Chapter 1 In the beginning...
The door of the restaurant jingled a small bell as it opened and Marcus Brody strolled in, humming a simple tune to himself. He was in good spirits, having enjoyed his morning taxi ride to the small village at the foot of the Jungfrau and as agreed, he was to meet Indy at the small cafe near the cable car station at noon.
The cafe was a typical Swiss cuckoo-clock building with heavily carved woodwork and an abundance of white paint fronted by several rows of sparkling white wrought iron tables and chairs.
It was actually about ten minutes to mid day but Marcus was well known for being prompt and in fact more often than not, early. Today was no exception.
The cafe was quiet, with few visitors and a quick appraisal of the place told Marcus that Indy had not yet arrived.
Indy was well known for rarely being early, and usually not even on time.
There had been some form of excitement near the Police station some ten minutes ago but the road was quickly cordoned off and Marcus didn't get a chance to see what all the fuss was about.
He sat himself at a table near the main window and ordered a pot of tea and a scone.
"Earl grey, if possible, please." he said to the pretty young waitress as she took his order. He would have preferred English breakfast, but knew it was unlikely they would keep the blend. The girl smiled without actually saying anything and went out to the kitchen, to find out who exactly 'Earl Grey' was, and where she might find him.
Marcus pulled a newspaper from a stand near the table and with a cursory glance at his quiet surroundings, began to read. The newspaper was written in English and was about a week out of date. It had obviously been left by another traveller and had been thumbed by many visitors to the cafe, hence it's ragged state. Still, it would do. It was something to read as he waited for Indy.
Some moments later, the waitress returned with a pot of tea which Marcus noted was most definitely not Earl Grey. He shrugged and sipped the tea. It was pleasant enough, if a bit strong.
"Building site tea." he mused as he glanced at his pocket watch and noted that Indy was now late, as the minute hand ticked up to one minute past twelve o clock.
Then the door bell jingled again, and Marcus turned to see Indy enter looking somewhat the worse for wear. His hands and face were smudged with grease and grime and his leather jacket looked as if it had been used as an oil rag. He certainly didn't look as if he was off to an early lunch.
"You didn't need to go to all that trouble, Indy." Marcus said sarcastically, nodding at Indy's attire with a grin.
"What on earth have you been up to? I thought we were just having a simple lunch. You look as if you've been repairing a railway engine." He stood slightly, indicating the empty seat opposite.
Indy smiled and sat down, noticed Marcus' tea and signalled to the waitress that he too would like to order something, but probably a little stronger.
"Sorry my clothes are a bit,... dirty." he said.
"Have a nice trip?" Marcus asked innocently.
The waitress approached and Indy ordered coffee. Strong, no sugar. He looked out of the window edgily as a man in white clothes passed by outside.
"It was...Exciting..." he said.
He looked at Marcus for a moment, then added, "Marcus, are you in some kind of trouble?"
Marcus looked at Indy, his eyes wide with surprise.
"Trouble? What kind of trouble?"
"You tell me."
"No. Of course not. Indy. Why do you ask. What's wrong. What happened?"
Indy shook his head. "Someone was asking about you. That's all." he understated.
"And now you're in that state? Who? What did they want?"
"Three guys in snow suits. Two of them have since… lost interest. One of them might still come looking though."
Marcus frowned, puzzled.
"Asking after me? What for? What did they want? Who were they?"
Indy shook his head negatively to all these questions.
"They never said." he replied evasively. Marcus was not satisfied.
"Where are they? What happened to them?"
Indy's coffee arrived and he smiled at the waitress in thanks. She smiled back at the tall, handsome American and looked coyly back at him over her shoulder as she turned away. Under any other circumstances Indy would have followed up her provocative response but his mind was on other things. He looked back at Marcus.
"As I said, one of them lost interest, and one,... took off."
"What about the third?" Marcus asked.
"He dropped out of sight. But he might come looking again." Indy answered craftily.
Marcus sipped his tea again. It definitely wasn't as good as his own favourite brand but it would do, he thought.
"You're not telling me everything." he said. "You look like you've been dropped into a tub of grease. Please, Indy. What happened?"
Indy downed the rest of his coffee in one go and threw some money on the table.
"Let's get back to the hotel." he said sharply. "We ought to be moving on."
"But Indy..." Marcus said, surprised by Indy's sudden change of tack. "We've only been here three days..." Indy pushed his chair back and stood.
"I'm sure there are healthier places." he replied.
Marcus shook his head, drank the rest of his tea and followed.
The key clicked in the hotel room lock and the door opened slowly, almost gently.
"Indy, will you tell me what's going on?" Marcus's voice came from outside the room. The door opened and Indy cautiously poked his head in and looked around before entering the room in front of his friend.
