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Volume 5820

A Soldier of Poloda:

Further Adventures Beyond the Farthest Star
By Lee Strong
Edgar Rice Burroughs
The Master of Adventure
September 1, 1875 to March 19, 1950
© 2012 Edgar Rice Burroughs, Incorporated
All Rights Reserved


Table of Contents

Prolog: Ghosts in the Machine  3
1.  No Joke, There I Was  5
2.  I Died and Then Things Got Worse 9
3.  Hard Work Never Killed Anyone 17
4.  How to Win Friends and Influence People 23
5.  Lions and Tigers and Bears!  Oh, My! 30
6.  It’s All Downhill From Here  41
7.  The Odds Against Us Were A Million To One….  48
8.  … And Therefore We Attacked 52
9.  The Pirates of Poloda 61
10.  Go Directly to Jail; Do Not Pass Go 67
11.  Welcome to Unis 71
12.  The Man From Nothing 78
13.  Parliamentary Procedure in Orvis 83
14.  Mad Science 92
15.  The Overlord of Poloda 102
16.  Surrender or Die 111
17.  It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time 122
18.  A Change of Plans 133
19.  A Job Interview in Ergos 144
20.  Leni Riefenstahl Would Have Been Proud 151
21.  Go to the Head of the Class 158
22.  Beauty and the Beast 167
A Polodan Glossary  172
Who is the Man From Nothing? 180

The world of Poloda and the Omos Solar System, and the characters Tangor, Harkas Yamoda, Harkas Yen, Morga Sagra, and the Pom Da
created by Edgar Rice Burroughs and copyrighted by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. 1941 and 1964.
A Soldier of Poloda copyright Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., 2012.  All rights reserved.

Prolog: Ghosts in the Machine

The psychiatrist put down the report that he had been reading and looked at his patient.  Both were seated in a well lit office, its walls lined with professional books and certificates.  If any room exuded the skill and dignity of the science of psychiatry, this one did.

 The patient, a balding, elderly man with a still handsome face, looked back.  He smiled and asked, “Well, Doc, do I have a normal bean?”

 The psychiatrist grinned at the colorful expression and replied.  “Yes, Ed, your ‘bean’ is normal.”

 His patient relaxed and smiled more brightly.  “And the ghosts that are using my typewriter?”  His voice was utterly sincere.

 The psychiatrist frowned slightly before he smoothed his expression into professional reassurance.  “Ed, we’ve been through this before.  There are no ‘ghostly fingers’ typing stories of life on other planets at midnight.”

 Ed rebutted forcefully but still courteously.  “Doc, I’ve seen typing paper floating off my desk and inserting itself into my typewriter by itself on several occasions.  And I’ve watched the machine typing by itself faster than mortal hands can type.  Maybe whatever or whoever is using my typewriter aren’t ‘ghosts’ but what are they then?”

 The psychiatrist exhaled in exasperation.  He spoke quietly and firmly, with all the professional authority and persuasiveness that he could muster.  “Ed, the so-called ‘ghostly fingers’ are a series of hallucinations brought on by a mild neurosis.”

 Ed started.  He tensed and shifted uncomfortably in his chair.  He opened his mouth to object but his doctor cut him off.

 “Ed, there’s nothing to be ashamed of.  Professionally speaking, your mentality and your ability to deal with the outside world are both normal.  You are unusually creative and according to Dr. Rhine’s test for psychic abilities –” The psychiatrist tapped the report lying on his desk “—you score unusually high in that department.”

 The psychiatrist leaned forward slightly, emphasizing his words.  “The problem is that you’re under a lot of stress.  You’re getting on in years.  You’ve had an active, stressful life as a soldier, railroad detective, prospector, war correspondent at an age when most men are retired, and, of course, a successful novelist not to mention being a husband and father.  These things are very commendable but they are stressful.  In addition, Dr. Sprague says that you have heart damage, Parkinson’s disease, and other problems that are not uncommon for a man of your age.

 “These things take a toil on the best of us.  As a result of this pressure, you stay up late, you get sleepy, and then you daydream that ‘ghostly fingers’ are typing stories rather than you typing them yourself.  It’s very common for human beings to wish that jobs would do themselves; your daydreams are simply an example of this tendency.

 “What you need to do is to relax.  Get away from the typewriter; go for walks; visit places that you enjoy visiting; enjoy life rather than locking yourself in an office all day long.  And eat and drink moderately.”

 The office was silent as Ed thought things over.

 He sighed deeply.

 “Well, Doc, you’re the doctor.  Florence said the same thing and I guess that two heads are better than one.  I’ll, uh….  I’ll try to do what you say.  At least for a while…!”  He grinned and his body language relaxed.

 The psychiatrist relaxed as well.

 After a moment, the psychiatrist asked, “Ed, I do have one question.”

 “Shoot, doc.”

 “What brought up the ‘ghostly fingers’ now?  You haven’t mentioned them since 1940 or ‘41.  That was quite some time ago.  Why now?”

 Ed’s face scrunched up.  He took a deep breath and looked his doctor directly in the eye.

 “December 1940 was the last time that the ghost (or whatever he is) typed anything.

 “Now he has returned. .  . And he brought a friend.”

ERBzine ERB Online Bibliography Reference:
Beyond the Farthest Star

Read the Exciting Chapter One Preview Next:
"No Joke, There I Was"


ERBzine 5819
Project Evolution 
Meet Lee Strong
ERBzine 5820
Table of Contents ~ Prolog
"Ghosts in the Machine"
ERBzine 5821
Ch. 1 Preview:
"No Joke, There I Was…"
ERBzine 5822
Ch. 2 Preview: "First I Died… 
And Then Things Got Worse"

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