First and Only Weekly Online Fanzine Devoted to the Life & Works of Edgar Rice Burroughs
Since 1996 ~ Over 10,000 Web Pages in Archive
Volume 3972

Part Eleven
Woodrow Edgar Nichols, Jr.
(Dedicated to George McWhorter)

(Chapter Three)


I just came across an interesting interview in ERBzine #1643. It was of Lee Chase, Florence Gilbert’s son by Ashton Dearholt, done by Frank Puncer on July 10, 2001. It reminded me very much of our Unidentified Narrartor (U.N.) finding the message in a bottle off the Greenland coast. It was like ERB’s vast imagination was probing the future, locking on a future event from 1939 and so inspiring a story in 1917. Of course, the idea of finding a message in a
bottle has been a cliche for hundreds of years (it’s even a great song by the Police), but the concept is interesting for if it could possibly be true, it lends credence to the view that the U.N. is indeed ERB. Of course, this would never hold up in court. Here is the excerpt from the interview:
“FRANK: Are there any other anecdotes you would like to share with us today?
“LEE: Well, one time when we were living in Kailua, Ebbie found a bottle with a note inside of it that had washed up on the beach in front of the house. The note had been sent by some fisherman from one of the other Hawaiian islands. Apparently he was rather lonely or bored and just wanted to see where his note might go. He must have included return address, because Ebbie sent the man a note back telling him where the bottle had been found. He also sent along an autographed copy of one of his books. I thought that was interesting. 
“FRANK: A message found in a bottle. A fisherman’s fantasy realized courtesy of Edgar Rice Burroughs. On that note we’ll have to leave it until next time. Thank you again, Lee Chase!” (ERBzine #1643.)
Like me, you are likely dying to know which book ERB sent the fisherman. Wouldn’t it have been grand if the book had been The Land that Time Forgot? I hope I get a chance to ask Mr. Chase this question at this year’s Dum Dum. But now we must return to our newest first person narrator, Tom Billings.

F. Tom Billlings (continued):
Chapter 3 opens with Tom waking up after going to bed with Ajor playfully menacing him with her knife:

“When I awoke, it was daylight, and I found Ajor squatting before a fine bed of coals roasting a large piece of antelope-meat. Believe me, the sight of the new day and the delicious odor of the cooking meat filled me with a renewed happiness and hope that had been all but expunged by the experience of the previous night; and perhaps the slender figure of the bright-faced girl proved also a potent restorative.” (PTF/3.)
All right, let’s see how far advanced you’ve become getting all of the soft porn double entendres just thrown at you. First, what do you think Billings was looking at when he saw Ajor “squatting” before him? He likens it, of course, to “the sight of the new day and the delicious odor of the cooking meat,” and only at the end refers the reader back to Ajor’s “slender figure.” And how about that feeling of “renewed happiness and hope” he got at the sight of her squatting? If you guessed he was looking straight at her exposed vulva – remember what she is wearing – and associating it with the delicious odor and taste of eating meat, immediately causing a royal erection, you are right on the button. Welcome to one of the King of Pulp Fiction’s finest moments.

As you can see, you don’t want to spoil these moments by speed reading through ERB. I would wager that ERB was a big fan of cunnilingus, but we will never know for as far we can know, no one ever asked him or many of his female lovers. My hunch is that he was. From the women that autographed his book of autographs he would take from people and friends of the military he would meet in his everyday life, and especially at late night parties during the Second World War when he was the oldest war correspondent in the nation, he was still quite popular with the ladies after his divorce from Flo. He was in his mid to late 60's by this time. At least two of these women – really hot ones – drew nude pictures of themselves in February 1944, which can be viewed at ERBzine #2788. This is part of the ERB Wartime Autograph Book Series (intro and index at ERBzine #2776).

