Official Edgar Rice Burroughs Tribute and Weekly Webzine Site
Since 1996 ~ Over 15,000 Web Pages in Archive
Volume 1683

ERB and the Press Series: Magazine Articles

Victory Loan: An Appeal to Our Business Sense
Wild Animals in Pictures
Letters from Famous People
Colt Pistols
An Adventure in Plagiarism
A Letter To The Boston Society of Psychic Research
Stay On First, Tarzan Author Tells Gehrig
A Place To Play In "That's what a garden is for,"
That Darned Mystery Puzzle (solution)
Letters to Rob Wagner's Script
Tarzan's Papa Likes Us
How Old Seduction?
It Mighta Been a Calla Lily
Symbol of a New Day
Tarzan's Creator
As a Business Proposition No Man
Can Afford Not to Subscribe to
Full Limit of His Ability
Army and Navy Journal ~ August 31, 1918
By Edgar Rice Burroughs
Author of "Tarzan of the Apes"

There are an infinite number of excellent reasons why we should support the Victory Liberty Loan.

The finest sentiments we possess must prompt us to subscribe to this loan even more freely than we did to the others. The government must get money or it would not ask us for it. The man who was prompted to lend in the past through fear that if he did not the Germans might get over here and make it unpleasant for him is mighty "yellow" if he will not subscribe, now that the danger is past.

Our response to previous loans indicated that we were thoroughly in accord wit the principles for which we were fighting, and by our response we authorized the expenditure of the sums necessary properly to prosecute the war. These enormous expenses must continue for sometime. The obligations involved must not be repudiated. They are our obligations as individuals and we must look upon them as such. It is not only a matter of necessity; it is a matter of personal honor for us to meet these obligations promptly and gladly.

On the other hand, there is in the Victory loan an appeal to our business sense as well as to our patriotism. There is the appeal to self-interest, for the loan is not to be without profit to us. We are given an opportunity to invest in an absolutely safe security, and we will receive a good rate of interest. As a business proposition no man can afford not to subscribe to the full limit of his ability.

And there is another reason why we should subscribe every cent that we can rake and scrape together. It is this: If the government cannot raise the necessary funds by the sale of Liberty bonds, it must do it by direct taxation. The government has the power to tax us to meet these obligations, and if we are taxed we not only will get no interest but we will never get the principal back again.

It seems to me that both the wisdom and necessity for fully and immediately subscribing this Fifth Liberty Loan must be obvious to anyone whose mentality is greater than that of a child of ten. We are supposed to be an intelligent people capable of governing ourselves and others. We pride ourselves upon our business acumen, upon our energy and upon our patriotism. In the Victory Liberty Loan  we shall have an opportunity to prove to the world that we are better than vain boasters., and that we are fully deserving of the estimate which we have placed upon ourselves as people.

The time is here. The opportunity is here. The eyes of the world are upon us -- upon you. What the world shall think of us depends not upon the action of others but upon what you do -- YOU.


Part of the proceeds of the Victory Liberty Loan are to be used to bring our soldiers and sailors back and restore them to the useful occupations of peace. Every true-blue 100 per cent American should have a part in this work.

It's Not Time to Quit.

The Germans, not the Americans, were the quitters, but our work is not finished until we have brought the victors home. Let's finish the job by oversubscribing the Victory Liberty Loan as we did all its predecessors.

by Edgar Rice Burroughs
Author of Tarzan Tales, the Martian Stories, The Mucker, etc.
Screenland ~ June 1922

In my opinion, the most interesting phase of motion picture production is the filming of wild animal scenes; at least it is the most thrilling from the view of the spectator, the director, the cameraman and the actors -- oftentimes the actors especially -- and my experience leads me to believe that the picture theatre audiences react similarly to good animal pictures.

While work with the savage carnivore is always interesting, it is frequently dangerous  and thrilling and again, occasionally, the cause of amusing incidents.

The leopards are proverbially the most dangerous members of the cat family because of their extremely treacherous disposition. LIons and lionesses vary according to their individual characteristics which, vary as widely as do the temperaments of different individuals in the human family.

What accidents befall those who work with lions are due more, I believe, to the nervousness and terror of the animals than to actual viciousness though the fact remains that a lion is always a lion -- a savage, flesh-eating beast of prey.

However, the results obtained with some of them are little short of marvelous, more especially those animals that have been trained by human masters who have felt and demonstrated an actual affection for their charges. The lowest orders respond quickly to either kindness or abuse and the "bad" lion, like the "bad" horse, is usually the result of brutal and ignorant mishandling by a trainer.

