Maureen leaves Earth for Mars but misses and ends up in Pellucidar where she is captured by Sagoths who consider her a Priestess who will pray for good hunting. She remains entrapped for four years by her account until she is rescued by Rod Marquad and returned to New York.
It is here that we get our first real solid date in the saga. During the Prologue, Elizabeth states that Maureen returned on 15 January 1985 exactly four years to the day since she had disappeared which means that Maureen left Earth for Mars the first time on 8 January 1981, not 1982. This means that Elizabeth sent the first story to Alec Effinger, her publisher, in October 1981 and it was Mr. Effinger who held it for a few months before it was published in January 1982 in the magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, a year to the date after the incident occurred. Maureen Birnbaum at the Earth’s Core was published in Feb 1986.
Maureen describes how she spend some time in the hotel bar drinking white wine as a ‘production assistant’ tries to pick her up. Note that she is still 16 so the hotel was pretending to not know that she was underage. The ‘production assistant’ would have quickly learned her age as she looks 16, which makes him a pervert. But we won't go there as this is irrelevant to the series.
Maureen sneaks out, leaving the hotel to bill her father, but found that a rainstorm prevented her from finding Mars so she returned to the bar to order a Pina Colada which the bartender asked, “a what?” Note, Rupert Holmes made the Pina Colada famous with his 1979 hit, The Escape, called ‘The Pina Colada song’ which was less than two years before so the bartender was being cynical, or perhaps, like many bartenders, he disliked making blender drinks as being too much work for what they charged. Remember, Maureen is still 16 and the drinking age in NYC at that time was 18 so he probably just wanted her away from the bar, fast.
The next day she left with all her new luggage, guessed where was Mars, transited and ended up in Pellucidar where she was captured by Sagoths who made her their priestess. Maureen states that she was there for four years but I believe that it was weeks only and she later decided it was years. Of course, David Innes spent 10 years in Pellucidar and thought it was only a single year so she may have been there that long but I have a good argument for my belief:
1- Maureen never tanned. David Innes states that he tanned quickly in Pellucidar but never burned. So even though she was in a cave, it was bright enough to easily see and identify the jewels in her ‘clothes’ so she could not have been there long enough to tan.
2- Maureen mentions that she ate, slept, prayed but never washed or exercised and wasted away. Her hair should have grown in that time, she should have become weak from lack of exercise and she should have stank with matted and ratted hair, none of which was mentioned.
3- Maureen describes that she ate only meat, burned on the outside and raw on the inside the entire time she was in Pellucidar. She makes no mention of fruit, vegetables or nuts, only meat, burned on the outside and bloody raw on the inside that she learned to enjoy.
Note that a pure meat diet is unhealthy as humans can only tolerate 20% protein in their diet. Those who quote the Inuit as total carnivores fail to mention that they also ate moss, lichen and any other plant they could find, including the insides of a reindeer stomach plus they had adapted (evolved) to this diet by the simple process of any Inuit who could not survive like this died early. To be a pure carnivore, you must also eat brains, liver and other organs, a lot of fat, blood and a certain percentage of the meat must be raw. Failure to do so will result in protein poisoning, scurvy, constipation and increased aggression not to mention other medical problems.
Maureen, being an upper class Jewish-American-Princess from New York would not have been able to eat the required parts to survive and remain healthy so she must have been there less than a month, probably only a few weeks at the most.
4- Solitary Confinement was developed by the Quakers who felt that a man, imprisoned alone with nothing but a Bible would read said book and turn their lives around. The Quakers ended Solitary Confinement as they quickly realized that being confined, alone, turned people into raving psychotics. For Maureen to have been locked in that cave alone for four years with nothing but an occasional sacrifice to ‘priestess’ over would have quickly driven her mad. Therefore she must have been there for only days or weeks at the most.
It is my belief that Maureen left NYC on 16 January 1981, transited to Pellucidar to arrive around 1 January 1985, remained for a few weeks of almost absolute boredom, then was rescued by Rod Marquand’s Atomic Subterrine to be delivered to the 34th Street entrance to the Pen Station in NYC on 15 January 1985. Maureen missed Mars and went four years into the future where she traveled to Elizabeth’s home, saw the calendar and decided that she had spent four years underground.
When Maureen arrived in Pellucidar, she was wearing modern clothing for a New York Winter, arrived in the Pellucidar jungle, stripped to change clothes and was captured by Sagoths who carry her off naked, she able to grab only her sword, the Sagoths not knowing what that was.
