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ERB 100-Word Drabbles
by Robert Allen Lupton
WHO'S THE MADMAN
Welcome to March and on the first day of March in 1967, the John Celardo Tarzan daily comic strip, "Tarzan and the Bomb" concluded in a non-explosive fashion. Tarzan's monkey is referred to as "Cheetah rather than Nkima in the story and I used Cheetah in today's drabble even though it pains me to do so. "Who's the Madman" is today's drabble.
Cheetah found a strange cylinder and called Tarzan. It was an unexploded bomb, larger than the ones Tarzan remembered from WW2.
Tarzan said, “I’ll build a fence to keep the natives away and contact the authorities.”
Holrath, an evil man, had caused the atomic bomb to fall in Africa. “Once I recover the bomb, I’ll rule the world.”
He searched for the bomb, but the jungle overwhelmed him and destroyed his mind. The authorities disarmed the bomb, and Tarzan found Holrath, a lost and gibbering madman.”
“Why would a man who can’t rule himself, believe he could rule the world.”
BAD LEGAL ADVICE
March 2 and on this day in 1923, Edgar Rice Burroughs incorporated as ERB Inc. and assigned the copyrights to the new corporation. "Bad Legal Advice" is today's drabble.
“Well, Mr. Burroughs, that takes care of the incorporation paperwork. I’ll file it this afternoon and you’ll officially be Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc. Congratulations."
“Thank you. Do you have the copyright assignments?”
“Yes Sir. One for everything that you’ve written that’s been published. Copyright any new work under the corporate name.”
“This protects my copyright?"
“Corporations don’t die. If something happens to you, the corporation lives on. You can’t be sued as an individual. This protects everyone.”
“The corporate copyrights won’t ever expire?”
“Don’t worry about a thing. Look how well your movie contracts are working.”
“That’s why I asked.”
Today is March 3, an amazingly slow day in Edgar Rice Burroughs history, but on Sunday, March 3, 1985, "The Price of Honor," by Gray Morrow and Don Kraar, began in the Sunday newspapers and ran for 12 weeks. Today's drabble based on that strip is "Situational Courage."
Tarzan tracked the poacher and took his weapons. “I should kill you here, but tell me who you work for and I see you get a fair trial.”
The poacher drew a knife. “I tell you nothing. I ain’t afraid of no monkey man.”
Tarzan disarmed him with one punch, tossed the man over his shoulder, and scampered to the treetops. He dangled the poacher by his feet.
“I’ll tell. I’ll repent. Don’t let me fall. Sorry I called you names.”
I thought you might. Bravery comes easier to a man with a knife and his feet on the ground.”
ALWAYS ANOTHER WAY
March 4, and on this day in 1933, Argosy Weekly published part one of Lost on Venus. Today's Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired drabble is "Always Another Way."
Carson Napier was in the Room of Seven Doors. All doors but one led to horrible deaths. The room darkened and the floor revolved. He couldn’t identify the entrance. Snakes covered the floor and a noose for suicide hung overhead.
Carson choose a door and tharban entered and fought the snakes. Carson climbed the rope, scooted along a wooden beam, and found an 8th way out. He saved Duare from rape. “Did you slay the beasts or find the safe door.”
“No, I made my own exit. When being given several bad choices, make your own. There’s always another way.”
TREASURES HERE ON EARTH
March 5 and on this day in 1921, Argosy All-Story Weekly published part 4 of "Tarzan the Terrible." Tarzan wasn't on the cover. It was reserved for "Gas Drive In" by E. J. Rath, a comedy romance that hits every cylinder. The drabble today is "Treasures Here On Earth."
Tarzan entered Azur posing as Dor-ul-Olto, the son of god. The king was skeptical until Tarzan said, “My father chose wisely giving you a king’s spirit”
Tarzan met the high priest, Lo-don.
“Dor-ul-Olto,” said Lo-don, “These people will be sacrificed to you father, Jad-ben-Olto”
“Free them. What use has a God for dead worshipers? Only the living can serve Jad-ben-Olto.”
