Indiana Jones and the Gold of El Dorado Translation
Okay, this is the thread ffor the translation for Wolfgang Holbeihn's Gold of El Dorado. I have about 36 typed pages translated. Let's keep this thread alive until the whole book gets translated. If we can get enough people to do 10-20 pages each, (or 1 or 2 chapters), we can probably get this done in a fairly short time. Please post what chapters or pages you are willing to translate and that should speed up the process and keep people from duplicating effort.
As for my translation, I used Systran, +MS Word and IEs translation tool, then embellished the dialogue to make it more American.
Stan Corda, colleague of Indiana Jones, barely escapes death after his aircraft gets caught in a huge storm over the Bolivian rainforests. Just before making an emergency landing, he makes a sensational discovery: a basin in the forest below completely covered in gold. To discover the true magnitude of this remarkable find, he enlists the aid of archeologist/adventurer Indiana Jones. Together the two archeologists investigate the mysterious basin, and soon come to the realization that they have found the legendary gold of El Dorado. But a curse lies on the gold …
Wolfgang Hohlbein, born in Weimar in 1953, started to write 1980. Not only does he have a gigantic fan community, but has also garnered massive recognition of his numerous novels with many literature awards, including the Phantastik literature award. Wolfgang Hohlbein lives with his wife and his children near Düsseldorf.
It was as if the gates of hell had opened, but it wasn’t a hell made of fire and embers. It was a hell of raging water, wind and ice. Invisible fists reached out and pummeled the little airplane. Hurricane gusts swirled it to and fro. Water and ice pounded against the hull of the plane simultaneously. The compass was spinning crazily, and the electronic instruments had all malfunctioned. Behind them little arcs of lightning twitched. The tiny machine was descending so quickly Corda felt as if he were caught in a cage of blue-white glistening light.
In the confusion, he had already lost his orientation. He had no idea which way was north and south, or east and west. Not only had the hellstorm mixed up the instruments, but it had also mixed up his body so much that it was hard to tell which way was up or down. It wasn’t any more his aeronautical ability than luck that had kept him from ramming the plane into he ground; he was holding the control column so tightly that some of his fingernails had broken off and the fingertips beneath were bleeding. His hands remained clenched on the yoke simply because he wanted to hold on to something tightly. The machine was completely at the mercy of the unleashed elements outside. He groaned as the yoke jerked violently, painfully twisting his shoulders and back. It was as if the plane had become a meal to the wailing storm. It crunched at the plane in a frightening way, and the airplane responded with a moan that sounded much like a living being in its death throes. Corda expected that it would be only minutes before the machine simply broke in two. He had stopped counting how often the plane had somersaulted, how often the hurricane gusts had skipped the plane through the air like a stone thrown across water, how often he had seen the blue sky through the boiling clouds above the storm or the rolling green-brown spots of jungle below.
It was within the last few minutes that Corda thought of his own mortality. He had often thought of death in the past. Talked about it. Even once he wrote a small essay about situations in which people had looked into the eye of death, however it was never published. Like a large majority of people, he had never really thought about his own death, till now; not worrying about it until it comes.
But perhaps that moment was upon him. Professor Stanley Corda was sure that he wouldn’t survive the next few minutes. He had always thought of himself as a skilled airman, but in this storm no pilot in the world could stabilize this or any other aircraft built by man no matter how good they were. Sooner or later one of the enormous storm gusts would smash him into the ground or against one of the nearby mountains, or simply crush the machine in the air like the fist of a giant closing around a toy and mashing it.
And it would probably be sooner rather than later.
An enormous blow struck the small, two-seat sporting aircraft again, and this time Corba felt something at the back of the plane snap. The machine tumbled and tipped forward on the propeller, and for a moment seemed completely motionless in the air.
Then it started to fall straight down, like a stone. One of the side windows shattered. Corda was immediately bombarded with rain water mixed with ice and splinters of glass. The shouting of the hurricane filled the cabin with noise like and attacking bomber in the night. Quite instinctively he yanked as the plane started to buck. His strength taxed, Corda tried to level the aircraft and control its longitudinal axis. However it continued its vertical descent toward the ground.
Corda thought that moment was upon him. All of his past mistakes came back to him in a flash. All of his earlier thoughts of death and dying were coming true. But he didn’t have a trace of fear. Quite the opposite, actually. An almost cheerful calm spread over him as the aircraft rushed toward the ground, and suddenly a sadness fell over him as he thought of Marian. It wasn’t because he would never see her again; it was because their last meeting had ended so ugly. There had been a time when she would have been right here next to him. He thought of all the ugly things that had happened over the last few years, and that this feeling inside him would have died, but that wasn’t quite correct. A little was still hidden, deep inside him, covered up under memories of quarrels and unhappy discussions. He had been hurt, but the feeling was still there. He wished he could have one more chance to be with her, to be able to talk to her.
A terrible blow suddenly hit the airplane. The plane tumbled like a soccer ball that had been kicked out of the field, somersaulting and swirling dozens of times on all axes. The glass in front of Corda’s face burst, tearing the cushions of the seats to pieces and cutting a deep bloody slice into his face. The storm hammered into the cabin so violently that he couldn’t breathe any more. He saw one of the wings break off, and in a mocking movement the gray chaos of the hurricane disappeared. As the cloud cover broke for a fraction of a second, he realized he was staring at the ground. He felt like he was waking from a nightmare. A metallic yellow flashed at him. It was so fast that if his senses weren’t so attuned to his surrounding at the moment he probably wouldn’t have seen it; the ground was like a gigantic mirror, not covered with silver, but with gold.
The cloud cover closed as fast as it had opened. And the gray chaos surrounded Corda and the airplane once again. Invisible fists pounded at the plane from all directions trying to break it in two. Cord threw himself back, yanking on the control column with all his force. But this time there was no resistance. He knew that not only had the aircraft lost its wing, it had also lost its tail.
When the impact finally came, everything happened so fast that he didn’t have time to be more frightened. Pointed gigantic spears jutted forth out of the rolling gray chaos and ripped at the bottom of the plane under Corda. He heard the splintering of wood and his hearing was tortured by the screeching of metal being torn away from the structure of the aircraft. In a heartbeat the world in front of his eyes did a double or triple somersault, and then a renewed blow struck the bottom of the plane and crushed the cabin around him. Corda was thrown forward, and the whirring knife-blades of the propeller snapped free and sped back toward him. At the last moment he was thrown through the broken side glass and out of the way, just as the blades chopped through the seat where he had been sitting. For a second he understood that he had been given a second chance. He was flung through the air. The plane disappeared through the trees and screeched invisibly in the distance before coming to a halt. He was airborne for only a fraction of a second before a dreadful force stopped him.
But the impact didn’t kill him. It had not even robbed him of his consciousness. He was unable to move, and his brain had shut off his feelings and thought process while it accessed the situation; furthermore he was aware of everything that had happened with a supernatural clarity, but it registered without any understanding. Something had stopped his fall again; it filled him with pain, but he didn’t respond. He just took note of it now. This time the resistance had not been quite so relentless. Then he fell further. His fall was broken by something a third time, landing on something that was hard in some places and soft in others. This further added to the numerous cuts and contusions on his body.
He approached unconsciousness – it was possible he had fallen to his death. But eventually the throbbing pains and the damp warmth of his own blood that ran over his face and hands faded. He thought he heard the sad voices of children, and the light seemed to get poorer and poorer, and then completely went out. The never-ending wailing of the storm, which earlier had seemed to have been tuned in a canon, was hardly more than a whisper.
Time passed, and he had no idea how long he had lay there. For a brief moment he felt something touch his rain-soaked face, and then the blackness overtook him again. He felt the humidity, but not any cold. The minutes seemed like years, or did the years seem like minutes? It was as if Unconsciousness and Death, its bigger, darker brother, examined him but found him not worthy to enter their empire. Slowly Corda opened his eyes. He felt like he was lying on his back, but as he looked up there was no sky. Only a black, contourless blanket. But at last the shadow of the dark and gloomy world he had momentarily touched also disappeared, and suddenly his vision returned and he saw shimmering blues and gold and black lava. He was aware that what he was seeing was silhouetted against the boiling clouds of the breaking storm overhead.
The first real feeling that came to him was relief. He was not only relieved to be alive, but also that he could still see. He was also relieved that he seemed not to be perilously hurt, and when he tried, he found he could even sit up. Of course, at first he fell back again. For a few minutes, nausea and dizziness overtook him. He moaned and closed his eyes again. He lay quietly for a few minutes before carefully opening his eyes a second time.
It was as if the storm had been sent to destroy him and his airplane. Now that its work was done it retired, and the blue sky was returning. A cloud still churned here and there, and h could smell the wetness of the rain. However the sun had chased away the storm and the thunderclaps that had crashed over and over again were becoming a faint whisper. He carefully lifted his hand and ran it over his face. He felt his own blood and grazed skin on his fingers. He touched a small triangular splinter of glass that had missed his left eye by less than a centimeter and buried itself into his temple like an arrowhead. Corda gritted his teeth, seized it with pointed fingers, and attempted to carefully pluck it out of the meat of his face. Pain flooded through him, much more than anything he had suffered thus far, and pale red blood poured down his face and over his hand. It finally came free, and Corda moaned and buried his face in his hands. He sat there motionless for a long time, and then straightened up again. For a moment he looked at the tiny shard of glass which he kept between his thumb and forefinger. It was pale red from his blood. And he shuddered at the thought of how it had just missed his eye. A centimeter further, he thought, and it would have drilled right through his eye into his brain and killed him. He thought about this for a moment, and then brushed it aside. The cut on his temple was nothing compared to all he had just been through. He laughed aloud, then raised his hand and flung the splinter of glass in a high arc in front of him.
