Official Edgar Rice Burroughs Tribute & Weekly Webzine Site
Since 1996 ~ Over 15,000 Webzines and Webpages In Archive
Volume 2835
The 1912 Business Correspondence between
Edgar Rice Burroughs
Thomas Metcalf of All-Story Magazine
Part IV
Click for larger letter images
October 15, 1912
Dear Mr. Metcalf:

Here they are! Never again. I'd rather write a whole story.

CHAP.        PAGE                    TITLE
1                    5                      The Plant Men.
2                    17                    A Forest Battle.
3                    30                    The Chamber of Mystery
4                    43                    Thuvia.
5                    55                    Through the Golden Cliffs.
6                    64                    The Black Pirates of Barsoom
7                    72                    A Dator of The First Born.
8                    84                    Omean
9                    97                    Issus, Goddess of Life Eternal.
10                 107                   The Prison Isle of Shador.
11                 117                   The Rites of Issus.
12                 130                   Back to Shador.
13                 138                   A Break for Liberty.
14                 151                   The Eyes in the Dark.
15                 165                   Flight and Pursuit.
16                 174                   Under Arrest.
17                 185                   The Death Sentence.
18                 193                   Kidnapped.
19                 201                   Black Despair. 
20                 215                   The Air Battle.
21                 228                   Through Flood and Flame.
22                 235                   Victory and Defeat.
Thanks for your letter.  Am glad "The Gods of Mars" passed muster. 
Will submit a scenario.  Am looking forward with interest to the letters - and the check.

Edgar Rice Burroughs (sig)

2008 Park avenue

December 5, 1912
My dear Mr. Metcalf:

Thanks for the additional letters - I have had a couple more myself. Hope they like The Gods of Mars as well. If  you get hold of any more of these testimonial letters I shall be glad to have them when you are through with them.

Relative to the Tarzan sequel. I agree with you that most of the story should deal with jungle adventures and I have so arranged it. Have also cut out the first shipwreck and the mutiny and all that part of it and have discovered a really logical way to push Tarzan overboard.

Then I have worked a real villain in from the start who can run all through the story, leaving a lurid trail of hell behind him. He is Rokoff, the Countess' brother, and a Russian spy. I have made the Count a Frenchman and put him to work in the ministry of War. Rokoff is holding a club over his sister's head to force her to obtain certain plans or papers for him - secret governmental stuff, you know. The club is his knowledge of an affair she had with a man. I don't devote much space to this but just get it in to give Tarzan a chance to interfere in Rockoff's plans and arouse the latter's relentless hatred.

Then I may change my plan of putting Tarzan into the Foreign Legion, instead entrust him with a secret mission for the minister of War and bring Rokoff the spy on his trail so as to keep them together in a sane and sensible manner. This will give Rokoff a chance to become acquainted with Miss Strong and go on down the coast with her, meet the Clayton party and get a bid to join them from Lord Tennington. Then I will put Clayton, Jane, Rokoff and three sailors in the small boat when the yacht is abandoned. The sailors will leap overboard. Clayton and Rokoff will draw lots. Clayton will lose and then very much as I had it before except that Rokoff does not die but accompanies them on shore. Adds to the horrors of their plight by making advances to Jane.

I am going to have Tarzan discover gold ornaments among his tribe of blacks and learn that they were taken from captives from a tribe to the sough east, who said that they in turn had them from a great walled city in the interior. Then Tarzan will set out upon a journey through the heart of Africa in search of treasure. He will have a number of adventures though I shall not devote much space to the journey. He finds the walled city, partially ruined, and inhabited by a race descended from that prehistoric people who built great forts and temples in the heart of Africa presumably for the use of their colonies of gold hunters. As these ruins have been found and minutely described in several works on the subject if will not add any to the improbability of the tale to make use of them. It will also give Tarzan the much needed opportunity of accumulating a fortune without working for it.

He will have adventures with this strange race, learn something of their history (which I can assure you will add vastly to the sum total of the world's knowledge) and while their prisoner discover the forgotten treasure vaults of their ancestors far beneath the surface of the city. He will escape with the remnant of his party, carrying with him gold ingots and precious stones.

The above covers roughly the principal changes I contemplate. When he returns ot the coast he finds evidence that Jane has been there and been captured and carried away.

I may make changes as I write, for I want ot have a story that will grip the interest of those who liked the first one and hold it from start to finish.

I have two other bully stories mulling around in my head. One of them has possibilities far beyond any I have yet written - I don't mean literary possibilities, but damphool possibilities. It will be based on an experiment in biology the result of which will be a real man and a real woman - not monsters. I have it practically all planned out in my head.

Yours very truly, 
Edgar Rice Burroughs (sig)

2008 Park avenue
New York, Dec. 10, 1912

Mr. E. R. Burroughs
    2008 Park Ave.,
        Chicago, Ills.

