THE FRANK A. MUNSEY COMPANY
175 FIFTH AVENUE
Mr. Edgar Rice Burroughs,
2008 Park Avenue,
New York, Oct. 11, 1912
"The Gods of Mars" will go through all right and if events are highly favorable
you will possibly receive a check next Thursday. I think the story is very
entertaining. I noticed with considerable sinking of heart that you do
not name the chapters. You can do just as you think fit about fixing them
up. If you are lazier than I am you very likely will say "Oh, let Metcalf
do it!" Of course you will see I am entirely at your mercy.
I shall be sending you today or sometime very shortly, most probably under
separate cover, or possibly in this envelope, a batch of letters which
I have received commending "Tarzan". You may have them for your own. Most
of them are going to be published in the All-Story for December. There
are some others which I shall very likely send you later. I am returning
to you also those letters which you were kind enough to send me.
I have been thinking over the necessity of a sequel to "Tarzan" and it
certainly looks as though we ought to have one, don't you think so? Of
course, as you say, sequels are never quite as good as the originals, but
with such a howling mob demanding further adventures of your young hero,
it looks to me as though it would be a very good move to bring him again
to the notice of the great public.
I have been wondering whether it would not be possible to have him, after
receiving his conge from the girl, make a stagger at being highly civilized
in some effete metropolis such as London, Paris or New York, where he very
quickly finds the alleged diversions of civilization to be only as ashes
in his mouth. Thereupon, he decides that the only thing he can do is to
go back to the woods and again rule the apes. Naturally, with the amount
of civilization which he has got hold of, he finds upon his return to the
jungle that there is small satisfaction in being king over a few animals.
For a while, of course, he tried to persuade himself into believing that
he is happy once more. He very likely develops extreme cruelty and runs
the gamut of doing all kinds of almost insane things with the various animals
and also with the blacks.
Then I was wondering whether it might not in some way be possible to introduce
a young woman, whose childhood and youth had been spent exactly as had
Tarzan's. She had been somehow marooned in the wilderness and, as Tarzan,
had grow up to be a savage. I suppose you will have to re-introduce for
some reason or other Clayton and his wife. I don't know exactly how.
I don't offer this line of guff as anything more than a suggestion. It
may be that you may find in it something which your superior ability might
whip into shape. Think the matter over, anyway, and if you do not get any
definite story in mind let me know and send me a simple scenario of
It is very funny about Mr. Brown. I really am not sure of his whereabouts,
but he took your address with a great deal of care. However, he may not
have liked the stories of yours which I showed him and possibly he thought
he would not hurt your feelings by gratuitously looking you up and telling
you he thought you were more of a success as a cheesemonger than as a story
writer. We, however, know differently and have no doubts at all that the
time will come when let alone naming race-horses "Tarzan", the word "Tarzan"
will become a generic term for anything that is a huge success.
Yours very truly,
Thomas Newell Metcalf