Raiders of the Forbidden Valley
Chapter 13: A Watery Peril
The sound of roaring, gushing water filled both Indy and Grey Wolf's heads as the jeep began to slowly, but inexorably start pick up speed.
Ahead of them the whole world seemed to vanish. The river seemed to fall off the edge of the world - which it would feel like if they drifted over the edge of the falls.
"Is this usual for you Indy?" Grey Wolf yelled over the cacophony.
"Pretty much" Indy muttered, his answer unheard, drowned out by the increasing noise of the tumult before them. He started looking around, trying to figure out a means of escape from the crushing death that lay before them.
The jeep was being drawn forward by the violent current of the mighty Niagara River.
Indy realized that they only had one chance. The flow of the water wasn't too fast, but as they got nearer to the edge of the horseshoe falls it would reach speeds of up to 40 miles an hour, this coupled with the sheer volume of water flowing over the edge basically sealed the jeep's fate.
It was going over the edge.
If they didn't act soon they'd be going with it! Indy glanced at Grey Wolf who was clutching the dashboard of his beloved jeep with a fierce, white-knuckled grip. He knew that the man loved his jeep, but it wasn't worth dying for.
Ahead of them, he could see huge amounts of spray being thrown back up from the river below the falls. Indy winced and looked at Grey Wolf.
"Indy, let's get the hell out of here!" Grey Wolf said.
"What about your jeep?" Indy asked
"Screw the jeep, I'm sentimental not suicidal!" Grey Wolf snarled. He picked up his Winchester and clambered out of the floating vehicle. Indy shrugged and followed him into the river, as he plunged into the water he grimaced. The water was numbingly cold - he felt everything below his shoulders turn to stone as the chill of the river took effect.
With a determined expression he started wading through the river - he could feel the water constantly pushing him down river towards the falls. He set his mouth into a line of grim determination and waded relentlessly onwards.
Gradually the water started to get shallower, and within a few minutes it only came up to his waist. He dared a glance over his shoulder and witnessed the jeep fall slowly over the edge. It seemed to teeter for an interminable length of time before disappearing with the flow. Indy looked at Grey Wolf who was slightly behind him, holding his rifle high in the air - the man just shook his head and moved forward.
The jeep fell into the plunge pool at the base of the falls with something that almost resembled grace. It disappeared into the foam and spray from the cascading water and smashed into the rocks below. The entire front of the vehicle crumpled like tissue paper against them and the front axle shattered like a stick of candy. The rear end of the jeep fell into the ruined front and was swamped by the huge amounts of water. This effectively crushed the chassis of the vehicle better than any mechanical car crusher would have.
Grey Wolf's pride and joy was no more.
If they weren't careful, neither would Indy or Grey Wolf.
The water rushed past their waists. They only had about one hundred or so yards of river to traverse, but in these difficult conditions it felt and looked like miles. Indy set his gaze firmly ahead and continued to wade through the water - it was only up to the top of his thighs now.
At least the end was in sight now.
As he moved forward he heard Grey Wolf cry out and then he hard a splashing noise. Indy rolled his eyes and turned to see his companion being washed down the river. Indy cursed and looked around for some means to save his friend.
Grey Wolf was stunned by the cold water, but he was still fully aware that in a few short moments he would be swept over the side of the falls. He lashed out with his hands and scrabbled about in the water, trying to find something to hold onto. To his surprise he found a piece of metal. Probably thrown into the river by kids wanting to see it plummet to the plunge pool.
Somehow it had become embedded in the mud and shale, and although it was liable to give way at any second it provided a temporary anchor for Grey Wolf. He felt the water gushing past him; it almost felt like being anaesthetised - cold and numbing. He had lost his Winchester rifle, given to him by his Grandfather and this hurt his soul. However, being swept over the falls and smashed onto the rocks below would hurt even more. He gritted his teeth and twisted his head forward - through the water and spray he could see Indy slowly making his way towards him.
The metal piping began to wobble under the combined weight of Grey Wolf and the water.
He felt his stomach lurch and instinctively thrust his free hand out. It felt the smooth and rounded edge of a rock and thankfully it didn't move. Grey Wolf prayed silently to whatever gods were listening and hauled himself forward. He gradually gained a stronger grip on the rock and pulled himself forward so that he was almost hugging it. The metal pipe started wobbling and was pulled free from its tenuous grip on the riverbed.
As it started its journey over the falls, it sliced through Grey Wolf's leg, splitting denim and skin alike. He winced, but any profanity would have been worse than useless - so he didn't bother.
