My dear Mr. Metcalf:
December 5, 1912
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
Yours very truly,
2008 Park avenue
Edgar Rice Burroughs (sig)