FANTASTIC WORLDS OF BURROUGHS
& KLINE #1
A non-profit fanzine published irregularly.
Single issue - 50 cents. 6 issue subscription - $2.70.
Articles, art, and money orders should be addressed to
P.J. Currie, 1224 Ingledene Dr., Oakville, Ontario
©1965 by Philip J. Currie
a way it could be said that the first issue is dedicated to three authors
-- Edgar Rice Burroughs, Otis Adelbert Kline, and Ian Fleming. If it wasn't
for the latter, I would not have b een able to write "James Bond vs. Tarzan",
and if it wasn't for the other two, this magazine would not be possible.
If it wasn't for people like Hulbert Burroughs, Reed Crandall, Mrs. Kline,
John and Tom McGeehan, Richard Lupoff, Jim Probst, E. H. Price, Ora Rossini
and Donald Wolheim, this magazine would not have been possible anyway.
John McGeehan has given me permission to reprint parts
of the "House of Info" sheets (HIS and HIN sheets) in FWBK. I have not
yet decided what to call the column (and would appreciate suggestions)
but I will do the largest part of the column and use anything on HIS sheets
that is important (and that I do not already know) but not to be found
on ERB-dom's "House of Info" column.
As far as the title goes, "Fantastic Worlds of Burroughs
and Kline" is an original title. Many of the fans who read "Burroughs Reader
#4" will recognize it as a springoff of the title "Fantastic Worlds of
Edgar Rice Burroughs". This is not true though. The same day I sent away
for copyright info, I sent away for BR #4. I had registered the copyright
before I received it.
I had also intended for this issue articles on Pellucidar
and John Coleman Burroughs. The former turned out much too long though
it may be revised for a future issue. I have not yet brought to light any
new facts on JCB that have not previously been published, so the article
is delayed until some unknown date.
I was finally able to buy copies of "The James Bond Dossier"
and "Double 0 Seven James Bond: A Report". The former is published
in England by Jonathan Cape. The other was published in Great Britain by
Neville Spearman Limited. It is also available from Panther Books in paperback.
The second sentence of the first paragraph of the second
column of page three should read, "Unlike Tarzan, Bond is not fearless,
though his bravery is far above average." I suppose there are other mistakes
that I have not come across. In 1964, Tarzan was celebrating is fifty-second
anniversary since he was created. In the article "James Bond vs. Tarzan"
I have taken the year 1914, the year Tarzan first appeared in hardcover,
as the first year of Tarzan's large scale success.
If you have any of the material requested on Page 4 to
sell to me, please send me a list and include conditions and price expected.
Gold Key's Tarzan of the Apes #153 has been out about
two weeks now. The next issue, #154, should be illustrated by Russ Manning.
This will be a much welcomed change, even more welcomed when Gold Key puts
the books in comic version. It will certainly increase Tarzan comic sales.
If you are not already a member of the Burroughs Bibliophiles,
I suggest you send a money order for $2.00 to Mrs. Coriell. Receiving the
BB publications is one of the greatest joys a Burroughs fan could have.
While you're at it send $2.00 to Caz for ERB-dom, $1.00 to D. Peter
Ogden and $1.00 to Dale Broadhurst for the last issue of "The Burroughs
Reader and Thuria." When you send a money order to Dale, perhaps you should
increase it and order the back issues while they are still in stock. You
won't be sorry you did.
JAMES BOND vs. TARZAN
by PHILIP J. CURRIE
is without a doubt the most successful literary character of all times.
For fifty long years he ruled supreme with only minor pestilences to threaten
his kingship, emerging without a scratch from Doc Savage, The Shadow, and
But as Tarzan's fiftieth anniversary as king came around,
the foundations of his palace began to shake, and now Tarzan is embroiled
in a battle royal with the seductive secret agent 007. Will James Bond
succeed Tarzan as literary king? And if he does, will Tarzan be able to
fight his way tot he top again.
Of course James Bond has been around since 1951, but until
1964, with the release of "Goldfinger," Commander James Bond of Her Majesty's
Secret Service was just a successful spy. But now there are 007 clothes,
toiletries, toys records and magazines besides the original thirteen books
by Ian Fleming. The first two Bond movies, "Dr. No" and "From Russia With
Love" were released for a second time here in Ontario, and played for ten
weeks in Toronto.