I have had opportunities of watching a number of men work with wild beasts and I have found that the results obtained by such men as Walter Beckwith, Charley Gay and Joe Turner have been consistently successful of their animals by these men. While they do not hesitate to punish a recalcitrant beast, they never brutalize one and are never harsh except when harsh measures are imperative. It is a great pleasure to watch such men at work, while the scenes that are obtained with animals, under their direction are often most remarkable.

Walter Beckwith's lion "Jim" is one of the best-known lions in pictures, and I think without exception the handsomest lion in captivity. Precisely as human beings have their likes and dislikes, Jim has his. And being a great star, he is also subject to fits of temperament.

Illustrative of the intelligent handling of lions is a little incident in which Beckwith took advantage of one of Jim's aversions in a picture of mine that was being filmed by Selig a number of years ago.

It was necessary  that Jim should charge across the set viciously, and knowing his hatred for one of the keepers, an old fellow called  Cap, Beckwith placed this man in hiding just outside of the wire arena at the point toward which Jim was to charge. At a given signal Cap arose from his place of concealment and shouted for Jim. The instant that the animal recognized him he was off like a shot across the arena in one of the prettiest charges you can imagine.

Sometimes they charge unexpectedly and with embarrassing consequences, though the percentage of accidents is remarkably small. Some of the scenes you see in animal pictures are "faked," but the really thrilling action is usually quite bona fide and the chances that some of the actors take seem little less than suicidal. Occasionally individual animals will work properly with no one but their trainer, and in such circumstances the trainer may double for an actor, but there are many who scorn the use of a double. Some of the actresses are particularly courageous, and little Louise Lorrain, who is not much bigger than a minute, is one of these. I have seen a whole bevy of lionesses pass directly over her half naked body, and a full-grown lion spring upon her and throw her to the ground.

Occasionally an actor is inspired by bravado to take unnecessary chances, and these men are a source of constant apprehension on the part of directors and animal trainers. They will take the most foolish and unnecessary chances with savage beasts and while, of course, it is quite reprehensible, it is very thrilling to watch. I recall one of these, a boy of about 19, whom they had to watch constantly to preserve him from becoming lion meat, but when they required someone for a particularly spectacular stunt he was a handy man to have around the lot, for there was nothing that he would not attempt.

In one scene it was necessary for the leading woman, closely pursued by a lioness, to leap from a cliff into a stream of water. The cliff was twelve or fifteen feet high and the stream a shallow pool built on the studio lot. As the girl was unable to make the dive Charley doubled for her. The lioness was nervous and terrified as she was driven toward the edge of the cliff in pursuit of him, so that as he dove from the cliff into the shallow pool she followed him so closely that they struck the water almost simultaneously.

It was a hair-raising bit of action and, though it turned out all right in the end, I am quite sure there was not one on the set who would have cared to swap places with Charley as he rose to the surface in that small pool with an infuriated lioness.

Working with wild animals deadens to some extent ones instinctive fear of them, with the result that the handling of carnivores on the lot appears to the novice little less than a tempting of fate. I recall that at first I kept always on the safe side of the arena, which seemed, at best, but a frail and inadequate barrier, but as I became more familiar with the work my fear was greatly dissipated, so that I went inside whenever I was permitted to do so.  I recall one incident in which they were working a particularly vicious lion, of which everyone seemed to stand in considerable fear.

Before he was turned into the arena the director ordered everyone out except those actually taking part in the scene, and I was ordered out with the others. I mentioned to the leading man and the head of the producing company that I should like to see the scene shot, and there was no place from which to see it except inside the arena, beside the cameramen. They both cordially invited me to accompany them and as even a director must bow to the will of a producer I took my place behind the cameras.

A moment later the producer recalled an important engagement elsewhere, and within about five seconds the leading man deserted me also for the outside of the arena. I realized only too well that they had been more anxious for me to witness the action at close range than to remain and witness it themselves. Presently my feeling of security was further shattered by the director, who approached and handed me a large club.

"Do not run if he comes for you," he said. "Just stand still and use this."

