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ERB 100-Word Drabbles
AUGUST II Edition :: Days 1-15
See Days 16-31 at ERBzine 7015a
by Robert Allen Lupton
With ERBzine References by Bill Hillman
PUT UNCLE ON THE SHELF
August 1, 1941: On this day Edgar Rice Burroughs finished the short story, “Uncle Miner and Other Relatives, (22,800 words). It was written in and out of hospitals. He signed the preface, "Joe Louis." The wildly imaginative story was rejected by New Yorker on August 28, 1941 and was never published. The story remains unpublished to this day.
Jane Ralston Burroughs read the story and wrote ERB. Have received and read your masterpiece entitled "Uncle Miner and Other Relatives". I have not yet received your letter explaining why and how it was written, although I presume you were under the influence of either narcotics or heredity at the time. STOP. GO. It is very amusing and full of good laughs. I am giving it to Joan and Hulbert for their edification." The story is scheduled for reprint in ERBzine.
The photo is of Jane Ralston Burroughs posing as Dejah Thoris. Shared with ERBzine by Danton Burroughs from his personal Burroughs Family collection in Tarzana.
Here’s today’s drabble - “Put Uncle on the Shelf”
“Hello, Jane. I’m feeling better now, the doctor took me off the medication and told me to start drinking again.”
‘I’m not sure that’s a good idea. How’s it working for you?”
“I see things a little better. I tried to re-edit my Uncle Miner story, but gave up after six pages. Remember you asked if I was under the influence of narcotics when I wrote it. I can’t be sure, but I’m sure that I don’t want it to see print.”
“Didn’t you submit it to “The New Yorker?”
“Not to worry. Those pompous Easterners never buy anything I write.
August 2, 1928: On this day the Ironwood Daily Globe in Ironwood, Michigan reprinted a newspaper article that appeared on Tuesday, July 31, 1928 in the Indiana Evening Gazette. The article says, “Joan Burroughs, daughter of Edgar Rice Burroughs, the author, was assigned to find somebody who could play “Tarzan” in a screen production of one of her father’s books. She picked James Pierce, film “heavy” and work on the picture began. Now she has picked Pierce for herself. They’ll be married this summer."
“Today’s drabble is “Choosing Tarzan.”
“Dear, I saw a newspaper article about your engagement to James.”
“Yes, I figure that if I lived with Tarzan in the jungle, we should be married.”
“Were you in love with him when you chose him to be Tarzan?”
“No, but he was such a gentleman.”
“But your personal life is in the papers.”
“It’s free publicity for Dad’s books and the movies. Besides, this way if some prudish old biddy gets her nose out of joint because she thinks that Tarzan and Jane never married and lived in sin, James and I can just whip our marriage license.”
August 3, 1935: On this day, Ashton Dearholt, the former husband of Florence Gilbert Dearholt Burroughs married Ula Holt. Ula, who was born Florence Watson, had appeared in films with Ashton just the same as his first wife, Florence Gilbert. She is best known for her role as a mysterious secret agent in "The New Adventures of Tarzan" (1935), filmed on location in the highlands of Guatemala. This was one of the few Tarzan movies without a "Jane" and Ula Holt came as close as anyone to being the female lead.
“Musical Chairs” is today’s drabble.
“No, Dearholt, I won’t be the best man when you marry Florence, I mean when you marry Ula. Florence would kill me.”
“You mean the Florence I was married to would kill you if you stand with me when I marry Ms. Florence Watson, also known as Ula Holt.”
“Aston, holidays were going to be awkward enough with us in business together and me married to your ex-wife, but now you’re marrying another Florence.”
“This way I don’t have to change the initials on the personalized towels or glassware.”
“Be nice if you were that frugal with our film budgets.”
A TIME TO REST
August 4, 1927: On this day, Edgar Rice Burroughs began to write “Apache Devil.” The 73,000 word novel was published by ERB Inc. in 1933 with a magnificent cover by Studley Burroughs and a print run of 5,238. On this day in 2019 the 2019 Dum-Dum and ERB Festival in Willcox, Arizona came to an end. Thanks for a great gathering go out to the hard working Frank Puncer of the Arizona Burroughs Bibliophiles Chapter, the Apache Devils.