The first one is in the fifth autograph dated February 16, 1944, when ERB was 68 years old – before Viagra! The author identifies herself as “Millie,” and writes “‘God Bless you, Ed’ she said dragging out each word as if it was a Benediction. Yours in the Faith – Padre McNarman? – Millie.” She has drawn a nude depiction of herself from the waist up as a beautiful thin woman with beautiful breasts, aroused nipples, a necklace with a cross, Gypsy bracelets on her right wrist, and a huge gemstone ring on her right ring finger. She has raised her bent right arm against her right breast, her hand raised to just beneath the cross on her necklace, making a sign with her extended fore and middle fingers, her ring and little finger curled, as in the making of a Catholic benediction. I would assume that this indicated that any hanky panky that may have occurred between them was now forgiven by God. I would further assume that
McNarman was her last name, or of someone they were both familiar with. I mean, come on, this isn’t even innuendo.

In the next, the sixth autograph, also dated February 16, 1944, a woman calling herself “Gene at Millie’s & Leila’s – McKennly’s?” as if she couldn’t quite remember where she had been, draws a fully nude picture of herself reclining on a love couch, her right arm raised and bent, holding up a cold highball. She leans on her left arm, which is also holding a highball, wearing only a large pearl or diamond necklace and Gypsy rings on both wrists, her left leg raised and bent at the knee so that her left foot and right leg rest on the couch, a pose which exposes her pubic hair. She writes next to the raised glass, “Here’s to a Good Two – (2) Handed Drinker.” Below she writes, “To Ed from Gene at Milllie’s & Leila’s – McKennly’s?” Then there is an unintelligible part, then “Aloha.” In my opinion, ERB had one hell of a night on February 16, 1944, at either Millie’s house or apartment – with whom we were pleasantly acquainted in the fifth autograph – or the houses or apartments of other unknown women such as Leila or McKennly. From what it looks like,
everybody got very drunk and ended up naked, which is always fun. The “Two Handed- (2) Drinker” reference may be to an obscure method in the way ERB handled her body, or it might be a literal reference to the fact that she is holding a drink in both hands. If ERB had held a drink in his hand too when he first approached the reclining Naked Maja, “Gene” – a very likely possibility – then he may have handed her his drink while he had his way with her, she not being able to interfere lest she spill both of their drinks. One can imagine all sorts of things. By the way, Gene has also depicted herself as a very beautiful dark-haired woman. She has a 1940's hair-style, but she is really hot, even by today’s standards.

Of course, this party may be the same one referenced in the fourth autograph, again dated February 16, 1944, which contains the signatures of three Marine officers, under which ERB has scribbled, “At the Marine party at Mildred’s.” It is my opinion that Mildred is “Millie.” Moreover, in the seventh autograph, also signed on February 16, 1944, two Naval Reserve officers have signed the page, one of them a woman, and list the place of signing as “Moulton’s Room.” One wonders if this room was at Mildred’s as well. At least a female officer in the bunch should qualm any fears that Mildred’s was a house of ill repute. 

From what I have read one could believe that ERB spent the majority of his free time on Hawaii just before the War playing tennis and bridge with Flo and her friends, especially at Janet Gaynor’s. But, according to Lee Chase, ERB spent a lot of his free time giving and going to parties, where there would be a lot of drinking. (ERBzine #1632.) I don’t believe that this was aberrant behavior. I believe he was like this for most of his adult life. My hero. Back to our