Lo-don showed Tarzan the treasure room. “Jewels and gold for your father.”
“No god needs treasures. Give it to the poor.”
We’ve always sacrificed to god and stored treasures for him.”
“And you always been wrong. That’s why I’m here.”
DO THE RIGHT THING
March 6, and on this day in 1930, Edgar Rice Burroughs was the speaker of the day at the Hollywood Breakfast Club. "Do The Right Thing" is today's drabble.
“Welcome to the Hollywood Breakfast Club. Today’s speaker is the famous author, Edgar Rice Burroughs.”
Edgar waved off the applause. “Gentlemen, if you haven’t read my books, I’ll have copies for sale after my speech.”
The audience laughed.
“Why do people buy my books? It isn’t my good looks.” Burroughs struck and actor’s pose. “My heroes always do what’s right. They aren’t conflicted. Honorable men who protect women and children don’t compromise right and wrong for convenience or perceived safety”
“A new threat is beginning in Europe. I hope our country has the same integrity as my heroes. Thank you.”
ARE YOU ASHAMED
March 7 and on this day in 1914, Argosy All-Story Weekly published the Eternal Lover in its entirety. For me, the Modest Stein cover artwork never seemed to fit the story. The drabble today is a one hundred word piece of doggerel verse, for which I apologize in advance, but I couldn't help myself. Here's "Are You Ashamed."
Nu, son of Nu didn’t know what to do.
He hunted the sabretooth, the mighty Oo.
He threw his spear. It cost him dear.
He awakened in a different year.
This new world had no luster.
‘till he met Victoria Custer.
His heart palpitated
For Nat-al reincarnated.
She loved him, but wouldn’t marry
“Our lives are different. Life is scary.
“If you won’t have me, let me die
My spirit to the future fly
And find us in a different life
Where you consent to be my wife.
He returned into his cave.
The walls collapsed and became his grave.
NOT WORTH THE EFFORT
March 8 and in 1702, Queen Anne became the Queen of England and in 1924, Argosy All-Story Weekly published part six of "Tarzan and the Ant Men." An old west tale by Horace Howard Heer, "Minions of the Law" was illustrated on the cover. Today's drabble is "Not Worth The Effort."
Tarzan asked Obebe, the cannibal chieftain, “Why eat other people. The jungle is full of food”
“People are slower than antelope, less dangerous than hippos, and smaller than elephants."
“If size matters, why don’t you eat the little men, the Trohanakalmakians, from the Thorn Forest?”
The Thorn Forest is full of briers and brambles. People our size are easier prey.”
“Than the little people?”
“The little people are tricky and they hide in the smallest places and line their homes with thorns. Besides, it takes three of them to feed one warrior. One full sized person feeds the whole tribe?"
A WAY WITH WOMEN
March 9, and on this day in 1936, Whitman published the first edition of "TARZAN AND THE TARZAN TWINS WITH JAD-BAL-JA, THE GOLDEN LION." We all knew that March came in like a lion, we just didn't know which one. "A Way With Women" is today's 100 word drabble.
Glum and his followers abandoned Opar to find a new priestess. La refused to make human sacrifices.
They captured Dick, a Tarzan Twin, and Gretchen von Harben. Gretchen was to be the high priestess and Dick her first human sacrifice.
The Oparians bound Dick and ordered Gretchen to sacrifice him or die herself. Tarzan arrived as she raised the knife. Jad-ba-la killed Glum.
“Dick said, “I thought she liked me. She was going to kill me.”
Doc laughed, “I’m not surprised. The way you act I expect that most women you meet will want to kill you sooner or later.”
WASTE NOT, WANT NOT
March 10, and on this day in 1915, A. C. McClurg published the first edition of 'The Mastermind of Mars. The first edition print run of the 51,000 word novel was 5,000 copies. "Waste Not, Want Not" is today's drabble.
Ras Thavas met with Xaxa, the Jeddara of Phundahl. The old crone was nearly a thousand years old.
