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WHO WANTS ICE CREAM
March 16: On this day in 1936, "Tarzan and His Jungle Friends" was copyrighted. The 128 page abridged version of the last half of "Tarzan of the Apes" was illustrated by Juanita Bennett.
The drabble today is "Who Wants Ice Cream."
“Edgar, here’s a copy of the new children’s book, “Tarzan and his Jungle Friends.”
WHO WANTS ICE CREAM
“Did I write this?”
“They abridged part of Tarzan of the Apes and it was illustrated by Juanita Bennett.”
“Didn’t she illustrate “Swiss Family Robinson?”
“Yes and she’s illustrating “Tarzan and the Tarzan Twins with Jad-ba-la the Golden Lion.”
“I knew I liked her work. “I’ve never seen a Tarzan book this small. What’s the price?”
“Nothing. It’s free when you buy a cup of Tarzan Ice Cream.”
“So now, Tarzan’s working at Woolworth’s as a soda jerk. I guess I’ve finally hit the big time.”
March 17: On this day in 1916, ERB started work on The New Stories of Tarzan (Jungle Tales) series for The Blue Book.
"Eternal Triangle" is today's Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired 100 word drabble.
Tarzan loved Teeka, a young female ape, but Teeka only had eyes for Taug.
Tarzan was jealous and fought Taug for Teeka’s affections. The female was pleased with the attention.
Taug was captured and caged by the Mbonga’s native tribe.
Tarzan rejoiced and said to himself. “With Taug gone, Teeka will be mine.”
Teeka was brokenhearted at Taug’s capture. Tarzan tried to comfort her, but soon realized that she loved Taug, not Tarzan.
He killed the guard and freed Taug.
“Why you help me? Teeka is mine. Taug kill.”
“No, Teeka is yours, but if you hurt her, Tarzan kill.”
March 18: On this day in 1922, Argosy All-Story Weekly published part five of "The Chessmen of Mars". The cover story for that issue was "The Flying Fool" by Rex Parson. The cover is by Modest Stein.
"Evil Eye" is today's drabble.
I-Zan unlocked the cell. The prisoner was headless, but still chained to the wall. I-Zan reported. “Someone cut off the prisoners head.”
They checked, but Ghek, the Kaldane had remounted his Rykor. The chief jailer hit I-Zan. “No more drinking.”
Ghek toyed with I-Zan, appeared as headless from time to time, and ordered the guard about with his mind.”
I-Zan accused Ghek of sorcery at trial. “He controls me with his eyes.”
Ghek focused his eyes and froze everyone while Tara, Turan, and he escaped.
Tara asked, “Are they dead?”
“No, I just gave them a piece of my mind.”
March 19: On this day in 1950, Edgar Rice Burroughs passed away.
ERB finished his breakfast and sat in bed, reading the newspaper comics. He was alone, and death was sudden and quiet. The discovery was made by his housekeeper, who by prearrangement, notified his family and his physician, Dr. Herman Seal. Burroughs' desire for cremation had been expressed often in the past and in 1945, he left instructions that his ashes should be buried beside his mother’s- under the tree in front of the Tarzana office.
Today's ERB inspired drabble is "Requiem."
REQUIEMOne Sunday morning, two young men stood in front of ERB, Inc. John placed several books under the tree. “Pat, the flowers.”
Pat positioned a rose wreath. “John, it’s sad that he died before we were born.”
“I don’t see it that way. As long as his books are in print, he still lives.”
“Agreed. Anything to say before we leave?”
“Yes. May astral projection be real, may his golden thoat be fast, may his sword be sharp, and his Barsoomian princess be beautiful. May he ride with her forever beneath hurtling moons and may his adventures never stop.”
This Memorial Tribute Plaque is displayed in front of
Danton Burroughs' favourite Tarzana restaurant: CHARLIE G's
March 20: On this day in 1920, All-Story Weekly published part one of "Tarzan and the Valley of Luna." The story was combined with 'Tarzan the Untamed," originally published the year before by Redbook, and eventually published by A. C. McClurg as Tarzan the Untamed. Pulp cover by P. J. Monahan.
The drabble today is "Life Expectancy".
LIFE EXPECTANCYTarzan saved Bertha, a beautiful woman, from the fate worse than death. She and Smith-Oldwick, a British officer left in an airplane. Tarzan smiled. “Too bad she’s a German spy, she’s a hard woman to hate.
The plane crashed and a pride of lions threatened the two. The officer and the spy armed themselves with makeshift weapons. Tarzan hurried to the crash site and helped the couple.
Bertha asked, “Can we defend ourselves against this many lions. What’s the plan?”
Tarzan said, “There is no plan. Fight as best you can. No one dies of old age in the jungle.”
March 21: Otto Poll was born this date in 1893 in Newark, N.J. He grew up to play an Arab guard in "The Adventures of Tarzan" and also did stunts for Elmo Lincoln's Tarzan. After that, he became Tarzan himself, identified in the credits for "Tarzan the Tiger" and "Tarzan the Mighty" as Frank Merrill.