The small fragment reflected a golden glimmer as it rebounded off some rocks and disappeared. Corda looked after it. The glimmer of light reminded him of something else he had seen just before the airplane had snapped in two and shook him up. He could not comprehend what he had seen, and he needed to find out more t understand it.
For the first time he really looked around attentively. He had landed between sharp burrs of lava and weathered granite. He saw that a crippled tree without any leaves whose pinched roots jutted in columns out of the jungle floor had broken his fall. Corda shuttered as he realized it had been a one-in-million chance that he had been stopped by the tree. As far as he could see was nothing but naked rock with razor-sharp edges; this tree was the last emissary of vegetation that penetrated this bald world of stone and rock. The tree line stopped short and turned into a vast expanse of cold, hard stone. If he had been flung a few feet more he would have missed the tree and his body shattered against the granite.
He took a closer look. The rocks against which his airplane had bumped were part of the edge of an enormous crater embankment. The embankment was circled by the green treetops of the Bolivian rainforest. Corda guessed that it would take hours to get down off the embankment; if he could get down at all. Slowly he turned around and looked in the opposite direction. He saw what appeared to be an extinct volcano. He tried to peer inside, but could not see through the gray haze and fog more than thirty or forty steps. The haze covered the crater in a layer. The splinter of glass was nowhere to be found, but he had seen a little flash of gold, just as he had out of the cabin of his plane earlier.
Logic told him that he should turn around and start the long and dangerous journey down. But another voice was stronger than all the others at this moment, and it had nothing to do with logic. He simply felt that something was hiding behind this boiling curtain of fog and haze. Something great and mysterious.
With gritted teeth, Corda limped to the tree whose branches had saved his life. Every stepped painfully reminded him of the difference between being uninjured and seriously injured; it felt like a white-hot arrow drilled through his knee from the inside out, then crept up his thigh into the rest of his body until there was not a single place on his body that did not either burn, snap or sting or ache in every conceivable (and also inconceivable) way. Trembling, he placed his hand on the tree trunk and immediately pulled it back, surprised.
The tree looked like a tree, but its bark seemed to be made of stone. Corda grasped it again, and then scratched it carefully with his fingernail. A thin layer of soot and ash which had built up over the centuries came loose. But no wood appeared. It was – gold underneath!
For a few seconds, Professor Stanley Corda simply stood there and stared, aghast, at the tiny hole he had made in the bark. Then he started to scratch, faster and faster, with both hands. He dug hectically at the bark. Finally he tore a piece of his ragged shirt away and used it to wipe of the centuries-old layer of deposits. He unsuccessfully tried to remove it all. But were he had wiped away the gunk, the same sight greeted him. It was obviously gold! Corda held too much of this precious metal in his hands as an archeologist (or, some would argue, a grave robber) to be mistaken. It was gold. He could tell by the characteristic texture and softness of the metal.
But this was impossible!
Perplexed, Corda turned and looked closely at the broken branches on the ground that had broken his fall. They were blackened by a centimeter thick layer of soot and ash. However, here and there he could see flecks of gold. He picked one of them up and snapped it into, and a pale yellow glimmer dazzled his eyes.
Still puzzled, Corda dropped the branch and turned back to the tree. He simply stood there and stared, going over, and then rejecting a dozen explanations for what he had found. Not one of them was convincing. Chance? A vein of gold which had been washed out of the volcano during one of its eruptions? Impossible. Even if the lava had contained gold, it would have been softer than the stone and washed away by erosion.
Could it have been a religious object? A millennium old work of art set up to honor the gods by the Indians who had once lived in this jungle. Just as impossible. The Incas and the Mayas had never penetrated this part of Bolivia, and Corda knew their works of art well enough. More than once he had held one of their objects in his hands and brought them to a museum. And more than one had inexplicably disappeared between where it had been found and the museum, considerably increasing Corda’s bank account.
As fantastic as it sounded, there seemed to be only one explanation.
He tore his eyes away from the fantastic tree and looked down into the crater. He tried to see what the seething gray cloud hid. He noticed only now that there shouldn’t be any fog at all; the storm was over. Even if there was a marsh below, would the fog have been able to replace itself so fast?
He looked frantically around and discovered that a few meters away there was a place where he could make his way down into the crater. He gritted his teeth and grabbed a study vine, then slowly lowered himself down, swaying on the way. He touched a small plateau, then turned and made his way down the steep incline.
It was easier than he first thought. But it was also a little strange. The fog shrouded over him, and the dampness filled his clothes and hair. They clung to him with a cold uncomfortable wetness, like damp cotton. The rock was slippery beneath his feet, and he had to watch where he stepped. The danger of slipping and cutting himself on the sharp edges of the lava burrs was still great. It was the strangest fog Corda had ever seen. It was so thick he thought he could almost reach out and grasp it. It had a weird smell, poignant and unpleasant but ever present and overpowering.
Not that he had any other impressions. In front of him was nothing but a gray haze, down into which he climbed. Sometimes he couldn’t even see what was below his feet. Movement was slow, and he found it impossible to judge how far he had come. As he descended, he found himself looking for something familiar in his surroundings, but all he saw was the gray cloud below and the gray walls around him. Sometimes he could swear he heard noises; a weird, bizarre lute which the omnipresent fog muffled and somehow dampened.
He was no longer sure whether descending into the volcano had been such a good idea. He had been lucky more than once today, and maybe he had used up the loan destiny had given him. Corda admitted to himself that he had obviously gone astray, and his chances of finding his way back out of the fog had become slim to none.
He stopped, turned around in a complete circle once, and realized that he had lost his orientation a little. Hastily he turned back into the direction he was heading, made another unsafe step, and then stopped once again.
There was something in front of him. At first he thought it was another deceptive shadow that would flitter away as he reached for it just as it had numerous times already on his descent into the crater. But this time the shadow did not disappear. He leaned closer for a clearer view. Corda was sure something was in front of him, but he had no idea what it was.
His heart beat faster. He had never really been superstitious. Stories of ghosts and demons had always wrung only a tired smile from him. Perhaps it was because he was always searching for lost cultures or h was employed to find millennia old graves and tombs. But at this moment it would not have surprised him if the fog spat forth a frothing demon that had come to take vengeance on him for entering this forbidden place.
But the shadow didn’t move. Corda strained to hear any sound that might come from the shadow, but all he heard was the sound of his own blood pounding through his veins and the weird, muffled lutes of the fog. And he was beginning to think that even that was a figment of his imagination.
Carefully he moved on. The shadow grew up before him quite slowly, ye still remained shapeless. The nearer Corda got he realized that it wasn’t a black rock rising from the ground in front of him. What he saw was a shimmering yellow breaking through the fog, a metallic yellow.
It was as if he penetrated an invisible barrier. Corda quite suddenly recognized what stood in front of him.
With a piercing cry he jumped back. He lost his balance on the slippery rock and fell solidly to the ground. His cheeked touched the cold hard ground, and he turned his head and yelled out again. He looked into the stone and saw his look of disgust reflected back at him.
And then his eyes widened with astonishment. The cry turned into a rapid pant.
A spider squatted directly next to his face. It was the biggest spider he had ever faced, its body the size of a man’s two fists side to side. Its leg span must have been between forty and fifty centimeters, and its multitude of eyes were the size of polished thumbtacks. They stared at him with a cold rage.
But it wasn’t the height or the indescribable ugliness of the spider that caused Corda to lie still and stare stiffly at it. It was the fact that the spider was not alive. And it was exact in detail, just like the tree had been on the crater’s edge above.
It was made from solid gold.
Nevertheless, Corda felt an intense curiosity which finally caused him to straighten up and pick the artificial creature up and examine it. Except for its color, it had seemed almost real. It would not have surprised him if it had pounced on him when he fell. He could still see those big eyes staring coldly at him with rage. Its ugly, hairy legs copied in the finest detail so that every joint could be seen, along with the turned claws at the end of the legs. They seemed as if they could drag around its swollen body, which seemed to be made of some golden foam. Some unknown artist had created this creature perfectly.
But Corda was beginning to wonder whether the creature had actually been copied.
With difficulty he looked away from the gigantic creature and stared ahead at the bigger, gold shimmering shadow which had first caught his eyes.
He leaned forward, and he could see it much clearer now. It was no longer clouded in shadows. It was a sparkling giant, more than three meters in height and a length he could not determine because part of it disappeared into the fog. The giant skull was grotesque and triangular, and its mouth was filled with finger long teeth, as sharp as a shark’s. They were copied down to the smallest detail! Corda could make out every single scaly detail of the creature. He saw the gigantic flaring nostrils, reptilian eyes as big as a man’s fist which stared at him with the same blind rage as the spider had (or was it pain?). The enormous claws of the monster reminded him of human hands that were reaching out for something.
Shuddering, Corda straightened. He took another step closer toward the bizarre freak of nature, the stopped abruptly. He simply did not dare get any closer. He no longer attempted to understand what he was seeing. But he knew without a shadow of a doubt that this was not the work of some Incan or Mayan artist. Human hands could not have created this statue.
Corda was not a paleontologist, however he knew the early history of the earth well enough to know what stood before him was a life-size Allosaurus covered completely in gold! It was a smaller but hardly less dangerous version of the biggest beast of prey that had ever roamed this planet, the Tyrannosaurus Rex. Its ravenous appetite gave birth to the dragon legends of old, and it had died out over seventy million years ago.
Corda fought back his fear and approached a little more closely. He extended a trembling hand and felt the scales on the enormous body and marveled at its detail. The fog had dumped its cold wetness all over it, and he could not only feel the gold underneath but also the tiny cracks between the scales of the armor-clad lizard skin. Suddenly he stepped back and stared up into the fog. The feeling that came over him was surreal and hard to explain. It almost bordered on panic. He tried to imagine what other mysteries he would find shrouded in this weird fog.