Those who have read the James Bond adventures might have
noticed that 007 and Tarzan are not as different as they appear at a single
glance. Physically, John Clayton and James Bond are matched. Both men are
tall, well proportioned men with handsome, rather stern faces. Each has
a distinctive facial scar. The strength and tolerance of the two is far
above normal. They are both more or less lone wolves who love adventure
and fighting. Like Tarzan, 007 is a decisive Englishman who can speak English,
German and French.
Tarzan has gray eyes, and 007 has blue-gray eyes. Unlike
Tarzan, Bond is not fearless, though it is far above average.
Of course many beautiful women are attracted to these
demigods, but unlike Tarzan, 007 takes them as they come. His manner towards
them could be called disrespectful. However, they seem to like it.
But if 007 has bad points with women, he also has his
good points. He saved one girl from dishonour and insanity. This same girl,
La Comtesse Teresa di Vicenzo (Tracy) later became 007's wife. Although
Jane's life had been threatened many times by enemies of her husband, Tarzan
was always able to save her. Not so James Bond. Only hours after the marriage,
Tracy was shot down in cold blood.
Where Tarzan is not as patriotic as he should be, 007
is a patriot of the highest degree. His country is more important to him
than his life an d loves. This makes him as cruel at times as the jungle
bred Tarzan can be.
We are all familiar to Tarzan's reversion back to the
primitive in a fight. But how many know Bond reverted back once? Well he
did in "Dr. No" (book form only) when he came to the end of human reactions
to pain and drew back his lips to snarl.
Of all the Tarzan books, "The Return of Tarzan" is the
closest book to the James Bond Series. Here Tarzan gets a taste of the
life of a secret agent. "Dr. No" is probably the 007 adventure closest
to Tarzan. Even Fleming's style in his fifth 007 book is more like Burroughs
than his own.
Most of the differences between Bond and Tarzan can be
summed up in one line. James Bond is only human, while Tarzan is more than
There have b een 14 actors playing Tarzan in the movies,
while there has only been one actor for James Bond -- Sean Connery. Connery,
the perfect actor for Bond, is one of the highest paid actors today. The
producers hope to have only one player for Bond, but unless Connery lives
forever or they plan to only produce so many movies, they will have to
sign up other actors.
Also the James Bond movies and books are almost the same.
Humour, known as Bondism has been added to the movies. SPECTRE (Special
Executive for Counterintelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion) had
replaced SMERSH (Russian spy and terrorism ring disbanded in 1958 by Khrushchev)
in the movie versions of "Dr. No" and "From Russia With Love". It is also
interesting to note that Connery has brown hair and brown eyes. Apart form
adding gadgets in the movies, they have pretty well followed the text in
the making of the first three movies. "Thunderball" it seems will not follow
the book as well as the previous three. In the book, Bond is involved with
only one girl, Domino. But in the movie, he will be involved with three.
We will see how closely it follows the book when it is released.
The movie Tarzan, on the other hand is beginning to look
more like the Tarzan Edgar Rice Burroughs created. The "Me Tarzan. You
Jane" has been dropped (and unfortunately so has the ape call), and Tarzan
will spend more time in civilization, talking civilized. And now, they
are trying to sell the public that Tarzan is like 007. I believe this is
a mistake. If anything Bond is an amateur Tarzan -- above average, but
below Tarzan. But as long as they don't put a gun in one of Tarzan's hands,
and a girl in the other, it doesn't matter.
As for the appeal of Bond and Tarzan it is hard to say
what causes it. For Bond, the movies with their gadgets, action and beautiful
women more or less started the Bond Fad. The music for "Goldfinger" is
probably some of the best suited music in the history of film. But perhaps
the greatest appeal comes from inner desires, which I believe are in every
red-blooded man (or woman), to be a super-civilized Bond or a primitive
and free Tarzan roaring out his defiance to the world. Of course females
would rather be carried off by Bond or Tarzan than be one.
A huge box-office battle will be fought this Christmas.
