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Keeper of the Flame

Authors Note:  This story is one of a series of interconnected stories which span the years from 1932 to the mid 1980s.  In this reality Indiana Jones and Marion Ravenwood after years of breaking up and getting back together, finally married in 1940 and had a family.


This story first appeared in the Fanzine Remote Control #4 @1993 by Kathryn C. Agel and Criterion Press.  All original characters are, of course copyright Lucasfilm Ltd.


Princeton, 1960



            Sunlight glistened through the windows of the classroom as the freshman class trickled in.  The boys quickly filled the back of the room, leaving the front gapingly bare.


            Anyone sitting there?  A tall dark haired boy with grey eyes asked an earlier arrival.


No, the first boy turned and answered the question.  Oh, hi we met this morning in Latin.


            Its Dave, right?  Hi, Im Marc. They greeted each other as Marc settled himself and his books.


            Say, did you see the reading list for this class!  The other requirements are half this put together!  Something tells me this profs just as bad as hes made out to be.  Dave shook his head dolefully.  Why couldnt he be retiring now, instead of next year?  No use dropping the class when its a freshman requirement.  WHY did I have to skip a grade?!


            Yeah I skipped TWO!  In the competitive academic world of Princeton University, a comment like this was usually intended as a putdown. But this time it seemed more a plea for sympathy.


            Marc stared straight ahead, his face expressionless.  I heard his own son calls him Attila the Professor!


            Dave gave a low soundless whistle in reply.


            The door opened once again, but this time an instant hush fell over the room.  A tall imposing man in tweeds, his stride slow but still firm despite his 85 years, strode to the lectern.  He searched through an overstuffed Gladstone bag for his lecture notes, and scanned them silently for a few moments.  Then, adjusting his wire rimmed spectacles, he addressed the class.


            Good afternoon, gentlemen.  I am Dr. Henry Jones and this course is Introduction to Medieval Literature.  From the depths of the Gladstone bag came a sheaf of mimeographed sheets.  He left the lectern and walked forward to the front row of students.  This is the class syllabus, and your required reading list.  There will be a weekly paper, and tests will be in an essay format. The professor continued onward with the course requirements, looking from student to student, forming his own impressions of them in the usual manner.  The piercing gaze had lost none of its power over the years.


            Marcus Ravenwood Jones caught his grandfathers eye and unconsciously sat up straight.  He adored this man, his one surviving grandparent, the man whose stories had fascinated him from earliest childhood and had introduced him to the wonders of Howard Pyle and Sir Thomas Malory.  The fascination of the boy would be the lifelong love of the man he would become.  But now he was face to face with the Princeton legend, a man feared, respected and loved by three generations of Princeton graduates.  A teacher who accepted nothing less than excellence.  A renowned scholar who could have taught only graduate courses, but who also continued to teach undergraduates even freshmen due to a deeply ingrained sense of duty.


            Maybe it wasnt too late to transfer to Harvard, after all.