“Can you move brains from one body into another?”
“I’ve done it with white apes.”
“Will it work for people?”
“I believe so.”
“I have a young female captive, Valla Dia. Put my brain in her body.”
“What about her brain?”
“Destroy it. I’ll pay well.
“Ras Thavas switched the brains and bodies. Valla Dia’s brain found help and eventually recovered her body. Xaxa said, “I said to destroy her brain.”
“I know, but a mind is a terrible thing to waste.”
PUT YOUR RIGHT FOOT IN
March 11: Argosy Weekly published part two of "Lost on Venus" in 1933 on this date. Burroughs didn't get the cover. It went to the story, "Law of the Rope" by some guy named Erle Stanley Gardner. "Put Your right Foot In" is today's 100 word drabble.
Carson Napier and Duare encountered the nobargan cannibals of Noobol after their escape from Kapdor. Carson was so entranced by Duare that he walked right into their camp.
They called him, Albargan, the no haired man. “You will be roasted for dinner. We’ve never eaten a man with no hair. This should be a treat.”
The nobargans lit the fire and a pride of tiger-like thabans attacked and savaged the camp. Carson and Duare escaped in the confusion.”
“Those men were going to eat us.”
“Cannibalism is self-defeating. Eating your own kind is a poor way to ensure tribal survival.”
March 12 and on this day in 1932, Argosy Magazine published part one of "Tarzan and the City of Gold". The cover art is by Paul Stahr. Today's 100 word Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired drabble is "Feeding Time."
The outlaw band of shiftas had a prisoner. After dark, Tarzan attempted to free him. The shiftas woke and surrounded Tarzan and Valthor, the prisoner.
A lion leaped the camp’s thorn bomba and the shiftas panicked.
Tarzan grabbed one outlaw and threw him to the lion. The lion ravaged the man and dragged him from the camp.
Tarzan and Valthor escaped. Once they learned each other’s language, Valthor said, “You threw that man to the lion.”
“Of course. I found that doing so accomplishes two things. First, the man will leave you alone. More importantly, it makes the lion happy.”
DRESS THE PART
March 13 and the ides of March are less than 48 hours away. "Tarzan's Peril" was released in 1951 on this date. The film was directed by Byron Haskin and starred Lex Barker as Tarzan and Virginia Huston as Jane, and featured Dorothy Dandridge as "Melmendi, Queen of the Ashuba. Part of the film was shot in Kenya, making it the first Tarzan film to be filmed in Africa. The costumes were considered risqué for the time. "Dress the Part" is today's drabble.
Virginia Huston said, “Miss Dandridge, I’m a little concerned about our costumes. I think they might be too revealing.”
“I show my shoulders and legs. I wear less than that when I sing and dance. I haven’t seen your costume.”
“Mine’s almost exactly the same. Well, I’m not playing a queen, but my shoulders and arms are bare and my legs are exposed.”
“Relax. We’re both wearing more than if we were swimming.”
“It doesn’t seem dignified.”
“You want dignified. How about Lex. He has to wear a loincloth and scream like a strangled hyena. You don’t hear him complaining.
FLAG OF OUR FATHERS
March 14, and on this date in 1925, All-Story Weekly published part four of "The Moon Men". "The Buddhism of Hogler Headstone" by Philip Robert Dillon was featured on the cover. The art was by Paul Stahr. "Flag of Our Fathers" is today's 100 word Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired drabble.
In 2020, The Kalkars ruled Earth with an iron hand. Churches, religion, and symbols of America were forbidden. Owning an American flag was a capital offense.
Julian 9 displayed a flag briefly during a political argument, but was betrayed to the Kush Guard, traitorous men who enforced the Kalkar rules. The Kush set their gigantic dogs, the horrible Hellhounds on Julian.
He battled valiantly and killed his attackers. He hid the flag and resumed his life until the taxes, abuse, and random punishments became unbearable. “Thus be it ever where free men shall stand. I choose to stand and fight.”