"Thunderball" and "Tarzan '66" will be released simultaneously! How's that
for a Christmas present? Both are promising, and if Tarzan gets as much
advertising as Bond is, the box-office will be booming.
I am interested in buying magazines, articles, newspaper
clippings, and books (first editions in hard or paper binding and other
rare editions) by or about ERB, OAK or Ian Fleming and their creations.
I am also interested in any thing rare (such as artwork in foreign mags,
preferably with article or story) dealing with these three authors. It
seems ERB Inc., in a recent court case (it seems every company trying to
get rich is putting out Tarzan movies, books and comics that are not authorized),
finally managed to win over Gold Star Books before the last Barton Werper
book was on the market long. From a collector's view, I wish to buy it.
THE JAMES BOND THRILLERS
by Philip J. Currie
I have included below a list of thirteen Bond Books by
Ian Fleming. They can be bought in paperback form in Canada, Britain, and
United States at paperback racks, and can also be bought in hardcover form
from England and America. Although I do not enjoy the James Bond thrillers
as much as I do Tarzan, I never-the-less found them delightfully entertaining
and well worth reading again and again.
LIVE AND LET DIE
DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER
FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE
FOR YOUR EYES ONLY (5 short stories)
FROM A VIEW
TO A KILL
FOR YOUR EYES
THE SPY WHO LOVED ME
ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE
YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE
THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN
I have also included below a list of the two books about
James Bond. The first is published in Canada by Clarke-Irwin and in America
by THE NEW AMERICAN LIBRARY. I presume it is also published in Britain,
since the author is British. The second is published by the New American
THE JAMES BOND DOSSIER by KINGSLEY AMIS
007 JAMES BOND: A REPORT by O.F. SNELLING
E.R.B. and Canada
by John F. Roy
Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote of many countries and several
worlds, ranging from the mythical Kingdom of Lutha in southeast Europe
to far off Poloda in the star-system of Omos. At the same time his numerous
Earth-born characters were representative of almost every nation on the
face of the globe – Abyssinians, Belgians, Chinese, and on down the alphabet.
Just what part did Canada and Canadians play in the tales
of this master story-teller? To answer the second part first, there are
only three Canadians thus honoured, and they by their works alone. The
first is Henry Herbert Knibbs, for his poem “Out There Somewhere”
which was used as a basis for Part II of the The Mucker and for
brief selections scattered throughout the The Oakdale Affair. Quotations
from the works of
Robert W. Service also appear in these two books,
thanks to Bridge and his fondness of this style of verse. The name Mary
Pickford, Toronto-born star of the silver screen, will be found in
The Girl From Hollywood.
As for Canada herself, there is a strong possibility that
John Carter roamed southern Saskatchewan and Manitoba, as
in A Princess of Mars he says he spent several years among the Sioux
of the north. In the early days of American history these Indians ranged
through what is now Minnesota, the Dakotas and the Prairie Provinces.
As far as we know, Tarzan did not visit Canada, never getting nearer than
the northern part of Wisconsin (Tarzan of the Apes). However, in
Tarzan the Magnificent (Chapter 19) mention is made of Medicine
Hat (Alberta), in Tarzan and the “Foreign Legion” (Chapter 5)
reference is made of Halifax (Nova Scotia), while in Tarzan and
the Madman (Chapter 15) the unfortunate Pelham Dutton said he had done
a lot of mountain climbing in northeast Canada.
In The Mucker, Bridge mentions having been “on
the Yukon” (River). While this could have been somewhere in Alaska,
it also is quite possible that he was in the Canadian Yukon as well,
for the river flows through both areas. In the opening remarks of The
War Chief we are told that Apaches from Northwest Canada migrated
to Arizona and New Mexico centuries ago. Thus it was that Canada had a
direct, though remote, hand in the raising of young Andy MacDuff, or Shoz-Dijiji
as his foster-folk called him. In
Beyond Thirty (Chapter 11) Jefferson
Turck, commander of the ill-fated aero-submarine ‘Coldwater’ tried to make
the port of St. John’s (Newfoundland) when his ship generators broke
down well over the Atlantic. Canada, by that time known as the Federated
States of Canada, was part of the relatively new Pan American Federation.
