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As Time Goes By -- Epilog

by  Jeannie (aided and abetted by Sally Smith)  Originally published in Well of the Souls #5 printed 1986
AUTHOR'S AND EDITOR'S DISCLAIMER: Any similarity between characters in this story and any actual persons living or dead is sort of coincidental, and is there under heavy dramatic license. Ditto actual events, situations, scripts, or large amounts of land in Marin. So don't sue us.



"In an age when archaeologists were as much adventurers as scientists, Indiana Jones was one of the best. Now eighty-five, Dr. Jones has written his memoirs. In this detailed, engrossing book, he gives the reader an inside look at some of the major finds of the early part of this century.

"Where Doesn't It Hurt?: An Archaeologist's Sixty Years in the Field reads like a well-paced adventure novel, but these adventures are all documented fact. Some of them, like his purported discovery of the Ark of the Covenant in 1936, are too incredible to be otherwise..."


"Like King of the Confessors a few years ago, Where Doesn't It Hurt? is sure to cause great controversy in academic circles..."


"A well-placed source indicates that the film rights to Where Doesn't It Hurt?, the recently-released memoirs of archaeologist Indiana Jones, are being purchased by producer George Lucas for an undisclosed sum. The source reports that Lucas, best known for the 'Star Wars' trilogy, intends to use the book as a basis for a series of action-adventure movies, the first of which will reportedly be directed by 'E.T.' creator Steven Spielberg."



Marion Jones rolled over cautiously in bed and peered at the small travel clock on the bedside table. Not time to get up yet, but not time enough for any real rest either. With the ease of long practice, she slipped out from under Indy's arm without awakening him. Once up, she turned to look at her still-snoring husband. Strange how a man could still look so boyishly innocent while he slept, even at the advanced age of eighty-five. She didn't have the heart to wake him up yet; besides, it'd give her a chance to get into the bathroom first. She wanted to have plenty of time to prepare for this meeting, where Indy would sign the contract on the movie rights to his memoirs.

By the time she was finished, he was just starting to wake up. She came out of the bathroom, a pair of slightly damp nylons in her hand, and sat down next to her husband on the bed. They exchanged "Good mornings" and kissed, then she started to slip on her stockings. He slid her slip upward so she could see where to fasten the garters. "You'll never change," she smiled ruefully.

"Why should I?" he challenged with a lopsided grin. "I still enjoy the scenery as much as I ever did." He looked her over slowly from head to foot in the old way. "C'mere, darlin'," he added, drawing her against him for a quick hug.

She flushed a bit at this. After over forty years of marriage, it was comforting to know that Indy still saw her as attractive and desirable. She headed for the motel room's tiny closet and pulled out a silk blouse and a grey linen suit.

"Don't you think that's overdoing it a little? You'll look like the cover of a dress-for-success manual--or a Yuppie from Westport on the 7:10 to New York. All you'd need would be a pair of Nikes and a Walkman."

"And just what were you going to wear?"

 "Shirt and slacks," he replied, his surprised tone implying "What else?".

"Don't you think it'd be better if you wore a suit? Some people might figure just because we're old, they can take advantage of us. Your traipsing in there like a retiree off the boardwalk at Miami Beach won't help matters any."

"You know I only wear suits and ties when I'm being                  interviewed.      I wore dungarees and sport shirts all the time I was on the lecture circuit and I made out just fine, remember?"

"Yeah, but when you were on the lecture circuit, you weren't negotiating for this kind of money."

"What do you mean? The agents and lawyers already hashed out the basic terms, and if you think Shorty'd let us get anything but the best deal possible.... We're only here to work out the details and talk to those boys about that first draft they sent us. You were the one said you were glad we were dealing with Lucas and Spielberg because they've got a reputation for being so honest."


"Honesty has nothing to do with it. I just want all the loopholes nailed down tight. The merchandising rights alone will be worth too much to have any loose ends. According to the Wall Street Journal, both those kids are worth enough millions to boggle your mind. They made a good part of that money from licensing all those toys and other things from their movies. If it weren't for your book they wouldn't have any movie, so you're entitled to a good percentage on any and every bit of junk they sell that has anything to do with it. Just keep in mind who was the one squawking when he found out what Toys 'R' Us was charging for stuffed E.T.s."

"You made your point," he called back over his shoulder as he headed for the bathroom. "Just don't try and deduct anything from Shorty's ten percent because of it. What do you think our chances are of getting some free toys for the grandkids out of this?"