It was very rare that Dr. Indiana Jones had anything in common with his students besides his enthusiasm for stories of lost cultures and secrets of prehistoric life. One other thing they shared was the longing for that shrilling of the bell that heralded the end of class. He didn’t feel particularly well that day. The evening before, he had a drink with Marcus Brody, curator of the National Museum and headmaster of the university. He was an old friend, and as often happened, he hadn’t stayed with just one glass. They had stated speaking about old times and the adventures they had shared. He had woken up on the wrong side of bed this morning with a terrible headache, and the day hadn’t brought any rays of hope to him that his mood was going to change. His secretary had put the normal piping hot cup of coffee on his desk in the usual place. But, however, she had also placed a not so normal letter from Dr. Grisswald, new dean of the university, informing him to get in contact after his second lecture. The letter was written in Grisswald’s scribbled handwriting, and abrupt and pointed, the tone unpleasant much like the man who had written it. He and Indiana Jones didn’t get along entirely, and were not friendly to each other.
Grisswald had come to the university some months ago, and he hadn’t made any qualms about what he thought of the excursion and extra tours of his most prominent assistant professor. He had to listen to long lectures on how he was supposed to be a role model for the students, how he should teach them the noble sciences and offer his care and responsibility into molding them into good citizens. Furthermore, wit a reproachful look from Grisswald, Indy had to listen on and on about how he should leave dangerous adventures in remote parts of the world, fights with bloodthirsty natives and the hardly less bloodthirsty Nazi, and expeditions of every conceivable bounds to people more suited for it – namely tabloids and brainless adventurers.
Indiana had to hold his tongue to keep from telling him what he thought about Grisswald an his ideals, and it was usually with a helpful jab to the ribs from Marcus that kept him from expressing it. Besides, his answers would probably have led to his immediate removal from the faculty, and quite presumably the territories of the United States of America. From those memorable conversations, Indy surmised that Grisswald was quite possibly his exact opposite. It wasn’t enough that he already felt sick. Just seeing the dean’s name made him feel even more so. Grisswald’s colleagues, as ell as most of his students, were nevertheless accustomed to not saying anything to cross the dean in his presence.
Grisswald was physically only a couple of years older than Indy, but it was a fossilized old man who had forgotten to die three hundred year ago inside the body. He would constantly tell Indy to grow up, ad unfortunately his attitude was slowly spreading through the rest of the university. It was only a matter of time before it followed suit with the same attitude. The only reason Indiana was still there was because he had a circle of influential friends and a polished reputation as a man who gets things done. Even someone like Grisswald would think twice before quarreling openly with him. But sooner or later, the crusty bastard would figure out a way to knock him off balance and get over on him. Perhaps it would be today. The two sentences scribbled on the piece of paper promised noting good.
Indiana forced himself to stop thinking about Grisswald, then meticulously organized the papers on his desk and shoved them into the leather briefcase he always carried around. Earlier he had so longingly waited for the hour to end, but now he wasn’t in such a hurry to leave his classroom. He considered coming up with some excuse to avoid the meeting with Grisswald, but finally rejected the idea. However improbable, it was possible that the man would deliver some good news for a change – for example he might say he had fallen incurably ill with tuberculosis; or that he had been wrong all this time about professors fond of adventure, and now he would whole-heartedly support Indy’s extra-curricular activities; or maybe he had a rich aunt in Europe who had died and left her entire fortune to him so he wouldn’t have to work at this or any other university again.
Finally Indy dragged himself from the classroom, through the door and made the right turn to the stairwell which would lead to Grisswald’s lair. He was so preoccupied with thoughts about what Grisswald might blame him for today that he almost collided with a slim female figure coming down the stairs. He stopped at the last moment, and his fair haired opposite bounced back, frightened. She would have lost her balance had Indy not dropped his briefcase and caught her, allowing her to regain her balance. Indy glanced back and saw that his briefcase had opened, spilling its contents all over the lower third of the staircase. He shook his head and glanced back at the woman, and it was only then that he recognized who she was.
“Marian!” Indy called, surprised. They both smiled pleasantly at each other, but her smile quickly faded. His died just as quickly when he saw the expression that had overcome Marian Corda’s face. She looked back up and forced a grin. He could tell she was trying to hide her true feelings. It was almost like she was scared or something, and there was a hint of pain.
“What’s wrong?” he asked sincerely.
“Nothing,” Marian hastily answered, and she smiled again. But this time Indiana saw the tears shimmering at the corners of her eyes. Before he could say anything, Marian quickly pulled away from him and looked guiltily at the mess of papers and pens strewn about the stairwell.
“Oh, I’m so sorry,” she said. “Wait – I’ll help you pick it up.”
She pushed by Indy and stooped to pick up the briefcase, but Indy grabbed her gently by the shoulders and pulled her back up. He had known Marian Corda for more than ten years, since the day her husband had arrived at the university with her. He had known Stanley Corda for the same amount of time. They were colleagues and taught many of the same subjects. However, one thing separated Stan and Marian Corda: Indy liked Marian, and did not care at all for her husband.
“What’s the matter?” he asked.
Marian tried to push his hand away again. But he held it tight this time. “Nothing,” she said. “I was just thinking. I am so sorry…”
She wanted to wrest herself away from him again, and she felt he was using a little more pressure to hold on. Reluctantly, Indy released her and watched silently for a moment. He watched as she picked the sheets of paper up off the stairs and hastily placed them into his briefcase.
“Is it Stan?” Indy pressed.
Marian stopped in the middle of the task, holding a few sheets of paper and the briefcase in her hands. She did not look up at him, but Indy could see her shoulders begin tremble.
He cautiously glided down next to her and squatted. He took the briefcase from her and sat it on the floor next to them, then gently touched her shoulders. He looked at her face. Marian Corda was five years older than him, but she easily looked at least that much younger. She was a very beautiful woman. When Indy had first met her, he and many others had been a little envious of her husband. Because of Stan she had led a tough life, and he was sometimes bitter and cruel to her. However it had not destroyed her beauty. But she acted differently now. The problem, Indy thought, was that a woman like Marian deserved a better life, and a better man.
Last edited by punisher5150 : 07-09-2009 at 09:51 PM.
“Yes,” she said, finally turning to look at Indy. He could see she was fighting back tears.
“Is there anything I can do?” he asked.
“No”, she answered. “It’s no big deal. We just had a little fight.” She reached for his briefcase again. She stopped short, then stood up and made two fast steps past Indiana down the stairs. Suddenly she stopped and looked back. “Do you know were he is?”
“Stanley?” Indiana shook his head. “I haven’t seen him today.” He pulled out his watch and flipped open the lid. “Did you check his class room? He should be there. His lecture starts in ten minutes.”
Marian nodded. “Yes, I checked half an hour ago. He usually comes in very early to get prepared. Perhaps…” she shook her head. “I’d better go.”
“And you’re sure there isn’t anything I can do?” He was a little embarrassed by his question. Any of his colleagues say you should never get involved in other people’s marital affairs. They should be of no concern to him or anyone else except a man and his wife. They were guarded and private matters. But a deep friendship had formed between Marian and Indy since that first day they met, and he knew she wouldn’t mistake the intent of his question. For a moment she looked at him sadly. He almost expected that she would accept his offer and tell him everything that had happened. But then she shook her head and forced a sad smile.
“No. It was just the same old stuff.” With that answer, she turned around and ran quickly down the steps.
Indiana started to go after her, but stopped himself. He watched her disappear at the end of the corridor. The sight left him feeling a mixture of sadness and anger. It was easy to see that what had happened between Marian and Stan was more than a small quarrel. Marian seldom came to the university, and she had more seldom felt everything looked right between her and Stan. She thought it was her fault for things not being right between her and her husband. This was, Indy knew, complete nonsense. And this was one of the reasons Indy didn’t particularly like her husband. Corda was a man who would mercilessly prey on the weaknesses of those around him. And he didn’t make exceptions when it came to his own wife in that matter.
Indy sighed. He vowed that the next time he saw his colleague, he would have to sit down and have a long serious talk with him. He had told himself that at last a hundred times before over the course of the last ten years. He had never followed through, however. Not even a single time. And he probably wouldn’t do it this time. He spent the next five minutes gathering up the rest of the contents of the briefcase off the stairs. After which, he continued on his way to Grisswald’s office.
The conversation with Grisswald turned out to be just as unproductive as Indy had predicted. It once again proved that the dean had only called to scorn him and blame the failures of the rest of the faculty on Indy’s teaching methods.
“Just so this doesn’t drag on, Dr. Jones,” Grisswald said with arrogance, flipping a small golden pendant through his perfectly manicured fingers, then dragging it in a trail across the top of the barren and plain desk in front of him. “I have taken the liberty to pull your file and have a look at it.”
Indy was standing next to a chair across from the dean. Grisswald had not invited him to have a seat, and to avoid any confrontation Indy had decided to respect the dean in that matter. He had once made the mistake of sitting without being asked and the dean proceeded to go on and on about respecting other people’s property and rights. So this time he would stand until he was asked to sit down.
“So?” Indiana asked, lifting his left eyebrow. He could see where this conversation was heading.
“So,” Grisswald continued, glaring up at Indy like a grade-school teacher scrutinizing the worst of his students or a parent to a misbehaving child. “So this doesn’t drag on, Dr. Jones,” he repeated scornfully, “it seems that within the last four years you have taken excessive leaves of absences, totaling about eight months. And most of this time has been taken during active semesters at this university.”
“I was busy,” Indy declared defensively. “I was helping the government on two expeditions and performed two more for your predecessor.”