Indy watched Grey Wolf struggle against the current and his mind raced through the many options. He decided to go to the bank and make his way closer to the bedraggled man. Indy turned and made his way onto the comforting security of dry land.
With boots full of water and clothes heavier than cement, he ran across the sparsely vegetated bank.
Within a few seconds he was standing parallel to Grey Wolf. From this angle Indy could see that the man was incredibly close the edge of the falls. Only about ten feet lay between Grey Wolf and death.
Indy quickly examined all the options - he only had one.
It wasn't a great one either - but it'd have to do.
He deftly started uncoiling his bullwhip, all the while looking for the best point on which he should stand. A tablet of stone jutting slightly into the river caught his eye. It was a little bit down river from Grey Wolf, but it was sufficiently close that his whip should reach the man.
Indy leapt onto this outcrop and shouted.
"Grey Wolf!" the man obviously did not hear his calls, they were lost under the roaring of the falls. Indy grimaced and drew his revolver.
The gun was damp from it's recent soaking, but his flapped holster had saved it from getting too wet. He looked at Grey Wolf, the man was holding onto the rock with a supreme effort of combined willpower and strength. With the water that was washing over him it was inevitable that he would lose this battle against the elements. Indy held his gun into the air and fired a shot off.
As Grey Wolf struggled against the relentless flow of the river he heard Indy's gun being discharged. Galvanized by the sound he started looking around for Indy, convinced that more thugs were hounding the archaeologist. To his surprise he saw the man standing relatively close to him - with a smoking pistol in his hand.
He then saw the bullwhip in his other hand.
There was no doubting it - Indiana Jones was as crazy as he had heard. Ah well, it was better than being washed over the falls.
Indy lashed the whip as far out as he could. It landed in the water a few feet from the rock, but was washed far from Grey Wolf's grasp by the current. He hauled it back in and cracked it again.
This time he had success - it landed nearer the man, and was quickly grabbed.
Indy braced himself and started hauling Grey Wolf to shore. It was hard work as the water was constantly threatening to drag the man to his doom. Grey Wolf walked along the riverbank - using Indy's whip and bodyweight as an anchor.
As Grey Wolf clambered onto the ground, Indy looked around taking in their surroundings. The wet native American was panting heavily through the exhaustion of his traumatic experience.
"How's your leg Grey Wolf?" Indy asked.
"I'll live, Indy."
"Good, because we'd better go and find Marcus and Susan." Indy started running away from the river towards the road.
Grey Wolf rolled his eyes and clambered to his feet and wearily followed Indy.
Marcus Brody was lying on the ground - a huge welt on the back of his head when Indy and Grey Wolf reached the scene of their run in with the Chicago hoods. The bound thug was dead - riddled by bullet holes.
Of Susan there was no sign.
Indy knelt by his old friend and turned him gently onto his back. Marcus was still alive, but had received a terrible beating from his assailants.
"Marcus?" Indy gently whispered. "Marcus, what happened?"
The scholar stirred but was no closer to consciousness.
"Damn!" Indy hissed.
Where was Susan?
A few miles away Susan was in trouble . . . again.
As she had been waiting with Marcus for the police to arrive a truck had pulled up and a number of Chinese thugs had leapt out, brandishing rifles.
Marcus had immediately put up a fight - pleading for Susan to escape while he did so. The skirmish had resulted in the gangster who had tried to run the off the road, being killed in a hail of bullets that had not been meant for him.
Marcus had been knocked out and she had been grabbed by the thugs. Mae Ling got out of the cabin and surprisingly had stopped her men from finishing Marcus off.
They had dragged her into the truck and driven her to the railway line.
The men had forced her out of the vehicle at gunpoint and had lashed her to the tracks within a few seconds.
Susan was getting more than a little bored of her treatment by these unimaganative hooligans.
Mae Ling looked at her as she lay tied up to the railway tracks.
"You are a disturbed woman, Mae Ling" Susan said wearily, "disturbed and unoriginal! I mean tying my to a railway line? That is so corny."
"It may well be corny, but in about ten minutes it will be very effective," Mae Ling hissed
"You're putting an awful lot of faith in the Canadian train timetables," Susan looked at her captor.
However, her bravado was hiding one thing. As she lay on the metal tracks - she could feel the far off vibrations of a train coming.
There was every possibility that in eleven minutes - Susan Kirkmuir would be crushed to death under the wheels of an express train from Ontario to New York express.
A painful and deeply embarrassing death...
She looked down the track as she heard the eerie sound of the oncoming train.
Site Author: Micah Johnson
Page Author: Hannibal King
Created: Aug. 2, 1999
Last modified: October 4, 1999