"I can sure as hell try! It's just a shame you never ran into anything cute and fuzzy on any of your digs. The percentage on that alone would probably be enough to send every one of them through college."

He showered and shaved quickly while Marion finished dressing. When he came out, he rummaged in the closet, then got dressed in a beige shirt and tan suit, which he matched quickly with a brown tie and brown shoes.

"Ready?" Marion looked questioningly at her husband as she picked up her purse and headed for the door. They left the room and went outside to the car.

"Damn! Almost forgot something. You wait in the car and I'll be right back."

Indy returned to the room and rooted around in the bottom drawer of the dresser. Finally he came up with what he sought; an ancient and rather ragged­looking brown snap-brim fedora. He jammed it defiantly onto his head, then returned to the car.

"I don't believe it!"

"You keep telling me this meeting is very important. I can't go there without my lucky hat!"

Marion knew better than to argue with that look. Instead, she pulled the map out of the glove compartment as Indy looked over the controls of their rental car, then started the car and pulled out onto the road.

"Should've taken those kids up on their offer to send a car for us," Indy grumbled.

          "No way, Jones, I like to come and go whenever I please. Just drive."

           "Right. What's the name of this place we're looking for again?"


          "Skywalker Ranch. It's on Lucas Valley Road."


           "What, is this guy so rich they went and named the whole damn road after him?"


They traveled up the winding rural road. "Nice scenery," Marion commented, looking at the grassy rolling hills and wooded areas. Indy agreed. "Must've cost the kid a bundle to get land in this area."

"This must be the place. That's the number they gave us." Indy pointed at the number on the large stone gate to the property.

A guard ambled over to see what they wanted.

"We have an appointment with Mr. Lucas. The name's Jones."

"That's cool. They gave me your name." He opened the gate and let their car through. "Have a nice day!" he called after them as he refastened the gate.

"Do you believe that guy, Indy? If he were any more laid back, he'd be laid out!"

"Definitely a native Californian," Indy laughed.

They drove through the final gate, where they were directed to the parking area. From there they walked to the main building--large, blue, California-Victorian style---where the offices were. They were shown upstairs to an outer office, where a receptionist asked them to wait. She announced them on her intercom, and not long afterwards three young men with beards came out to meet them. The shortest of the three, and it seemed, the leader, wore a checkered flannel shirt and jeans against the winter chill. The smallest man wore jeans and a T-shirt, while the third man, of medium height and a bit stocky, wore a plain shirt and trousers. "Dr. Jones, Mrs. Jones, I'm George Lucas," the leader introduced himself. "And this is Steve Spielberg," he added, indicating the man in the T-shirt, "and Larry Kasdan, who wrote the script we sent you."

They shook hands all around, then went into the inner office. "Told you I didn't need to wear a suit," Indy muttered under his breath to his wife, immediately shucking his jacket and loosening his tie. She gave him a dirty look as they all followed George through the office and into an adjoining conference room. They all took seats around the large, central table, the Jones' on one side and the Lucasfilm people on the other.

"The first thing we need to take care of," George began after everyone had settled in, "is the contracts." He handed copies of the documents to Indy and Marion. "You'll see that these are the terms we've agreed upon. If you'll both look through them, and make sure you're satisfied...."


"There's a few details I'd like you to clarify for us."

"Yes, ma'am?"

Marion leaned forward, her eyes sharp behind her large framed glasses. "The merchandising. The rest of the contract's fine with both of us, but I want the licensing terms spelled out better. They're too vague. For instance, on the profits from the toys, is our percentage based on the gross or net profit? What about things like posters and still photos, or any other tie-in things you think of besides toys? Most importantly, how many pieces of each item are we getting? We've got six grandchildren--so far--and I'm damn well not shelling out for six copies of everything their grandfather's name is on."


Lucas looked curiously at the archaeologist, who had so far let his wife .do all the talking. Jones' eyes twinkled as he replied, "Marion handles most of the business; I've always hated it. Once you and she hammer out those little details to our satisfaction, I'll be glad to sign the contract."

Steve was grinning delightedly at this little interchange. Further down the table, Larry was scribbling notes on the cover of his copy of the first draft script. As the conversation between Marion and George became more and more involved with bargaining over accounting details, Indy became more and more bored. Spielberg and Kasdan, sharing the same sentiment, exchanged glances, then looked at the professor,finally managing to catch his eye. "Looks like they're going to be at it for a while."