"THIS" would have been about as effective against a full-grown lion as a peashooter aimed at an elephant. While I was reviewing my past life and wishing that I had been a better man, they opened the gate at the end of the runway and loosed the lion upon us. In looking at him from the outside of his cage I had always considered him a very beautiful lion, but as I faced him in the arena  it occurred to me that he had an extremely low forehead and a bad disposition. He was the incarnation of all the devil-faced man-eaters with which I had filled the pages of the Tarzan books. While I was not killed or even mauled, I can assure you that I had one of the thrills of my life, and when they were through with him and he was driven back into his runway it was with a sigh of relief that I laid aside my futile war club and stood in the fresh air of the sunshine beyond the limits of the studio jungle.

Compiled by Sharpless Dobson Green
Gregg Publishing Co. ~ 1925
By Edgar Rice Burroughs

It seems to me that today, with radical teachings spreading even into the classrooms, the most pertinent advice to young men and women is to guard their Americanism and foster their loyalty to government.

I would teach those upon whom the responsibilities of government must devolve in the following years that only through intelligent loyalty to our country may her government and her people improve.

No form of government is perfect, and it is right and proper to seek improvement in ours - there is no disloyalty in this. We all know that the fundamental principles of our government are sound and that those who would foment revolution and the absolute overthrow of our government because of certain injustices are the deadliest enemies of our individual peace, happiness and prosperity. Not only does loyalty to our country bid us cleanse our social fabric of such, but selfish self-interest as well.

The Socialist, the I. W. W., the Bolshevist, does not hesitate to deride and threaten our most cherished  ideals and forms. He ridicules any profession of love or reverence for flag or country, he attributes only the vilest motives to all whose judgment differs from his.

And what do many of us do? How do we answer him? We apologize for our love of country, for the reverence in which we hold the flag.

What we should do is meet propaganda with propaganda, agitation with agitation, and ridicule with ridicule.

What nobler propaganda than that which teaches that the government of Washington and Lincoln and Roosevelt is worth preserving to mankind?

What agitation more worthy than that which would demand that our colleges, our high society and our labor unions cast out the American traitors and foreign agitators who are breeding class-consciousness and class hatreds in a democracy that has risen to the highest place among the nations of the world because of the true equality and oneness of her people?

What ridicule more effective than that which points out the inconsistency of deriding us who love our country and reverence our flag, while the same deriders are advocating a maudlin sentimentality for criminals, gunmen and traitors caught in the commission of vile crimes.

And so the best advice I can give your young men and young women is to be good Americans and to be very sure of the Americanism of all their associates, and as brave to proclaim their love of country as their country's enemies are to broadcast  their treasonable teachings

Samson Service Publication ~ February 17, 1926
by Edgar Rice Burroughs

Have you a little Colt in your home? I have three -- a Government Model 45 automatic that I packed for years on Tarzana Ranch and with which I missed every coyote in the Santa Monica mountains at least once until finally The Colonel became so peeved that he bucked me off on top of a mountain and left me to walk home -- and another, old and rusty six-gun, that Bull might have toted in The Bandit of Hell's Bend. It bears the serial number 70495. Once, being broke and jobless, I annexed a temporary job as railway policeman in Salt Lake City. It was then that 70495 assisted me materially in running boes off the U.P. passenger trains.

Number three is my especial pride. Its barrel is eight inches long and from heel to muzzle it is almost fourteen inches. The top of the barrel bears this legend: Address Col. Saml Colt New York U. S. America. No. 42627 was loaded last by my father over sixty years ago when, as a cavalry officer, he carried it during the Civil War. It is still loaded and its funny little percussion caps protruding from the six powder chambers of its cylinder await the sleeping hammer that will fall no more.

These three are mine, but there is yet another Colt in the family -- my sixteen year old son Hulbert owns one -- for three generations we have packed Colts; which ought to be the height of something, but undoubtedly isn't.

Just as I finished this I looked up and discovered Colt number five on a book shelf in front of me. It is pearl handled with a steer's head crudely carved on the right side of the grip. I bought it from a cow-puncher who was broke. If I looked about a bit I should probably discover some more.

Have you a little Colt in your home? We have five.

By Edgar Rice Burroughs
Author of "Tarzan" Did Not Play the Literary Ape
Author's League, "The Bulletin," ~ August-September 1926
THE BULLETIN of the Author's League of America has devoted considerable space for a year or more to the subject of plagiarism. A mild interest in the subject was suddenly galvanized to acute activity recently on the receipt of a letter from my German publishers enclosing a clipping from Der Mittag, Dusseldorf, Germany, newspaper, which was headlined:


and then announced that the Parisian-Bohemian Robida was the original author. Here is the article as it appeared in Der Mittag:

Everybody has heard to-day of the "smart" English author, Edgard Burroughs, who as the creator of "Tarzan" made a fortune. Window displays were made of his works in every bookstore in the world. Tarzan here, Tarzan there, Tarzan returned, and then Tarzan disappeared.