“And I have not hidden the fact that I believe it was a serious mistake on my predecessor’s behalf to allow you to commit such flagrant violations of university policy,” sighed Grisswald. Jones started to say something, but the dean feigned it off with a wave of his hand. “I know what you are about to say, Dr. Jones: that you have done very important things for our country here, that those expeditions shed a positive light on he university here, that you have a lot of admirers in the public who keep us employed here. You have drawn a crowd to this university, I admit, and you have expanded our knowledge of ancient cultures and contributed some of our most valuable artifacts.” He shook his head and let out a deep sigh. “Nevertheless, you must understand this. I have a sworn duty to this university and the business of education. An assistant professor who spends more time in South African rain forests than at the university disrupts it entirely.”
“South American,” Indy corrected with a murmur.
Grisswald blinked and let the gold pendant he had been playing with drop to the desktop. “What?”
“South American,” Indy repeated, a little more loudly. “There aren’t any rain forests in South Africa.”
“Grisswald’s eyebrows shot up n sharp angles, betraying his agitation. They were so pointed it almost looked like someone had drawn them on using a ruler. A moment slipped by before hi anger subsided. “Naturally,” Grisswald responded, a bit flustered. “That’s what I meant. You must excuse my slip of the tongue.”
“Naturally,” Indy responded, trying unsuccessfully to hide his sarcasm.
Aggravation flashed in Grisswald’s eyes again, but he kept control of his emotions. “Look, Dr. Jones, this isn’t personal. It’s nothing against you. But you simply disrupt the order of this university. What am I supposed to tell the students who come to me and complain because their lecture with the prestigious Dr. Jones has been cancelled again?”
“You’ve had complaints about this?” Indy inquired seriously.
The room felt uncomfortably silent, and for a moment Grisswald avoided looking into Indiana’s eyes. Finally he answered. “Well, not so far, no, I’d like to say.” He was stammering because he had been called on his deception. “In reality, I’d be at a loss for words if it happened. What would I say? Your teacher is digging up the foundation of the Pyramid of Cheops.” He saw Jones nodding, and realized the man did not see anything wrong with that answer. He quickly diverted the focus away from that subject. “Look, like I said, this has nothing to do with you personally. I know we’ve had our misunderstandings and differences in the pas. But that has noting to do with this right now. If you were an old friend, I’d sit here and tell you exactly the same thing.”
Indiana doubted anyone would call Grisswald a friend, much less an old friend. He kept this objection to what Grisswald was saying to himself.
“What exactly do you have in mind?” Indy asked.
This time Grisswald hesitated before answering. What he was about to say was obviously difficult. “We must find a solution to this matter, Dr. Jones,” he said with finality. Indy looked at the dean, who looked away.
“Look, if you are going to fire me, then hurry up and get it over with,” Indy said.
Grisswald suddenly looked up, eyes wide. “Good heavens, no,” he stammered. “Your professional competences are undisputed. I cannot afford to dismiss a man of your qualification without reason. But we should behave like sensible men and find a solution that suits everyone, but more importantly, this university. You see, it’s not your inclinations t run off on these adventures of yours.”
“What is it, then?” Indiana demanded.
Grisswald seemed a little embarrassed. “Something isn’t right between us,” he responded. “I know we have our differences, and you know it as well. But it’s more than that. Everyone at this university can see the tension between us. Something like that poisons the atmosphere we’re trying to create here and…”
“And you can’t afford to let that happen,” Indy interrupted with disdain. “I know.”
Grisswald looked at him with admonishment. “I’ll make the following suggestion, Dr. Jones: start with a vacation next week. At your leisure, take that time to think about your role at this university. Think about your future here. Then we’ll sit down a week before the new semester begins and talk civilly with each other.”
Outraged Indy turned toward the door. Then he spun back to face the dean. “Well, I’m not sure if I’ll be there or not,” he spurted. “If, however, you want to advise me to look for another job, then just say so, Grisswald. But you better be able to give good reasons for it!”
Grisswald leaned back in his chair and sighed. He feigned sadness. “Well,” he said. “I was hoping the outcome of his conversation would have been different. But if you insist, I am sure every university in this country will accept you with open arms.”
Indiana stared furiously at Grisswald for a few seconds, but remained silent. Then he turned back around and stomped toward the door. Just as he reached out for the handle, Grisswald called to him once again.
For a fraction of a second, Indy was inclined to ignore him, go on through the door, and slam it shut behind him. He knew Grisswald was being sarcastic about other university’s accepting him with open arms. His aggressive pursuit of knowledge and ancient artifacts had left other prestigious colleagues behind, and some of them still harbored a little animosity at his success. Any of them had gone on to management at some of those universities, and Grisswald knew this. Reluctantly, he forced himself to stop and turn to face the man. “Yes?”
“There is one other thing,” Grisswald said, almost like he knew a secret he was revealing.
Indy stood where he was, looking at Grisswald. However, Grisswald simply stared curiously at the pendant he had picked back up off the desk. His refusal to elaborate brought Indy back to the front of the desk. Grisswald looked up and pushed the little golden piece of jewelry he had been fiddling with across to Indy. “Have you seen this before?”
Indy took it and turned it curiously in his fingers. What he had earlier thought was a golden pendant was actually something else entirely. It was a tiny beetle made of solid gold. It had no holes or links to attach it to another piece of jewelry like a pendant should have. And it was, by far, the most perfect imitation of a living creature which Indy had ever seen.
Indy shook his head, confused at this sudden questioning. “No, not at all. Why? What is this?”
Grisswald studied Indiana’s face for several seconds before answering, like he was looking for a certain response or expression. Then he shrugged his shoulders. He leaned forward and took the beetle out of Indy’s hands. “I would also like to know the answers to those questions,” he said. “I had hoped to get them from you.”
“I still don’t get it. Why, and where did it come from?”
“I don’t know those answers either,” answered Grisswald. “You see, someone dropped by for a visit this morning. Very early, I might add. It was a very unpleasant visit.”
Indy looked patiently at Grisswald, waiting for an explanation.
“It was in regards to this piece of jewelry,” Grisswald continued after a long uncomfortable break. “Well, this piece and a few others. It seems they were stolen.”
Grisswald once again shrugged his shoulders. “Anyway, I accepted this piece so I could ascertain its origins. I wanted to explain this to the police, should they ask.”
Jones still did not comprehend. He rubbed his chin and paced over to the chair across from Grisswald, where he sat down. Then he leaned back absently on its two hind legs, waiting for Grisswald to finish.
First Grisswald stared at the chair, then looked back to Indy, who appeared not to notice the scornful stare from the dean. He looked at the leaning chair again, but Jones still did not seem to notice. He finally dismissed it as another display of Jones’s arrogance. He shook his head and continued. “Unfortunately, I have gotten nothing concrete from the officials. Only that several items such as this have appeared on the black market here in town within the last few weeks. Now why would the police pick out our university out of the rest for their inquiry?”
Indy shrugged honestly.
“Look,” Grisswald said, his voice rising a bit. “I know that it has to be a member of this faculty selling them. And you either cannot or will not tell me who that person is.”
“It’s not against the law to sell gold,” Indy said.
Grisswald apparently agreed with Indy for once. As long as it was sold through legal channels.
“But apparently that isn’t the case here, or the police would not be involved,” Grisswald explained angrily. “They would not have been so kind as to pay us a visit here at the university if this were a legal operation. I intend to find out which one of my employees would know the true value of these pieces and would be willing to profit from it.”
It took several seconds for Indy to realize what the dean was getting at. Then it finally dawned on him. Indy’s face darkened and he shot forward in the chair. “I see, now, dean,” he pressed. “Somebody here at the university is stealing or embezzling valuable artifacts…and you, of course, think it’s me!”
Grisswald was visibly shaken by the sudden anger in Indy’s voice. He did not respond.
“Hate to disappoint you, Grisswald,” Indy continued. “Since you’ve been here I admit I haven’t had very much fun. But I still earn enough to keep me from stealing.” His voice grew even sharper when Grisswald tried to interrupt. “Besides, if it were me, I’d be smart enough not to sell it here in town. I’m not that stupid. It’s a sure way to get caught.”
“That’s not what I meant, Dr. Jones,” Grisswald started. But Indiana wasn’t listening anymore. He stood up instantly, knocking the chair backwards until it fell over with a loud crash. It sounded like it had cracked, but Indy didn’t care. He turned and stormed out of the office. He could hear Grisswald pleading at him to listen when he slammed the door.
It slammed so intensely behind him that it had to have been heard three stories below.
Indiana left the campus ten minutes later, still boiling with anger. He strode across the street with lengthy steps. If it weren’t for such fond memories of his tenure and good friends here at the university, he not only would have slammed the door to Grisswald’s office but he would have grabbed his desk and knocked it over, then told the man what he really thought of him. He wondered which vindictive god he had angered over the course of his adventures that they would send a repulsive creep like Grisswald to ruin his life.
When he reached the other side of the street, he turned to his right, then immediately changed his mind and turned in the opposite direction. He couldn’t go home now. He needed a coffee, or better yet a nice glass of whiskey to calm him down. So he steered toward a little café the students used as a meeting place. It was already busy at this early hour. Most of the tables were full and there were no more seats at the bar. But Dr. Jones was well-known here, and it didn’t take long for a waiter to appear and lead him to a small table next to the window. He sat down and ordered a coffee and a bourbon. He averted the gaze of numerous snickering students when they heard what he had ordered.
A strange, almost melancholy, feeling overwhelmed him as he looked at the university on the other side of the street. He had been there so long he couldn’t imagine teaching at any other town or university. The university was more than a time-honored building made of red bricks to him. It was a place of exciting adventures: in the university’s dusty archives awaited millions mysteries to solve and adventures to be had, thousands of books in endless rows of its library, lecture rooms full of enthusiastic students seeking knowledge of ancient cultures and civilizations. The thought that a whiner like Grisswald could take this all away from him made him furious. But Grisswald was sure to win in the end.
