- "You are being irrational, letting emotion cloud your judgment. A good officer must learn that one bad decision can endanger his men and put his entire command at risk."
Major Boucher was a Belgian military officer in East Africa, under the command of Colonel Mathieu. His command included Lieutenants Henri Defense (Indiana Jones) and Remy Baudouin and many Askaris and soldiers of the Force Publique.
In December 1916, Boucher led his troops into a battle in German East Africa, calling for a run to overtake a German picket. In the battle, the Germans unveiled a machine gun emplacement, killing many of Boucher's men, and Boucher ordered a retreat. Lt. Defense, seeing that the machine gun had jammed, called for a charge instead, and turned the tide of battle. Due to Defense's initiative, the Germans were forced to retreat, and the Belgians won the battle, and captured the machine gun.
After the battle, Major Boucher dressed down Defense for disobedience, but Colonel Mathieu downplayed the issue, with news of General Tombeur's commendation for the company, and a captain's promotion for Defense. Mathieu then paired Boucher and Defense as leaders of an expedition across Africa to Cape Lopez to pick up a wayward shipment of machine guns and other arms that were needed for the assault on Tabora.
One day, the expedition came across an Ubangi village, seemingly deserted, but actually killed off by smallpox. A search of the village turned up a single surviving orphan, whom Boucher ordered to be left behind as a potential disease carrier. However, the Ubangi boy was brought along secretly by Sergeant Barthélemy and cared for by some of the other soldiers and porters.
As the expedition headed into the Congo, the men started weakening from yellow fever of the jungle, and Boucher had to make the decision to start leaving the sick behind to prevent wider infection and press on with the mission.
When Boucher, starting to show signs of illness, discovered the boy's presence among them, he was furious at Defense for allowing the men to endanger the mission by caring for the child and ordered again that the child be left behind. However, the next morning when Sergeant Barthélemy brazenly refused to surrender the boy, and his fellow soldiers also disobeyed Boucher's orders, Boucher threatened to kill them all for treason. Defense stepped in for the Force Publique men and held Boucher at gunpoint until Boucher accepted that he could not change their minds and they would need to move out.
While encamped for Christmas in the rain, Boucher presided over the funeral of several of the men, including Captain Lafleur.
Boucher's health continued to decline, and when he collapsed on the trail, Boucher ordered Defense to leave him, but Defense compassionately ordered the men to build a stretcher and carry the major. At this point, Defense took over the active leadership of the mission.
Eventually, the survivors of the expedition reached Franceville, the river town where they hired Zachariah Sloat and his riverboat, the Collette and began the journey downriver. When the boat came under attack of separatist rebels, Boucher was grateful when the boy saved the day by steering the ship away from danger after the steersman had been shot.
When the ship passed by the hospital at the hospital at Lambarene, Defense tried to stop the expedition to drop off the sick, but Boucher disagreed, concerned that a German-run hospital might endanger the mission. Defense tried to argue, but even Barthélemy agreed that seeing a German doctor would endanger the mission.
Boucher's health continued to deteriorate, and when the Collette reached sight of Port-Gentil, Boucher turned over formal command to Defense, and instructed Defense to rig the boat with explosives to prevent the Germans from intercepting the arms shipment. Telling Defense that he was soft and unfit to command men, Boucher died.
Behind the scenes
The name Boucher means "Butcher" in French.
- The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles – "German East Africa, December 1916" → Oganga, The Giver and Taker of Life
- "German East Africa, December 1916" comic