Within very few months, the first edition of "Tarzan" was completely sold out. Lovers of highly imaginative literature devoured those colored books which flooded the book market. "Tarzan" had an extraordinary success and was followed by many editions. The translators fought between themselves for this work, which shortly afterwards appeared in Europe in different languages. "Tarzan" became a historical event, "the book of the street," and it was almost a scientific book.

Something happened to this book, which gave the author fame and fortune, which was an unbelievable scandal. The well-known Russian author, W. Strujski, reported in Paris for the Sewodnja of Riga (a newspaper), now accuses the author of "Tarzan" to be a plagiarist. Strujski now gives further particulars regarding this scandal.

Twenty-three years ago there lived in Paris an almost unknown French author by the name of Robida. He was a typical author in the bohemian circles of Montmartre. Robida spent whole days in bars and against free drinks of absinthe he would read to the other guests his latest works. Even to-day there are quite a few  authors of this type in Montmarte. About fifteen years ago Robida succeeded in finding a publisher who agreed to publish his fantastical novel "The Adventures of Captain Saturnin Fernandoule."

"Tarzan" readers, now listen and then judge: During the Napoleon war, the French Captain Fernandoule is making a trip to India accompanied by his wife and child. On the coast of Asia the ship was wrecked . The CAptain and his family were saved and land upon an uninhabited island.

In fighting wild gorillas, mother and father are killed, and only the child remains alive. LIttle Saturnin is found by a female gorilla and taken care of. After a good many years a French man-of-war touches the island and the French marines find this half-man, half-ape, take him to the man-of-war and then take him to Paris.

Robida described very interestingly how in the soul of this creature the battle between beast and human started. The description of this battle is a psychological masterpiece and is the principal attraction of this book. But Robida was born too many years ago and he lived in an age where foxtrot, shimmy and everything that is exotic was not "modern," nor did the people know anything about jazz orchestras.

Literature was simpler, and in this I refer to "the literature of the streets." Then came war, revolution, and life changed considerably. Soon afterwards the bookstores started offering in colored bindings the books of Tarzan.

And what about Robida? Robida had died long ago, his book was not successful and he was forgotten as well as his work. Robida wrote a little bit too early. Ten years later the reading public had changed its tastes which were more of a nervous, sharp and nonsensical taste.

There appeared all of a sudden the English author of "Tarzan." Evidently he was well acquainted with the forgotten novel of Robida. He changed his books, the names, the time, added a few more chapters, cut out a few things, and copied almost verbally the already mentioned battle of the soul of man and beast, an d thus created of the unknown French novel by Robida, the famous book "TArzan," for which he collected the nice little sum of six million gold francs.

Almost the entire French press in attacking the English author, accuse him openly of plagiarism, but Mr. Englishman does not reply to any of those articles. Possibly he considers it wiser to keep quiet.

I am often asked where I got my idea for Tarzan, and believing that at last I was on the right trail, I wrote to my French publishers, A. Fayard & Cie., 18 & 20 Rue du St. Gothard, Paris, France, asking them what they knew about Robida and "The Adventures of Captain Saturnin Fernandoule." In reply I have just received the following letter from them:
We have taken note with interest of your letter of May 20th, and have made the research in accordance with your wishes.

It indicates that Robida never wrote "The Adventures of Captain Saturnin Fernandoule." In no works, not even Robida's does there exist a plot similar to that upon which you have constructed your "Tarzan."

For a year or more the German press has been attacking me and my stories because of a Tarzan story that I wrote while the bitterness of the late war was strong upon all of us. This book was seized upon by a German publisher who was jealous of the success that Dieck & Company of Stuttgart had made of the Tarzan novels in Germany; and the German press, doubtless in ignorance of the facts, lent itself and its editorial columns quite generally to the unsportsmanlike an d unethical activities of this publishing concern which had no higher patriotic motive than that of curtailing the sales of Dieck & Company of Stuttgart.

A number of prominent German newspapers reprinted the plagiarism libel, all of which suggests, that while we are looking about for adequate measures of punishment for plagiarists, it might not be a bad plan to evolve means for protecting ourselves against those who can now with impunity bring wholly groundless charges of plagiarism against us.

