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ERB 100-Word Drabbles
NOVEMBER II Edition :: Days 1-15
See Days 16-30 at ERBzine 7096a
by Robert Allen Lupton
With Collations, Web Page Layout and ERBzine Illustrations and References by Bill Hillman
AROUND AND AROUND SHE GOES
November 1, 1931: On this day, illustrator P. J. Monahan died at the age of forty-nine in Woodcliff, Lake, New Jersey. Born Patrick John Sullivan, his family became ill with influenza. He and his younger brother recovered, but his father, mother and older sister all died. He was eight and Eugene was six. They were raised by charitable neighbors, James and Rose Ellen Monahan. He signed his work "P. J. Monahan" in acknowledgment of the family that raised him.
Not only did he paint hundreds of illustrations for the pulps and slick magazines, he invented and patented the Monahan Rotary Engine. Today's photo is of a stock certificate from his company. Occasionally, certificates are available for purchase online - usually for less than $20.00.
His work included pulp magazine covers for “The Girl From Hollywood,” “Thuvia, Maid of Mars,” “The Man Without a Soul,” “The Mucker,” “Sweetheart Primeval,” “The Son of Tarzan,” “The Return of the Mucker,” “Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar,” “Tarzan and the Valley of Luna,” “Tarzan the Terrible,” “Chessmen of Mars,” “The Moon Maid,” and my favorite, “Tarzan and the Golden Lion.”
The printer asked, “Mr. Monahan, you sure you want five thousand stock certificates. That’s three times the usual print run.”
“Around and Around She Goes” is today’s Edgar Rice Burroughs and P. J. Monahan Sullivan inspired drabble.
“You bet. My invention will put Ford and the rest of those folks making those up-and-down motors out of business unless they buy my rotary engines.”
“Rotary? Your motor just spins in circles?”
“Yes, clever isn’t it. Saves fuel. There’s less wear and tear on the parts. People will snap them up.”
“If you say so, but folks want cars what goes somewheres. If they wanted to go around in circles, they’d ride a carousel.
“What goes around, comes around.”
November 2, 1917: On this day, according to ERBzine's ‘Perpetual Calendar” located at www.erbzine.com/mag5/0560.html, Edgar Rice Burroughs began writing “Little Door.” The unpublished story was written during WWI and was uniformly rejected by publishers who considered it “a tidal wave of bloodshed, horror, and suggestion.”
Anti-German propaganda was common during this time. I have included one such poster with this post as a historical reference of the times during which “Little Door” was written.
Erbzine also reports that the story was written from 11/17/1917 to 11/23/2019. I have chosen to use the date provided in the ERBzine Perpetual Calendar for this post. Read the entire story at http://www.erbzine.com/mag51/5109.html.
With apologies to Arthur C. Clarke for using his title, the Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired drabble today is “Childhood’s End.” Here is a 145 word excerpt from the story, “Little Door.”
The man whispered a few hoarse words into her ear that left her momentarily paralyzed by loathing and terror. Her face and neck flushed scarlet to the red shame of the thing that he had said, and for the first time Jeanne realized the true reason that her father had given her the slim blade, still cold against her warm breast. From scarlet her face went very white and her great, dark eyes wide with terror.
"Come!" growled the officer; "it is that or death -- but it is that anyway."
Slowly the wide eyes narrowed, the childish face became the face of a mature woman.
"You will not kill me -- then?" she asked.
"No," he promised, "for I may be coming back here off and on."
Then send your men away," she begged.
He laughed and told the soldiers to rejoin their company.
A SMALL FORMALITY
November 4, 1911: On this day, Thomas Metcalf of ‘The All-Story Magazine’ wrote a letter to Edgar Rice Burroughs, saying that "The Martian princess story was in perfectly good form now and I should like very much to buy it for publication in The All-Story Magazine. I therefore offer you for all serial rights, $400.00." As soon as ERB agreed, the letter stated, the check would be "in the mail." That letter may have been the second biggest thrill in ERB's life, right behind receipt of the actual payment, which came a couple of weeks later in a check dated November 15, 1911. Metcalf asked ERB to provide evidence that his work was completely original.