They imprison her in a cave with an ankle chain and eventually give her clothes which consists of her golden bra and g-string, both encrusted with jewels. NOTE: Considering the Sagoth technology, I would imagine that the tribe had captured a Gilik woman for food but were prevented from eating her when she was able to convince them that keeping her alive as a priestess would be beneficial. She then introduced a form of religion to the Sagoths, hoping for a rescue that never came. This is similar to when Kit Carson went to rescue a woman that had been captured by Indians only to arrive shortly after her death. Mr. Carson then read her journal where she was certain of and hoping for rescue right up to the end. The gilik’s jewelry and such then fell to Maureen as the new sagoth priestess.
Maureen is expected to make sacrifices and pray for the hunting success of the Sagoths which does get better. Eventually they capture a kid named Rod Marquad who is in High School or recently graduated. When Maureen asks where he went to school, Rod mentions a public high school which indicates that he is still in high school or has recently graduated and not yet attended college. As Maureen still thinks and acts as a 16-year-old, being attracted to a High School kid her age or a couple years older would not be difficult even though she is, according to the calendar, 20, but is physically and mentally 16.
This means that Maureen left NYC on 16 Jan 1981, whoosed to the end of December or early January 1984 in Pellucidar, then was rescued on 15 January 1985 by Rod and returned to NYC that same day. Maureen was a time traveler as well as a space traveler. Note also that Elizabeth is 20 at this time but Maureen is still 16 as she has traveled into the future after leaving NYC in 1981.
Note also that we can be certain of these events as Maureen’s first trip was to mars, then to Earth, then to Pellucidar, then to Earth as she describes selling one of the gems from her outfit and leaving another gem with Elizabeth. After this, it gets rough.
OUR MODIFIED TIMELINE NOW IS:
- 1963- Elizabeth Speigleman is born.
- 1964- Maureen Birnbaum is born.
- 1977 or 78- Rod Marquad is born. He will become an inventor and crime fighter.
- 1979, Aug- Maureen attends the Greenberg School as a Freshman and rooms with Elizabeth.
- 1979, Aug (?)- Maureen studies Fencing for 6 weeks under Ms Duplante as a Sophomore.
- At age 14, she fears that she became pregnant by French-kissing a boy from Waite-Hoyt Junior High, a tribute to the American fear of sex education even then.
- Maureen studies Woman's Studies under Miss Stickney.
- About that time she begins to date an unnamed College Freshman. I suspect that a combination of her Jewish upbringing and her earlier pregnancy scare kept her virginity intact and she was a ‘good girl’ as was the custom in those days.
- 1981, 8(?) Jan- Maureen goes to Mad River Glen Ski Resort in Vermont (20-30 miles west of Montpiler) to ski, dies of an unknown reason, and transits to Mars.
- 1981, 15 Jan 1982- Maureen returns to Earth, NYC. She stays in room 1623 of a well-known hotel within walking distance of 8th Avenue and 435th Street.
- Maureen and Elizabeth go shopping and Maureen spends $400 on clothes and accessories.
- 1981, 15 Jan- Maureen leaves Earth for Mars but lands in Pellucidar by mistake.
- 1981, Nov- Elizabeth gives Maureen’s adventure, two months early, the George Effinger who publishes it the following January in 1982.
- 1985, January 15- Maureen returns to Earth from Pellucidar and contacts Elizabeth who ignores her to spend a week with a married dentist. This was published in February 1986, a year and a month after it occurred.
- The legal drinking age in NY in 1985 was 18 but in 1 Dec 1985, NY raised the age to 21 per order of President Reagan.
- 1985, 16 Jan- Maureen leaves NYC for Mars but lands in Pellucidar. She claims to have remained there for four years but probably only a few weeks.
- The Sagoth chief, Nash, abduct Maureen, ignoring her sword but leaving her clothes behind.
- Maureen refuses to sacrifice Ron Marquad who rescues her in his subterreane vehicle.
- 1985, late Dec- Ron Marquad summons his subterreine vehicle to rescue Maureen. He takes her through the earth to deliver her to a NYC subway platform. She is still wearing the gold g-string and bra as she sells a gem to a jeweler and visits the home of Elizabeth to record her story.
MB2- Maureen Birnbaum
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CONTINUED FROM PART I
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