A Letter To The Boston Society 
of Psychic Research
February 18, 1929
By Edgar Rice Burroughs

In 1899 I received a heavy blow on the head which, while it opened up the scalp, did not fracture the skull, nor did it render me unconscious, but for six weeks or two months thereafter I was the victim of hallucinations, always after I had retired at night when I would see figures standing beside my bed, usually shrouded. I invariably sat up and reached for them, but my hands went through them. I knew that they were hallucinations caused by my injury and did not connect them in any way with the supernatural, in which I do not believe.

It was during this time that the following occurrence took place for which I have never been able to find any explanation other than that I was guided by my sub-conscious mind in performing this act.

It was my habit at this time to carry my keys, three or four in number, on a red silk cord about an eighth of an inch in diameter. The ends of the cord were tied in a hard knot and then cut off so closely to the knot that the ends were not visible. I had carried my keys in this way for some time with the result that the silk, which was originally of a very bright color, was much darkened by use, though that portion inside of the knot must have been as fresh and bright as when first tied.

At night I hung my clothes on hooks in a large bathroom which I used for a dressing room. The two doors leading from my bedroom and bath were locked from the inside, yet one morning, when I had occasion to use my keys, I found that one of them had been removed from the cord, though the knot was still tied in precisely the same way that it had been; the ends were not protruding, nor was there any of the clean bright colored portion visible.

This key could have been removed only by untying the knot and then re-tying it precisely as it had been, which would have been practically impossible for anyone to accomplish without evidence of the knot having been tampered with being apparent.

While the above appears to have not much bearing upon the subject of your investigation, it has suggested to me, when considered in the light of the fact that it is the only occurrence of its kind in a lifetime of over fifty years, that much other, perhaps all, so-called supernatural phenomena are the result of injured or diseased brains.

Prior to my injury I had no hallucinations; subsequent to my recover I have had none.

Stay On First, Tarzan 
Author Tells Gehrig
The Washington Post (UP)~ November 9, 1936

Edgar Rice Burroughs, author of Tarzan fiction, today ridiculed the desires of Lou Gehrig, New York Yankee first baseman, to play this superman role for the movies. Burroughs sent Gehrig the following telegram:

"Having seen several pictures of you as Tarzan and paid about "50 for newspaper clippings on the subject, I want to congratulate you on being a swell first baseman."

A Place To Play In
"That's what a garden is for,"
says Edgar Rice Burroughs, famous author
Better Homes & Gardens - Margaret McOmie ~ August 1931

Tarzan, son of Scallywag, greeted me first at Edgar Rice Burroughs'. He is a perfectly charming greeter with a deep, rich friendly voice, a huge personable presence, and a humorous playfulness that is remarkably well restrained, considering the fact that he is a mammoth, shaggy, English sheepdog.

Bouncing merrily like a light-footed elephant in a natural, friendly garden about an English cottage, Tarzan quite prepared me for his master -- the six-foot, powerfully built, kindly man who came forward to meet me as I stepped into his immense study. The room flavored distinctly of "Tarzan," with tiger skins, bear rugs, colored pictures, books, and a huge stone fireplace.

About Edgar Burroughs there is a lovable simplicity -- in his manner that is easy and smiling -- in his keen face and tolerant eyes. From the moment you shake hands with him he strikes you as the kind of man you would like to know whether or not he had ever become famous. He had been deep in Africa writing another episode of "Tarzan" when I entered, yet in an instant he was a real garden-lover eager to talk about his own Tarzana (the name of his estate).

"To Me," said Mr. Burroughs, "a garden is a place to enjoy living, not just a place to rest in! It must be informal -- as big as possible, and have pools and many trees. Include, if you can, as a sort of annex, a rolling countryside -- you don't' have to own it -- where you may ride, explore, and on which you may gaze with a far-away look. A garden is the greatest sport in the world!"

When the Burroughs came out to California from Chicago to live some twelve years ago, they acquired a large Spanish-type home on a hilltop in the Santa Monica Mountains off Ventura Boulevard, at Reseda, a short distance northwest of Los Angeles, and a good bit of the surrounding land. They planted trees and more trees until the hillsides looked like a forest dell. Then they added pools, five of them, one underneath the other , and connected them by waterfalls. But eventually they sold the house and 120 acres of land to the El Caballero Country Club. And the Edgar Rice Burroughs moved out to a delightful English cottage they built at the foot of the hill.