“She looked up and smiled at me, showing those perfect teeth, and dimpling with evident happiness – the most adorable picture that I had ever seen. I recall that it was then I first regretted that she was only a little untutored savage and so far beneath me in the scale of evolution.
“Her first act was to beckon me to follow her outside, and there she pointed to the explanation of our rescue from the bear – a huge saber-tooth tiger, its fine coat and its flesh torn to ribbons, lying dead a few paces from our cave, and beside it, equally mangled, and disemboweled, was the carcass of a huge cave-bear. To have had one’s life saved by a saber-tooth tiger, and in the twentieth century into the bargain, was an experience that was to say the least unique; but it had happened – I had the proof of it before my eyes.” (PTF/3.)
Remember, this is the Educated point of view, and Tom Billings does not disappoint us in his analysis of the situation he has observed:
“So enormous are the great carnivora of Caspak that they must feed perpetually to support their giant thews, and the result is that they will eat the meat of any other creature and will attack anything that comes within their ken, no matter how formidable the quarry. From later observation – I mention this as worthy the attention of paleontologists and naturalists – I came to the conclusion that such creatures as the cave-bear, the cave-lion, and the saber-tooth tiger, as well as the larger carnivorous reptiles make, ordinarily, two kills a day – one in the morning and one after nightfall. They immediately devour the entire carcass, after which they lie up and sleep for a few hours. Fortunately their numbers are comparatively few; otherwise there would be no other life within Caspak. It is their very voracity that keeps their numbers down to a point which permits other forms of life to persist, for even in the season of love the great males and females occasionally devour their young. How the human and semihuman races have managed to survive during all the countless ages that these conditions must have existed here is quite beyond me.
“After breakfast Ajor and I set out once more upon our northward journey. We had gone but a little distance when we were attacked by a number of apelike creatures armed with clubs. They seemed a little higher in the scale than the Alus. Ajor told me they were Bo-lu, or club-men. A revolver-shot killed one and scattered the others; but several times later during the day we were menaced by them, until we had left their country and entered that of the Sto-lu, or hatchet-men.
These people were less hairy and more manlike; nor did they appear so anxious to destroy us. Rather they were curious, and followed us for some distance examining us most closely. They called out to us, and Ajor answered them.; but her replies did not seem to satisfy them, for they gradually became threatening, and I think they were preparing to attack us when a small deer that had been hiding in some low brush suddenly broke cover and dashed across our front. We needed meat, for it was near one o’clock and I was getting hungry; so I drew my pistol and with a single shot dropped the creature in its tracks. The effect upon the Sto-lu was electrical. Immediately they abandoned all thoughts of war, and turning, scampered for the forest which fringed our path.
“That night we spent beside a little stream in the Sto-lu country. We found a tiny cave in the rock bank, so hidden away that only chance could direct a beast of prey to it, and after we had eaten of the deer-meat and some fruit which Ajor gathered, we crawled into the little hole, and with some sticks and stones which I had gathered for the purpose I erected a strong barricade inside the entrance. Nothing could reach us without swimming and wading through the stream, and I felt quite secure from attack. Our quarters were rather cramped. The ceiling was so low that we could not stand up, and the floor so narrow that it was with difficulty that we both wedged into it together; but we were very tired, and so we made the most of it; and so great was the feeling of security that I am sure I fell asleep as soon as I stretched myself beside Ajor.” (PTF/3.)
Did you notice that them being so tired almost brushes over the fact that they just went to bed together again? What about Tom not being quite sure that he fell asleep as soon as he stretched himself out beside Ajor. Did anything happen before then to have made him doubt? Anyway, for three days they travel barely ten miles, the country being hideously savage.
They come across a diplodocus from the Upper Jurassic and Billings is sure it intends to attack them. He looks for a good gun platform and prepares to squeeze off a round, but Ajor laughs and chases the diplodocus away, knowing that it is not a flesh-eater. Tom recalls his collegiate studies and paleontological readings in Bowen’s text books and realizes how foolish he has been.
“For three nights we slept in trees, finding no caves or other place of concealment. Here we were free from the attacks of the large land carnivora; but the smaller flying reptiles, the snakes, leopards, and panthers were a constant menace, though by no means as much to be feared as the huge beasts that roamed the surface of the earth.
“At the close of the third day Ajor and I were able to converse with considerable fluency, and it was a great relief to both of us, especially to Ajor. She now did nothing but ask questions whenever I would let her, which could not be all the time, as our preservation depended largely upon the rapidity with which I could gain knowledge of the geography and customs of Caspak, and accordingly I had to ask numerous questions myself.
“I enjoyed immensely hearing and anwering her, so naive were many of her queries and so filled with wonder was she at the things I told her of the world beyond the lofty barriers of Caspak; not once did she seem to doubt me, however marvelous my statements must have seemed; and doubtless they were the cause of marvel to Ajor, who before had never dreamed that any life existed beyond Caspak and the life she knew.