WALK LIKE A MAN
On March 15 in 1929, A. C. McClurg published "The Monster Men." After I read the book, I never looked at Number Thirteen the same way again. The drabble for March 15 is "Walk Like A Man."
Virginia asked, “What’s your name?”
“That’s a number.”
“My father’s monsters are named with numbers one through thirteen.”
“You aren’t a monster.”
“I’m my father’s creation.”
“But, you aren’t evil like Dr. von Horn. He lusts for me and will kill anyone who stands in his way. Help me.”
“He’s not a creature of the vats. Father forbade me to fight real men.”
“Circumstances of birth don’t make someone a man. His flesh may look pretty, but his evil goes deep to his bones
She embraced Thirteen and he suddenly felt honorable and strong. “I’ll die protecting you.”
WHO WANTS ICE CREAM
On March 16, 1936, "Tarzan and His Jungle Friends" was copyrighted. The 128 page abridged version of the last half of "Tarzan of the Apes" was illustrated by Juanita Bennett. The drabble today is "Who Wants Ice Cream."
“Edgar, here’s a copy of the new children’s book, “Tarzan and his Jungle Friends.”
“Did I write this?”
“They abridged part of Tarzan of the Apes and it was illustrated by Juanita Bennett.”
“Didn’t she illustrate “Swiss Family Robinson?”
“Yes and she’s illustrating “Tarzan and the Tarzan Twins with Jad-ba-la the Golden Lion.”
“I knew I liked her work. “I’ve never seen a Tarzan book this small. What’s the price?”
“Nothing. It’s free when you buy a cup of Tarzan Ice Cream.”
“So now, Tarzan’s working at Woolworth’s as a soda jerk. I guess I’ve finally hit the big time.”
On March 17, 1916, ERB started work on The New Stories of Tarzan (Jungle Tales) series for The Blue Book. "Eternal Triangle" is today's Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired 100 word drabble.
Tarzan loved Teeka, a young female ape, but Teeka only had eyes for Taug.
Tarzan was jealous and fought Taug for Teeka’s affections. The female was pleased with the attention.
Taug was captured and caged by the Mbonga’s native tribe.
Tarzan rejoiced and said to himself. “With Taug gone, Teeka will be mine.”
Teeka was brokenhearted at Taug’s capture. Tarzan tried to comfort her, but soon realized that she loved Taug, not Tarzan.
He killed the guard and freed Taug.
“Why you help me? Teeka is mine. Taug kill.”
“No, Teeka is yours, but if you hurt her, Tarzan kill.”
On March 18, 1922, Argosy All-Story Weekly published part five of "The Chessmen of Mars". The cover story for that issue was "The Flying Fool" by Rex Parson. The cover is by Modest Stein. "Evil Eye" is today's drabble.
I-Zan unlocked the cell. The prisoner was headless, but still chained to the wall. I-Zan reported. “Someone cut off the prisoners head.”
They checked, but Ghek, the Kaldane had remounted his Rykor. The chief jailer hit I-Zan. “No more drinking.”
Ghek toyed with I-Zan, appeared as headless from time to time, and ordered the guard about with his mind.”
I-Zan accused Ghek of sorcery at trial. “He controls me with his eyes.”
Ghek focused his eyes and froze everyone while Tara, Turan, and he escaped.
Tara asked, “Are they dead?”
“No, I just gave them a piece of my mind.”
March 19 and on this day in 1950, Edgar Rice Burroughs passed away. ERB finished his breakfast and sat in bed, reading the newspaper comics. He was alone, and death was sudden and quiet. The discovery was made by his housekeeper, who by prearrangement, notified his family and his physician, Dr. Herman Seal. Burroughs' desire for cremation had been expressed often in the past and in 1945, he left instructions that his ashes should be buried beside his mother’s - under the tree in front of the Tarzana office. Today's ERB inspired drabble is "Requiem."
One Sunday morning, two young men stood in front of ERB, Inc. John placed several books under the tree. “Pat, the flowers.”