"We intended it for a temporary place," he explained, "but we have stayed about four years. The greatest thing about gardening and home building, is that nothing is ever finished -- there is always something to plan."

We began our tour of the Burroughs' grounds at the English cottage. It is of white-painted wood construction with a green-shingle roof and pointed gables in good English fashion. Hollyhocks and red roses grow by its door!

The house stands near the center of a green, velvety lawn interspersed by trees, ponds, shrubs, and plots of flowers. On the one side a driveway runs from the front wire gate to the barnyard gate. Opposite the entering doorway, which is at the side of the house, and extending for about twenty-five feet is an S-shape pool, rather two pools with a slender stream connecting them. There are many waterlilies in the clear water.

"I'm sure you could safely drink that water," spoke Mr. Burroughs. "I build all my pools so that the water runs in and out constantly."

On the four sides of the pool plants -- oddly, one is a desert century-plant -- grow down to the water's edge. A few rocks are cunningly arranged both in the water and on the banks. Trees pampas grass, and Japanese Papyrus reflect their shimmering feathery leaves in the mirrored water. Frogs, fish -- a host of varieties -- dance through the sunlight. At the one end of the pool a large beach umbrella shades brilliantly striped canvas and iron chairs, swings, and a tile-top coffee table.

"There should be a pool in every garden," said Mr. Burroughs. "I have always had as many as space permitted. Children learn so much from pools. The birds come for drinks, and the children learn to know them. Pollywogs hatch and then turn into frogs. Water lilies bloom gorgeously. And the ground around a pool lends itself to such interesting plant-growing."

We walked across the front lawn, with trees and roses growing in it -- a lacy willow and slim cypress hugging the house, and purple iris and shiny shrubs gay beneath the green-shuttered windows shaded by green-and-white-striped awnings. Window boxes under all the windows were alive with geranium and petunia blooms mingling with fern. The willow tree at the front has grown to be about fifteen feet high in three years. Jack Burroughs got the slip from a neighbor.

"Jack has a perfect talent for making things grow," exclaimed his father. "He's a great boy -- freshman in college now."

The Edgar Rice Burroughs garden, I learned, is very much a family project. For the noted novelist is intensely a family man; in fact, when one leaves him after an interview, he is likely to have many notes about Joan and her baby daughter (the first grandchild), Hulbert's writing and his love of digging for archaeological treasures, Jack's art and his gardening ability, Mrs. Burroughs' charm, but few about the father. Modest, sincere, with a great love for his family, for all people, for gardens, and the great out-of-doors, he looks at everything with a rare and wholesome sense of humor. He is a real person!

We came to the side of the house where a rustic handmade log bench looks out upon a bird aviary constructed of wire. Vivid birds -- finch (which Mr. Burroughs says are much too prolific), parakeets, thrush, all made merry here. But more gaily intriguing was the floor of the aviary, with its clear lily pond and its banks of the brightest garden flowers in amazing variety and profusion.

"Last year we had cosmos plants as tall as the aviary -- about 10 feet," the author said. "We had a natural pool base here -- 14 feet of adobe. So after we had dug the pond we smoothed out the dirt and literally threw in two packages of mixed garden seed; then we planted orange trees -- one on either end -- and several water-willow trees for the birds  to roost on. The birds have a constant supply of water from the top of the pool, and the flowers and trees are watered from its seepings. And in southern California, as well as the world, it is water that makes a garden grow!" exclaimed the man whose books have been translated into seventeen languages and whose Tarzan stories are now syndicated on newspaper pages as a daily feature that is positively essential to hundreds of thousands of boys and girls in all parts of the country.

From the aviary we went on to another set of pools about thirty feet north. These were practically hidden in a jungle of tropical plants -- bamboo, palm, banana, willow, water iris (one was 6 feet tall). Mr. Burroughs said that he has had to cut away many branches of these shrubs every year so that the sunlight can reach the water lilies.

Peter and Paul -- turkey gobblers -- and the neighbor's peacocks were strutting through the back dooryard as we came to the stables. Stalls and saddle rooms are arranged around a hardened dirt patio. Opposite this building is an elongated shed which separates the rear garden of friendly grass, trees, flower plots, and rose-covered pergola from the barnyard. The family garage is immediately back of the house at a right angle. Outside the barnyard gate at an angle from the shed and stable are barns for old cars, trucks, tractor, road scraper, and other farm equipment. The Burroughs boys do the road-grading, plowing, and odd jobs when they are home weekends or on vacations.