The check still exists and in in the possession of an Edgar Rice Burroughs fan and collector. I’ll leave it to him to identify himself if he chooses.
The letter referenced above is reproduced with this post -- it is taken from ERBzine pages of ERB's correspondence with Metcalf at: www.erbzine.com/mag28/2832.html
"The Martian Princess" story is in perfectly good form now and I should like very much to buy it for publication in The All-Story Magazine. I therefore offer you for all serial rights, $400.00.
The Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired drabble for today is 124 words long a
nd is an excerpt from that letter. Let’s call it, “A Small Formality.”
I am sorry to have been so long in giving you an answer on this and I hope we will be able to do business together. While speaking of this, considering the fact that we have never done business together before, I should be very glad if you would send us a reference to some publisher or other reasonable person who can assure us that your work is certain to be entirely original. This is a mere matter of form and I am sure you will understand how we feel.
DOWN WITH LION POLITICIANS
November 5, 1935: On this day, a tongue-in cheek political speech made by Edgar Rice Burroughs for Tarzan appeared as a large advertisement with Maxon illustrations “Down with Lion Politicians.” I have not been able to locate the advertisement or the words of the speech, although a November 15, 1935 satire by ERB printed in the Louisville Times, about “Nkima’s Oompah political party" is included. Nkima’s party promised the Nude Deal and pledged that loin clothes, g-strings, and fig leaves will come off. I like the pun ‘Lion Politicians.’ The speech is featured in ERBzine at: www.erbzine.com/gwbb/gw253p1.jpg and www.erbzine.com/gwbb/gw253p2.jpg ~ From ERBzine's Gridley Wave Reprint Series (October 2003 Issue)
Since I couldn’t find the actual advertisement, I decided to make it up as best I could. The humorous diatribe is directed at no political party, candidate, or elected official and anyone attempting to assign it thusly, will be fed to the lions at the first opportunity.
“I support Tarzan for President. Countries should be governed by “Jungle Rules.” Jungle Rules aren’t what you think. Here are the principals.
Today’s drabble is inspired by “Down With Lion Politicians.”
Don’t monkey with the facts.
Caught misbehaving politicians shouldn’t try to weasel out of it.
Only pigs take more than they can eat.
Step lightly crossing streams. Don’t muddy the water.
Be vigilant. Snakes prosper by misdirection.
Don’t elect vultures or hyenas. Hyenas whine and blame others their own failings. Vultures will pick your bones clean.
When a lion says to trust him and that he has your best interest at heart, he doesn’t. Remember, he’s a lion.”
DOUBLE DOG DEAD
November 6, 1935: On this day, Edgar Rice Burroughs began writing “Gang Murder,” an Inspector Muldoon Murder Mystery. The story was originally published in Script Magazine and and has been reprinted in ERBzine 5762. At 2650 words, not counting the solution “Gang Murder” is one of the longest Inspector Muldoon Murder Mysteries.
Read the story at www.erbzine.com/mag57/5762.html, or subscribe to the ERB, Inc. online comics at www.edgarriceburroughs.com and read the Inspector Muldoon daily comic along with a multitude of Edgar Rice Burroughs comics. The image of Inspector Muldoon including in this post is copyrighted by Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc. and available on a T-shirt at ERBInc.
Today’s Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired 100 word drabble, “Double Dog Dead,” is based on “Gang Murder.”
Inspector Muldoon inspected the body of Spike Finie. I asked him about the cause of death.
Muldoon said, “Could be he drowned. They fished him from the river. Could also have suffocated, him being encased in a concrete slab and all.”
Muldoon touched his pencil to a red necktie. “Maybe. He’s been garroted with his necktie. Wait, let me count. He’s been shot seven times.”
“So he was choked and then shot.”
“There’s more. Someone pounded old Spike’s head with a baseball bat.”
“So Inspector, they wanted him graveyard dead.”