Pat positioned a rose wreath. “John, it’s sad that he died before we were born.”
“I don’t see it that way. As long as his books are in print, he still lives.”
“Agreed. Anything to say before we leave?”
“Yes. May astral projection be real, may his golden thoat be fast, may his sword be sharp, and his Barsoomian princess be beautiful. May he ride with her forever beneath hurtling moons and may his adventures never stop.”
On this day in March 20, 1920 All-Story Weekly published part one of "Tarzan and the Valley of Luna." The story was combined with 'Tarzan the Untamed," originally published the year before by Redbook, and eventually published by A. C. McClurg as Tarzan the Untamed. Pulp cover by P. J. Monahan. The drabble today is "Life Expectancy".
Tarzan saved Bertha, a beautiful woman, from the fate worse than death. She and Smith-Oldwick, a British officer left in an airplane. Tarzan smiled. “Too bad she’s a German spy, she’s a hard woman to hate.
The plane crashed and a pride of lions threatened the two. The officer and the spy armed themselves with makeshift weapons. Tarzan hurried to the crash site and helped the couple.
Bertha asked, “Can we defend ourselves against this many lions. What’s the plan?”
Tarzan said, “There is no plan. Fight as best you can. No one dies of old age in the jungle.”
March 21: Otto Poll was born this date in 1893 in Newark, N.J. He grew up to play an Arab guard in "The Adventures of Tarzan" and also did stunts for Elmo Lincoln's Tarzan. After that, he became Tarzan himself, identified in the credits for "Tarzan the Tiger" and "Tarzan the Mighty" as Frank Merrill. 'Name Change" is the drabble of the day.
Jack Nelson said, “Yes, I need a Tarzan for my new film, Tarzan the Mighty. You got any experience.”
“Yes Sir. Stunt double for Elmo Lincoln.”
“I saw those. Did you fight the lion yourself?”
“Easy, the lion was almost toothless. It was harder swinging between the trees. Those ropes were rough.”
“What’s your name?”
“Holy hell. Nobody wants a Tarzan named Otto. Let’s change it. Frank oozes trustworthy. I invest my money with Merrill Lynch. They say I’ll be rich by 1930. So Frank Merrill it is."
“Sounds great, I need a stockbroker. Can you recommend one?”
ONE OF A KIND
March 22 and on this day in 1940, Edgar Rice Burroughs finished dictating "Tarzan and the Madman." A single cylinder containing 1,500 words spoken by ERB as he dictated the novel still exists, thanks to the fact that his son, John Coleman Burroughs, saved it. ERB had begun the dictation on Jan. 16, 1940, and finished it March 22. The story, however, waited 24 years to be published by Canaveral Press 1964. "One of a Kind" is today's drabble.
Edgar Rice Burroughs held a small cylinder. “This is the final recording for “Tarzan and the Madman.” The written transcription is my desk. I’ll mark it up and have it retyped.”
John Coleman Burroughs picked up the Dictaphone recording. "It amazes me you can dictate books onto little tubes.”
“That one’s only got about five pages. Sometimes it’s faster, but sometimes I throw three or four away for everyone that’s worth transcribing.”
“Can I keep this one? I’ll use it as a paperweight.”
“Sure. I only use them once and throw them away. They’ll never be worth anything to anyone.
LEAVING FORT GRANT
March 23 and on this day in 1897, Edgar Rice Burroughs was discharged from the US cavalry after being diagnosed with a heart problem and thus ineligible to serve.
He had been stationed at Fort Grant near Duncan Arizona. Today's drabble is "Leaving Fort Grant".
“Mr. Burroughs, your discharge papers came through. Secretary of War Alger signed it himself. You’re a free man. I gave you an excellent rating.”
“Thank you, Captain.”
“Meeting my brother, Harry, in Nogales to drive a cattle herd to KC. I’ll take the train to Chicago and sell batteries for my dad.”
“No more military service.”