The Grisswald’s of the world always managed to somehow get their way.
The waiter arrived with the coffee and bourbon. Indiana poured some of the bourbon in his coffee with a trained eye, then stirred them together unenthusiastically. The whiskey burned his throat and left a warm trace as it made its way from his gullet to his stomach. But instead of the calming effect he had expected, it worked in the opposite. His hands trembled more strongly than before. His anger at Grisswald grew even more intense. For a moment, he played with the idea of going back to Grisswald’s office and finishing the conversation he had started with the dean, telling him exactly what he deserved.
It was at this instant when Marian Corda stepped out of the building and crossed the street without even bothering to look right or left before crossing. She was walking very fast, and even from this distance Indy could tell she bothered by something. Her movements were tense and unnatural, a stark contrast to her normal attitude. Apparently he wasn’t the only one who was having a bad day.
When Marian reached the opposite side of the street, a car suddenly halted directly behind her. Marian looked back over her shoulder at the car and was visibly startled—she turned to the right at once and sped up her pace. At the same moment, two of the car doors opened and men in custom-made suits and bright hats stepped out and followed her. They didn’t run, but they were walking a little too fast for normal. Indiana would have dismissed them had it not been for their unnatural haste. As Marian sped up, so did the two suits. Indiana looked a little more attentively. What was going on?
Indiana’s somberness was suddenly gone, replaced by intense stress. He forgot Grisswald and the unpleasant conversation immediately, and jumped to his feet. He left the café quickly, without paying his tab; he knew he could pay it later.
Marian had already reached the corner of the block and turned abruptly to the right. She was walking very fast, casting quick and anxious looks over her shoulder at the two men following her. She sped up again when she turned down an alley, and was almost running at this point. The two suits sped up as well.
When the suits turned the corner after Marian and could no longer see him, Indy started running. He had bridged the distance from Marian’s pursuers drastically by the time he turned the corner to the alley. He dropped his speed back to normal.
“Mrs. Corda!” One of the suits called.
Marian turned towards her pursuers when she heard her name called by one of them. She was visibly frightened, and stumbled, almost falling. She grabbed the wall nearby and stabilized herself at the last moment. But her stumble allowed the men to catch up to her.
“Mrs. Corda, wait!” the bigger of the two pursuers said. “Stop this nonsense. We only want to ask you a couple of questions.”
Marian looked around like a poor cornered animal. There was no way for her to escape. One of her pursuers stood directly in front of her while the taller man positioned himself at the entranceway to the street and turned to watch his partner and Marian.
Indiana stopped at the window of a business at the end of the street near the alley and the second suit. He stared into the window as if shopping, but he was actually looking at the reflection to monitor the events behind him. He listened attentively at the conversation in the alleyway.
“Leave me alone!” Marian said. Her voice trembled with fear. “I’ve already told you I don’t know anything.”
“Yes you have, but we would rather be sure,” the other suit continued. He reached for Marian’s elbow, but she quickly pulled her arm back and pressed herself against the wall behind her.
“You leave me alone!” she yelled once again.
Indiana turned and strolled leisurely toward the alley, putting his hands into his coat pockets. He slowly made his way behind the taller of the two men blocking the alleyway.
“You will come with us now,” continued the man next to Marian, “It is—“
“Apparently you didn’t understand what the lady said,” Indy interrupted.
The taller man spun around and looked at Indiana with a mixture of anger and surprise. His face was long and thin with a scar that ran down his left check. His cold eyes scanned Indiana with a quick look, and he quickly classified him as harmless. “Disappear!” he said roughly.
Indiana didn’t disappear. Instead he smiled at him for a second, then scrutinized the other man near Marian – he was the exact opposite of the one next to Indiana. He was short, stocky and almost fat. His face was doughy and unhealthily colored and his hands were populated with short stubby fingers.
Indiana then said “I think it is better if you disappear. And take your friend here along, before I call the police.”
The man looked at his friend in astonishment. Before he could answer, the thick man spun and hurriedly came toward Indiana, nearly running into him. He was standing next to the tall man in a matter of seconds. “Last chance, friend. Leave, or –“
“Or --” Indiana said, letting the rest of the sentence hang thickly in the air as an unspoken threat. He smiled again, and pulled his hands slowly out of his jacket pockets. He took off his thin gold-rimmed glasses and dropped them into his breast pocket. In the same movement he loosened the knot of his tie and ran his fingers through his hair. As tiny as these changes were, they had an astonishing effect. Until this moment, the two men had assumed Indiana was a simple university employee. Now he had transformed into someone more dangerous. The shorter of the two seemed to sense this, as his eyes suddenly became thin and cautious, interfering with the condescending look on his face.
“Leave the lady alone,” Indiana said once again. His voice had changed just as his smile disappeared.
“Enough!” The thick man said. “Take off, or we break your legs!” The man put his hand under his jacket. Without warning, Indy balled up his fist and struck the man squarely under the chin with a mighty blow.
The blow was so hard that he groaned with pain. The thick man’s eyes rolled back in his head and he fell to the ground like the proverbial wet bag. Meanwhile Indy spun with a flash and grabbed the other man’s custom-made suit jacket. He yanked the man’s upper body with a sudden hard jerk forward and down simultaneously. Indiana lifted his knee and sank it crunching into the ribs of the man. He could hear the air whistle at it escaped his lungs.
The tall man was not beaten, however. Although he could hardly breathe and was curled over in pain, he fired a punch toward Indiana’s face. He missed by a hair’s breadth. He drove back away from his opponent, swinging with his left hand and reaching into his jacket with his right. It did not take a lot of imagination to guess what he was reaching for. Indiana, however, did not give him a chance to draw his weapon. He accepted one of the punches and jumped at the tall man, hammering him with punches, three, then four times into the body at the specific place where his knee had met him. This pounding was even too much for the giant man to take. Moaning, he staggered backwards. Indiana shoved him at the same time, and the man fell. He spun at the same time and intercepted the fall with his extended arms at the wall, barely a yard from Marian. He was inclined at a grotesque angle, and Indiana couldn’t resist. He kicked the man’s legs out from under him and sent the goon crashing face first into the rough brick wall, scratching away the skin on his face as he sank to the ground.
Indiana didn’t wait to find out if they had given up the attack. Without a word he leaped over the man and grabbed Marian by the wrist, dragging her down the street behind him. She yelled out with fright and tried instinctively to tear herself away, but Indiana held her arm with an iron grip. She was coming along whether she wanted to or not.
They reached the next bend in the street, and Indiana turned to the right. Without slowing, they continued down the street until Indiana caught sight of something out of the corner of his eye. Lady Luck must be on their side, because there at the roadside was a taxi with its engine running. A passenger had just stepped out of the back and paid the driver.
Just as the passenger received his change, Indiana hastily opened up the back door and pushed Marian inside, then jumped in after her. He slammed the door and looked back in the direction they had come from. There was still no sign of their two pursuers. But it would not remain that way for long. Indiana knew men like these two well enough. It was pure chance he had been able to pull off what had just happened. Quite obviously the two men had underestimated the situation. They would not make the same mistake twice.
The man who had just exited the taxi stood there stiffly, his upper body still bent inside the vehicle with his hand still extended, holding his change. He alternated his amazed look between Indiana and Marian. The driver stared dumfounded at the two, then anger darkened his face. “Hey! What’s this? No more passengers. Shift’s over!”
Once again Indiana looked back. He saw the two goons appear behind them, swaying next to each other and quickly moving toward them from the end of the street. “Drive!” he yelled.
The taxi driver shook his head stubbornly. “Can’t you hear, man? It’s quitting time. My shift is over!”
“I’m talking to you!” Indiana said. He looked back hastily and saw the two men were only twenty or thirty steps away at the most. And they were closing in very fast. The face of the tall sinister one changed dramatically when he saw them in the back of the taxi. He was holding his mouth and nose with his left hand and was waving a revolver at them in his right.
“For God’s sake! Drive!” Indiana yelled a third time. He added inspiration by lying: “That man is her husband and his brother. Those two will kill us if they catch us!”
It worked. The driver stared at the two killers through the mirror for a second, then suddenly slammed his foot against the accelerator and drove off so abruptly that Indiana and Marian were flung back into the cushions. The previous passenger just barely tore his head and body out of the car. He yanked his hand free just in time, sending the change he was holding through the air and raining down in the passenger’s seat and at the driver’s feet.
Indiana pushed himself out of the cushion and looked back through the rear window. The two men had stopped in their tracks. The little stubby man stared furiously after the car, shaking his hand threatingly in the air. The other man followed after them for a few steps, waving his pistol after them. But he didn’t dare shoot at the car. Not on an open street in broad daylight. This wasn’t the Wild West, after all.
Some seconds later they reached the next intersection. The driver sped up, the car lurching from side to side and the tires squealing around the curves. Indiana was thrown awkwardly into Marian. He caught himself and smiled at her apologetically.
She didn’t seem to have noticed. Her face was pale and ghostly, and her lips trembled with fear. Tears glittered in her eyes, and she seemed to be using her very last bit of strength to control herself.
“You don’t have to say anything.” Indiana said quietly. “It’s late.”
“Man!” the taxi driver said suddenly. “That was damned scary! Those two looked really dangerous!”
Indiana sat up and smoothed out his hair, then rummaged through his suit pocket for his glasses. “They are,” he answered after putting the glasses back on. He had quickly changed back into the inconspicuous university professor. “Believe me, they are very unpleasant people. I hate violence and people with violent tendencies. It is primitive and not worthy of a gentleman.”
The taxi driver cast a crooked look at him through the rear view mirror and remained silent.