“Artless though many of her questions were, they evidenced a keen intellect and shrewdness which seemed far beyond the years of her experience. Altogether I was finding my little savage a mighty interesting and companionable person, and I often thanked the kind fate that directed the crossing of our paths. From her I learned much of Caspak, buk there still remained the mystery that had proved so baffling to Bowen Tyler – the total absence of young among the ape, the semi-human and human races which both he and I had come in contact upon opposite shores of the inland sea. Ajor tried to explain the matter to me, though it was apparent that she could not conceive how so natural a condition should demand explanation.” (PTF/3.)
Okay, play close attention now. Basically the whole secret about Caspak is about to be revealed by our beautiful half-naked savage. Though it isn’t a full revelation, from past clues most of the secret can be divined:
“She told me that among the Galus there were a few babies, that she had once been a baby but that most of her people ‘came up,’ as she put it, ‘cor sva jo,’ or literally, ‘from the beginning’; and as they all did when they used that phrase, she would wave a broad gesture toward the south.
“‘For long,’ she explained, leaning very close to me and whispering the words into my ear while she cast apprehensive glances about and mostly skyward, ‘for long my mother kept me hidden lest the Wieroo, passing through the air by night, should come and take me away to Oo-oh.’ And the child shuddered as she voiced the word. I tried to get her to tell me more; but her terror was so real when she spoke of the Wieroo and the land of Oo-oh where they dwell that I at last desisted, though I did learn that the Wieroo carried off only female babes and occasionally women of the Galus who had ‘come up from the beginning.’ It was very mysterious and unfathomable, but I got the idea that the Wieroo were creatures of imagination – the demons or gods of her race, omniscient and omnipresent.” (PTF/3.)
As mentioned elsewhere, ERB was a major influence on the literature of horror,
especially H.P. Lovecraft. (See, e.g., “Kingdoms of Horror,” ERBzine #3312.) Out of Time's Abyss, which documents Bradley's adventures among the Wieroo in the land of Oo-oh, is a genuine horror story told in the best Lovecraft tradition. But we are getting ahead of ourselves.
“This led me to assume that the Galus had a religious sense, and further questioning brought out the fact that such was the case. Ajor spoke in tones of reverence of Luata, the god of heat and life. The word is derived from two others: Lua, meaning sun, and ata, meaning variously eggs, life, young, and reproduction. She told me that they worshiped Luata in several forms, as fire, the sun, eggs and other material objects which suggested heat and reproduction.
“I had noticed that whenever I built a fire, Ajor outlined in the air before her with a forefinger an isosceles triangle, and that she did the same in the morning when she first viewed the sun. At first I had not connected to her act with anything in particular; but after we learned to converse and she had explained a little of her religious superstitions, I realized that she was making the sign of the triangle as a Roman Catholic makes the sign of the cross. Always the short side of the triangle was uppermost. As she explained all this to me, she pointed to the decorations on her golden armlets, upon the knob of her dagger-hilt and upon the band which encircled her right leg above the knee – always was the design partly made up of isosceles triangles, and when she explained the significance of this particular geometric figure, I at once grasped it appropriateness.” (PTF/3.)
This is a theme that often comes up in ERB fiction: a group of people on earth or on Mars, worship the sun in one aspect or many. ERB seemingly believed that sun worshiping was a natural stage a race must go through for it to evolve properly, and hence finds the figure of the triangle appropriate.
“We were now in the country of the Band-lu, the spear-men of Caspak. Bowen had remarked in his narrative that these people were analogous to the socalled Cro-Magnon race of the Upper Paleolithic, and I was therefore very anxious to see them. Nor was I to be disappointed; I saw them, all right! We had left the Sto-lu country and literally fought our way through cordons of wild beasts for two days when we decided to make camp a little earlier than usual, owing to the fact that we had reached a line of cliffs running east and west in which were numerous likely cave-lodgings. We were both very tired, and the sight of these caverns, several of which could be easily barricaded, decided us to halt until the following morning. It took but a few minutes’ exploration to discover one particular cavern high up the face of the cliff which was ideal for our purpose. It opened upon a narrow ledge where we could build our cook-fire; the opening was so small that we had to lie flat and wriggle through it to gain ingress, while the interior was high-ceiled and spacious. I lighted a faggot and looked about; but as far as I could see, the chamber ran back into the cliff.
“Laying aside my rifle, pistol and heavy ammunition-belt, I left Ajor in the cave while I went down to gather firewood.” (PTF/3.)
Have I been saying that this is the Educated point of view? Well, admittedly, Billings often shows too many signs of having been contaminated by Bowen’s foolishness. Yes, Tom just left the cave in Caspak without a weapon. What was he thinking?
“We already had meat and fruits which we had gathered just before reaching the cliffs, and my canteen was filled with fresh water. Therefore all we required was fuel, and as I always saved Ajor’s strength when I could, I would not permit her to accompany me. The poor girl was very tired; but she would have gone with me until she dropped, I know, so loyal was she. She was the best comrade in the world, and sometimes I regretted and sometimes I was glad that she was not of my own caste, for had she been, I should unquestionably have fallen in love with her. As it was, we traveled together like two boys, with huge respect for each other but no softer sentiment.” (PTF/3.)
Sure, as if I believe a word of that! This was ERB’s sure way to flag off the censors who may have been wondering about that traveling arrangement Tom had with Ajor, especially when they slept together. Oh, no, don’t get any wrong ideas! They traveled like two young boys, that’s all...they really did! Swear to God! 

