Disclaimer: I don't own any of the Indian Jones franchise. I'm just a fan with an imagination.
From that summer where Cathleen Iris Simmons became 'Cat' we jump to a day one year and five months later and a place that had become something of a home to Cathleen; Marshall College. The now sophomore Cathleen was being given the chance she went to the college for. She just found out that, if cleared by Dr. Jones himself she would get to be in one of the few classes he was teaching in the 1959 Spring Semester. Cathleen had been told by the Registrar Office's secretary that Dr. Jones was to be in his office for exactly three hours and if she hurried she might be able to speak to him.
"But, I have no idea where Dr. Jones' office is," Cat said as she held back unshed tears in her dark blue eyes. As the secretary squinted her own light blue eyes at the young brunette, she smiled.
"Hm," the secretary turned and looked at the office behind her. "Ah, Henry, would you be a dear and take Miss Simmons to Dr. Jones' office." The older woman then turned back to Cathleen with a broad smile. "Henry knows his way around here better than even Dean Stanforth. Isn't that right, Henry?"
As Cathleen tried to see where the secretary was looking she was shocked to find a tall young man approach the desk. Wearing a leather jacket with a pair of khakis and playing with a small switchblade Cathleen was actually slightly amazed to find that someone like him would be allowed into Marshall. The man looked like he belonged in a dive bar with his greaser hair and beat up jacket. But apparently this young man was welcome enough at Marshall that even a stubborn woman like Mrs. Young would be willing to let him in her office. An office that Cathleen had come to know well with it's cherry wood floors and counters along with the red walls with their white chair railings and the crown moldings on the ceiling that housed a very nice but modest chandelier. Why if it wasn't for the tell-tale office furniture Cathleen wouldn't be surprised to find a room like this back at her father's house.
"Well, that's what Dad says," Henry smiled at the two women as he approached the counter that separated the two of them. "Besides, I just found a tunnel leading from the Dining Hall to one of the all-girl dormitories." Cathleen was shocked that instead of yelling at Henry Mrs. Young was actually laughing. Mrs. Young, the same woman who ignored Cathleen's first two attempts at getting into one of Dr. Jones' classes. Mrs. Young, of the white hair and horn-rimmed glasses and that accursed book with it's list of classes that says how many people are allowed in them.
"I'll be sure to alert the custodial staff to close that, then," the elder secretary then smiled at Cathleen and turned to walk away. "Now, Henry you be sure to behave with young Cathleen here. And don't give her any stories about Dr. Jones either. Miss Simmons has been coming to my desk for three semesters asking if she could have a class with him." Cathleen stood in awe as this Henry made his way through Mrs. Young's office as if he owned the place.
"I'll behave, Mrs. Young," Henry said as he waived to the secretary with a switchblade. But still Mrs. Young was smiling, Cathleen's only rationale for this behavior was that the woman was coming down with early dementia.
"And what did your father tell you about waving that thing about?" The secretary pointed to the blade.
"What 'thing', Mrs. Young?" Henry asked as he waved his empty hands in front of her. A feat Cathleen would have attributed to his cunning but for the fact that the purse at Cathleen's side was now containing said blade.
"Just go and show Miss Simmons to Dr. Jones' office," she blushed as she ushered the young pair out of the office. Cathleen grabbed her white hat and pulled it over her dark brown hair as Henry was holding the door open for her. This gave her time to see that he was wearing sneakers instead of dress shoes with his khakis. She was pleased to see that he at least had a white button down underneath his horrendous black jacket.
"Do you want it back, yet?" Cathleen asked as she walked through the doorway and buttoned her black cashmere coat after putting on her white leather gloves. As the bitter November chill made the short walk seem twice as long Cathleen noticed that the man next to her had a curious scar on his right cheek, right above where his hand was holding up the jacket's collar. But that was nothing compared to the hair! Honestly, a greaser? Complete with a D.A. And this man was supposed to be an expert around Marshall?
"Sure," Henry said as he held out his hand. Once Cathleen placed the blade in his hand Henry tossed it up in the air and pocketed it. Apparently he wanted a response from Cathleen because he stopped and turned around after the blade was inside his jacket.
"Quite impressive, Mr…" Cathleen paused as she waited to hear Henry's last name. Wrapping her thick coat around her and stuffing her chilled hands into her pockets Cathleen was surprised to find Henry staring at her.
"Henry's fine," he waived as he opened the door to the archaeology building. "So, you want to take a class with the great Dr. Jones, huh?" Henry let Cathleen enter first as the large doors closed behind them and the heat of the building enveloped them. Cathleen took a second to look around at the building she had never entered but always wished to. And she wasn't disappointed. With its wooden floors and plush rugs Cathleen had but seconds to take it all in before she realized Henry had walked on.
"It's one of the three reasons I picked Marshall College," Cathleen said as she did her best to keep up with Henry while unbuttoning her coat.