“Yep, there’s no disputin’ he died like Rasputin.”
I THINK I'LL PASS
November 7, 1911: On this day, Edgar Rice Burroughs began writing “The Outlaw of Torn.” Thomas Metcalf had suggested that ERB turn his attention to a historical romance and Burroughs complied. Amazingly, Burroughs finished his second novel in three weeks. The McClurg edition contained about 57,000 words, but Heins estimated the word count at 65,000.
Metcalf offered $100.00 the finished story with the understanding that his staff would rewrite the book. Burroughs refused. By the time he sold the story, there were three versions: the original long-hand story of 215 pages; a typed manuscript, quite similar but with small corrections; and was expanded and contained more detail. The revised manuscript of 1912, a collection of hand-written and typed pages, exhibited changes that were based upon additional research. Ed's first two openings were discarded, and in the final published version of “The Outlaw of Torn” a more leisurely introductive section appeared.
Ed's persistence eventually paid off eight months later when A. L. Sessions, Editor of the "New Story" magazine, accepted the story for publication. The Outlaw of Torn was purchased for $1000 and serialized in the January, March, April, and May 1914 issues.
To be clear, Burroughs was not okay with allowing Metcalf’s staff writers rework his story. He told Metcalf that no one would rewrite the book as long as ERB was alive and he, Burroughs, came from a long-lived family.
“I think I’ll Pass” is today’s ERB inspired drabble.
Mr. Metcalf, I finished reading the new story from that Burroughs guy in Chicago. It takes place in England during the 16th Century.”
“It sure isn’t Ivanhoe or The Three Musketeers. It needs lots of work.”
Metcalf shook his head. “I agree. That’s why I had you read it. Can you fix it?”
“Sure, nothing wrong that a complete rewrite won’t cure. Give me two months, pay me and I’ll make read like Charles Dickins wrote it.”
“If Burroughs is okay with that, you’ve got a month and I don’t need Dickens. I’ll be happy with Herman Melville.”
JONES AND CARTER TOGETHER AGAIN FOR THE FIRST TIME
November 8, 2011: On this, www.newsarama.com reported that Dynamite Comics would release “Warriors of Mars” in February 2012. The limited series featured Lt. Gulliver Jones (Gulliver of Mars by Edwin Lester Arnold) and John Carter.
Gulliver of Mars” was originally published as “Lieutenant Gulliver Jones: His Vacation” in 1905. The novel can be read online in ERBzine at www.erbzine.com/craft/gulliver.html.
The entire NewsArama press release can be read in ERBzine 3642
The drabble for today, “Jones and Carter Together Again For the First Time” is taken from the press release.
After the incredible critical and commercial success of Dynamite's Warlord of Mars, Warlord of Mars: Dejah Thoris, and Warlord of Mars: Fall of Barsoom series, comes Warriors of Mars #1! Before John Carter another earthman visited the Red planet: Lt. Gullivar Jones. Now these legendary warriors are brought together for the first time! Lt. Guillivar finds himself transported through space and time to the planet Mars where he meets the beautiful Princess Hera. Warriors of Mars is written by Robert Napton and drawn by Jack Jadson, with covers by the legendary Joe Jusko and will hit comic stores February 2012!
November 9, 1939: On this day, the first French Edition of Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar was published by Hachette. The company was founded in 1826 by Louis Hachette as Brédif, a bookshop and publishing company. It became L. Hachette et Compagnie in 1846, Librairie Hachette in 1919, and Hachette SA in 1977. It was acquired by the Lagardère Group in 1981. In 1992 the publishing assets of Hachette SA were grouped into a subsidiary called Hachette Livre (the flagship imprint of Lagardère Publishing. Hachette has its headquarters in the 15th arrondissement of Paris. The company, unlike A. C. McClurg, remains in business.
“Tarzan et les joyaux d'Opar” was the French title of the book.
“Monsieur, sales for the newest book by the American Burroughs are strong.”
With apologies, the drabble today is “National Pride.”