This is also one of ERB’s shrewd ways of setting up the reader by revealing a man’s true feelings about a woman right before she is stolen from him, or he is stolen from her. This technique heightens the sense of loss in the reader and subsequent fear for her safety.

“There was little timber close to the base of the cliffs, and so I was forced to enter the wood some two hundred yards distant. I realize now how foolhardy was my act in such a land as Caspak, teeming with danger and with death; but there is a certain amount of fool in every man; and whatever proportion of it I own must have been in the ascendant that day, for the truth of the matter is that I went down into those woods absolutely defenseless; and I paid the price, as people usually do for their indiscretions. As I searched around in the bush for likely pieces of firewood, my head bowed and my eyes upon the ground, I suddenly felt a great weight hurl itself upon me. I struggled to my knees and seized my assailant, a huge, naked man – naked except for a breech-cloth of snake-skin, the head hanging down to the knees. The fellow was armed with a stone-shod spear, a stone knife and a hatchet. In his black hair were several gay-colored feathers. As we struggled to and fro, I was slowly gaining advantage of him, when a score of his fellows came running up and overpowered me.
“They bound my hands behind me with long rawhide thongs and then surveyed me critically. I found them fine-looking specimens of manhood, for the most part. There were some among them who bore a resemblance to the Sto-lu, Bo-lu, and Alus. I expected them to kill me at once, but they did not. Instead, they questioned me; but it was evident that they did not believe my story, for they scoffed and laughed.
“‘The Galus have turned you out,’ they cried. ‘If you go back to them, you will die. If you remain here, you will die. We shall kill you; but first we shall have a dance and you shall dance with us – the dance of death.’
“It sounded quite reassuring! But I knew that I was not to be killed immediately, and so I took heart. They led me toward the cliffs, and as we approached them, I glanced up and was sure that I saw Ajor’s bright eyes peering down upon us from our lofty cave; but she gave no sign if she saw me; and we passed on, rounded the end of the cliffs and proceeded along the opposite face of them until we came to a section literally honeycombed with caves. All about, upon the ground and swarming the ledges before the entrances, were hundreds of members of the tribe. There were many women but no babes or children, though I noticed that the females had better developed breasts than any that I had seen among the hatchet-men, the club-men, the Alus or the apes. In fact, among the lower orders of Caspakian man the female breast is but a rudimentary organ, barely suggested in the apes and Alus, and only a little more defined in the Bo-lu and Sto-lu, though always increasingly so until it is found fully developed in the females of the spear-men; yet never was there an indication that the females had suckled young, nor were there any young among them” (PTF/3.)
My father’s mother, my grandma, was a pastor’s wife who married a police officer, my grandpa. She knew what boys needed to learn about women, and also knew what a prude my mother was, so she would always direct my brother and myself to her bookshelf when my mother wasn’t there and we would browse through years and years of National Geographic magazines.