"Senator," the famous author's favorite mount, and three other horses were munching hay in the stable. The Edgar Rice Burroughs have always done things together. So riding over the hills is a delightful pastime for them.

"We (Mr. and Mrs. Burroughs and Jack) saw a wild lion way up in the mountains around here not so long ago," he related. "It was a great event! For our only other encounters were in zoos."
Tarzan and his sturdy wild playmates may adventure in t eh AFrican jungles, but his creator has never seen them. He frankly admits it.

"How did I happen to write "Tarzan?" he repeated my question. "Well, I needed the money, so I sat down on Sundays and holidays -- I was working for A.W. Shaw, of Chicago, at the time -- to write the kind of a book I would like to read. I was 35 when I wrote it. It was my third attempt at a novel. So I really wasn't as hopeful as I might have been.

"You see," he went on, "I had known what it was to be poor and almost without hope -- though, I do not think anyone should entirely lose hope. But when a man has tried eighteen jobs and failed in all of them, as I had before "Tarzan" -- well, you can't understand until you've been that way yourself."

He was born September 1, 1875 he son of Major and Mrs. George Tyler Burroughs, in Chicago. Among the jobs he tried and failed, he told me were gold-mining in Oregon, storekeeping and cow-poking in Idaho, policing in Salt Lake City, West Point examinations, cavalry service, selling trinkets, business.

Our stroll through the barnyard and about the riding ring that extends along the right side of the pool garden I mentioned at the outset was a mingling of trees, plants, and thoughts. We talked of life and "breaks."

"I am convinced," Tarzan's creator said, "that what are commonly known as breaks, good or bad, have fully as much to do with one's success or failure as ability."

We stopped at the riding-ring fence to look across at the garden about the charming white and green house. It was a matchless picture Ia motion-picture company selected it as the setting for the English story "Daddy Long Legs") - green trees, shrubberies, grass, splotches of vivid color: marigolds, purple iris, pink hollyhocks, yellow lilies, blue stocks, and the water of the pools glistening in the sun! This land was raw and undeveloped when the Burroughs built the cottage. But they pitched in. Some trees were bought full grown, but most of them -- the willows, the peppers, the elms -- were small. They have grown remarkably.

"We all play here -- we have a lot of fun out of it -- and that's what a garden is for," said Mr. Burroughs.

We walked down rough stone steps to view five pools, one underneath each other, connected by waterfalls and shaded by a profuse growth of flowers and trees. Along the fence we found two splendid Oregon Blue Cedars -- one looking, as Mrs. Burroughs expressed it, "like a wind-blown bob."

For about an hour we walked from the top to the bottom of the garden slopes looking for particular trees which Edgar Rice Burroughs wanted us to see because of their symmetry or their oddness. There were Monterey Pine, junipers, dodars, Acacia, redwood, Bull Pine -- countless other varieties, but most interesting were the Australian Beefwood Trees.

There were many tree pictures -- a rather small straight bull Pine, the most perfect specimen I've ever seen -- old oaks and sycamores, probably hundreds of years old, carefully preserved in their native habitat, and underneath a spotted carpet of Canyon poppies (Matilleja-poppies), lupines, mustard, California-poppies, larkspur; and baby-blue-eyes -- all breathlessly beautiful on this early April morning. Birds were singing and rabbits darting out from underfoot. To wander in the Burroughs arboretum is to know the magic, the wonder, the sheer beauty, and the harmony of natural woods touched gently and with understanding by a man who loves trees and plants!

That Darned Mystery Puzzle
Terrace Drive Murder Solution
Rob Wagner's Script ~ October 15, 1932

So many people are writing and phoning in asking who was guilty in Ed Burroughs' "The Terrace Drive Murder," that we're printing the author's answer:

We meet the following principals and the flowing pertinent facts in the following order:
Mr. Atwater, host.
Bernice, his daughter.
Mr. Elwood.
Foley, Atwater's secretary.
Charles, Atwater's chauffeur.
The Deceased.

Elwood and the victim were guests that arrived about eight P.M. the previous evening.

Charles had never seen either of these guests before.

Foley played tennis with the murderer the previous day. This eliminated Elwood, who did not arrive until after dark.