"Yeah. We've still got to talk over that script."

"Say, George, we're going to use your office for a while." Lucas nodded, occupied with his conversation. The other three men got up and went back to the main office. Once there, they arranged their chairs around the desk so they could talk.

"You boys did a good job on the script." Indy reached inside his jacket's inner breast pocket and pulled out a list."We only came up with a few questions. Nothing drastic," he added, noting Larry's worried look, "but they're important to us."

"Glad you liked it. There're some questions I'd like to ask you, too, but let's get yours cleared up first," Steven replied.

Indy adjusted his spectacles on his nose, then peered through them at the scribbled notes in his hand. "A few minor points, but the main one is the scene between Marion and me in the bar. That line about her working at the bar, but not as the bartender'. You can tell what a hard time she had without it, and it's not necessary to drag it all out after all these years." Larry looked over at Steven, who nodded at him.

They ironed out a few more small discrepancies, then Larry questioned Indy, trying to get a better understanding of the events of years before. Steven remained silent while Larry interrogated the Professor. He was staring curiously at the man, caught somewhat off-guard by the difference between the Bogart- and Gablesque soldier of fortune he'd seen in the book and this mild-mannered elderly scholar before him.

     "What I'd really like to know is just what you fellows mean by 'all hell breaks loose'?"

Larry looked pointedly at Steve, who said, "Oh, that was my idea. That gives us the basic idea. ILM can take it from there. After all, from what you said, no one knows what really happened, anyway."

"That's true." As the professor continued, it was clear that his thoughts were far away, reliving that night nearly fifty years before. "Belloq was so full of himself, dressed head to toe in his ceremonial robes, all set to control whatever power the Ark contained. They even had a movie camera set up,all ready to record what happened for the greater glory of the Third Reich. We were tied to the post of a spotlight off in a corner, where Belloq'd be sure I could hear everything--and see nothing. He made the ritual incantation, and opened the Ark. The little guy put his hand inside, then started to laugh. Then there was a surge of power in their generator. All the spotlights blew. There was a low humming sound--and it was coming from the Ark! We both tried to get loose, or at least see what was happening, but we were tied too tight. The Germans were all clustering close, staring inside the Ark. I saw a fog starting to form around it. Then I remembered what Imam, the scholar in Cairo, had said. I shut my eyes, and told Marion to do the same, no matter what. I heard Belloq say 'It's beautiful!' Right after that there was a horrified scream, followed by others, which suddenly died off into a sickening gurgle. I kept screaming to Marion to keep her eyes shut. A fierce, hot wind blew up, what felt like flames approached us. I heard her screaming--and realized I was screaming too. We kept squirming around, trying to get out of the path of whatever it was. All of a sudden, it just stopped. The silence was eerie. Finally I got up enough courage to try opening my eyes. It was as if nothing had happened. The Ark was just sitting there peacefully. But all the people had disappeared. No one was left on that entire island but Marion and me."


He blinked, returning to the present and looking up at his audience once again. "After the war, when there was all that publicity on the atomic bomb, I often wondered.... But it's not very likely. If that's the sort of thing it was, Marion and I couldn't have escaped by just closing our eyes. Everything in its path would have been nothing but radioactive dust. Besides, we've got four normal, healthy kids to prove that whatever it was, it wasn't radioactivity. The closest thing I've seen to the power of the Ark was a few years back, when I was on the committee which was investigating the Shroud of Turin. The cloth bears marks of intense heat and power; yet they're not burns."

He shrugged, spreading his hands helplessly. "I don't pretend to understand it, much less explain it. All I can tell you is what I saw. I don't believe and I don't disbelieve; as a scientist I have to keep an open mind and be objective. I'm not going to endorse the theories of a group of religious fanatics. That would destroy my credibility as a scientist. The implications are fascinating, however. I'm only sorry no one ever got the chance to study the Ark the way they're trying to study the Shroud. Your theory on what happened to the Ark would be typical of Army Intelligence; ignore what they didn't understand, hoping it would go away.

"Sorry," he concluded with a sheepish smile, "I realize that doesn't give your special effects people much to work with."

"I'm sure they can improvise something from what you've told us. They're the best in the business."

"I know. Carole, my youngest daughter, does some sort of computer work for them; something to do with making certain types of effect work."

