Indiana Jones served with the unit for a brief period in 1916, having basically been tricked into participating in a sabotage mission and a kidnapping mission. Remy Baudouin also participated in the latter mission. Jones was even presented to General Smuts as language and trains expert of the battalion.
History[edit | edit source]
Frederick Selous was tasked in 1916 with a mission to discover and disable the German Phantom Train. He assembled a team of colorful veteran soldiers, the "Old and the Bold", but could not find a member specifically skilled enough to complete a team of seven when Indiana Jones and Remy Baudouin stumbled upon the fusiliers' camp, after riding the wrong train and finding themselves lost.
With Jones, Selous had found the man he needed for the mission, as Indy had working knowledge of trains and spoke German. Along with Donald Parks, Birdy Soames, Bill "Big Mac" MacMillan, Mr. Golo and Zoltan, they visited Smuts on the beach, where the Germans had pinned him down, not allowing his force to move on to Morogoro.
There, Selous met Major Richard Meinertzhagen and based on his estimates, Big Mac and Birdy agreed that the cannon would be mounted and possibly sliding on the German railroad thirty miles inland. Selous then presented his men to the general and major, forcing a reluctant Indy to 'volunteer'.
Against the Phantom Train[edit | edit source]
The group rode out on horseback. That evening, they made camp where Selous admitted to Indy that they didn't have much of a plan, and that they would just improvise. The Germans began shelling and the group timed the shells' flights, estimating a location for the rail line. That morning, Indy accidentally got the explosives wet. Big Mac was furious, but said everything should be all right although he was not sure about the detonator caps.
Later, the band found a German camp just ahead of the railroad they believed the Phantom Train to be. Pretending to be drunk German officials, they just walked in, singing O Tannenbaum. Once inside, Parks suggested that the group should split up and after stealing "toilet paper" — made up of old documents, memos and invoices — with Indy, they took a Daimler and rejoined the others.
Having already pinpointed the position of the cannon that night, Selous ordered Indy and Birdy to take a flatcar he'd found while he and the rest would approach the train on the Daimler from another direction until they met the Train halfway where the road intercepted the lines some 20 miles down. At the joining point, he could see the Phantom Train in the distance, when it seemingly disappeared downhill. After puzzling themselves, Indy noticed that among their "toilet paper" was the ordering of forty kilometers of telegraph cable, which they found buried by the railroad. They followed the cable to an apparent dead end, before Zoltan discovered that the rock wall was fake.
Discreetly, they entered the secret base-station, rode the train and placed dynamite according to Big Mac's orders. However, on their way out, the timer did not blow as expected. Selous ordered Zoltan and Mac to reset the timer, while the Train started off for a new duty. After Indy neutralized Schultz, the shovel man and Selous tasked Indy to take his place, stalling them with blunders. The Train was eventually taken outside, while Selous and his men clung to its sides as Zoltan and Mac finished resetting all the timers.
After Indy dispatched the drivers so that the band can climb aboard, the soldiers took notice of Zoltan and Mac. Zoltan isolated the wagons from the main engine before ropewalking back to the group on Mac's rope lasso. Once more, however, the detonation didn't go as planned and the cannon remained intact. Indy set the engine backwards to join up with the wagons, while Mac pinned the soldiers who stayed behind with the mounted machine gun; with the whole train once more, they decided to deliver it to the general. Unfortunately, in the distance they found the Germans destroying the tracks while an army was quickly closing in on them.
The Old and the Bold managed to stop the train and fled to 500 yards while the soldiers mounted the vehicle and disarmed the dynamite. Selous, "the best shot in Africa", according to little Indy years before, aimed at a pack of dynamite with his scoped rifle. Just as a German soldier removed the explosive from the mortar shells, Selous' bullet blew the dynamite taking out the armed wagon along with the rest of the train.
A week after their departure, the band of seven returned to the encampment of Smuts, who welcomed them as heroes.
The hunt for von Lettow[edit | edit source]
While Indy tried to comfort Remy and explain about their delay on reporting to their Belgian unit, Smuts asked Selous if he would attempt the kidnapping their old nemesis, Colonel Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck. According to Meinertzhagen, von Lettow was to be found at a nearby lake, 35 miles southwest of their position, posing an extraordinary opportunity for his capture. When Indy and Remy showed up asking for a way to return to their unit with a letter explaining their absence, Selous once more managed to trick Indy and convince him that the best way to travel would be by a lake, right through the heart of the German territory, disguised as Boer settlers.
On their way with the wagon, Selous noticed a courier on horseback, and again demonstrating his marksmanship, shot and untied the saddle. The band approached the fallen courier, who was none other than Margaret Trappe, the daughter of a woman with whom he'd had an affair and considered the best female aviator of Africa. The next morning, they were intercepted by Germans and taken to the camp of von Lettow, who Selous finally met face to face. After exchanging a handshake, von Lettow ordered them to be shot by morning.
At night, Birdy, who was hidden in the wagon cache with captive Margaret, walked in and persuaded the sentry at gunpoint to release the prisoners. Having sabotaged a plane and the trucks, they entered von Lettow's tent and kidnapped him. Soon after, the camp was aroused and Selous and his men were riding a car driven by Parks when they saw Indy, Remy and von Lettow stuck in a hot air balloon hovering above them. Unable to return the three to the ground, Selous and his men abandoned the camp during the chaos.
Several days later, the Old and the Bold was reunited with Indy and Remy, who had lost von Lettow, but Selous promised to finally get them to Lake Victoria.
Notable members[edit | edit source]
- Frederick Selous: commanding officer
- Donald Parks: expert strategist
- Birdy Soames: naval expert
- Bill MacMillan: demolitions expert
- Mr. Golo: tracker
- Zoltan: mechanic
- Indiana Jones (briefly): language expert, train expert
- Remy Baudouin (briefly)
Appearances[edit | edit source]
- The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles – "Young Indiana Jones and the Phantom Train of Doom" → Phantom Train of Doom
- The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones – Daredevils of the Desert (Indirect mention)