“Probably not. Doc says I got a bum ticker. No offense, but Fort Grant seems worse than a prison. I figured if the renegades didn’t kill me first, the food and water would. Whiskey is cheaper than water out here, healthier too.”
STAGE NAME, TAKE TWO
March 24 and on this day in 1928, Smylla Brind was born in Vienna, Austria. Her family fled to France in 1937 to escape Nazi persecution of Jews and she ended up in the U.S. a few years later. Her interest in a stage career was aided by her fluency in several languages (German, French, and Italian as well as English), by her Teutonic accent and by her IQ of 165. She also excelled at oil painting. RKO Studios changed her name to Vanessa Brown and she played the role of Jane to Lex Barker's ape-man in 1950's "Tarzan and the Slave Girl." Today's drabble is "Stage Name, Take Two."
“Welcome to RKO Studies, Miss Brind. I’m your publicity agent. How do I say your first name, Smylla. Is it Smilely, Smily, or Smeely.”
“Long I, silent ells, Smi-a. It’s Hebrew. We fled Germany in 1937. I’ve done theatre in four languages, English Spanish, French and Italian.”
“Here you need to speak Hollywood. You need a screen name. A starlet can’t have a name that sounds like someone sneezed. I’ve got a list somewhere. Okay, from now on, you’re Vanessa Brown."
“Vanessa means butterfly in Greek.”
“Who cares? You’ll play Jane in a Tarzan film. Nobody wants a smart Jane.”
WIFE OF THE DAY
March 25 and on this day in 1922, Argosy All-Story Weekly published part 6 of the first Edgar Rice Burroughs novel I read, The Chessmen of Mars. The cover art for that issue was for the story, "South of Fifty-Three" written by Jack Bechdolt."The illustration is by "Small," who is credited with almost 100 pulp covers. "Wife of the Day" is today's drabble.
Turan kissed Tara in the caverns of Manator. She said, “I hate you.”
An old man stepped from the shadows. “Love! Rarely do a man and maid see eye to eye on such matters.”
“Who are you?”
“I-Gos, husband to hundreds over 2000 years. Come and meet them.”
“Aren’t your wives dead?”
“Follow me. I’m the royal taxidermist.”
Numerous stuffed and mounted women decorated the hallway.
“These are perfect women. They stay forever young. I can admire and caress them, but I don’t have to listen to them anymore. Wow. Tara, you’re beautiful.”
Tara shoved him. “Don’t even think it.”
I'LL GET ALONG WITHOUT YOU
March 26 and on this day in 1921, Argosy All-Story Weekly published part seven of "Tarzan the Terrible." The novel wasn't "Tarzan the Terrible", it was Tarzan the very good. The terrible title goes to another book. I have my opinion about which one and I sure that you do as well. I've been forbidden to share my opinion on the matter. The cover art for the issue was based on the story, "The Tempting Tangle" by the prolific author and award winning newsman, Victor Lauriston, the real Wiliam Edward Stark. "I'll Get Along Without You" is the 100 word Edgar Rice Burroughs drabble for today.
Jane knew how to survive. She killed a hare and cooked it over a fire started with volcanic glass magnified sunlight.
She made a spear and killed an antelope buck. A German, Lieutenant Obergatz, stepped from the jungle. “I applaud you. Surely, you’re the goddess, Diana, the mighty huntress. May I share your feast?”
“Today. Be gone by nightfall. The next time I see you, you die."
“You need help.”
“I’m not the one begging a meal.”
“Two can survive better than one.”
She threatened with her spear. “Not if one of them is you.”
Obergatz sullenly left her alone.
March 27 and on this day in 1914, the Fort Wayne Daily News published part one of The Eternal Lover. I printed a copy from a local library's microfiche records about thirty years ago. My badly reproduced copies are now yellow and brittle. I recopied them and they look like reproductions of rotting newsprint. Today's drabble is "Press Pass."
“Mr. Burroughs, a copy of the March 26th issue of the Fort Wayne Daily News arrived in today’s mail. It has part one of “The Eternal Lover.”