My grandma knew instinctively that we would find the naked pictures of African tribeswomen. In other words, we were getting a censor-approved peep show. I was reminded of this when I read this last section. Billings obviously loves staring at tits, as every red-blooded male does. ERB tries to make his observations as anthropological as possible, but the reader well knows that he is staring at all of the tits in the room, fully appreciative that not only are they fully developed but there are no saggy ones due to excessive breast-feeding. Though bound, Billings has stumbled upon a Playboy’s cornucopia.

“Some of the Band-lu women were quite comely. The figures of all, both men and women, were symmetrical though heavy, and though there were some who verged on the Sto-lu type, there were others who were positively handsome and whose bodies were quite hairless. The Alus are all bearded, but among the Bo-lu the beard disappears in the women. The Sto-lu men show a sparse beard, the Band-lu none; and there is little hair upon the bodies of their women.
“The members of the tribe showed great interest in me, especially in my clothing, the like of which, of course, they never had seen. They pulled and hauled upon me, and some of them struck me; but for the most part they were not inclined to brutality. It was only the hairier ones, who most closely resembled the Sto-lu, who maltreated me. At last my captors led me into a great cave in the mouth of which a fire was burning. The floor was littered with filth, including the bones of many animals, and the atmosphere reeked with the stench of human bodies and putrefying flesh. Here they fed me, releasing my arms, and I ate halfcooked aurochs steak and a stew which may have been made of snakes, for many of the long, round pieces of meat suggested them most nauseatingly.
“The meal completed, they led me well within the cavern, which they lighted with torches stuck in various crevices, in the light of which I saw, to my astonishment, that the walls were covered with paintings and etchings. There were aurochs, red deer, saber-tooth tiger, cave-bear, hyaenadon and many other examples of the fauna of Caspak done in colors, usually of four shades of brown, or scratched upon the surface of the rock. Often they were super-imposed upon each other until it required careful examination to trace out the various outlines. But they all showed a rather remarkable aptitude for delineation which further fortified Bowen’s comparisons between these people and the extinct Cro-Magnons whose ancient art is still preserved in the caverns of Niaux and Le Portel. The Band-lu, however, did not have the bow and arrow, and in this respect they differ from their extinct progenitors, or descendants, of Western Europe.” (PTF/3.)
As you can see, Billings has redeemed himself as the Educated point of view. Facing certain death he doesn’t spend his time worrying about his fate, but like an educated anthropologist, shares his observations with us instead. And this as good as place as any to end this section of our narrative. We will learn the fate of Tom Billings in Part Twelve.
(Continued in Part Twelve)
(For any comments, contact

Woodrow Edgar Nichols, Jr.
(Dedicated to George McWhorter)
ERBzine Refs
The Land that Time Forgot - eText edition

CASPAK IN REVIEW by Steve Servello
Caspak Dictionary by Banks Miller
Wieroo of Caprona by Den Valdron
The Mystery of Caprona by Den Valdron
Caspak Maps
Caspakian Demography
Caspakian Fauna
Caspak Art by Mahlon Blaine
Sociology of the Wieroo by Rick Johnson
Popular Science and the Land That Time Forgot by Phil Burger
LOOSE STRING ~ COS-ATA-LO by Sailor Barsoom
The Land That Time Forgot - Film Version
The Land That Time Forgot - ERB C.H.A.S.E.R.

Visit our thousands of other sites at:
ERB Text, ERB Images and Tarzan® are ©Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.-
All Rights Reserved. ERB quotes ©ERB Inc.
© 2012 by Woodrow Edgar Nichols, Jr. All rights reserved. ERB quotes © ERB Inc.
All Original Work ©1996-2012/2014 by Bill Hillman and/or Contributing Authors/Owners
No part of this web site may be reproduced without permission from the respective owners.