Saturday, March 19, 2011


In memory of Michael Gough, who passed away on Thursday.....


"Young Indiana Jones: Travels With Father"

Michael Gough

From Wikipedia:
Leo Tolstoy, or Count Lyev Nikolayevich Tolstoy (September 9, 1828 – November 20, 1910), was a Russian writer. His literary masterpieces "War and Peace" and "Anna Karenina" represent, in their scope, breadth and vivid depiction of 19th-century Russian life and attitudes, the peak of realist fiction.

Tolstoy's further talents as essayist, dramatist, and educational reformer made him the most influential member of the aristocratic Tolstoy family. His literal interpretation of the ethical teachings of Jesus, centering on the "Sermon on the Mount", caused him in later life to become a fervent Christian anarchist and anarcho-pacifist. His ideas on nonviolent resistance, expressed in such works as "The Kingdom of God Is Within You", were to have a profound impact on such pivotal twentieth-century figures as Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. Many consider Tolstoy to have been one of the world's greatest novelists.

Tolstoy died in 1910, at the age of 82. He died of pneumonia at Astapovo train station, after falling ill when he left home in the middle of winter. His death came only days after gathering the nerve to abandon his family and wealth and take up the path of a wandering ascetic, a path that he had agonized over pursuing for decades. He had not been at the peak of health before leaving home; his wife and daughters were all actively engaged in caring for him daily. He had been speaking and writing of his own death in the days preceding his departure from home, but fell ill at the station not far from home. The station master took Tolstoy to his apartment, where his personal doctors were called to the scene. He was given injections of morphine and camphor.

From the Indiana Jones wiki:
The world-wide trip that Henry Jones, Jr. embarks upon in the early 1900s next takes him and his family to Russia. A fit of clumsiness lands Junior into hot water with his father. Not bearing any more punishment, Indy runs away into the Russian countryside. He encounters an odd, cantankerous old man named Leo Tolstoy, who is in full agreement that hell is other people. Both are running away to seek a simpler life. They cross the countryside, encountering colorful Gypsies and avoiding fierce Imperial Cossack troops. The hardships of the journey make Indy homesick, but he won't soon forget his journey with the stubborn old man.

During that time with Tolstoy in 1910, Jones traded a number of baseball cards with legendary author Leo Tolstoy in return for his family bible.

Here's a detailed description of their meeting, from "The Indiana Jones Timeline" compiled by Allen Lane:

Late Summer (1910):
Indy and his family are staying in Russia with friends of his father's who invited them to their daughter's wedding. Indy tries to behave himself and enjoy the wedding at the same time, but fails to do so. He leans against a cart with crystal on it which send it crashing into a passing waiter. Indy's father takes him out into the hall to reprimand him. He tells Indy that he is to stand in the hall and not move, however, Indy disobeys him. As he walks into an adjoining room, he brushes against a handle attached to the rope a huge chandelier is hanging from. The handle comes unlocked and the chandelier crashes down onto the wedding cake. Indy's parents look on in disbelief and his mother brings him to his room. Indy apologizes to his mother, but she tells him that his father will deal with him in the morning. Indy, feeling he is being treated unfairly, climbs down a gutter drain outside his window and runs away.

The next morning, Miss Seymour wakes Indy's parents to tell them that Indy is gone. Indy's father begins to search for him. Indy, sleeping in a haystack, is awoken by a small weasel. He tries to shoot it with his slingshot, but hits an old man who was also sleeping in the haystack. The old man advances on him swinging a stick and yelling in Russian. Indy says that he doesn't speak Russian, so the man starts yelling at him in English. The man says how he hates young people and walks off with Indy's slingshot. Indy follows him trying to get his slingshot back. The man tells him to stop following him, but Indy refuses. The man gives him back his slingshot and tells him to get off his side of the [road].

Indy walks with him (on his side of the [road]) and explains how he is running away back to America. When Indy questions why the man doesn't want to turn Indy into his parents the man says that he never did what he was supposed to do and he is also running away. Indy doesn't believe him because he's old. The man asks him if he thinks only little boys are driven crazy by their parents.