"A Time to Rest" is the drabble for today.
Shoz-Dijiji slipped silently into Skeleton Canyon. “Geronimo, we are surrounded by General Miles and his men. I say we attack. It is a good day to die.”
“No. I’m weary of war and death. I will see no more of Apache die. We are only few, but enough to raise crops and livestock. We are enough to feed and clothe our families and rebuild the tribe to fight again someday.”
Shoz-Dijiji screamed, “We are few, but enough to die in glory.”
Geronimo shook his head. “Our fight has ended. Surrender and live or stay on the warpath and die alone.”
BICYCLE OR HORSE?
August 5, 1897: On this day a bicycle license was issued to Edgar Rice Burroughs for a Reliance Bicycle with a diamond frame. The address for ERB on the license was 646 Washington Street, Chicago, Illinois. Burroughs had recently been discharged from the cavalry.
Reliance Bicycles were manufactured by two companies during the 1890s. The Standard Cycle Company of Buffalo New York produced the “Reliance Bicycle” in 1892 and the Gendron Wheel Company of Toledo Ohio, produced Reliance Bicycles from 1895 to 1900. It is most likely the ERBs bicycle was from Gendron Wheel Company. The company was founded in 1872 and today, Gendron, Inc. produces mobile patient management systems for transport, trauma treatment, imaging, bariatric, and special procedures.
“Bicycle or Horse?” is the drabble today.
“So Ed, why did you buy a bicycle? I didn’t know you could ride one.”
“I learned while I was at the Michigan Military Academy.”
“I’m just shocked that an old horse soldier like you would ride a bike.”
‘I do like horses better. Someday, I’ll have my own horses when I have someone else to feed, water, and brush them. Feeding a hundred horses a day wears on a man.”
‘Bicycles still have to be washed. Tires must be aired up and nobody hangs bicycle thieves.”
“Right you are, but I don’t have to shovel out my bicycle’s stall.”
SEEING IS BELIEVING
August 6, 1932: On this day, Edgar Rice Burroughs began “Lost on Venus”, at his beach home at 90 Malibu La Costa Beach. Burroughs was elected honorary "Mayor of Malibu Beach."
The first neighborhood in Malibu to be developed was La Costa where, in 1926, May Rindge's Marblehead Land Company sold the La Costa beachfront and hillside to developer Harold Ferguson for the sum of $6 million. Ferguson created the La Costa Beach Club for land-side property owners and had grand plans to develop the beach parcels. He laid out the La Costa development and gave the streets their names that remain today: Rambla Pacifico, Las Flores, Rambla Vista, and so on. But the La Costa project collapsed into insolvency and Ferguson, the developer, went to jail for fraud. Marblehead repossessed the property and undertook the development, but the Depression stalled the project. Marblehead itself declared bankruptcy in 1936.
“Seeing is Believing” is the drabble for today.
The Thorists captured Carson Napier and didn’t believe that he arrived from another planet. Amtorians believed in only their world and their land was a flat dish floating on the ocean.
Napier tried to understand the strange and incorrect Amtorian cosmic theory and how it came about. Venus lies beneath a constant cloud cover and the denizens have never seen the sun, stars, or a moon. He realized their cosmic concepts were limited by their provincial observations and experiences.
Carson mused. “I shouldn’t be surprised. It’s hard for a man to believe in birds when all he’s seen are fish.”
INTO THE BREACH
August 7, 1915: On this day All-Story Weekly published part one of “Barney Custer of Beatrice.” The story makes up part two of the novel, “The Mad King.”
Today’s drabble is “Into The Breach.”
“Victoria, my dear sister, war between Serbia and Austria is imminent. I fear for Lutha. I have to go return and help protect the people.”
“Please don’t. I’m afraid for your safety. Stay home. Let Europe fend for itself. I know you’re a great swordsmen, but swords and horses can’t fight armored tanks.”