In Chapter 2 of Pellucidar we read, “gaunt, lean
wolves – huge creatures twice the size of our Canadian timber-wolves.”
(Our thanks to John Harwood for this paragraph). The most important reference
to Canada, however, will be found in The Moon Maid. In the prologue
the narrator is on an aircraft enroute from Chicago to Paris. This in all
likelihood, would take him over Eastern Canada. But in the little
known prologue to Part II (see The Moon Men, Ace Edition) we are
told that Burroughs himself went out hunting for polar bears on that portion
of the Canadian mainland in the vicinity of Herschel Island. With
him were three (presumably Canadian) Eskimos. Burroughs became separated
from his party and was attacked by the very bear he was hunting. He, in
turn, was rescued by the crew of the International Peace Cruiser.
On board the cruiser was Julian 3rd, Admiral of the Fleet,
who was ranging over the Canadian Northland in an effort to locate
Burroughs at the request of his president. It is to be presumed that the
entire tale of Julian 9th was related high in the air over Canada while
the ship was returning from Herschel island to Washington.Thus it is that
Canada and Canadians play a part — however small — in the works of Edgar
ADELBERT KLINE IN MEMORIAM
by E. Hoffman Price
Mid-summer of 1926, I went to Chicago to meet Farnsworth
Wright, who with "Weird Tales" had but recently moved from Indianapolis,
Indiana. The encounter is described in number 2 of the late W. Paul Cook's
"The Ghost", which contains chapter one, of my series, "The Book of the
Dead." This is relevant only because Wright presently phoned Kline saying,
"Come down as soon as you can. E. Hoffman Price is here."
Tall, thin Wright towered over us all, reducing us in
scale so that all other's heights seemed much alike, yet my recollection
is that Kline was appreciably above my five foot seven plus a fraction.
Though seven years and two days my senior -- he was born July 1, 1891 --
and already showing signs of putting on weight, Otis and I had as to appearance,
more likeness than difference -- dark hair, ruddy-olive complexion, full
fashioned nose. ONe detail has escaped my memory: whether his eyes were
blue-gray or brown. His expression was open-faced, self assured, hearty
and cordial: a man who knew his way around, meeting life and the world
with confidence and loving both.
Characteristically, Otis invited us to dinner. Little
time was lost in closing the editorial rooms at 450 East Ohio Street.
He took us in his Willys-knight sedan to his home at 4333
Castello Avenue, which in those days was well away from Chicago's nightmarish
downtown confusion. The front was deceptively self effacing and modest.
Crossing the threshold was a dramatic step.
First "Curley" --Mrs. Kline, smooth and lovely and soft-voiced
and gracious, her youthful face seeming ever younger because of that exquisite
silver-pearl, prematurely gray hair; "Jimmie" -- Ora Fay, the tiny dainty
blond daughter; Elinor, the more robust brunette, and "Buster" -- Allen
the son, colored very much like his father.
There was the dining room and that long, long table I
was to know so well, during the couple of years Otis and I were neighbours.
And then, on the second floor, and overlooking the street, was the land
of wonder; the first studio I'd ever entered. A glance at the titles of
his library made me drool. By now, I knew that meeting this man was a significant
Prohibition, remember? That queer, warped and vicious
expression of the American passion for minding other peoples' business,
reforming other people, supervising their lives? Otis had not got around
to taking cognizance of that lunatic law. Mrs. Kline came up the stairs
to bring into the studio a tray on which was not a bottle, but numerous
bottles. Otis gestured in that lavish, lordly way the very memory of which
has brightened the thirty-two years which have marched past since our first
Every free man in those days had liquor, if only to show
contempt of the fanatics who had enslaved the land -- but Otis had GOOD
liquor. As good, in fact, as the dinner, which like all of Mrs. Kline's
kitchen magic, was memorable.
How we managed without block and tackle to quit the dining
table and get back to the studio is no longer clear, but we did. Turkish
and Domestic Cigarettes; cigars, and an assortment of new pipes, and an
assortment of blends of tobacco. When I had finished my first pipe, Otis
took it and carved my initials on the bowl and set it in the rack with
the other guest-pipes, to await my return.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Kline came up with liqueurs -- Benedictine,
Chartreux, Cacao and all the rest of the customary as well as the unusual
things on the list. The Otis touch, the thinking in terms of A LA CARTE.