Meanwhile, Indy's parents are getting extremely worried about him. Indy asks the man if he is going to miss anyone. The man says he'll miss his dogs. Indy says he misses his dog also. Indy's sole comes off his book and the man says he'll fix it. The man shows Indy his prize possession, his bible. Indy shows him his baseball mitt and ball. He explains to him the basics of the game and shows him his baseball card collection. Indy says he wouldn't give up his prize card for all of the gold in China. The man says he feels the same way about his bible. With Indy's boot fixed, the two continue on their way.

They begin to feel hungry and Indy starts eating the apple he brought with him. He offers the man one bite, but the man manages to eat half of the apple with his one bite. Indy complains, but the man tells him that things should be divided each according to his needs. Since he is bigger than Indy, he requires more. Indy states that it was his apple, but the man says that it grew on a tree in the ground and belongs to the world. Indy says he will never share anything with him again. The two continue on in silence as it begins to thunder.

Indy's father says that he should never have brought Indy along on his trip through Europe. Miss Seymour says that every boy runs away at some point; even he did. Indy's father claims that it wasn't the same when he ran away.

Indy and the man reach a village and the villagers rush to great the man yelling, "Tolstoy!" Indy is amazed at how friendly the people are to Tolstoy. The villagers welcome "Count" Tolstoy into their inn and give him food to eat. Indy watches from the window as rain begins to pour down on him. Tolstoy yells at him to get inside and stop making him feel guilty.

Once Indy finishes the meal he asks if Tolstoy is some kind of king in disguise. Tolstoy tells him that he wrote a few books years ago, but they weren't very good. He tells Indy that he is running away to nowhere in particular. He just wants a simpler life, closer to God. Indy tells him he can run away to New Jersey with him and Tolstoy agrees.

The Russian police arrive looking for Tolstoy and tell him they are here to take him back to his family. Indy flips the table up and knocks down the police. In the confusion, he and Tolstoy escape.

Indy's father becomes increasingly worried about the dangers that Indy might encounter and blames himself for Indy running away. As Indy and Tolstoy hide in a barn, they watch as Imperial Cossack troops ride by. Tolstoy tells him that they are ruthless and are used by the government to ride themselves of "certain unfortunate ethnic groups." Indy finally places the name "Tolstoy" and asks if he is the author of "War and Peace". Indy says his father thinks he's great, but Tolstoy says his father is an imbecile.

Tolstoy says they should head for the train station. On the way, they stop so Indy can teach Tolstoy about baseball. Indy says it's too bad Tolstoy wasted all those years writing because he could have been a great hitter. A group of gypsies pass by and give the two of them a ride. That night, Tolstoy tells everyone a scary story around the campfire. While they all dance around the campfire, the Cossacks attack, killing many of the gypsies. Tolstoy is knocked down by a Cossack on a horse, but Indy rescues him. The two flee as the camp is set on fire.

Indy brings Tolstoy to a church, but the monk tries to throw them out thinking they are beggars. Indy tells him that the man is Tolstoy and they try to help him. As Tolstoy comes to, he realizes where he is and runs out. He tells Indy that they drive people away from God and he'd sooner die than receive help from them. Tolstoy falls unconscious in a field nearby and Indy screams for help. Some men hear him and bring Tolstoy inside their house.

The next day, Indy asks Tolstoy why he hates the church so much. He says that they diminish God by claiming to speak for him. He tells Indy not to try to see God through spectacles borrowed from the church, but instead through his own eyes.

Meanwhile, Miss Seymour isn't feeling well from all of the worry. Indy's father just wishes he could talk to him and begins crying. Indy and Tolstoy arrive at the train station just as the train leaves. Indy notices that Tolstoy is not doing too well. He tells him that he doesn't think he is up to the trip. Tolstoy gets angry as Indy tells him that he thinks he should return to his family. Tolstoy agrees to go as long as Indy will return to his family as well.

Indy's father and mother are looking in on Miss Seymour who is bedridden when a hotel clerk knocks at the door to tell them that Indy has been found. Indy's mother makes his father promise that he won't be too hard on him. Indy's parents arrive at Tolstoy's estate and are reunited with Indy. Indy apologizes for running away. Before he can accept, Indy's father spots Tolstoy and is amazed.

Indy introduces his parents to Tolstoy. After they leave, Tolstoy goes inside to rest. Indy's mother asks where Indy got the bible he has. Indy says he traded Tolstoy his baseball card collection for it. Tolstoy takes out the baseball cards and enthusiastically reads through them.

For more of Mr. Lane's excellent work re: Indiana Jones:


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