“I tried talking to them like a civilized person,” Indiana continued. “But it was useless. After I introduced myself those two wanted to beat me senseless.”
“Which one?” the taxi driver said. He made a slight head movement toward Marian. “Her husband or her brother-in-law?”
Indiana smiled embarrassingly. “Well, it’s not exactly her husband. More like a fiancé, if you will.” He grimaced. “The whole story is really unpleasant. We’re really thankful for your help,” he changed the subject quickly.
“Ah,” the taxi driver answered. “ Where are we going?”
Indiana gave his address.
“Do those two know where you live?” the taxi driver asked. “I know it’s none of my business, but you could be in a lot of trouble if they show up.” The mixed undertone from his voice had vanished, and he looked at Indiana almost with pity. It was very important for Indiana that this man thought of him as a poor sap being hunted by an angry husband than having some underworld killers on his heels.
“They have no idea,” Indiana said. “Plus, they wouldn’t dare break into my house. Some things are still sacred in this country.”
The cab driver sighed and abstained from further comment.
Indiana paid him, then walked around the car and helped Marian get out; he did it in such a rigid and timid manner the cab driver tried to hold back his laughter as he watched the awkward, stilted manner. Marian played along perfectly, more from the fact that she was still shaken by the occurrences of the last few minutes than anything else. She stared blankly like a weak-willed child who was still trying to grasp what had just happened to them. He led her through the unkept front yard of his house. He looked around all sides before stepping up to the door. The road was empty except for the taxi. The driver nodded and waved as he took off down the street, tires squealing.
After Indiana and Marian entered the house, he put the chain lock on the door, something he did not normally do. He led Marian into the living room. The room’s appearance was what you would expect of a bachelor’s living room: very disorganized and chaotic. The table near the couch was covered haphazardly with stuff: a quarter-filled bottle of whiskey, two glasses, a mountain of books, parchments, folders, photographs and drawings. Indiana was suddenly embarrassed by the mess. But it her current mood Marian was oblivious to the clutter.
Indy led her to the couch and gently pushed her to sit her down. She sat without resistance, but she was unable to hold back her tears any longer. She cried silently but intensely, and Indiana suddenly felt awkward like a school boy.
“Is everything all right?” he asked.
Marian didn’t answer and Indiana realized that out of all the years of knowing her, this was probably the most stupid question he’d ever asked. He shrugged embarrassingly and looked at her silently for a moment, then turned and made his way into the kitchen where he started preparing coffee for the both of them.
He felt deeply confused by the events of the last several minutes, and at the same time he was furious with himself for not being able to do more for Marian. He put it to the back of his mind while he fished through the dishes in the sink for two clean cups and saucers, and looked for the coffee can. He felt a little guilty for leaving Marian in the living room alone and not comforting her, but an inner voice told him it was the right thing to do. He had known her for a long time and realized that she wanted to be alone right now.
After brewing for about ten minutes, Indiana brought the coffee out on a tray. Indiana went into the study and returned with a half of a package of salt crackers he had left there the night before. Marian sat upright and wiped the tears from her pale face. She reached for the coffee with trembling fingers, and after a few sips seemed to calm a bit.
Indiana sat down in a chair across from her. He took a drink of the hot coffee from the cup he had made for himself. After several seconds of silence, he tried speaking to her again.
“What’s going on?” he asked.
Marian remained silent and tried to avoid his look.
He put the coffee down and looked at his ankle, which he had suddenly realized was hurting. It was swollen from the fight earlier, probably from kicking one of the men who was chasing them, or maybe he twisted it while they were running. Either way, he looked up at her with an almost melancholy smile. “They were definitely after something, and they weren’t looking for me,” he said.
“I don’t know who those two were,” Marian claimed. “And I have no idea what they wanted with me.”
Indiana sighed. “Look, I can’t help you if you don’t tell me what is going on.”
“Marian bit her lower lip and shook her head. “I don’t want to get you involved in this,” she said quietly.
“I think I’m already in the middle of it,” Indiana returned quietly. “Don’t think you’ve drug me into this. I accept it and whatever winds may blow because of it.”
Marian smiled against her will. But it disappeared quickly and the sadness returned to her eyes. “I’m very grateful for your help, but this is bad,” she said. “I should be going.”
She started to stand but Indiana leaned over and grabbed her arm and gently pushed her back down to the couch. “You’re not going anywhere until you tell me what is the matter,” he said to her.
A forced expression spread across Marian’s face. “Please, Indiana,” she said. “I’ve told you the truth. I have no idea who these men are. I spoke to one of them briefly on the phone this morning, but that is all. I have never seen them before. But I think they are dangerous, and I don’t want to put you in danger, too.”
“Look, I’m involved in this now,” he said, making a gesture when Marian wanted to say something. “And I don’t mind. You’re the one that is still in danger.”
Marian looked at him in silence.
“Listen to me,” he continued. “We’ve known each other for ten years, and we’ve been good friends. You should know me well enough to know that I won’t let down a friend. So tell me what’s the matter. Don’t keep it from me. It has to do with Stanley, doesn’t it?”
Marian winced, and Indiana knew instantly he had hit the bull’s eye.
“What’s he gotten himself into?” Indiana asked. “Did he cross someone? Dig into the wrong grave and take something valuable?”
Marian was visibly shaken. What he said had hit her hard.
Her eyes got big, and Indiana had trouble suppressing a bitter laugh.
“Look, for years I’ve known your husband, and he isn’t exactly a gem in our profession. He’s taken things for himself that should have been turned over to a museum, and he’s crossed a number of questionable people.”
“Why did you never say anything?” she asked.
Indiana shook his head. “Because that is Stan’s business, and he has to deal with that himself, and nobody else.”
“Nobody else?” Marian questioned sarcastically.
“I warned him,” Indiana continued. “Of course he denied it when I questioned him about his actions. But I thought he had taken what I said to heart. At least until half an hour ago.”
What he said was close to the truth. He warned about his unethical behavior on numerous occasions. But the reason he hadn’t spoken with the dean of the university or some other prosecutor wasn’t to keep Stan out of trouble. It was to protect the person sitting on the couch across from him, and her name was Marian, not Stan Corda. It had been his only consideration in sparing Stan Corda until now.
“I don’t know,” Marian said finally. “What goes around comes around, I guess.” She looked up into his eyes truthfully. “Indy, Stan has changed.”
“I know,” he nodded. “He’s not the man he used to be. Not the man you married. But in a way, I don’t think he was ever truly the person you thought him to be.”
“I don’t mean that,” she responded. “This has nothing to do with us. I don’t know what is going on with him. Since he returned from his last journey, he stays locked in his study. He hardly talks to me and is constantly buried in his research. I haven’t been in for three months. He involved in something.”
“Involved in what?”
“I’m not exactly sure,” replied Marian. “But I’m worried about him, Indy. It must have something to do with his last journey. Whatever it was he found or discovered has changed him. He doesn’t make any sense when he talks about it. And he meets secretly with strange people. Weird people.”
“What do you mean?” Indiana asked with concern.
Marian shrugged her shoulders. “I don’t know. I’ve seen him meeting with them a couple of times, on accident. Stan was furious at me when he found out.”
“Men like those two earlier?”
Marian shook her head. “Not exactly. Shady types, and he gives them money. A lot of money.” She stopped for a moment, then looked intently at Indiana. “I was at the bank this morning to withdraw some money. But our account is completely empty. Stanley has withdrawn everything, down to the last dollar. That’s why I was at the university earlier. I wanted to ask him about it.”
“And what did he say?” Indy asked with genuine concern in his voice.
“He wasn’t there,” Marian said. “I was told he never showed up for work. He left the house this morning like he always does. But he never made it to the university.”
“And you’re worried something has happened to him,” Indiana suspected. He thought for a moment. “You said you spoke to these men on the phone. What exactly did they want from you?”
Marian made a helpless gesture. “They asked a lot of questions. But I had no idea what they were talking about. They asked for something Stanley had, a card, and said they would take it by force if I didn’t hand it over. But I can’t give it to them because I don’t know where it is. I don’t even know what they are talking about.”
“Have you checked Stan’s study?”
“Marian shook her head. “It’s locked, and Stan has the only key.”
“You should go to the police, “ Indiana said seriously. “I’d suggest you do it immediately. Those two that followed you didn’t look like two boys out for a little fun.”
“The police?” Marian’s voice almost got shrill.
“It would be the best thing to do right now,” Indiana said, trying to calm her down. “You shouldn’t play around with men who have no problem waving around pistols in public.”
“But what would I say to them?” asked Marian. “That my husband has changed? That he meets with shady people and offers to sell them cards? It’s not exactly against the law.”
“What matters is the shady people he is meeting and what kind of cards he’s selling,” Indiana answered, but he understood her dilemma and why she didn’t want to involve the police. Despite everything that happened, Stanley was still her husband. “What if I talk to your Stan?” Indiana asked. “If you want, I can escort you back to your house and see why he has locked himself in his study for the last three months.”
“But the door. It is locked.”
Indiana smiled briefly. “They haven’t designed the lock that can keep me out yet.”
“That’s very kind of you, Indy” Marian said. “But I don’t want to get you involved any more deeply than you already are. You have enough trouble because of me.”
Indy stared at her with a penetrating gaze. Up until now, he had believed everything Marian had told him was the truth. But suddenly, he had the strange feeling that she was still hiding something.
“Indiana, I am leaving now,” she suddenly said, as if she sensed his sudden uneasiness.
“The devil you will,” he answered immediately. “You’re not leaving this house without me. I will make sure to get you safely home first. Those two men that were chasing you don’t know where I live, but I’m pretty sure they know where you live. Would you like to meet them again?”
