abandoned — in fact, it has been restored and seems to be thriving. It is presided over by a child maharajah, and his prime minister, Chatter Lal. At a banquet later that evening, Indy begins asking uncomfortable questions — Pankot was once at the center of an area terrorized by the bloodthirsty Thuggee cult. The maharajah and Lal deny that the Thuggee have been revived, and Lal brings up Indy’s own less-than-stellar reputation as a grave-robber, making a point that rumors can be damaging. Indy is also curious about the food at the banquet — a bizarre meat-based menu (eels, beetles, monkey brains) that no true Hindu would ever touch. Indy’s suspicions are further aroused when he is attacked in his room later that night. After dispatching his assailant, Indy discovers a secret door that leads to a massive underground temple. Indy, Willie, and Short Round observe a Thuggee human sacrifice ritual presided over by the high priest of Kali, Mola Ram. After the ceremony is over and the worshippers have exited, Indy attempts to get the three Sankara stones that are on the altar, but is captured along with his two companions.[5,6]
June 18, 1935 — Short Round is put to work in with the abducted village children in the mines below the temple, digging for the two remaining Sankara stones. Indy is forced to drink a hallucinogenic brew that induces the “black sleep of Kali” and putting him into a zombie-like trance. Willie is set to be the next sacrifice. Short Round escapes the mines and awakens Indy from his trance by burning him with a torch. Indy grabs the three stones, rescues Willie, frees the children, and the three escape via a fast-running mine cart. Mola Ram orders all the mine tunnels flooded. Indy and company barely avoid the deluge, make it out a tunnel exit, and clamber up a cliffside to a rope bridge over a deep river gorge. They are quickly surrounded by Mola Ram and his Thuggees. Indy cuts through the bridge supports, the bridge snaps in two and slams into the cliff wall. Most of the Thuggees are dispatched, but Indy must still defeat Mola Ram as they dangle over the river. Mola Ram is ultimately sent plunging to his death, and Indy manages to save one of the stones from following him into the river. The British Army arrive to provide assistance.
June 20, 1935 — Indy, Willie, Short Round, and the children return to the village.
Late June, 1935 — Willie and Short Round return to the U.S. .
July – August, 1935 — Remaining in India, Indy’s curiosity is piqued when he finds some map fragments leading to the Temple of the Forbidden Eye, a Bengalese temple buried under silt in a flood of the “Lost Delta” 2000 years ago. The map proves accurate, and Indy begins a large-scale excavation immediately. He brings in Sallah as a consultant and partner. Word soon leaks out that the temple offers all visitors either earthly riches, eternal youth, or visions of the future. The site is flooded with curiosity seekers…and is also running out of funding. Sallah decides to monetize the situation by offering motorized tours of the dig site for a fee. In the meantime, Indy had gone missing for a week, deep within the temple searching for the source of the temple’s power. He returned to the surface not long after rescuing one of the tour groups that had gone astray. The massive dig and profitable tours continued under Sallah’s supervision for an unknown time after Indy returns to the U.S.
May 23, 1936 — Archaeologist Henrik Mellberg sends a letter requesting the assistance of Indy on a matter of grave importance. Five years earlier, Mellberg and two associates, Francis Beresford-Hope and Marwell O’Brien, discovered the key to the “Tomb of the Gods” in a remote Russian village north of the Arctic Circle. They divide the key into three pieces and each man takes one for safekeeping. O’Brien’s portion of the key has recently fallen into the hands of the Nazis (specifically, the “Ahnenerbe” — the “ancestral heritage” branch of the SS, supervised by Friedrich von Hassell). When Indy arrives at Mellberg’s Manhattan apartment, he finds the Nazis are already interrogating him. Mellberg is fatally shot as they make their escape, and his portion of the key ends up in the hands of mercenary treasure hunter Janice Le Roi. Indy and Marcus Brody agree that the third piece must be recovered as soon as possible.
June 6, 1936 — Indy and Brody arrive in Lhasa, Tibet, the last known location of Beresford-Hope.
June 10, 1936 — Beresford-Hope had died alcoholic and insane in a cave in Tibet, but Indy and Brody discover his son son, Alex, who is initially suspicious, fearing they may be Nazi agents. They escape an attack by Tibetan bandits with the help of pilot Jock Lindsey.
June 12, 1936 — Indy, Brody, and Alex Beresford-Hope arrive in Shanghai. Alex turns over his father’s piece of the key, which has a map that can guide them to the tomb’s location in remote Siberia. Brody and Indy argue over what to do next, with Brody all for dynamiting the tomb to prevent whatever’s inside from getting released, and Indy driven by his curiosity to discover whatever’s inside actually is. Indy’s view wins out, and he and Alex plan to continue to without Brody.
Mid-June, 1936 — After their ship stops in Japan, the final piece is taken from Indy by von Hassell and Le Roi. Von Hassell turns on Le Roi as well, cutting her arm to attract sharks, and setting her and Indy adrift in an oarless boat in the icy North Pacific, and keeping Alex as a hostage. They are rescued by a whaling ship who spotted the signal fire they had made out of articles of their clothing. Marcus Brody was also aboard the ship, trailing them in case he was needed. Grateful for Indy saving her life, Le Roi draws a map from what she remembers on the two key fragments.
June 25-26, 1936 — The whaling ship arrives in Siberia in the vicinity of the Tomb. They race Von Hassell’s Ahnenerbe team on dogsleds, both sides tumbling into a crevasse opened by a lightning strike. After wandering through the caverns for some time, Indy and Le Roi find that von Hassell has discovered the door to the Tomb, and pressures Alex to open it. Alex refuses, and is immediately killed by von Hassell. Brody is ordered to open the door next, but suddenly three of Von Hassell’s men are possessed by the spirits of the tomb, and open fire with their machine guns. Indy overpowers the men and rescues Brody. Impatient, von Hassell opens the door himself. Inside is a vault with a seemingly bottomless pit. Unsure what monstrosity could or would emerge from that pit, Indy comes around to Brody’s viewpoint. He shoves von Hassell into the pit, lights some dynamite, and seals the door.
August 1936 — With a crew of two Peruvian mercenary “guides,” Satipo and Barranca, and five native Quechua Indian bearers, Indy searches for a hidden temple in the jungles of Peru, where he hopes to find the golden Idol of the Chachapoyans. They are making their way through territory belonging to a tribe of hostile warriors, the Hovitos. Indy has half of a map, Satipo and Barranca the other. As they get closer to the temple, they are abandoned by their superstitious native bearers. Barranca attempts to take Indy’s half of the map, but is dealt with by bullwhip and flees into the jungle. Satipo meekly agrees to continue. They are following in the footsteps of another archaeologist (“a competitor” as Indy describes him), Forrestal, who never returned. Indy and Satipo enter the temple and quickly discover the decayed corpse of Forrestal, speared by one of the temple’s many security traps. They continue on, skirting the temple’s traps, until they come to the final room. Indy attempts to remove the idol without triggering anything, but fails, and the pair flee for their lives as a massive boulder is released to crush them. Satipo — afterattempting to take the idol for himself — is killed by the same trap that got Forrestal. Indy recovers the idol and exits the temple just as the massive boulder seals it shut. He is immediately confronted by a group of Hovitos, brandishing the body of Barranca, and holding Indy at spearpoint. They are in the service of Rene Belloq, who promptly takes the idol from Indy. Indy runs for his chartered seaplane, piloted by Jock Stewart, narrowly escaping the Hovitos’ spears and blow-darts. He gets out alive, but empty-handed.[10,1] Continue reading