“Of course they are. What Frenchman doesn’t want to read another chapter in the adventures of the magnificent French Naval Officer, Lieutenant Paul D’Arnot, the man who saved Tarzan.”
“The English see the story differently. They believe that Tarzan saved D’Arnot.”
“Preposterous. The English always insist on seeing things their own way. They still claim they didn’t cheat at Agincourt.”
“I really like the new character, La. She’s descended from Egyptian royalty.”
“Sacre Bleu! Of course she’s French!"
“Does it matter? What’s your point?”
“Honor! Viva La Difference!”
WHAT'S NOT TO LIKE
November 10, 1940: On this day, Edgar Rice Burroughs finished writing “Tiger Girl,” part three of “Savage Pellucidar.” “Tiger Girl was published by “Amazing Stories” in April 1942 with two interior illustrations by J. Allen St. John. The story was reprinted in Amazing Stories Quarterly in the fall of 1942 along with ‘Return to Pellucidar” and “Men of the Bronze Age.”
The Amazing Stories cover from April 1942 has a blurb about “Tiger Girl,’ but the illustration by Robert Fuqua is for “Adam Link Saves the World” by Eando Binder. Other stories in the issue include “The Secret of Lucky Logan” by Nelson Bond, “Treasure on Thunder Moon” by Edmond Hamilton,’ and “Scientific Mysteries: The Lost Race of Illinois,” by Robert Moore Williams.
Today’s drabble is taken from a blurb originally intended for the dust wrapper flap of the hardcover edition of “Savage Pellucidar.”
"The primary cause of many of the adventures which befell the nice and un-nice characters whose stories unfolded between these covers was Abner Perry's insatiable urge to invent
Today's drablle is called “What’s Not To Like?”
But maybe you do not like adventure? Then do not read this story. For it is replete with adventure and mystery and despair and courage and loyalty and -- love.
We think you will love little O-aa and her astounding mendacity. Perhaps you will be shocked by the little old man whose name is not Dolly Dorcas and who had an inordinate appetite for human flesh, especially Swedes, a lovely old gentleman from Cape Cod where the cranberries come from."
QUEEN RHONDA I
November 11, 1933: On this day, Liberty Magazine published part one of “Tarzan and the Lion Man.” Burroughs received $10,000 and paid commission to an agent for first time. The cover illustration was by B. McCowen and is unrelated to “Tarzan and the Lion Man. Burroughs’s novel didn’t even receive a mention on the cover. However, during the nine issue Liberty serialization, 18 tinted illustrations by Ray Dean appeared. The first is reproduced with this post. The Liberty serial version was shorter than the 70,000 word novel.
The Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired drabble for today is “Queen Rhonda I.”
Rhonda Terry was in Africa working in a new Tarzan movie. Two English speaking gorillas, Buckingham and Cramner, captured her. They took her to King, Henry VIII, who had seven wives, include Anne Boleyn and Catherine of Aragon.
Henry desired Rhonda. Wolsey, a gorilla who spoke for God, threatened to excommunicate the King.
Tarzan entered Gorilla London to save Rhonda and destroyed most of the gorilla-based court of King Henry. Rhonda said, Thank you, but I wasn’t terribly worried.”
“No,” said Tarzan.
“’No,” I studied English history. “Henry VII was a beast, but he never had a wife named Rhonda.”
DO WHAT DEJAH SAYS
November 12, 1921: On this day, Edgar Rice Burroughs finished the first Edgar Rice Burroughs’s book I ever read – “The Chessmen of Mars.” The word count is 89,000 words, making it one of the longer ERB novels.
I bought the Ace paperback in 1962 at Coffey’s Drug Store in Shawnee, Oklahoma. I still have it. It’s been sealed in Saran Wrap for over fifty years. The Roy Krenkel cover illustration of the Jetan battle scene caught my attention.
The Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired drabble for today is “Do What Dejah Says.”
Tara of Helium, angry, but intrigued by Gahan of Gathol’s impertinence, fled the ballroom.