In due course, Farnsworth Wright and the business manager
of "Weird Tales," Bill Sprenger, bailed out. I didn't. Otis made it clear
that we still had much to discuss. Which we had. Moslem customs, the Arabic
Language, the art and science of the sword.
Midnight . . . "Time for a bottle and a cold joint," he
Whether she had been previously briefed, or was merely
psychic was never clarified, but he had barely spoken when "Curley" came
up the stairs with two bottles, a haunch of mutton and a leg of veal. And,
genuine Mocha Coffee. He was in the spice and extract business and thus
knew the source of things.
We hewed cold joints and dipped our beaks into the 16-year
of Zinfandel which he had made, and had aged in the cellar. Once red, the
wine had from age become tawny brown and wonderful. The other bottle contained
a younger wine, still red.
Then the swords . . . He had heard that I had been the
lesser member of the Westpoint dueling sword team which won the inter-collegiate
championship in 1923. "No EPEES," he said, cheerily, "But maybe these sabres
One had to humour such a perfect host.
"En Garde!" Right there in the crowded study.
I'm glad that the old master, Cercle de L'Escrime de la
Madeleine (Louis Vauthier) wasn't there to see my performance. That man
of iron would out of his generous heart forgiven me, but the sight would
have hurt his feelings. A MASTER of the sword would have made an ape of
Otis. But Otis made a monkey of me.
The collegiate fencers being well schooled, were predictable
because their moves were conventional. Otis was unschooled, unpredictable
, agile, aggressive, self assured. And swordplay , without a mask or glove
and in a crowded room, disconcerted me. All this, I later learned, came
out of his planning "The Swordsman of Mars" -- he wanted a bit of a workout,
and then, some atmosphere! Happily I did have sufficient presence of mind
to compare the sabre with the TULWAR and the SCIMITAR, weapons which Otis
did not have at hand. It was very much more comfortable getting things
back on an academic basis.
Presently, Otis went to the basement for more wine. We
drank and we drank, until the rising sun reached into the study-library-armory.
Then he drove me to the South Shore Station, and the interurban train which
took me twenty miles to Hammond, Indiana, and the job that financed my
playing at being a writer.
During our two years as neighbours, we had many such meetings.
When I was transferred to New Orleans, Otis joined me and Robert Spencer
Carr and others of the VIEUX CARRE crowd for a week of festivity which
did not noticeably interfere with the primary purpose of his trip -- calling
on customers, the principal one being a certain Mr. Brown, an ice-cream
magnate who lived in a palace at Rosa Court, just off Upper St. Charles
Avenue. In business as in hospitality, Otis was large scale, somewhat bigger
than life size!
Finally, as is the way with business partnerships, there
were differences. Otis sold out his interest and devoted his full time
to fiction. His output was no more than two or three serials (or equivalent
lengths in hard cover format) annually, with of course shorter pieces.
That I am in mid-1958 asked to write of a man whose fiction career ended
in 1933 suggests that during his day as an author, he made a deep impression.
Let me give an example:
Farnsworth Wright, telling me of one of the many crises
which had promised to finish "Weird Tales," said that but for the drawing
power of several of the steady contributors, the magazine would never have
pulled through. He did not give any one of this handful preeminence over
the others, knowing how silly such discrimination would have been.
In effect, he said, "This one was not producing at the
time, and that one hadn't quite arrived. But Otis had reached a new peak
of popularity. We'd been through previous bad stretches, and knew just
how long a circulation slump would last. A six-parter would do it, and
Otis gave me a synopsis, then set to work."
"Ordinarily, I will not feature a serial until the entire
manuscript is in my hands," Wright continued, "but this was an emergency.
So, I published several parts before the final installments were done.
Pneumonia almost did it! For Otis, and for us!"
"The devil you say!"
Wright nodded. "You never heard? He never mentioned it?
"This is all new."
"In hospital, Otis finished that yarn. How he did it,
no one knows, least of all he himself. He was like a zombie, functioning
automatically. He lived through it and so did "Weird Tales"."
