My dear Mr. Metcalf:
December 5, 1912
Thanks for the additional letters - I have had a couple more myself.
Hope they like The Gods of Mars as well. If you get hold of any more
of these testimonial letters I shall be glad to have them when you are
through with them.
Relative to the Tarzan sequel. I agree with you that most of the story
should deal with jungle adventures and I have so arranged it. Have also
cut out the first shipwreck and the mutiny and all that part of it and
have discovered a really logical way to push Tarzan overboard.
Then I have worked a real villain in from the start who can run all
through the story, leaving a lurid trail of hell behind him. He is Rokoff,
the Countess' brother, and a Russian spy. I have made the Count a Frenchman
and put him to work in the ministry of War. Rokoff is holding a club over
his sister's head to force her to obtain certain plans or papers for him
- secret governmental stuff, you know. The club is his knowledge of an
affair she had with a man. I don't devote much space to this but just get
it in to give Tarzan a chance to interfere in Rockoff's plans and arouse
the latter's relentless hatred.
Then I may change my plan of putting Tarzan into the Foreign Legion,
instead entrust him with a secret mission for the minister of War and bring
Rokoff the spy on his trail so as to keep them together in a sane and sensible
manner. This will give Rokoff a chance to become acquainted with Miss Strong
and go on down the coast with her, meet the Clayton party and get a bid
to join them from Lord Tennington. Then I will put Clayton, Jane, Rokoff
and three sailors in the small boat when the yacht is abandoned. The sailors
will leap overboard. Clayton and Rokoff will draw lots. Clayton will lose
and then very much as I had it before except that Rokoff does not die but
accompanies them on shore. Adds to the horrors of their plight by making
advances to Jane.
I am going to have Tarzan discover gold ornaments among his tribe of
blacks and learn that they were taken from captives from a tribe to the
sough east, who said that they in turn had them from a great walled city
in the interior. Then Tarzan will set out upon a journey through the heart
of Africa in search of treasure. He will have a number of adventures though
I shall not devote much space to the journey. He finds the walled city,
partially ruined, and inhabited by a race descended from that prehistoric
people who built great forts and temples in the heart of Africa presumably
for the use of their colonies of gold hunters. As these ruins have been
found and minutely described in several works on the subject if will not
add any to the improbability of the tale to make use of them. It will also
give Tarzan the much needed opportunity of accumulating a fortune without
working for it.
He will have adventures with this strange race, learn something of their
history (which I can assure you will add vastly to the sum total of the
world's knowledge) and while their prisoner discover the forgotten treasure
vaults of their ancestors far beneath the surface of the city. He will
escape with the remnant of his party, carrying with him gold ingots and
The above covers roughly the principal changes I contemplate. When he
returns ot the coast he finds evidence that Jane has been there and been
captured and carried away.
I may make changes as I write, for I want ot have a story that will
grip the interest of those who liked the first one and hold it from start
I have two other bully stories mulling around in my head. One of them
has possibilities far beyond any I have yet written - I don't mean literary
possibilities, but damphool possibilities. It will be based on an experiment
in biology the result of which will be a real man and a real woman - not
monsters. I have it practically all planned out in my head.
Yours very truly,
2008 Park avenue
Edgar Rice Burroughs (sig)