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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr


Indiana Jones: The Pirates' Loot Indiana Jones
The Pirates' Loot
Written by J.N. Fox
Cover art by Vince Natale

Indy and a young acquaintance, Rachel, seek to solve the mystery of a long-missing man and a legend of buried treasure.


Read the "Early June 1912" entry of the It’s Not the Years, It’s the Mileage Indiana Jones chronology for a summary of this book


Notes from the Indiana Jones chronology


This book takes place in June 1912. 


Didja Know?


The Young Indiana Jones original novels (not to be confused with the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles novelizations) are a series of juvenile novels written from 1990-1995. Though numbered 1-15, they do not take place in chronological order and cover the years 1912-1914. Young Indiana Jones and the Pirates' Loot is book #14 in the series.


By the time this book opens, Indy's mother, Anna Jones, has died. It's not mentioned directly here. According to Indiana Jones: The Ultimate Guide, she died of scarlet fever on May 16, 1912 (less than a month before this story), and would have been 34 years old.


In this story, Indy twice encounters what seems to be a legitimate ghost, that of a young girl named Hannah Chase. As far as is known, this is the first of what will be many brushes with the paranormal in his lifetime.


Notes from The Lost Journal of Indiana Jones


The Lost Journal of Indiana Jones is a 2008 publication that purports to be Indy's journal as seen throughout The Young Indiana Chronicles and the big screen Indiana Jones movies. The publication is also annotated with notes from a functionary of the Federal Security Service (FSB) of the Russian Federation, the successor agency of the Soviet Union's KGB. The FSB relieved Indy of his journal in 1957 during the events of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. The notations imply the journal was released to other governments by the FSB in the early 21st Century. However, some bookend segments of The Young Indiana Chronicles depict Old Indy still in possession of the journal in 1992. The discrepancy has never been resolved. 


The journal as published skips over this time in Indy's life. In fact, it goes from September 1909 to June 1912...a period of almost three years! Though The Pirates' Loot takes place in June 1912, it must be just before Indy's June 8, 1912 entry in the journal because there he says he and his father have moved to Utah, while in our current story, they are still living in Princeton, New Jersey


Characters appearing or mentioned in this story


Indiana Jones

Henry Jones, Sr. (mentioned only)

Helen Seymour

Maude Parsons

Captain Parsons (Maude's husband, mentioned only, deceased)

Dr. Daniel Parsons (mentioned only)

Benjamin Parsons (mentioned only)



Morag McBride (dies in this story)

Owen McBride (mentioned only, deceased)

Elspeth McBride (mentioned only, deceased)

village man

Hannah Chase (ghost)

Ezra Chase (skeletal remains only)

Charlie Franklin

Comstock family (mentioned only)

Ethan Chambers

Mrs. Payne

Lindy (mentioned only)

Sheriff Walter Brookfield



Didja Notice?


As the book opens, Miss Seymour and Indy are driving away in a Tin Lizzie to meet her friend Maude Parsons. A Tin Lizzie is a Model T Ford automobile, manufactured from 1908–1927. But the "Tin Lizzie" nickname for the Model T did not originate until 1922!


Indy is angry that Miss Seymour volunteered to take him along on her visit to see her old friend because he'd hoped to explore Boston while his father attended a meeting of historians at Harvard University.


Miss Seymour is still staying with the Jones' at their Princeton home even though The Titanic Adventure had said that she was staying for just three weeks and that was in mid-April. It may be that Mrs. Jones fell sick with the scarlet fever during Miss Seymour's visit, so Miss Seymour stayed to help and has extended that stay even more after Mrs. Jones' death to help care for Indy while Professor Jones mourns.


Miss Seymour and Maude Parsons met and became friends when they were just young girls in Oxford, England.


Maude's farmhouse home in Maine is called Sea View.


Maude tells Miss Seymour she was sorry to hear about her dreadful experience on the Titanic. This refers to the events of The Titanic Adventure, where she and Indy were aboard the "unsinkable" ship on its infamous first and final voyage about two months before.


The lighthouse Owen McBride had worked at while he lived is located on Eagle Island, Maine. There are eight small islands off the coast of Maine known as "Eagle Island". Only one of them, in Penobscot Bay, has a lighthouse on it, but the one described in the book sounds smaller and closer to the coast than the one in Penobscot Bay. The "To Find Out More..." section at the back of the book lists a book that features an entry on "the real Eagle Island" (presumably the Penobscot Bay island), America the Beautiful: Maine by Ty Harrington.


Maude tells Indy that her sons live near Burlington, Vermont.


Indy takes a path near Farley's store to get a view of the lighthouse. Farley's is likely a fictitious business in Maine.


Rachel's story of how Captain Kidd (1655-1701) became a pirate on pages 24-26 is only very roughly accurate. Despite what she says of Kidd becoming a pirate by accident, he had previously been a member of a pirate crew before he settled down with a wife and children in New York and was asked by Richard Coote, the governor of New York, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire to head up the ship Adventure Galley to stop the recurring pirate raids and enemy French ships along the coast in 1695.


On page 27, Rachel mentions the alleged buried treasure of Blackbeard on the Isles of Shoals. Blackbeard (William Teach, 1680-1718) was an English pirate who led an alliance of pirate ships in the West Indies. Some legends say he left buried treasure there, off the coast of Maine.


On page 38, Indy reaffirms his hatred of snakes, as he had stated in "Safari Sleuth". But the prologue of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (taking place later this same month) indicates that he was not fearful of snakes until the incident in a circus train car full of them when he was 13 in that film.


On page 52, Indy suggests to Rachel that they do some real detective work to find out more about the mysterious Charlie Fletcher. Just a couple months earlier, in The Titanic Adventure, Indy learned some detective skills from Arthur Conan Doyle and Sampson/Karl.


On page 56, Morag says she's settled in Concord these days. There's Concords all over the New England area, so, hard to say which one she's referring to!


On page 65, Indy tells Rachel that sometimes scientists like Thomas Edison make their most important discoveries when they just keep an open mind, when they're willing to be surprised. Thomas Edison (1847-1931) was an inventor and businessman, producing many electric products, including a low-cost, long-lasting electric light bulb. He is also known for having said, "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."


    On page 94, Indy ties a slipknot on a rope in order to rescue Rachel, who is clinging to a collapsing stairway spiraling up the outside of the lighthouse. In the prelude of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, young Indy is seen as a Boy Scout shortly after the events of this story, so he may well have learned to tie many kinds of knots during his time in the Scouts. (Later, in Princess of Peril, Indy has no problem untying complex knots because he was an Eagle Scout.)

    On pages 99-100, after Rachel has successfully climbed through the lighthouse window and slipped the rope off from under her arms, Indy climbs down the rope to the window to safety as well. In "Travels With Father", we saw that Indy is pretty good at climbing rope.


At the end of the story, Indy and Rachel hope they'll meet each other again someday. 


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