"It's a wonder they let him do it."
"They had nothing to say about it. Something drove Otis.
He would not be stopped, and he was not stopped."
My best recollection is that the story was the serial
"The Bride of Osiris." (Peter Ogden took the time to check this with an
index of Kline's works and discovered that "Tam, Son of Tiger" and "Buccaneers
of Venus" were the only six part serials featured in "Weird Tales." He
believes "Buccaneers of Venus" was not turned down by Argosy in preference
of "Pirates of Venus," but, unlike his other Venus novels, appeared in
"Weird Tales" because of the circulation slump. Though, as D. Peter Ogden
has noted, it might have been "Tam, Son of Tiger." OAK finished in hospital
. . . PJC)
Otis coached me as to market requirements and proved his
points by selling the manuscript I had rewritten in response to his suggestions.
He had so many editorial contacts that he could not satisfy the demand
for his own work. It was easy and natural for him to offer stories by friends
whose style and treatment he liked. Finally, since he could not produce
a quantity of fiction sufficient to maintain his family in the way to which
he had become accustomed, he turned from writing and began to major as
authors representative. Unlike so many who loved to write, Otis was realistic.
And, he was a superb salesman!
Despite my having sold "Weird Tales," "Oriental Stories,"
and "Magic Carpet" a total of twenty yarns, during my amateur years, as
professional writer, in mid-1932, established two unpleasant facts. The
first was that my fantasy sales had given me not even a dime's worth of
prestige in the general pulp field. Second, I had to get acquainted wit
the long list of requirements as to treatment, pace length and tabus. This
was sharply in contrast to dealing with Farsworth Wright, whose editorial
policy was, "I have no editorial policy."
In the spring of 1933, it seemed that I had arrived as
a fictioneer: three novelettes and two shorts sold in one week. This false
dawn was followed by the darkness of a bad slump. Nosing my Model "A" Ford
northward that autumn, I drove the thousand miles from New Orleans to Chicago,
somewhat to humour my second wife, Wanda, and somewhat to confer with Otis.
While she was visiting her friends and no doubt trying to decide what to
do when our fiction business folded. I was Kline's guest for three weeks.
We discussed several collaborations. We teamed up and
wrote an installment of a fantasy serial to which several others were to
contribute, each author, one chapter. This was for an amateur publication.
We called on several of the few editors who had not yet moved their offices
to New York, the Fiction Capital. Each of these contacts finally paid off.
Otis never doubted that I'd make the grade. Looking back, I marvel more
now than I did then at his optimism. The years have made me appreciate,
more and more his generous friendship, his fine hospitality and his gracious
In 1933 was World's Fair in Chicago, "Century of Progress."
Otis, having made the rounds of the exhibits relating to the Near East,
took me for a tour of that portion of the fair. It is my impression,
blurred and vague, that he either had, or was going to have one of his
stories used as the basis for a concession that featured the prehistoric
world and primitive man. Though ever more deeply involved as a literary
agent, he still assembled material against the day when he could afford
the time to write fiction again.
Another discovery was Hassan's place far down town, the
social centre of a colony of Syrians, Egyptians, Hindu Moslems, Arabs from
El Yemen; Turks and Persians and Armenians gathered there.
Otis hailed each acquaintance in an appropriate Arabic
dialect, from Syrian to Mghrebi. Wit one group we had coffee. With another,
we smoked a Narghileh, while Otis tried to get the words of a Turkish song,
and to make musical notations. Then, as a gourmet, he got a recipe:
"Crush several cloves of garlic," Hassan said, "and fill
the bowl with yogurt. Add some Tahini (crushed sesame seed), a dash of
red pepper, and whip it 'till it's like this. . ." We liked the sample.
The man went on, "But don't eat it unless you can spend the next couple
of days in the country. Your friends won't like you."
After a quarter of a century, I still recall Otis, ruddy,
glowing with good friendship and the joy of living; gesturing as he changed
a stanza or two of that Turkis ballad. Only the chorus remains with me:
"Yok, Babajeem, yok!"
