August 26, 1911
Mr. Thomas Newell Metcalf
The All-Story Magazine
175 Fifth Ave., New York.
I wish to thank you for your letter of the 24th relative
to "Dejah Thoris, Martian Princess" manuscript. Shall be very glad to rewrite
the story in accordance with your suggestions. It is purely a business
proposition with me and I wish to deliver the goods in accordance with
The criticisms which you so kindly make will be very helpful,
and if you can see your way to making further suggestions I shall gladly
profit by them. I realize the inconsistency of having the Tharks talk to
any great extent, but I felt, from my own experience as a reader, that
a little conversation breaks the monotony of a story, and if the Tharks
would not talk at all there could be no conversation in that part of the
I brought in the story of Sola, the Thark "lady", because
I wanted a reason for using Tars Tarkas, her father, as a means of killing
off Tal Hajus, befriending Carter, and, in the grand wind-up, effecting
a reconciliation between the green men of Thark and the red men of Helium
- sort of love feast you know.
I will outline the story from the close of the manuscript
you h ave, and you can then suggest changes, if you will be so good.
Part 2: Dejah Thoris and Sola, after leaving Carter, are
picked up in the h ills by "aerial scout cruiser" of a nation of red men
at war with Dejah Thoris' people. Taken to capital. Son of ruler falls
in love with Dejah Thoris. She repulses him. Helium about to fall before
the armies of his people. Dejah Thoris can avert further disaster to her
grandfather's realm by marrying him. Hears of death of Carter and concedes
to marriage. Wedding ceremony.
Part 3: Carter among the Warhoons. Battle between Warhoons
and Tharks. Carter saves life of Tars Tarkas, but is recaptured by Tharks
and sentenced to torture by Tal Hajus. Tells Tars Tarkas story of Sola,
his daughter. Tars Tarkas fights with and kills Tal Hajus, thus becoming
ruler of the Tharks . Carter leans of incarceration of Dejah Thoris among
the red men and hastens to their city. Appears with horde of green warriors
in time to interrupt wedding ceremony. Escape with Dejah Thoris. Appears
before Helium and relieves the city from siege. Accepted by the grandfather
and people of Dejah Thoris as their deliverer. Weds Dejah Thoris. Later
attempts to explore the mysterious Valley Dor at mouth of River Iss. Is
caught in mighty air currents above Valley and borne high aloft into cold
and darkness. Loses consciousness and awakens in this Arizona cave.
I had intended making his acceptance by the grandfather
of Dejah Thoris a difficult matter involving intrigue, plots and counter
plots, but it would require too much matter, I fear.
I will put in enough explanation of the manners, customs,
scientific achievements, etc., of the red martians to make the story different
from Earth stories, and while I may change the future plan a little it
will be about as out lined.
I wrote this story because I needed the money it might
bring, and not from motives of sentiment, although I became very much interested
in it while writing. I am therefore open to suggestions, and would like
to know just what parts you consider unessential to the story and avoid
a recurrence in the balance of the manuscript.
Also, please tell me what remuneration I may expect for
a story of sixty to seventy thousand words, and when payment would be made
if the story was available.
Again thanking you for your courteous interest, I am,
Yours very truly,
Edgar Rice Burroughs (sig)
I enclose ten cents postage for return of ms.