“I was born for this. There’s no swordplay in the wheat fields of America. The most exciting thing in Beatrice last month was a litter of kittens.”
“Men die in wars.”
“I’d rather die in battle than be slowly bored to death on the plains of Nebraska.”
UPSTAGE THE COACH
August 8, 1900: On this day, Tarzan film and voice actor, James “Babe” Pierce, was born in Freedom, Indiana. Pierce was an All-American centre with IU's football program and coached high school football at Glendale, CA High School. He coached Marion Morrison (John Wayne) and actor, Robert Livingston, who played both the Lone Ranger and Zorro. For any one who didn't know, James Pierce's version of the Tarzan yell on radio was "TARMANGANI."
Also on this date in 2019 the play, “Tarzan” opened at the Square Foot Theatre in Wallingford Connecticut. This adaption of the Disney Movie included the awarding winning songs by Phil Collins. Previous opening nights of Tarzan the Musical - on Broadway, Holland, Germany and Tuacahn - are fully covered in ERBzine.
“Upstage the Coach” is today’s drabble.
Indiana football coach, Edwald O. Stiehm yelled at his centre, “Babe” Pierce. “What was that? Looks like you’re pretending to block instead of blocking. You wanna be an actor.”
This ain’t no movie. Make your blocks.”
“Coach, they call the planned movements on stage and screen – blocking.”
“How come you know that? Big strong man like you. Who do you think you are, that Tarzan fellow?”
“Uhh, no. Tarzan’s older than me. The movie was pretty good and it made that Elmo Lincoln famous.”
“Heaven help me. My centre’s a movie critic. Say something, Pierce”
August 9, 1921: On this day, Edgar Rice Burroughs began writing “Beware.” The 22,000 word story was originally published as "The Scientists Revolt" in July of 1939 in Fantastic Adventures.
Editor Ray Palmer made numerous revisions and rewrote entire sections of the story for this version. In spite of my efforts to do so, I have never been able to finish a single thing that Mr. Palmer wrote.
“Beware,” as originally written was published as Burroughs Bulletin #39 (Old Series) in July, 1974 with a cover by Richard Corben. Burroughs Bulletin #40 published “The Scientists Revolt” with the Ray Palmer editing in August, 1974 with a cover by Herb Arnold. ERB-dom published a photographic reduction of Scientists Revolt in ERBdom's 42, 43, and 44 in 1971. There have been other unauthorized publications in recent years. Text for both titles as well as related art are featured in ERBzine. See the links above.
“Royal Engagement” is the Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired drabble today.
Mackie Donovan, an Irish policeman’s son, was told that he was actually the hereditary emperor of Assuria. That complicated things. He’d recently discovered that the woman to whom he’d avowed his love, was actually Princess Narvia and while two commoners could wed easily enough, a royal wedding was not that simple.
He said, “If I’m truly an emperor, who can gainsay our marriage. I’ll order you to marry me.”
The Princess smiled. “A command I’ll be happy to obey, but if you’re only a cabbie, I’ll show you how easy it is to win the love of a princess.”
UNHAND THAT WOMAN
August 10, 1915: On this day, Edgar Rice Burroughs finished writing “Beyond Thirty.” The story was originally published by All Around Magazine in February 1916. Burroughs' story was mentioned on the cover, but the N. C. Wyeth cover art illustrated "The Lost Vein" by Edwin Bliss. The issue also included a story by William Hope Hodgson. All Around Magazine was previously known as New Story Magazine and published "The Return of Tarzan." Lloyd A. Eshback (Fantasy Press fanzine) published a 57 page unillustrated version in 1955. The recognized first edition, “Beyond Thirty and the Man-Eater,” was published by Science Fiction and Fantasy Publications (Bradford M. Day) in 1957.
Beginning with the first mass paperback edition by Ace in 1963, the title was changed to “The Lost Continent.”
A special Mad Kings edition of Beyond Thirty was published in conjunction with Michael Hatt's 2017 Dum-Dum in Coldwater
Today’s ERB inspired drabble is “Unhand That Woman.”