And in another corner of Hassan's smoky loft, we sat in
on a dissertation on Moslem theology. Otis was a scholar as well as a BON
Depression or no, those were the days, and rich. I drove
back to New Orleans for a fresh start. I did not know that never again
would Otis and I drink to the sunrise, or see each other face to face.
Early 1934, Wanda and I headed for the Pacific Coast.
The final lap of the long trek was financed by one of those checks which
Otis managed to collect from the receiver of a publisher who had gone through
bankruptcy. This was not notable, except for one curious detail: The story
had been sold for $100, payable on publication. The check Otis got was
for $125! Whether a fluke, or a result of skillfully pressuring the receiver,
I never learned. The writing business began to pay off.
Otis sent me synopses, characterization sketches and "treatments"
of several yarns he had long hoped to complete. One was a serial, "Satans
on Saturn," published in Argosy. Several were novelettes for the detective
For me, collaboration is usually a losing deal. Working
with Otis was one of the few exceptions. Out of appreciation of his good
fellowship, I would happily have collaborated at a financial loss and still
counted it a genuine gain, since those joint efforts enabled him to get
into print in spite of the ever increasing demands of his literary agency.
But the way things worked out, the foundation material which he supplied
was so stimulating that I was able to grind out the finished copy at such
a speed that splitting the check still left me with a good profit.
In addition to domestic marketing, Otis, always a good
promoter, became a specialist in foreign rights.
The final step was moving from Chicago to South Beach,
Connecticut, and opening an office in New York. Eventually, he sold the
home I remembered so fondly. When I got the news, I had a feeling of sadness
somewhat like that at the death of a friend. I wrote condolences, as it
were, on the passing of 4333 Castello Avenue.
In 1944-45, Otis and I exchanged a good many letters regarding
a proposed collaboration. His idea and plan of course. This was to be a
story of central Asia and Tibet, a blend of science and the outright supernatural,
in which Siva the Destroyer would appear, either off stage, or actually
on the scene. "Broken Wheel" was the working title. We had never attempted
a project quite as difficult.
Time and again, the deal was tabled. However, this seemingly
impossible project was so intriguing that we brushed aside a proposed adventure
novelette of the Caribbean area, a story that could readily have been completed
Otis was leading his usual busy, high pressure life. The
years since 1926 had been adding up; we lived zestfully s ever, but without
the magnificent extremes of the old days. Because of a heart condition,
there were diets and various restrictions. Meanwhile, he was "arriving"
-- and where competitors had at first soothed themselves by damning with
faint praise, and by polite disparagements they ended by forgetting business
rivalry, and recognizing him as a good operator, accepting him as a good
friend and valued associate. His family was growing up. "Jimmie" was married,
and starting a family of her own. There were snapshots from time time,
of him, and of the youngsters, now as old as I had been when Otis and I
first met. Life in the new home was good.
And we'd finally get "Broken Wheel" turning smoothly.
But just what Otis and I could finally have devised concerning
the greater and lesser gods was not to be decided. There came an airmail,
telling me that Otis had died October 24, 1946. A heart attack finished
him very swiftly, or was it a cerebral hemorrhage? All I know certainly
is that death had taken a loyal and generous friend.
. . . I might write a page regarding my visit, June
1963, to Short Beach, Conn., where O.A.K. spent the final days of his life.
I had a long talk with Mrs. Kline and her daughter, Ora Fay Rossini, and
met for the first time the red-headed granddaughter, a lovely young lady.
From the emotional standpoint, this was truly "time-travel." A happy-sad
afternoon. Took quite a few pictures. Looked over the waters which O.A.K.
had loved during his fishing days. Into these waters his ashes were poured
come October 1946. And I learned diverse details of his final years and
various details of his personality, never revealed to me during the 20
years of our comradeship. Thus it was that I experienced both Kline's resurrection
for a little while and also his death for the second time.
I have included below a list of Kline's books and stories
as they were titled, dated and serialized in their first magazine appearances.
Of course, many were reprinted at least once and many have seen book publication,
but there is obviously not enough space here to list all printings, even
if I did know them all. J. Allen St. John and C.C. Senf did the majority
of the magazine artwork for the tales published in Argosy and Weird Tales.