Dear Mr. Burroughs:

                                I have your letter of the 5th, and was very glad indeed to get it. I think you have just the right idea for a sequel now and I am sure it will be a corker.
                                I have read part of "The Outlaw of Torn" and I want to go on with it. I cannot make up my mind about it but I shall write you within a very short time just exactly how I feel about it.

                                The idea you suggest for your new story certainly seems very fine to me. 

                                I still get letters about "Tarzan". They come in so often and ask for more of your work that I am tempted to believe we had better call the magazine the "All-Burroughs Magazine."

                                Wishing you a very merry Christmas,

                                                Very truly yours,
                                                Thomas Newell Metcalf
                                                            THE ALL STORY MAGAZINE


December 12 1912
My dear Mr. Metcalf:

Am glad to learn from yours of the tenth that you like the latest outline of MONSIEUR TARZAN. I really believe that it will be an interesting story, though naturally not along quite the same lines as the first one.

As to the Outlaw of Torn. I wish you knew how very much I am hoping for a favorable decision. There are several reasons. Not the least is my firm conviction that the plot alone will make the story a success. I am largely influenced in this belief by your own belief in the value of the plot, and you certainly know what is good and what is not.

Then there are the opinions of those who have read the manuscript - people who are interested in the kind of fiction that interests All-Story readers. They have no great knowledge as to mediaeval customs, nor has the average reader - it is the story that appealed to them. Without exception they have liked it far better than either of the Martian stories. I think you will find this true of your other readers. As to the atmosphere of the story - I am quite sure that no one can authoritatively take issue with me on a single question that I cannot show precedent for my handling of it. 

The publishing of this story means a great deal to me because if it is as successful as I believe it will be it will give me a field where I may concentrate my energies to the end that I should be able to turn out several other good tales of the same period.

Notwithstanding all the kind things you have said relative to my other work - which you must know are greatly appreciated coming as they do from you - and the quantity of commendatory letters from All-Story readers you have seen no indications from me of an enlarged ego. I see my work just as I saw it before anyone said that he liked it - I see principally the many cruditions, but I believe that this very fact which makes me the severest critic of my own stuff also makes it possible for me to see the things in the stories that appeals to All-Story readers - and that is the story. The Tarzan story is a good story - I am not speaking of the style or the handling  or anything else about it. It was an accident that I happened to get the story into my head, but the fact remains that the 'story' is interesting regardless of its dress. The Story was what 'got' the readers - the story of the Outlaw of Torn will get them, for it is and interesting story. 

Now that we have evidence that your readers like my stuff it seems almost a foregone conclusion that if there existed a doubt a year ago as to how the story would take a great deal of that doubt a year ago as to how the story would take a great deal of that doubt must necessarily be removed by the knowledge we now have as to just what the mental attitude of the readers will be toward this story before they read it. If they liked Tarzan, they will expect to like this story and this very self-suggestion will come to add to their interest in it. 

Does it not seem that we would not be taking very much of a chance with this story?  Every story you print must be more or less of a gamble. You took a big chance on Under the Moons of Mars. As a matter of fact would you be taking as great a chance today on the Outlaw of Torn? Your letter indicates that you are frankly in doubt - though I may not have correctly interpreted it - why not give The Outlaw of Torn the benefit of the doubt? I am sure that you will be glad that you did.

And for the adoration of Miguel let me know as soon as possible. In the words of the mail order expert: Do it now. Incidentally it might add considerably to the joyousness of this gladsome Yuletide.

Are you coming on for Christmas? I hope so, for you must let me see you if you do. Anyhow, I hope you have a bully day wherever you may be, and the best year in 1913 that you have ever had.

very truly yours, 
Edgar Rice Burroughs (sig)

2008 Park Avenue
Part I
August 24, 1911: Metcalf
August 26, 1911: ERB
August 28, 1911: Metcalf
September 28, 1911: ERB
October 6, 1911: Metcalf
November 4, 1911: Metcalf
Part II
November 6, 1911: ERB
November 20, 1911: Metcalf
June 26, 1912: Metcalf
June 28, 1912: ERB


Part III
September 20, 1912: ERB
October 2, 1912: ERB
October 9, 1912: ERB
Oct. 11, 1912: Metcalf
December 22, 1931: ERB
Part IV
October 15, 1912: ERB
December 5, 1912: ERB
December 10, 1912: Metcalf
December 12 1912: ERB


Part V
December 20, 1912: ERB
January 9, 1913: ERB
January 27, 1913: Metcalf
February 22  1913: ERB


Visit our thousands of other sites at:
ERB Text, ERB Images and Tarzan® are ©Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.- All Rights Reserved.
All Original Work ©1996-2009/2018 by Bill Hillman and/or Contributing Authors/Owners
No part of this web site may be reproduced without permission from the respective owners.