Queen Victory refused to bow to the Abyssinian Emperor, Menelek, and he took her to his chambers for some personal attention. Victory fought him tooth and nail, but he was too strong.
Turck overpowered the guards, broke in the Emperor’s chambers, ripped him away from Victory, and strangled him while the Chinese army attacked and bombed the Abyssinian stronghold.
Turck swore undying love and kissed her while the Chinese bombardment destroyed Menelek’s foothold in old England.
She said, “I know. Roses or chocolate would have been enough, but I guess nothing says I love you like a dead Abyssinian Emperor.”
August 11, 1933: On this day, the 12 chapter film serial, “Tarzan The Fearless” starring Buster Crabbe was released. The actress, Julie Bishop, using the name, Jacqueline Wells, appeared as the female lead, Mary Brooks, the daughter of an archology professor exploring Africa. Sound familiar.
Clarence Linden Crabbe II, known professionally as Buster Crabbe, was an American two-time Olympic swimmer and film and television actor. He won the 1932 Olympic gold medal for 400-meter freestyle swimming event. Besides playing Tarzan, he appeared as Kaspa, the Lion Man and some guy called Flash Gordon.
The ERB inspired drabble today is “Lionspeak.”
Buster Crabbe eyed the old lioness and said to the director, Robert Hill, “I don’t care for the way she’s looking at me.”
Hill laughed. “Maybe she doesn’t like the way you smell.”
“I don’t want to do the fight scene. Get my double.”
“Got no double for you, but I’ve got a hard budget and schedule. I’m going to call for action. Come on, Buster, use your jungle skills and tame the lion.”
Crabbe spoke soothingly to no avail. “I guess I don’t speak lion.”
“We just got the script for another movie. You better be a fast learner.”
HARDER THEY FALL
August 12, 1934: On this day, the Hal Foster Sunday Comic strip, “The Sultan’s Verdict,” appeared. The entire strip is available in Volume Three of “Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan in Color,” edited by Bill Blackbeard and published by Flying Buttress Classics Library, an imprint of Nantier Beall Nimoustchine Publishing Inc. in 1993 and in EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS’ TARZAN: THE SUNDAY COMICS VOLUME 2, 1933–1935, published by Dark Horse Comics on August 27, 2014. The pages in the Dark Horse edition are fifteen inches by 20 inches. Outstanding reproductions.
The strip is reprinted in ERBzine in even higher definition of 40 by 54 inches at: ERBzine 5986
The Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired drabble today is “Harder They Fall.”
Tarzan overpowered Sultan Bahdin’s guards, stole the Sultan’s horse and fled with Princess Mihrama. Bahdin commanded his horse to stop and the creature obeyed.
Tarzan was recaptured and Bahdin ruled that Tarzan must fight his champion, the giant Housan. “Win and go free, but lose and you and the girl die!”
Mihrama was terrified at the sight of the giant. “How can you beat him,” she cried?”
“There’s a story about David and Goliath. The story’s moral is “The bigger they are, the harder they fall.”
“Is it true?”
“We’d best hope so,” said Tarzan and he charged the giant.
August 13, 2000: On this day, the Gray Morrow and Alan Gross Tarzan Sunday Page story,” Flight From Pellucidar” concluded. This two part story line began on January 9, 2009 as “The Roof of the World.” It also featured the huskiest Tarzan to ever grace the Sunday comics. Read the whole series in ERBzine at 3484 and 3485
“Umgowa, Umgowa," is today’s Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired drabble.
Moxie Gardner crashed her airplane and was captured by a tribe of Horibs, who also had captured Tarzan.
She said, “If I didn’t know better, I’d really believe we’re at the Earth’s Core.”
“Believe it. Don’t worry. I’ll get us home.”
“Which way do we go?”
“In Pellucidar, most directions are the same, so it doesn’t matter.”
They escaped, traveled with a tribe of flying monkeys, and eventually encountered a mastodon. Moxie petted the beast and said, “Umgowa, Umgowa,” but it ignored her.
‘You’ve watched too many of my films. Elephants and mastodons don’t speak movie Tarzan. I’ll talk to him.”
