March, 1909 - Russia
[Originally intended to be in the third season of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, that was ultimately never produced. The footage was then paired with "Athens, July 1910" to become "Travels with Father," originally aired on The Family Channel on June 16, 1996]
In March of 1909, the Jones family travels to Russia to attend a ceremonial wedding, and due to a mix of common mischief and bad luck, Indiana causes a great disturbance at the reception - ultimately finding himself in a state of disgrace with his father.
Feeling that he’s been treated unfairly, Indiana jumps out of a window and runs away, leading to another search party on his behalf. On his journey Indiana encounters an old man sleeping in a haystack, who he further agitates by accidentally shooting him with his slingshot. The man condemns Indiana in both Russian and English, and then takes his slingshot and walks further up the road.
Indiana then begins to follow the old man who also happens to be “running away”, and the two begin to share a tumultuous friendship despite having little in common. Indiana begins to teach the old man about baseball, and shows him his baseball card collection - his most prized possession that he wouldn’t trade for anything - a sentiment that the old man also shares in regards to his bible.
Later on Indiana and the old man reach a village and are met with a thunderous applause, yet all of this adulation is directed towards the old man, who is now revealed to be Leo Tolstoy.
Indiana asks Tolstoy if he’s some kind of great king in disguise, and he replies that he simply wrote a few books many years ago, and that they “weren’t very good.” He further explains that he’s running to no place in particular, yet he wants to live a more simple life closer to God, and Indiana subsequently recommends New Jersey.
The Russian police then arrive for Tolstoy, and Indiana creates a diversion that allows them to escape. As they hide in barn, they watch as Imperial Cossack troops ride by, and Tolstoy explains to Indiana that they’re a ruthless army determined to eliminate “certain ethnic groups,” as dictated to them by the Russian government.
Later on the Cossacks attack Tolstoy, Indiana, and a group of gypsies around a campfire, and Indiana rescues Tolstoy once their hideout is set ablaze. Tolstoy was wounded however in the process, and Indiana takes him to a church so he can receive some necessary assistance.
Once Tolstoy awakens, however, and realizes where he is, he runs out of the church and proclaims to Indiana that the “church drives people away from God, and he’d rather die than receive help from them.” He then collapses in a field as Indiana screams for more help, which a few good men are able to hear and they carry Tolstoy to shelter.
The next day Tolstoy further explains why he loathes the church so much, as he firmly believes that they diminish God by claiming to speak for him, thus Indiana should try to seek to find God through his own eyes - and not through spectacles borrowed from the church that has it’s own agenda.
Indiana and Tolstoy then arrive at a train station and decide that it’s best they return to their respective families, where in the meantime Mr. & Mrs. Jones have been worried sick about their 10 year old son that’s gone missing in a foreign country, which had even caused so much stress that Miss Seymour had legitimately fallen ill.
Once reunited Indiana apologizes for running away, yet his father is distracted by the presence of Tolstoy, who stands right in front of him to his complete amazement. Indiana then makes a formal introduction that Henry is incredibly thankful for. Anna then notices Indiana holding a bible and asks him where it came from, and it’s then revealed that he traded it to Tolstoy for his baseball cards, which both men decided was a fair exchange.
The Jones family then leaves Russia en route to Athens, Greece.
Thus during his first expedition to Russia, Indiana crosses paths with;
Leo Tolstoy - Russian novelist regarded as one of the greatest authors of all time, whose most notable works are War and Peace (1869) and Anna Karenina (1877), that along with many other titles encouraged the idea of nonviolent resistance - a theme that would later inspire the likes of Mahatma Ghandi and Martin Luther King Jr.