"Three?" Henry asked as he leaned against a railing leading up to the next floor. "Okay, I'm interested. What's number one?"
"What?" Cathleen asked, nearly out of breath as she reached the railing.
"You heard me." Henry turned to walk up the stairs. "What is your number one reason for coming to Marshall College?"
Cathleen stopped on the busy steps, looking up at Henry in disbelief. She didn't need to answer to anyone, let alone someone who looked for secret tunnels and had a strange obsession with knives. However, as she was being bumped by the other students who passed her on the stairs. Cathleen realized that she just admitted to a near stranger something she didn't even tell her own father. And once she reached Henry she looked him in the eye and admitted. "Okay, and I don't know why I'm telling you this," Cathleen adjusted her purse on her shoulder. "But my number one reason was that this was one of the two co-ed schools that my father was willing to pay the tuition for."
"Makes sense," Henry nodded as he opened the door to a hallway. "So, number three?"
"Number three?" Cathleen walked through the door Henry was holding. She took special care to notice that despite his appearance this Henry was quite polite.
"Yep," Henry said as he slowly walked down the hallway. "You said you had three reasons. One was that daddy would pay. Two, you wanted to take a class with Dr. Jones. But you've yet to tell me the third reason." Henry stopped walking as he reached a door in the middle of the hallway. As his dark brown eyes looked into Cathleen's dark blue she couldn't help a nervous hand brush a nonexistent stray hair out of her face."And you don't have that much time. Dr. Jones is a quite busy man. So hurry up and tell me and I'll introduce you." With that bribe set Cathleen realized that those dark eyes had a keen mind behind them. A mind she wanted to stay far away from, no matter how polite he was.
"Fine, the third is that besides the Archaeology Department the next best thing about Marshall College is the prestigious Pre-Med program." Cathleen glared and saw Henry was looking at her strangely. "What, is my lipstick smeared?"
"No," Henry said, "I just figured you were an ambitious Literature major who wanted to take a class with-"
But Henry was unable to finish his thought as the door he was leaning on opened up behind him and he nearly fell through. As Cathleen stepped back so Henry could regain his balance she managed to see the person who opened the door. And had to admit that Dr. Henry Jones Jr. looked just as grand in person as he did in his picture.
"What did I tell you about lurking?" the bespectacled Dr. Jones asked.
"I'm not lurking," Henry said as he took out a comb to fix his hair. "I came to show her the way to your office." Henry then pointed to Cathleen and was treated to Dr. Jones' full scowl. "Um, Cathleen Simmons, this is Dr. Jones. And now I will be leaving, it was nice to meet you, Cathleen." Henry quickly walked away before Cathleen could respond.
"So, Miss Simmons," Dr. Jones leaned against the door frame. "What brings you to my door today?" Though his body was facing Cathleen the young woman noticed that Dr. Jones kept looking at Henry until he disappeared from sight. A fact that she was fine with since she needed a few moments to collect her thoughts before she talked to the great Dr. Jones.
"I just came to perhaps get your written permission to enter your Archaeology 254 class. I know its full but-"
"Oh, you're the one that the Registrar's Office keeps talking about. Mrs. Young is quite fond of telling me all about the strange girl who is determined to get into one of my classes. But, Miss Simmons why is it that you are so set in attending one of my classes?" Dr. Jones asked with a smile as he walked back into his office. "And please come in."
Cathleen followed the gray haired taller man slowly through the door to his office and took a look around her. Completely awestruck by the artifacts and books inside the room Cathleen felt a blush come up on her face when she saw Dr. Jones was waiting for her to speak. Unfortunately she was at a loss for words. Here she was in a room full of historical artifacts and Dr. Jones was acting as if it was nothing special. A stark contrast to her home life for although her father was also fond of historical pieces, Cathleen was almost never allowed into the room he kept them in. And even when she was she felt as if it was a museum and not the home she was raised in.
"Well, Dr. Jones. I was a senior when I read your book and-"
"Which one, Miss Simmons?" asked Dr. Jones as he began to pace around his desk.
"The one you published in 1957, Dr. Jones."
"Miss Simmons," Dr. Jones said as he stepped in front of her. "Do you by chance have a copy of that book with you?"
"I'm sorry?" Cathleen asked nervously as she showed Dr. Jones the small white purse she brought with her that matched the gloves and hat she was wearing. "I don't think it would fit in my bag, Sir."
Dr. Jones stopped pacing and looked at Cathleen's outfit. If she didn't know that her attire was some of the best from New York Cathleen would have thought that Dr. Jones disapproved of her clothing. As it was he merely shrugged and took a seat on a trunk near the large window.
"No, I suppose it wouldn't. But tell me, have you read it from cover to cover?" he asked as he took off his glasses and wiped them on a handkerchief.
"Yes," Cathleen nodded furiously. "Four times actually," she admitted with a blush.