Marian went a little pale again. Then Indiana continued after letting his words sink in: “I don’t agree with you about the police. But that is your decision, and I will respect it. But you must accept my help whether you want it or not.”
Stan and Marian Corda’s house was almost at the opposite end of town. The area was filled with properties that ran three times higher than Indiana and the rest of the university’s faculty could afford, which attested to some of Stan’s less than honorable dealings. The house tried to appear modest, but did not do a very good job. The front lawn, unlike Indiana’s, was the size of a small park. The house was freshly painted, and much more lavish than the shack they resided in ten years ago. An old rusted Ford sat next to the double garage, which housed Stan’s German noble car and Marian’s Buick. There was definitely a difference in lifestyles between Stan Corda and myself, Indiana thought sarcastically as he approached the front door with Marian. It just doesn’t pay to be honest, he noticed, not for the first time. He wondered why nobody at the university had ever questioned how Corda could lead a life like this. Indiana Jones seemed to be the only one that knew how Stan had afforded to live this way. Maybe it was because Stan never talked about money issues with anyone at the university. He may be a thief, but he was definitely no blockhead. Perhaps that’s why he had never raised the suspicions of his peers. He designed his story well. When asked about the house, he had said it was from years of savings and from a healthy inheritance from a relative who had passed away.
Indiana stopped on the steps to the front door and looked around attentively as Marian fumbled through her purse for the key to open the door. He saw no trace of the black Ford the two men had driven to the front of the university earlier. But those guys weren’t stupid. He was sure they would return here for Marian sooner or later.
“What’s the matter?” he asked Marian as her forehead wrinkled while she looked for the key. Her actions were becoming more hectic, frantic.
“Marian sighed aloud. “I left the key in the car! I’m such a dimwit!”
Indiana looked at her questioningly.
“The car is still on the street at the university.”
Realization crossed his face.
She smiled nervously. “It was just too much. I couldn’t think straight. I…”
She finished her sentence with a yelp as she leaned her shoulder against the door while she spoke with Indiana. She almost fell as the door swung open under her weight, catching her balance at the last second.
Indiana was about to say something sarcastic about her not locking up, but restrained when he saw that Marian had not simply forgotten to shut the door completely when she had left for the university. The doorframe had been busted apart with something, probably a crowbar.
Indiana put his fingers to his lips to quieten her when he saw Marian was about to say something. He moved quickly past her into the darkness of the living room, holding his breath so he could hear any sounds that might be coming from inside.
He heard nothing but Marian breathing heavily behind him. Although it was daytime outside, the curtains were closed, casting an unnatural gloom throughout the room. The furniture was nothing more than formless outlines in the dim light, and shadows danced from the breeze coming through the now-open doorway as the curtains flittered. He felt pretty confident, however that this room was empty of other people.
“Stay here and don’t make a sound,” he turned to her and said quietly. “Unless you’re sure it’s me or Stan, go immediately to the police if anyone else shows up here or you hear anything suspicious.”
He didn’t wait for Marian’s answer. He carefully crept on his tip toes toward the adjacent room which was the kitchen.
Although no one else was inside, the room was completely devastated: somebody had torn through all the drawers and cabinets and dumped their contents onto the ground. The table and chairs had been overturned, and the cupboards swing open and tipped to the side, revealing the stone masonry behind. But there was nobody here.
After several minutes of searching, he realized there was no one else in the house. However all of the rooms had been ransacked. Every drawer and every cupboard had been dumped to the ground, every cabinet open and contents scattered all over the floor. Every chest had been thoroughly examined. The house had been picked through thouroughly and leisurely from the basement to the attic. To be more precise, it looked like it was done by a professional, someone who had picked the perfect time where he wouldn’t have to rush hastily to finish. Whoever had caused all of the disorder was no longer anywhere in sight.
Marian had pulled back the curtains and saw the devastation. Every piece of pottery and porcelain they owned was now shattered all over the floor.
Indiana tried to lighten her somber mood. “And I was worried about bringing you to my place,” he joked. “If I were you, I’d fire the maid.”
“What happened here?” Marian breathed aghastly. “Who could have done this?”
“Probably the same goons who called you this morning,” he replied seriously.
Marian looked up. Her eyes were wide with fear. “You think it’s the same two from the university?” She asked.
Indiana didn’t answer immediately. Whoever had done this had done so slowly and thoroughly. The two from the university probably wouldn’t have had the time. He shrugged his shoulders and returned to the front door and pushed it closed. It swung back open immediately, however, since it had no lock to catch anymore.
“Stanley,” Marian mumbled, realizing he was probably in danger. “I have to call Stan!” She rushed over to the table near the window where the phone usually rested.. She picked the phone up from the floor next to the overturned table and dialed the first three numbers to the university. Then she dropped the receiver to the ground again, where it fell in a pot of flowers. “But I don’t know where he is,” she said, more to herself.
“Look. You should call the police,” Indiana said.
“Marian shook her head in a frightened manner. “The men on the phone this morning said no police.”
Indiana didn’t argue with her. Whether her reasoning was sensible or not was unimportant. The most important thing to do at the moment was to calm her down. He could tell her strength was almost at an end. He stepped up behind her and placed his hands on her shoulders and gently squeezed, trying to comfort her. Marian trembled under his grasp. He saw tears shimmering in her eyes again, but she held them back.
“Okay,” Indiana said softly. “Whatever you say. But if you won’t call the police, then you have to let me help you. We’ll go upstairs to Stan’s study together and look around a little. Maybe whoever did this missed something.”
Marian gave an almost imperceptible nod. It looked as though she wanted to say something, but no sound came from her trembling lips. She swallowed with difficulty a few times. The she gave a slight head movement toward the stairs.
Indiana didn’t really expect to find anything important upstairs. If whatever the burglars had been searching for had been there, they had most assuredly found it and left a long time ago. But maybe they had left some notes or papers that would shed a little light on this mystery.
“At least Stan can’t accuse us of picking the lock,” Indiana said jokingly as they approached the study. The door was opened and, like the front door, the lock smashed apart with a crowbar.
The room was just as chaotic as the rest of the house. Hundreds, if not thousands of books, which had, until this morning, rested on the now overturned bookshelves that lined the walls of the study. Now they were scattered along the floor with the contents of Stanley’s desk. Also scattered on the floor were countless sheets of paper written in Stan’s almost illegible handwriting: notes, maps, pages, torn notebooks, etc. Containers with screw on lids lay scattered about, the contents of which had been searched thoroughly: small pieces of broken statues and pottery from Stanley’s numerous expeditions to South America, a silver picture frame whose glass had been shattered and the photo inside torn out, as if someone had been looking for something behind it – and a small silver casket-like container whose lid was covered with silver and ruby fragments. Astonished, he reached down and picked it up. He opened the lid and was even more confused when he saw that its contents were undisturbed. It contained the most beautiful pieces from Stanley’s ancient coin collections. They were small but exquisite. The casket alone would bring a thousand dollars on the black market, and the coins inside were worth at least triple that. But the burglars had discarded it to the side without a thought.
“Well, at least we know they weren’t looking for valuables,” he said, placing the container and the coins back on Stan’s desk. After a slight hesitation, he stood back up, immediately forgetting about the casket and its contents. Indiana looked back at Marian.
Marian saw him staring. “What is it?” She asked.
“I don’t know,” Indiana replied. He seized Marian by the arm and gazed at her with e penetrating stare. “Please, Marian. Think. Stan must have said something. A remark that seemed out of place: a clue, a hint. Anything.”
She shook her head. “I told you! He hardly spoke to me!” She paused, then looked away, avoiding his glare, as if something creeped into her memory.
“What is it?” Indiana asked.
“He made a remark, once,” she said after a short silence. “I didn’t know what he was talking about. It didn’t mean anything.”
“What exactly did he say?”
“I don’t remember, exactly,” she replied. “He was reading a book, you know, then he started laughing hysterically. I remember it wasn’t a book that should have caused that type of reaction. He made the comment about what kind of fools the Spaniards were.”
“Why would he say that?”
“I don’t know. And I didn’t ask him, either. He wouldn’t have answered me anyway.” The last sentence she pushed out with a sadness in her voice, and Indiana resisted the urge to pry further. He knew he couldn’t make her remember any more if she didn’t want to. Nonetheless, he had one more question for her.
“Do you remember which book it was?” he asked.
She shook her head. “No, but he placed it in the bookcase next to the window, on the second or third shelf down.” She pointed at the now empty shelf where she had seen him put it. The bookcase’s contents were now spread all over the floor.
Indiana sighed, disappointed. For a second he glanced at the giant heep of books on the floor in front of the empty shelf. He thought about rummaging through them, but he knew it would be useless. Stanley, like himself and most of his colleagues, had a very methodical way of organizing their books. It would be completely senseless to look for a specific book in this chaos. Besides, Marian probably would not recognize it if she held it in her own hands. The subject of the book would have been South American history before and after the arrival of the Conquistadors – it was Stanley Corda’s specialty. But there were literally hundreds of books on that subject here in this mess.
“Why don’t you go down to the kitchen and see if you can dig up two cups that will still be usable?” He said to Marian. “I could use some coffee now. I keep looking around here for a bit. Maybe I’ll find something that will help.”
Marian turned around without saying a word. Indiana watched until she had disappeared down the stairs. The coffee was just an excuse. He knew that she probably should be alone for a few minutes. Seeing the mess in Stan’s study had visibly upset her even more, and she needed to deal with it somehow. Seeing the room and its contents destroyed like this probably filled her with tormenting thoughts on what Stan had been doing these past few months, and what might have happened to him now. She needed to get away.
After all, there was a chance he would find something. He didn’t fully expect for a piece of paper to jump out at him with all the answers, but maybe Stan had written down something from his last trip to Bolivia since his return: a clue as to what he was working on. It wouldn’t hurt to keep looking anyway. He was a scientist like Corda, after all. They had similar habits, and it might help him discover something.
