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"I found Dr. Hecht's notebooks--and a Sumerian clay tablet mentioned in them! The tablet'll prove Dr. Hecht's theories--I know it! But I can't translate the writing in it!"―Alec Sutherland[src]
Alec Sutherland was a student of archaeology from Scotland, who eventually transferred to Marshall College after the death of Arthur Hecht, his professor at another college. At that time, he also was employed at the Connecticut branch of the National Museum, under Marcus Brody. At his old university, Sutherland was on the school's equestrian steeplechase team.
In 1936, Sutherland was a student when one of his favorite professors, Dr. Arthur Hecht, died. With his final words, Hecht entrusted Sutherland with his expedition journal to take it to Indiana Jones, and have him carry on his work. Sutherland followed out Hecht's orders, and found Jones at a Marshall College faculty cocktail party. Barging in past Roberts, Sutherland gave Jones the journal and pointed him to a particular entry. Jones read Hecht's words about a tower in Iran, and Bradley Tavistock laughed at it, claiming it was the same nonsense that Hecht had had when Tavistock had him fired. Angry, Sutherland grabbed Tavistock and blamed him for driving Hecht into obscurity. Jones pulled the hotheaded student off the trustee, but defended Hecht as a good archaeologist and decided to follow up on his leads to restore Hecht's good name.
Despite Jones' warning to stay behind, Sutherland accompanied Jones to Yezd, Iran, and leapt out of the plane over their drop site. Sutherland's parachute failed to open, but Jones used his Indy's whip to grab Sutherland and both survived the fall. Sutherland was given gruff treatment after landing, but eventually Jones beckoned the young man to accompany him. When Jones' negotiations over obtaining some horses from some hillsmen turned to violence, Sutherland and Jones were roped by the caravan. Sutherland was dragged behind a horse, while Jones dodged arrows. Sutherland managed to free himself and obtain a horse, rescuing Jones. Sutherland managed to shake their pursuers by having his horse leap over a chasm, in a stunt Jones considered crazy. Escaping, Sutherland revealed his equestrian skills, and the two fled north.
That night, the two set up camp, with Sutherland glad that the stolen horse carried some of the nomads' food stores. When lightning cracked, Sutherland spied the Tower of Tears and the two approached the tower and watched as the caravan chief's wife approached in a wagon. Sutherland noticed that she appeared hypnotized, and they followed her, and her brother trying to rescue her, into a secret door in the tower's wall. Inside, Sutherland found some artifacts among some skeletons but Jones motioned him up the stairs quietly. Intrigued by a large pot, Sutherland carried it with him upstairs. When Sutherland bumped into the archaeologist, they disturbed the Sorcerer who grabbed Jones. Attempting to hit the mage with the pot from behind, Sutherland was instead elbowed and dropped the round pot, which rolled over the hole containing the unquenchable flames, and sealed it, extinguishing the sorcerer's fire.
Enraged, the sorcerer grabbed the pot and flung it at Sutherland, who fell over. Sutherland fought to stand when the sorcerer grabbed his head. Jones used the sorcerer's own bag of powder against him, and then ordered Sutherland to flee with the hypnotized woman. Arguing that they had not been able to question the sorcerer about Hecht and the myth of the Seven Towers, but nevertheless obeyed. Reaching the outside with the chief's wife, Sutherland watched the top of the tower explode. Jones climbed out alive, and the two questioned the dying sorcerer about Hecht's theory. The mortally wounded man claimed that the Seven Sorcerers was a fable to scare children and that Hecht was an imaginative fool. Sutherland grabbed the man and called him a liar, but the sorcerer expired.
The hillsmen arrived to attack Jones and Sutherland, but the chief's wife halted their advance, explaining how they had saved her and destroyed the evil plaguing their land. Collecting the pot, Sutherland and Jones met with their new allies and eventually returned to Marshall College. Jones reported to Tavistock that while there was a tower and a man claiming to be a sorcerer, there was no evidence for Hecht's theories. Betrayed by Jones' words, Sutherland questioned the archaeologist about his actions. Jones explained that he couldn't lose sight of the truth, but they would continue the search using Hecht's journal. Sutherland suggested that he transfer to Marshall and continue his studies under Jones.
A few weeks later, Sutherland approached Marcus Brody at his office at the museum about Jones' absence. He wanted to tell Jones that he had enrolled at Marshall College and would be starting next semester, in some of Jones' classes. Brody reported that Jones had been sent to San Francisco to retrieve a mummy from China for Tavistock. Tavistock arrived, also wondering if Brody had recently heard from Jones, and Brody said that he had had no contact from Jones, but there was probably a good reason for his continued absence.
In 1937, Sutherland, still hoping to restore Hecht's good name, discovered some of Hecht's notebooks during some busywork that Brody had assigned: cleaning the museum storerooms. Sutherland eagerly approached Jones about his discovery of the notebooks and a Sumerian clay tablet, but Brody appeared, and interrupted Jones with news that Tavistock needed Jones to escort Victoria Keith around the museum. When Sutherland tried to get Jones' attention as the archaeologist walked off with Keith, Tavistock yelled at him.
That night, Sutherland waited outside Jones' home to share his discovery. Hours later, Jones arrived, lightly singing Night and Day, and Sutherland got his attention. Breaking Jones out of his tune, Sutherland announced that he knew that the clay tablet would prove that Hecht was right, but he needed the tablet translated. Jones tried to send Sutherland away until morning, but discovered his keys had been stolen by his date.
The next morning, Sutherland was at work when Jones and Brody approached him, and Jones translated the tablet, and learned that the amulet that Keith had stolen the previous night from the National Museum was the Eye of Shamash. As Sutherland stood by, Jones decided to go after Keith, whom Tavistock had learned was actually a thief named Amanda Knight.
- The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones – "Tower of Tears!"
- The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones – "Shot by Both Sides!"
- The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones – "Double Play!"