"Indiana, you're worrying me. Tell me what's the matter. You almost ran here from the taxi. You're acting as if you expected to find..." Marcus said no more as he stepped into the hotel bedroom. It looked as if a bulldozer had been through it. Furniture was upturned, clothes strewn from open drawers, luggage scattered.
"My god..." he murmured.
"Room service." Came a heavily accented woman's voice from behind them. Both Indy and Marcus turned to see an older woman wearing the uniform of a typical Swiss hotel Chambermaid. Gently, she pushed past the two men and glanced at the mayhem in the room. Slowly, she shook her head in resignation and mumbled, "Men!"
Indy drew his revolver from his inside jacket pocket and the chambermaid fled at the sight of the gun. He motioned to Marcus to keep silent and stay by the door. Then, holding his gun in front, he gingerly searched the room and surveyed the devastation, examining every nook and cranny. Whoever had been in and upturned the room had gone.
Marcus moved as if in a dream, staring open mouthed at the scene before him, absently trailing behind his friend.
"Now tell me what's going on." he whispered, still shocked by the sight of the destroyed room.
Indy lowered the gun, and then put it away as he looked at Marcus.
"Those guys I mentioned earlier. Well, they weren't all that friendly. And they were looking for you." Marcus looked visibly worried.
"But what on earth do they want with me?" he laughed nervously, waving his arms theatrically.
"Well, this mess shows that they're not actually after you. They've searched the room to find something, that's for sure.
Marcus looked baffled.
"But what on earth could they be looking for? I've got nothing valuable."
Indy shook his head. "Beats me. We'd better try and see if anything's missing."
For the next hour, they carefully went through what was left of the room. They sorted their belongings, studying every item to try and deduce some sense in the whole affair, and searched everywhere thoroughly until finally Indy sat on the edge of his bed and sighed. Nothing seemed to be missing.
"Indy. Please. Tell me what all this is about! What happened to you this morning?" Marcus said quietly, sitting on the other bed opposite his friend.
"I really don't know, Marcus."
Then Indy took a deep breath and described his mornings encounter in the cable car. Marcus was visibly stunned by the news and sat with his mouth opening and closing silently, innocently mimicking a goldfish. Indy rubbed the side of his head, feeling the bruises from the morning's escapades growing bigger by the minute.
"I don't get it. Three guys went to a helluva lot of trouble to find out from me where you were and then get rid of me. For what? What have you got that they want?"
Marcus stood and paced the room, frowning, "But nothing is missing. They haven't taken anything!"
Indy looked thoughtful for a moment before turning to Marcus.
"That means that whatever they want, they couldn't find it." Then he raised an eyebrow and added, "Or it wasn't here to begin with."
He looked around the room then back at Marcus.
"What have you got on you. Everything. Empty your pockets."
Marcus shrugged, convinced that he was carrying nothing of any real value but did as his friend asked and the items he was carrying were meticulously scrutinised one at a time before being returned to his pockets.
"A wallet containing some money, a bunch of keys to your car and office, a couple of handkerchiefs and your diary." Indy almost spat the words in frustration. He walked over to the window overlooking the valley of Wilderswill and moved the curtain to one side. The mid day sun was warm and the snow glistened on the lofty peaks away to the east. He turned back to Marcus.
"What's in the diary?"
Marcus drew the small book from his pocket again and flicked the pages.
"Nothing. It's just a diary. Look."
He tossed the book to Indy. It contained nothing more than the daily notes that Marcus meticulously made each evening concerning the day's events. Indy flicked through a few pages, reading the entries.
It all seemed fairly harmless but then a thought struck him and he said, "What if you've seen something, but didn't realise it? Something important. Something you weren't supposed to see."
He thumbed quickly over the pages. It would take hours to read every entry.
"You mean, I might have written something about it?" Marcus asked. "But Indy. That's absurd. How would anyone know I even KEEP a diary? They would need to know not only that I've seen something, but that I've written about it as well!"
Indy tossed the book back to his friend.
"You're right. It can't be the diary."
He scratched his chin and said, "Show me the keys." Marcus passed his keys to Indy and said, "There's nothing special there. My car, my office door and cupboard. There's my house key, but surely, if anyone wanted to break in, they wouldn't follow us half way around the world to get the key!"
Indy studied the keys attached to a decoratively patterned circular key fob and laughed. He tossed the keys back to Marcus, his thoughts following the same trail.
Marcus stared at the keys a moment, then, in a more serious tone, he said, "Maybe you are right, Indy. I think we ought to get home."
The sudden change in Marcus' tone threw Indy completely.
"What? You just said... Marcus. What are you thinking about?"
Marcus shook his head and said, "I don't know. It's just a thought, and I don't want to alarm you, Indy, but I'm worried about Henry."