Indiana turned his attention back to the mess in the room. He pushed the door too and peered at what was behind it. There wasn’t much there, so he turned back to the mess in the room a second time. This time he looked more thoroughly. He looked underneath the boards on the bookcases and shelfs, checking to see if there was anything attached or taped to the bottom of them. He felt underneath the top of the desk. He felt behind the drawers in the desk, then took them out and examined the bottom surface of each one. He searched every hidden space he could think of: after all he’s had his run ins with shady types and has learned a thing or two about hiding important items. But he decided the men who had done this were professionals who would have thought of all these things, so he started picking up Stan’s notes and papers off the floor. He made three messy stacks on Stan’s desk. He sorted through them, and nothing caught his eye that seemed important to the situation at hand. He looked at them with a shrug. Glancing through them probably would not yield any results, and going through them one by one would take months. Plus he had no idea what he was looking for. After quickly sorting through the three stacks, he looked around and there was still an alarmingly massive amount scattered about.
He had just turned the chair upright and sat down to take a breather when he heard the rattling of porcelain from downstairs. At first he heard marian give a soft startled yelp, then he heard cups shatter to the ground. He heard a voice besides Marian’s but couldn’t make out what was being said. He heard Marian say that whoever had spoken had frightened her. He hastily jumped to his feet and turned toward the door, but stopped in his tracks as he heard a man’s voice.
Although Indiana couldn’t make out what was being said, the tone from the man sounded threatening. He crept toward the door on his toes, and stopped, placing his ear on the door to hear a little clearer. Although he couldn’t understand what was being said, he tried to orient the sounds to get a clearer picture of where they were exactly; he also wanted to know if the man was alone or not.
Marian’s voice and the man she was speaking to became excited. He heard a crash and what followed sounded like a short fight. Then he heard a surprised yell, yet another struggle, then crack of gunfire. There was a painful groan as Indiana heard a heavy body fall to the floor.
Indiana threw caution to the wind and stormed out of the room. He pounced into the stairwell, but stopped two or three steps from the top.
He had been tricked. It was apparent that the men downstairs had known he was there. There were two of them, and one had placed himself quietly at the bottom of the staircase. He stood there with a double-barreled shotgun pointing up the staircase. The one next to Marian was a true giant of a man, with black hair and a scar that stretched along his face. Indiana stiffened with respect as he saw the man’s bare muscular arms. The man’s face was bare with no emotion. The one at the bottom of the stairs, although smaller, was no pip squeek. He grinned as he pointed the shotgun directly at Indiana.
“Hello,” Indiana said awkwardly.
The big one didn’t say a word. The smaller one grinned again. “Hello, idiot!” And he pulled the trigger.
Indiana’s eyes never left the sight of the gun. He had been watching the man’s finger on the trigger. The split second he saw the man’s finger tense up around the trigger, he jumped back through the door to the study and rolled to the side, kicking the doorway closed at the same time.
The gunshot was deafening. He heard the buckshot whiz past him like a swarm of furious hornets. He felt the heat blast on his face as the buckshot narrowly missed him. It left a hole the size of a man’s head in the doorway to Stan’s study.
At the same time that the smaller man was hurriedly attempting to reload the shotgun, Indiana looked around and saw the window had been smashed by flying debris from the study’s door. He heard a furious growl, then what sounded like a heard of elephants rushing up the stairs toward him. It didn’t take much to figure out who was making the noise.
Indiana leapt to his feet and looked around for an escape route. There was no other exit from the room, and nothing suitable to use for a weapon. He could feel the whole house shake as the giant man climbed the stairs. He started to panic, trying to figure out how he was going to fight them off. He needed a weapon—something he could stop them with. And what could he use against that big of a man. He couldn’t fight him off empty-handed.
He peered through the door at the giant black-haired man pounding toward him. He had already made it up two-thirds of the way. He looked back over his shoulder at the door again. The hole in the door was about head-level, and was the size of a bowling ball. And the buckshot that created it had blown the upper hinge off. It was a miracle the door was still attached. This gave him an idea. It seemed completely crazy, but crazy situations required crazy ideas.
Indiana grabbed the door between the middle and lower hinge with both hands and yanked as hard as he could. Fear was causing adrenaline to pump through his body, and it seemed to give him extra strength. The door broke free from its hinges almost effortlessly. Indy turned back toward the stairs and the giant that was barreling toward him. The man was too close to stop. Indiana saw the expression of surprise register on the man’s face. The clenched fists attached to the trains that were his arms quickly came up and covered his chest protectiviely. He expected to come up and catch his prey defenseless. Instead he saw the man standing before him wielding a door as a weapon. His brain tried to comprehend what he saw.
A half a second later the custom strong oak door’s lower edge smashed into the giant’s face, propelled by Indiana’s weight. It knocked the giant backwards and down the steps, but not before his hands instinctively grabbed the door and tried pulled it from Indiana’s grasp. It wasn’t the brightest thing to do, as this action not only pulled the door but Indiana as well. They flew down the steps at the other man, who stood dumfounded with his shotgun open, trying to comprehend what was happening. They landed at the bottom of the steps. The giant sandwiched between the hard wooden steps at the bottom and the door, with Dr. Indiana Jones on top.
When the second gangster finally understood that what he was seeing was actually happening and not the result of a long night of pub crawls, he reacted immediately, but completely wrong. With a cry he dropped the gun and turned to run away from the stairs. Instead of simply leaping to the side out of the way, he ran in a straight line from the base of the stairs.
The second the feet of the giant muscled man stopped on the banister at the bottom at the last step, the door continued to go like a sled across his chest and face. The door, with Indiana still on top, propelled itself across the carpeted floor like a stone skipping across water. The distance between the door and the fleeing gangster melted away quickly.
The boy had reached the window and stopped, turning to see what was happening. He threw his hands up to protect his face when he saw the door with Indiana on top flying towards him. But it never reached him. The living room of the Corda’s house was large, almost thirty feet across. That along with the thick carpet stopped the door’s momentum barely two feet in front of the man. The younger gangster stood there, frozen in fear, as Indiana forced himself shakily to his feet.
“That was close, wasn’t it?” Indiana asked.
The boy looked at Indiana with uncertainty. His arms fell to his sides when he realized the danger was over. The youngster grinned and breathed a sigh of relief, nodding sheepishly. At that same instant, Indiana curled his fist and swung with all of his might upward, connecting with the bottom of the youth’s chin. The swift uppercut sent the young punk up and out through the window, which shattered around him as he landed in the garden outside.
Location: Neuchâtel, Switzerland (Canadian from Montreal)
Originally Posted by punisher5150
Okay, this is the thread ffor the translation for Wolfgang Holbeihn's Gold of El Dorado. I have about 36 typed pages translated. Let's keep this thread alive until the whole book gets translated. If we can get enough people to do 10-20 pages each, (or 1 or 2 chapters), we can probably get this done in a fairly short time. Please post what chapters or pages you are willing to translate and that should speed up the process and keep people from duplicating effort.
As for my translation, I used Systran, +MS Word and IEs translation tool, then embellished the dialogue to make it more American.
Way to go, punisher5150 (my fellow Indy and VHalen fan)! ANY amount of English translation from the Hohlbein novels is 24 KARAT GOLD and you've already done a substantial amount of the story! Hats off to you!
Originally Posted by punisher5150
Didn't think I made it that far in the novel. Good to know. It's basically 1/6 finished!
Glad you guys are enjoying it. I'm not sure my translation is exact, but it seems like an awesome Indy story.
In the time I've been here, there have only been a few, translated, Hohlbein passages sprinkled over various threads. What you've provided is, BY FAR, the largest contribution towards translating the German novels...and this task has been on the table for so long.
Along with the French translations we've been doing, now is a perfect impetus for bringing the rest of these rare Euro tales to life. Step up to the plate, German-speaking Ravenheads!
I'd offer my services, but I don't have a computer at home (only at work, and I can't get away with translating on the clock).
However, I do own all the Hohlbein novels, so if anyone is interested in translating, I'd be willing to make copies of the pages from any of them and send them to any interested parties for translation but who might not own the books. ONLY if you're seriously interested, though, as I can't afford to make copies of a 300+ page book for dozens of people.
I speak 0% German. I had to rely on the software translations, which was tough in some cases. I had to interpret what the sentence was trying to say because most of those software translations don't really correspond well to American English, then clean it up. It was like deciphering an ancient relic.
Translator programs are a pain in the ass when it comes to Germanic languages. Still, I salute you for all your effort so far! I think I'll soon start translating another Holbein book, though for me its a little easier because I can read Dutch and write in English
Translator programs are a pain in the ass when it comes to Germanic languages. Still, I salute you for all your effort so far! I think I'll soon start translating another Holbein book, though for me its a little easier because I can read Dutch and write in English
Have you translated any in the past? If so, did you have any links so we can enjoy them? That would be cool.
As for the software, like I said I'm sure the translation is not 100% accurate, but I'm pretty sure I got the core of the translation correct, as the story flows and makes sense. I want to get back to the project, but I'm so busy with work and school (I'm in the Air Force, and about to get even busier as I'm due for a job change).
Anyway, thanks for any effort getting these books translated, as Lucasfilm seems not to care.
Nope, I have thought about it, but I have never actually started translating. So sorry, no links for you yet! Of course, once things are up and running, we can totally combine our stuff! I was thinking about starting off with either the Labyrinth of Horus or the Sword of Genghis Khan, which are my favorites.
I hear you about the time troubles though. It's quite a project to translate a book, and will take some big bites out of my schedule as well, but I'm sure the Indy community will love it! Whether Lucasfilm does, well, I don't really care about that since we're not translating it for them