"Four? Wow, that's impressive. Considering the fact that my own son hasn't even read it once," Dr. Jones shrugged. "Ah well, I'm just happy I got him to go to school."
"Dr. Jones, may I ask a question?" Cathleen took off her gloves and wrung them in her hands in nervous anticipation.
"Of course," he motioned her to sit on a chair in front of his desk.
"Well," Cathleen sat down and unbuttoned her coat. "I was wondering how you made it seem like you actually visited China while incorporating so many historical facts."
"Miss Simmons, you have to remember that the China that I know isn't exactly the China that you know." Dr. Jones said as he put his glasses on once more. "I have visited China. Twice actually." Dr. Jones laughed as Cathleen shook her head in dismay.
"I'm sorry," she apologized. "It's just that I read your book at a time when all the text books at my school were very dry and as you can tell it's stuck with me."
"I'm glad you enjoyed it so much," he smiled as he stood up and walked over to his desk. "Now I have a question for you," Without looking up at her, Dr. Jones opened a book on his crowded desk. Cathleen couldn't help notice how very messy it was. Not that she was complaining but when one is raised in a house where cleanliness is more important than godliness it's rather hard not to pick up on messes. As she looked the legs of the desk over Cathleen noticed that it looked rather Napoleonic in it's style, but Dr. Jones was using it as if it was just a college issued piece. "Miss Simmons?" Dr. Jones asked as he broke her out of her trance.
"I'm sorry, Sir," Cathleen apologized as she felt her face heat up once again.
"Don't be sorry, Miss Simmons," Dr. Jones said as he came around his desk and sat on it's edge. "Can you tell me about this desk I'm sitting on?"
"What?" she asked, stunned.
"This desk," Dr. Jones then rapped on the wooden surface. "Without touching it, can you tell me about it?"
"Well, it looks like it was made in the Napoleon era," Cathleen said as she crossed her ankles modestly.
"Good," Dr. Jones nodded as he walked behind her. "And this, what might this be?" Cathleen turned around to face him and found a civil war musket pointed at her chest. As she let go a tiny scream she jumped out of her chair and watched it fall to the ground. "Don't worry, it's not loaded." He laughed as he placed the gun down on the floor. "I'm sorry, but I just wanted to see if I could rattle you."
"Well," Cathleen said breathlessly. "It worked."
"I can see that," Dr. Jones replied, "But, what can you tell me about it." He then went around Cathleen and picked up the chair.
"It looks like a Civil War era musket. But I don't think it really is." Cathleen said as she looked at the gun's barrel closer.
"Oh?" Dr. Jones said as he looked to see what exactly Cathleen was looking at.
"I think it's a replica of one. And if you paid more than fifty dollars for it, then you were terribly taken advantage of." Cathleen rubbed the smooth leather of her purse as Dr. Jones stared her down.
"Well done, Miss Simmons." Dr. Jones applauded after he put the gun back on the table. "Almost no one has gotten that right. In fact besides myself, my wife, and our son you're the only one to actually realize it's not real." Dr. Jones then went to the filling cabinet and pulled out a small folder which he slowly walked over to the desk with. "Now I have one last question before I sign you into the class," he said as he sat down behind the desk. "You remember that young man who brought you up to this office?"
"Yes," Cathleen said as she clutched her purse tightly.
"Would you be willing to work on a project with him if I told you that he has a three point five grade point average?" Dr. Jones looked at Cathleen above the rim of his classes. As Cathleen pondered over this news she looked at the wall above Dr. Jone's head and saw a series of masks hanging, all of which looked quite intimidating and rather frightening to Cathleen's fragile sensibilites.
"Three point five?" Dr. Jones nodded. "Well then, no I wouldn't mind working with him." Cathleen added in her head 'Even though he is a greaser and might cut me without a thought'
"Excellent!" he yelled as he grabbed a pen and wrote on the paper inside the folder. "Well then I expect to see you the first day of class in the Spring Semester, Miss Simmons."
"That's it? I'm in the class?" Cathleen asked as she brought out her gloves.
"Yes, that's it. I'll get the paperwork to Mrs. Young." Dr. Jones said as he closed the folder and folded his hands over it. "Unless you've changed your mind in the last minute or so."
"No, sir," Cathleen shook her head as she began to walk towards the door.
"Well then, the next time we'll meet will be in class." He got up as Cathleen neared the door and opened it for her. "And Miss Simmons, it truly was a pleasure to meet you."
"Like wise, Dr. Jones," Cathleen quickly put on her gloves before she shook the professor's outstretched hand. And as she stepped out of Dr. Jones' office she couldn't help the smile that came on her face as she walked out of the building to her dorm room. Once she reached the door to her dorm hall Cathleen remembered the promise she made to her father about never taking an archaeology class. With that thought her smile broadened as she reached the large wooden door and stepped inside.
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