Elwood was the deceased's nephew.
Elwood's mother was an only child; therefore Elwood had no uncle nor aunt on that side.
Elwood's father had no brothers; therefore, his mother being an only child, he never had an uncle; therefore, the murdered person, whose nephew he was, must have been his aunt.
There were three men and two women involved. The sex of all but Foley has previously been established -- Mr. Atwater, his daughter, Mr. Elwood, and 'that man there,' Charles; Foley must be the other woman.

If the murderer and the victim were at one time engaged, the murderer must be a man, which leaves only Mr. Atwater and Charles suspect. But Charles never saw the deceased previous to last night; so Charles could never have been engaged to her.

Therefore, Mr. Atwater is the murderer. Q.E.D.


Tarzan's Papa Likes Us
Rob Wagner's Script ~ December 5, 1931
Letter by Edgar Rice Burroughs

Dear Rob:
Once again I should like to tell you how much I enjoy THE SCRIPT, particularly your editorials; then there is Mrs. Jack Vallely's "Book Stuff." Anyone who can make book reviews entertaining is an artist. One of the finest pieces of writing I have read in a long time is "Memories Aroused On Armistice Day" in your November 7 issue, while the Nobel prize in satire should be awarded your reply to the gentleman who loves his mistress only below the Tehachapi. If you and Harry Carr should stop writing, the world would be, for me, a far less interesting place in which to live.

Edgar Rice Burroughs

How Old Seduction?
Rob Wagner's Script ~ January 28, 1933
By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Dear Sir:
You ask what your readers think of the five-year sentence for a man who was convicted of seduction of a girl, or a woman I should say, of twenty-three years of age. Well, I'd like to ask what is the age of consent in these here United States? "Seduction" -- nuts!
Indignantly yours,

It Mighta Been a Calla Lily
Rob Wagner's Script ~ February 17, 1934

Dear Rob:
You certainly rate an orchid for carrying the magazine through the last three or four years. If it hadn't been SCRIPT, I doubt if it could have been done.

Edgar Rice Burroughs
By Edgar Rice Burroughs
Rob Wagner's Script ~ February 17, 1934

So SCRIPT is five years old and having a birthday. Birthday! How the memories pile up with each succeeding birthday, and what a long and interesting vista they form for some of us, stretching back so far into the past, as they do. How many changes we have seen!

I am not the youngest person in the world, but I am not a long way from being the oldest. I can remember when SCRIPT was born, and with equal vividness I can remember when telephones were not considered a necessity and only plutocrats had them in their homes. I can recall when gas was the sole illumination of cities, and kerosene the lighting medium of rural districts. When I was no long a boy, the majority of business letters were written in long-hand and copies were made in an iron letter-press with a steering wheel on top.

When the gas mantle was invented, we thought that it was the last word in illumination. I saw these replaced by incandescent bulbs.

It would almost seem that the progress of civilization was dependent upon light. It would be interesting to trace the parallel from the camp fire onward to the cresset, the taper, the candle, and the successive improvements in illumination to the present day. One might almost believe that each advance let more light shine into the recesses of the human brain that had, for countless ages, been groping in darkness.

I have witnessed the birth of many things -- the internal combustion engine, the automobile, the aeroplane, radio. But of all these changes and advancements the most significant, I believe, is exemplified in the success of SCRIPT.

Not so many years ago SCRIPT would have been banned as sacrilegious and obscene. That it is not banned today suggests that we are becoming more honest, less hypocritical, that bigotry is giving way to a fair open-mindedness that permits tolerance of views, customs, and manners that differ from our own.

Much of this new tolerance must be credited to magazines such as SCRIPT, beneath whose joyous presentation lies a convincing sincerity.

And so, good luck and best wishes on your fifth anniversary!

~ Edgar Rice Burroughs
Tarzan's Creator
Fortune Magazine ~ April 1933
Tarzan's creator, Edgar Rice Burroughs (photo), has been such a business success that he has incorporated himself as Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.  He lives north of Los Angeles on an estate called Tarzana. He got $400 for A Princess of Mars and $700 for Tarzan of the Apes, but big money soon followed. Burroughs' books have now sold more than 10,000,000 copies in eighteen languages. His strip has two ghost writers and two ghost artists. Tarzan grosses about $2,000 a week. Mr. Burroughs probably gets about $1,000.

Click for full size

Visit our thousands of other sites at:
ERB Text, ERB Images and Tarzan® are ©Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.- All Rights Reserved.
All Original Work ©1996-2010/2021 by Bill Hillman and/or Contributing Authors/Owners
No part of this web site may be reproduced without permission from the respective owners.