"Dad?" Indy exclaimed. "What has dad got to do with this?"
"Maybe nothing. Maybe nothing, but we've been working together recently on his new book. It's just a thought, but if someone wants something from me that badly... Well... Who knows?" Marcus voice trailed off gently but the expression on his face told another tale.
The sudden sound of one of the windows breaking, followed almost instantly by the shattering of a full length mirror near the bathroom door broke the silence. A split second later, the report of a gunshot told Indy what was happening. He grabbed Marcus by the jacket and threw him to the floor.
"Get down!" he yelled. "Stay there!"
Indy pulled his revolver from his belt and edged toward the window. Quickly scanning the floor around him he located a large piece of broken mirror and held it up, periscope style, above the window cill to look out of the window. A flicker of sunlight on shiny metal in a window opposite told him what he needed to know. Another gun shot took the shard of mirror from his hand as it bloomed in a thousand fragments.
"Jesus! These guys mean business!" he exclaimed.
"There's something odd about all this, Marcus!" he yelled. "Why the hell didn't they just strangle us in our sleep?"
Marcus grimaced, feeling his throat.
Drawing his revolver from his inside pocket, Indy stretched up and fired blindly over his shoulder out of the window at the building opposite. In the short silence that followed he quickly scuttled on all fours over to Marcus and grabbed him by the arm.
"Let's get out of here!" he yelled, ripping their cases open and pulling out their identification papers, stuffing them in his jacket pocket. He pulled his friend toward the door.
"Our clothes, Indy!"
"To hell with the clothes! I'll buy you a wardrobe when we're home! C'MON!"
Indy hooked the door with his foot and swung it open. Instantly, a hail of machine gun fire riddled the room sending a shower of wood splinters and plaster all over them. Marcus was past him like a rabbit on all fours, dragging Indy behind. Yells of fright and confusion came from the hotel lobby and running feet could be heard on the stairs below as guests and staff fled in terror at the sound of gunfire.
"Not that way!" Indy yelled, yanking Marcus' arm as he began to descend the stairs. "Could be more of our friends opposite on the way up!"
Marcus nodded in understanding and he turned, following Indy along the landing toward another flight of stairs down, clearly marked in several languages with a sign reading, 'STAFF ONLY'.
"Let's have a little quiet break. Just a holiday..." Marcus gasped to himself as he shot down the steps three at a time behind his friend.
They reached the ground floor and Indy held a restraining arm across Marcus' chest as he peered cautiously from the stair well into the hotel foyer. It was empty, as the staff and manager had ushered the stray guests outside to safety, away from the sounds of gunfire. Whoever was chasing them was probably in the building by now.
"Why me, Indy. Why me?" Marcus mumbled, echoing Indy's earlier thoughts that day.
The shouting that now came from above grew more intense. Indy heard yelled curses as the assailants discovered the empty room where he and Marcus had been only moments before. What shocked him more than anything was that the curses were in a vaguely recognisable accent. There was no time to ponder the riddle and Indy grabbed Marcus and almost dragged him, running, across the open foyer and into the kitchen entrance.
"We can get out the back!" he yelled, surveying the area with his gun held high. There was no one there. The kitchen staff was either not present, or had also run at the sounds of yelling and gunfire. A quick appraisal of their surroundings told Indy there were limited options. Either they could get out the rear door and run the risk of other thugs being ready and waiting for them, or they could hide somewhere until the fracas died down.
Indy chose the latter option.
"INSIDE!" he hissed, yanking open the door to the cold room and waving to the interior with his revolver. Marcus didn't need to be told twice. In moments the door was closed and both of them were hiding among packing boxes and frozen animal carcasses. Marcus did not need to read the thermometer on the wall to know that it was extremely cold.
"Should have brought my thermals!" Indy growled.
For some time they hid, waiting for the cold room door to be yanked open, and their ultimately impending discovery. Fifteen or twenty minutes passed but no one came. Marcus was visibly shivering but neither of them was sure whether it was due to nerves or the cold. Even Indy could not remember the last time he had felt quite so chilled to the bone.
After a while he moved quietly from his hiding place, indicating silence with a pointed finger over his lips.
Silently, Indy opened the door a hairsbreadth. He could not see, or hear, any movement. Gingerly, with his revolver raised once more, he opened the door just enough to squeeze through. Marcus followed immediately behind him until they stood, shivering in the hotel kitchen once more. After the cold of the meat room, the foyer felt like a hotel room in the Bahamas. Indy took a cautious look outside into the deserted street but all was quiet. It seemed that the thugs had gone.
"We better get out of here. The hotel manager is sure to call the police and we can do without the hold up."
He turned to Marcus and through gritted teeth added, "We're going home. And someone's gonna answer for all this!"