"Yeah. George was lucky," Steve agreed. "That's how he heard about your book in the first place, through the people at ILM whom she'd told about it. It's a good thing he found out about it before it went to print. That way, if we can get the movie finished as fast as we're planning, the book will still be on the best-seller list when it comes out."


"And you'll get more people interested in going to see it. Funny, my wife said almost the same thing. Only the way she put it was more like 'let's get all the money we can before they stop offering it."' He shook his head ruefully, toying with the tie he'd long since removed. "If archaeology's my obsession, then money's hers. Can't blame her too much, though; not after what she went through after her father died. She's never forgotten what its like without money and she swore that whatever she had to do, she'd never be without it again. I know quite a few people like that. Times were pretty tough during the Depression. You boys are much too young to remember that, but the idea of being that desperate again terrifies people."

An idea flashed across Larry's face, and he jotted something down in the margin of the script. "She did get her five thousand dollars back from the government, then? And you got your pay, too?"


"Damn right we did!" The now-faded eyes hardened, and Indy smiled wolfishly. For an instant, the other men saw the cynical adventurer inside the scholar. "They hired me to pimp for them, so I made sure I got well paid for the privilege. Good thing, too since money was the only thing I ever saw out of the deal. Not only that, but that little escapade nearly got me killed during the war. Being on Hitler's personal hit list is an honor I could have done well without."* His eyes narrowed, and he glared at the fly which once again had landed on his hand. "Pity Wild Bill Donovan's plan didn't work. After that mission,@ when I briefed him about the Ark, he tried to get it from G-2. He intended to let it slip 'accidentally' back into German hands. Can't you just imagine what would have happened when that bastard opened the thing at a meeting of the General Staff? Think how much sooner the war would have ended." He sighed with regret and slapped at the fly once again. Suddenly, he flicked his wrist and his tie flew from his hand like a miniature bullwhip, effectively squashing the pest against the wall.


"Hey, that's great! Just how did you do it?" Steve, eyes wide with admiration, pulled closer to the professor and watched as he demonstrated again. Larry looked on with interest, but he had a sinking feeling about what was going to happen.


"Is this right?" Spielberg asked, taking the archaeologist's tie and trying to imitate what he'd been shown.


"Not quite. It's more in the wrist." He guided the director's arm into the proper position. "Now flip your wrist this way." Steve tried it, guided by the pressure Indy exerted on his arm. The tie flew out into a smooth, perfect arc.

They hear low, feminine chuckles from behind them, and turned to find Marion and George watching them. George stared at his collaborator, giving him what could only be defined as a "Right, Steve" look. Marion shook her head ruefully, still chuckling. "Forget second childhoods; none of you boys have even left your first one yet. I don't know why I'm surprised, though. It's no more than I'd expect from you after the way you came tearing in to 'rescue' me when those two punks followed me home from the bank." She ignored the glare her husband was giving her and directed her explanation towards their hosts. "I've handled myself against a lot more dangerous things than a couple of muggers, but he tends to forget that. I was doing just fine when he came charging in with his bullwhip, like the cavalry coming over the hill, and yelled   'Let her go!'


"I don't see anything wrong with trying to help. After all, we were both a hell of a lot younger in those days. Nowadays it takes both of us to pull off what we used to do by ourselves." He changed the subject abruptly, shying away from an uncomfortable topic. "So, how'd you make out, Scrooge? You didn't rob this poor kid blind, I hope?"

"Cute, Jones. George and I understand each other. We worked out a very fair agreement. The terms on the licensing agreements have been tightened up. Besides, this contract is just for this movie. The terms are flexible for the ones that follow. Depending on the profits from this movie, we can renegotiate certain parts of the contract for the others."

"Sounds good to me. As long as you're satisfied...."

"Then we have a deal?"

"Definitely," Indy agreed, shaking hands with Lucas.

"Fine." He went to the computer terminal in the corner and called up a file. He made a few changes, then had the machine make copies of the revised contract. "I'll have the legal department look these over, and we can have the official signing of the contract tomorrow, if that's convenient for you." The Jones' agreed, and a copy of the document was dispatched with a messenger to the lawyers.

"We'll also take all the publicity pictures then. Not by you, Steve," Spielberg turned at the sound of his name, "no weird angles, OK? All we need are basic stills."

The director looked heavenward, and sighed deeply. "This from the guy who shot a documentary through glass-topped coffee tables."