'Name Change" is the drabble of the day.
Jack Nelson said, “Yes, I need a Tarzan for my new film, Tarzan the Mighty. You got any experience.”
“Yes Sir. Stunt double for Elmo Lincoln.”
“I saw those. Did you fight the lion yourself?”
“Easy, the lion was almost toothless. It was harder swinging between the trees. Those ropes were rough.”
“What’s your name?”
“Holy hell. Nobody wants a Tarzan named Otto. Let’s change it. Frank oozes trustworthy. I invest my money with Merrill Lynch. They say I’ll be rich by 1930. So Frank Merrill it is."
“Sounds great, I need a stockbroker. Can you recommend one?”
ONE OF A KIND
March 22: On this day in 1940, Edgar Rice Burroughs finished dictating "Tarzan and the Madman." A single cylinder containing 1,500 words spoken by ERB as he dictated the novel still exists, thanks to the fact that his son, John Coleman Burroughs, saved it. ERB had begun the dictation on Jan. 16, 1940, and finished it March 22. The story, however, waited 24 years to be published by Canaveral Press 1964.
"One of a Kind" is today's drabble.
ONE OF A KINDEdgar Rice Burroughs held a small cylinder. “This is the final recording for “Tarzan and the Madman.” The written transcription is my desk. I’ll mark it up and have it retyped.”
John Coleman Burroughs picked up the Dictaphone recording.
"It amazes me you can dictate books onto little tubes.”
“That one’s only got about five pages. Sometimes it’s faster, but sometimes I throw three or four away for every one that’s worth transcribing.”
“Can I keep this one? I’ll use it as a paperweight.”
“Sure. I only use them once and throw them away. They’ll never be worth anything to anyone.”
LEAVING FORT GRANT
March 23: On this day in 1897, Edgar Rice Burroughs was discharged form the cavalry after being diagnosed with a heart problem and thus ineligible to serve.
He had been stationed at Fort Grant near Duncan Arizona.
Today's drabble is "Leaving Fort Grant".
“Mr. Burroughs, your discharge papers came through. Secretary of War Alger signed it himself. You’re a free man. I gave you an excellent rating.”
LEAVING FORT GRANT
“Thank you, Captain.”
“Meeting my brother, Harry, in Nogales to drive a cattle herd to KC. I’ll take the train to Chicago and sell batteries for my dad.”
“No more military service.”
“Probably not. Doc says I got a bum ticker. No offense, but Fort Grant seems worse than a prison. I figured if the renegades didn’t kill me first, the food and water would. Whiskey is cheaper than water out here, healthier too.”
STAGE NAME, TAKE TWO
March 24: On this day 89 years ago in 1928, Smylla Brind was born in Vienna, Austria. Her family fled to France in 1937 to escape Nazi persecution of Jews and she ended up in the U.S. a few years later. Her interest in a stage career was aided by her fluency in several languages (German, French, and Italian as well as English), by her Teutonic accent and by her IQ of 165. She also excelled at oil painting.
RKO Studios changed her name to Vanessa Brown and she played the role of Jane to Lex Barker's ape-man in 1950's "Tarzan and the Slave Girl."
Today's drabble is "Stage Name, Take Two."
STAGE NAME, TAKE TWO“Welcome to RKO Studies, Miss Brind. I’m your publicity agent. How do I say your first name, Smylla. Is it Smilely, Smily, or Smeely.”
“Long I, silent ells, Smi-a. It’s Hebrew. We fled Germany in 1937. I’ve done theatre in four languages, English Spanish, French and Italian.”
“Here you need to speak Hollywood.”
“You need a screen name. A starlet can’t have a name that sounds like someone sneezed. I’ve got a list somewhere. Okay, from now on, you’re Vanessa Brown.
“Vanessa means butterfly in Greek.”
“Who cares? You’ll play Jane in a Tarzan film. Nobody wants a smart Jane.”
WIFE OF THE DAY
March 25: On this day in 1922, Argosy All-Story Weekly published part 6 of the first Edgar Rice Burroughs novel I read, The Chessmen of Mars. The cover art for that issue was for the story, "South of Fifty-Three" written by Jack Bechdolt."The illustration is by "Small," who is credited with almost 100 pulp covers.
"Wife of the Day" is today's drabble.
WIFE OF THE DAYTuran kissed Tara in the caverns of Manator. She said, “I hate you.”
An old man stepped from the shadows. “Love! Rarely do a man and maid see eye to eye on such matters.”
“Who are you?”
“I-Gos, husband to hundreds over 2000 years. Come and meet them.”
“Aren’t your wives dead?”
“Follow me. I’m the royal taxidermist.”
Numerous stuffed and mounted women decorated the hallway.
“These are perfect women. They stay forever young. I can admire and caress them, but I don’t have to listen to them anymore. Wow. Tara, you’re beautiful.”
Tara shoved him. “Don’t even think it.”
