The prologue depicts a young Indiana Jones in 1912 as a Boy Scout in Utah, battling grave robbers for the Cross of Coronado, an ornamental cross belonging to Francisco Vásquez de Coronado. As the foiled grave robbers give chase, Indiana hides in a circus train, in the process using a whip, scarring his chin, and gaining a fear of snakes. Although he rescues the cross, the robbers tell the Sheriff that Indiana was the thief, and he is forced to return it, while his oblivious father, Henry, is working on his research into the Holy Grail, keeping meticulous notes in a diary. The leader of the hired robbers, dressed very similarly to the future Indiana and impressed by the young man's tenacity, gives him his fedora and some encouraging words. In 1938, Indiana manages to recover the cross from the robbers' ship, and donates to Marcus Brody's museum.

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