That settled, George turned to speak with Larry. "How far have you gotten on the story points?"

"We're just about done, George," he replied. "I can't think of any more questions right now. If I think of any, I can always make a phone call."

Lucas nodded in agreement. "That brings us to the last point. The casting. Steve?"

Spielberg had since given his chair to Marion, and was now standing in the center of the room. "We're having something of a problem getting the actor we want to play you, Dr. Jones. He's very eager to play the part, but he's been very honest with us about his problems in getting enough time off. He's only got a limited amount of hiatus from 'Magnum P.I.', and depending on when we can start, it might not be enough. However, we do have a few other actors whom we're considering; there's even a chance we can get Mel Gibson."


"Tom Selleck, huh?" Indy replied smugly, looking quite pleased with the choice.

"Much too good-looking! And forget Mel Gibson; Wallace Beery'd be more like it."


"Does that mean you're Marie Dressler?" he shot back with ease, miffed by the implied insult. "What do you mean Selleck's too good-looking? No one ever mistook me for Boris Karloff!"

"And no one'd ever take you for a male model, either. That's what Selleck used to be."

Steve jumped in, trying to keep the Jones' from changing the subject. "As we said, we don't have anything definite yet. As soon as we do, we'll let you know. On the other hand, we do have an actress set to play you, Mrs. Jones." He looked urgently at George, who pulled a publicity photo out of a file on the desk and showed it to the couple. "She's without a doubt the best of the actresses we tested for the role."

Indy looked the picture over quite carefully, smiling appreciatively. "Who is she? She's beautiful." He looked inquiringly at Steve, then glanced back at his wife. Marion poked him in the ribs with her elbow. "Of course, her figure's a lot better than yours was until you had the kids. Back in those days you were a scrawny little thing."

"I wouldn't talk about OTHER people being underendowed if I were you, buster." Her eyes flickered over him meaningfully. George and Larry hastily swallowed delighted grins. They simultaneously glared at Spielberg, who immediately assumed an expression of absolute innocence. Larry jumped into the opening and answered Indy's question. "Her name's Karen Allen. She's done a few movies--'Animal House' is one you might have heard of--but most of her work has been off-Broadway. She mentioned that she's quite interested in meeting you before she starts work on the role."

"Makes sense to me. Does she live in New York or California?"

"New York."

"Then that's no problem. Give her our number and ask her to give me a call. We can arrange a time for her to come visit."

  "OK, that's settled. Anything else, George?"

"I really think that's about it. As we mentioned during the preliminary negotiations, we unfortunately can't use 'Where Doesn't It Hurt...' as the title of the movie. It wouldn't work too well, considering that we're doing a series of movies from the book. Besides, it really sounds too much like the title of a Woody Allen movie."

"Now THERE'S an idea for casting!" Steve jumped in enthusiastically.

"Sure," Indy retorted, smothering a laugh. "Wbody Allen as me, Joan Rivers as her, Tim Conway as Sallah and Steve Martin as Belloq. It'd go over great on 'Saturday Night Live'. Or why not Boy George and Cyndi Lauper?"


"That wasn't quite what we had in mind," George interrupted dryly.

"Anyway," Larry put in, "I don't think Boy George would be caught dead in grubby khakis and a leather jacket." They all laughed at that.

"We don't have much to worry about anyway, George. If we get desperate enough, you could always call Harrison again," Steven suggested mischievously.


Indy looked puzzled by the joke. "Who the hell is Harrison?"


"He's that guy 'Lissa's so crazy about. The one who was in 'Star Wars'. The tall one with the big mouth. Come to think of it, he wouldn't be too bad at that," Marion teased.


"Thanks a lot," Indy retorted, somewhat nettled. He looked over at Lucas and Spielberg. "Do me a favor, boys, and try not to get that desperate, OK? I'd much rather have Tom Selleck." They politely agreed.


They discussed a few more minor details, then the Joneses got ready to leave. Spielberg walked the elderly couple out to their car. "Don't worry about it. We may kid around a lot, but we'll get the movie out on time for you, and we'll do a good job. All the details will be worked out before we even start. The casting will be settled within a few weeks." He stared thoughtfully in front of him, then continued after they got into the car and left: "Come to think of it, that wasn't a bad idea after all. If we get desperate, there IS always Harrison."



* "The Past  is Prologue", Field Studies 2

@ "Operation Covenant", still in progress