“I always wanted to be a news correspondent, but I never expected it would be one of my adventure stories or in Indiana. The editor was difficult to understand.”
“Did he have an accent?”
“I thought so. I mentioned it.”
“Was he offended?”
“Not at all. He said, “Folks in Fort Wayne got a saying, ‘We don’t talk funny, everyone else does.’”
“Seems kinda snooty.”
“Snooty, patootie. He promised me a press pass.”
March 28: ERB had trouble getting "The Outlaw of Torn" published, but it finally appeared in five monthly installments of "New Story Magazine" in 1914. Getting it into hardback proved another challenge, but 13 years later, on Feb. 19, 1927, he finally achieved that goal as well. A.C. McClurg didn't have as much faith in the story as ERB did, printing just 5,000 copies, but ERB received a measure of satisfaction when, just over a month later, on March 28, 1927, McClurg informed him the edition was a sell-out.
The drabble today is "Print Run."
“This is Joseph Bray at A. C. McClurg. Outlaw of Torn sold out in thirty-seven days.”
“That’s good and bad. If you’d printed more than 5000 copies, we’d have made more money.”
“I know. Just called so you could tell me I told you so.”
“I’ll write that in an autographed copy to you.”
“So when do we get another manuscript?”
“I’ll send Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle if you’ll print more copies.”
“I’ll do what I can.”
“Joseph, there are other publishers. I can talk to Metropolitan.”
“They publish love stories.”
“All my stories are love stories.”
March 29 and on this day in 1935, Argosy Magazine rejected the novel "Tarzan and Jane" saying that the story was too stereotyped. The novel was later sold to Blue Book Magazine, re-titled "Tarzan's Quest." and published in six parts beginning in October 1935. The 100 word ERB inspired drabble of the day is "Bad Editor."
“Edgar, calm down. What’s the matter?”
“I expected a check and contract from Argosy for “Tarzan and Jane.” This is a rejection letter.”
“Did they give you a reason?”
“Said the story is too stereotyped. What the hell does that mean? It’s a jungle. Tarzan and Jane are Tarzan and Jane.”
“They should be sorry. So much for loyalty. My stories kept that rag in business. It’s their loss, not mine. Harriman and Kennicott at Blue Book have been begging for a Tarzan yarn. I'll send this one. I bet they get it in print within six months."
March 30 and on this day in 1923, Edgar Rice Burroughs began writing "The Bandit of Hell’s Bend." No better yarn of the old cattle days can be found in current fiction. Tense dramatic situation and unforgettable characters presented with incomparable skill. Why is this book not a movie? The drabble today is "First Aid" and features Mary Donovan, one of the most under appreciated characters in the story.
Jim Weller and some other cowhands carried a bleeding Mack Harber into the saloon. Weller shouted, “Stage holdup. He took a bullet."
The owner, Mary Donovan said, “Put him on a table, I’ll see what I can do.”
She drenched the wound with whiskey, gave Harber a swig and took one herself. “Be still, me boy. This’ll hurt like the fires of hell.”
She removed the bullet with a carving knife. The man passed out. She stitched the injury with black thread.
Weller asked, “We he live?”
“Begesus, how would I be knowing?” I’m a barkeep, Jim, not a doctor.”
The last day of March and on this day in 1923, Pluck Magazine, Great Britain begin publishing "At the Earths Core", concluding on June 9, 1923. The cover art is credited to "Glossop." Today's drabble is "Uppity Foreigners."
“I say, look at today’s Pluck Magazine. There’s a story by that Yank what wrote Tarzan. It’s called “At The Earth’s Core.”
“Interesting, but the man what invented the Iron Mole and conquered the middle of the Earth was American.”
“How cheeky. When the Earth’s core is conquered, the English will do it. If Victoria was still alive, people wouldn’t dare question that.”
“Agreed. He says the sun never sets in this Pellucidar place.”
“That settles it. It’s ours by tradition. The sun never sets on the British Empire. Americans, they win one revolution and they think they’re in charge.”
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