I'LL BE BACK
August 14, 1911: On this day, Edgar Rice Burroughs submitted his unfinished, 12-chapter, 43,000-word, 180-page manuscript to All-Story Magazine. The working title was “Dejah Thoris, Martian Princess” by Normal Bean. He used the return address of the Champlin-Yardly Company, 222 West Kinzie St., Chicago and the typing appears to have been done by the company secretary. After November 11, he used his home address of 20098 Park Avenue for his return address. The story later appeared in hardcover first edition under the name "A Princess of Mars."
“I’ll Be Back” is today’s ERB inspired drabble.
John Carter restarted the atmosphere plant and saved all life on Barsoom. He passed out from the effort and unlike every other time on Barsoom when he went to sleep, this time he woke up back on Earth.
He remembered his adventures on the red planet and his princess’s face perfectly. He didn’t know if he’d succeeded in restoring breath to the ancient world of many races and dead sea bottoms.
He told his story to his new friend, Edgar, who asked, “What will you do.”
“I still live and I shall return.”
“Good answer. Let me write that down.”
MAN OF MANY FACES
August 15, 1915: On this day, Edgar Rice Burroughs accepted $500.00 from New Story Magazine for his second novel, “The Outlaw of Torn.” Thomas Metcalfe, editor at All- Story had rejected the story in November of 1911. Metcalfe offered Burroughs $100.00 for the story with the provision that his staff writers would completely rewrite the novel. Burroughs refused.
He was vindicated in 1927 when the 5000 copy print run of the first edition sold out in less than 40 days. Burroughs wrote a letter to Maurice Simons at McClurg. “"I think it is the best thing I ever wrote, with the possible exception of Tarzan of the Apes, and next to it, I believe will rank The War Chief of the Apaches."
“Man of Many Faces” is today’s Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired drabble.
The beautiful Bertrade de Montfort stared out the window and watched Roger de Conde ride away across the drawbridge. Her maid said, “You seem quite taken with him and he with you. Why did you let him leave?”
“He seems honorable enough, but my father believes him to be the outlaw, Norman, who has terrorized the countryside.”
“Do you believe that?”
I don’t know. What do you think?”
“I think that Roger bears an uncanny resemblance to King Henry. He’s the right age to be the missing heir.”
“Outlaw, knight or prince. I don’t know what to think. I’m torn.”
August 16, 2004: On this day, the actress, Aquanetta, passed away of Alzheimer's complications in Ahwatukee, Arizona at the age of 83.
Born as Mildred Davenport in Ozone, Wyoming in 1921, Aquanetta was a movie actress of genre, mostly jungle, motion pictures. She was nicknamed the "Venezualan Volcano" by Universal Studios, although she was of Arapaho decent. She was often seen in her trademark long black braids and beautiful silver and turquoise jewelry. She starred in Tarzan and the Leopard Woman (1946) and also had roles in Arabian Nights (1942), Jungle Woman (1944), Dead Man's Eyes (1944), Lost Continent (1951), and The Legend of Grizzly Adams(1990).
In the 1950s, Acquanetta moved to Phoenix and married Jack Ross, the owner of a local car dealership. She achieved local celebrity status by appearing in numerous ads for her husband's business. She also had her own TV program, "Acqua's Corner”, which accompanied the Friday Night Movies. Acquanetta authored a book in 1974 called "The Audible Silence", a fine compilation of poems about life, love, and Indian jewelry.
“Acqua’s Corner” is today’s Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired drabble.
“So, Mrs. Ross, your husband has agreed to sponsor Friday Night Movies, but only if you’re the hostess.”
“That’s the deal. I’ll be like that Elvira, Mistress of the Dark lady, only smarter and better looking. I pick the films, talk at the breaks, and my husband sells cars.”
“Why “Acqua’s Corner?”
“That really hurts my feelings. I made several movies including “Tarzan and the Leopard Woman.” My stage name is Aquanetta.”
“Isn’t Aqua Net a hairspray?”
“Really, hairspray. How old are you, twelve? I bet you can’t even name the Three Stooges. Thank goodness I write my own material.”
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