I'LL GET ALONG WITHOUT YOU
March 26: On this day in 1921, Argosy All-Story Weekly published part seven of "Tarzan the Terrible." The novel wasn't "Tarzan the Terrible", it was Tarzan the very good. The terrible title goes to another book. I have my opinion about which one and I'm sure that you do as well. I've been forbidden to share my opinion on the matter.
The cover art for the issue was based on the story, "The Tempting Tangle" by the prolific author and award winning newsman, Victor Lauriston, the real Wiliam Edward Stark.
"I'll Get Along Without You" is the 100 word Edgar Rice Burroughs drabble for today.
Jane knew how to survive. She killed a hare and cooked it over a fire started with volcanic glass magnified sunlight.
I'LL GET ALONG WITHOUT YOU
She made a spear and killed an antelope buck. A German, Lieutenant Obergatz, stepped from the jungle. “I applaud you.
Surely, you’re the goddess, Diana, the mighty huntress. May I share your feast?”
“Today. Be gone by nightfall. The next time I see you, you die."
“You need help.”
“I’m not the one begging a meal.”
“Two can survive better than one.”
She threatened with her spear. “Not if one of them is you.”
Obergatz sullenly left her alone.
March 27: On this day in 1914, the Fort Wayne Daily News published part one of The Eternal Lover. I printed a copy from a local library's microfiche records about thirty years ago. My badly reproduced copies are now yellow and brittle. I recopied them and they look like reproductions of rotting newsprint.
Today's drabble is "Press Pass."
PRESS PASS“Mr. Burroughs, a copy of the March 26th issue of the Fort Wayne Daily News arrived in today’s mail. It has part one of “The Eternal Lover.”
“I always wanted to be a news correspondent, but I never expected it would be one of my adventure stories or in Indiana. The editor was difficult to understand.”
“Did he have an accent?”
“I thought so. I mentioned it.”
“Was he offended?”
“Not at all. He said, “Folks in Fort Wayne got a saying, ‘We don’t talk funny, everyone else does.’”
“Seems kinda snooty.”
“Snooty, patootie. He promised me a press pass.”
March 28: ERB had trouble getting "The Outlaw of Torn" published, but it finally appeared in five monthly installments of "New Story Magazine" in 1914. Getting it into hardback proved another challenge, but 13 years later, on Feb. 19, 1927, he finally achieved that goal as well. A.C. McClurg didn't have as much faith in the story as ERB did, printing just 5,000 copies, but ERB received a measure of satisfaction when, just over a month later, on March 28, 1927, McClurg informed him the edition was a sell-out.
The drabble today is "Print Run."
PRINT RUN“Burroughs, here.”
“This is Joseph Bray at A. C. McClurg. Outlaw of Torn sold out in thirty-seven days.”
“That’s good and bad. If you’d printed more than 5000 copies, we’d have made more money.”
“I know. Just called so you could tell me I told you so.”
“I’ll write that in an autographed copy to you.”
“So when do we get another manuscript?”
“I’ll send Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle if you’ll print more copies.”
“I’ll do what I can.”
“Joseph, there are other publishers. I can talk to Metropolitan.”
“They publish love stories.”
“All my stories are love stories.”
March 29: On this day in 1935, Argosy Magazine rejected the novel "Tarzan and Jane" saying that the story was too stereotyped. The novel was later sold to Blue Book Magazine, re-titled "Tarzan's Quest." and published in six parts beginning in October 1935.
The 100 word ERB inspired drabble of the day is "Bad Editor."
“Edgar, calm down. What’s the matter?”
“I expected a check and contract from Argosy for “Tarzan and Jane.” This is a rejection letter.”
“Did they give you a reason?”
“Said the story is too stereotyped. What the hell does that mean? It’s a jungle. Tarzan and Jane are Tarzan and Jane.”
“They should be sorry. So much for loyalty. My stories kept that rag in business. It’s their loss, not mine. Harriman and Kennicott at Blue Book have been begging for a Tarzan yarn. I'll send this one. I bet they get it in print within six months."
March 30: On this day in 1923, Edgar Rice Burroughs began writing "The Bandit of Hell’s Bend." No better yarn of the old cattle days can be found in current fiction. Tense dramatic situation and unforgettable characters presented with incomparable skill. Why is this book not a movie?
The drabble today is "First Aid" and features Mary Donovan, one of the most under appreciated characters in the story.
Jim Weller and some other cowhands carried a bleeding Mack Harber into the saloon. Weller shouted, “Stage holdup. He took a bullet."
The owner, Mary Donovan said, “Put him on a table, I’ll see what I can do.”
She drenched the wound with whiskey, gave Harber a swig and took one herself. “Be still, me boy. This’ll hurt like the fires of hell.”
She removed the bullet with a carving knife. The man passed out. She stitched the injury with black thread.
Weller asked, “We he live?”
“Begesus, how would I be knowing?” I’m a barkeep, Jim, not a doctor.”
Copyright 2019: Robert Allen Lupton
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