Dejah Thoris. Tara’s mother, said. “Gahan, don’t stand there like a statue. Go after her.”
“She doesn’t like me.”
“Are all men in Gathol so stupid? She may not want you to catch her, she may not want to marry you, and she may not want to see you again. Nevertheless, don’t embarrass her by staying at the party. Go after her.”
“There are other women here.”
Dejah touched her short sword. “Yes, and if you so much as speak to one, I’ll kill you myself.”
DESERT MENU, PLEASE
November 13, 1932: On this day, the Hal Foster and George Carlin Tarzan Sunday Strip “Into The Primeval Swamp” concluded. The story began August 7, 1932 and ran for 15 weeks. Tarzan fought pterodactyls, plesiosaurs, a tyrannosaurus, and a gigantasaurus. That’s a lot of dinosaurs to be living in a valley that can only be reached by a cave in the Elephant Graveyard. Evidently pterodactyls can’t fly out of the valley. ERBzine has reprinted many years of Foster Tarzan strips. This one starts at www.erbzine.com/mag55/5547.html and concludes at: www.erbzine.com/mag55/5561.html
“Desert Menu, Please,” is today’s Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired 100 word drabble and is based on the Sunday comic.
Tarzan found a hidden cave in the Elephant Graveyard. It opened into a marsh filled river valley.
A pterodactyl attacked him. Tarzan killed it and encountered a huge plesiosaur. He jumped on its head and rode it like a rodeo star. Finally, a hungry gigantasaurus appeared. Tarzan got away while the two reptiles fought.
Everything in the swamp tried to eat him, but he survived. He left the valley and fought a panther. He thought, “Nice to fight something my own size. The dinosaurs considered me the desert after their real meal. Just a little something to cleanse their palettes.”
SWAB THE DECK
November 14, 1914: On this day, All-Story Cavalier Weekly published part four of “The Mucker.” I can’t identify the cover artist, but the cover illustrates part one of “The Empire in the Air” by George Alan England. It’s a fun read. Other stories included in the issue “Solitary Island” by A. E. Dingle and Mary Carolyn Davies’ “Ambition. Alice Rix wrote “A Dream of Daughters” and W. T. Eldridge contributed “Mysterious MacLean.”
Mary Carolyn Davies, an Oregon writer wrote children’s stories, novels, poetry, and plays. She contributed hundreds of stories to various pulp magazines. Her career came to an end after she relocated to New York City. I always hoped she fell in with bad companions and had a good time, but alas, that wasn’t the case. She died alone and penniless.
To those of you who like poetry, I suggest her book, “The Skyline Trail: A Book of Western Poetry.” Copies are available for less than $20.00 from Amazon.
The Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired 100 word drabble today is “Swab the Deck.”
Billy Byrne was shanghaied in San Francisco by the Halfmoon’s crew. After a beating and ten days in the hole, he accepted his new shipboard role. One man, even a brawler like Byrne, couldn’t whip everyone,
He and another seaman cleaned the head and scrubbed the deck. The other sailor said, “Seems like we always gets the dirtiest jobs.”
Billy replied, “I’m used to it. I’m a mucker. I always did the dirty work back in Chicago.”
“On board, we’s called swabbies. Them who cleans the messes what other folks leaves.”
Billy grunted. “Work’s the same, whatever folks call us.”
BARNEY AND THE APES
November 15, 1981: On this day, the marvelous Enid Markey died in Bay Shore, New York at age 87. She originated the role of Jane in films, playing the character twice in 1918 (Tarzan of The Apes; The Romance of Tarzan). During the 1950s and 1960s she appeared in several television guest-starring roles, including The Andy Griffith Show as Barney Fife's landlady, Mrs. Mendelbright.
The photo attached is of Enid in her role on the Andy Griffith Show.
Today’s 100 word drabble is a conversation between Mrs. Mendelbright and Barney Fife. That Barney is a bulldog. He never quits and he never lets go.
Mrs. Mendelbright said, “Barney, you look flustered today. May I get you some tea?”
Today's drabble is “Barney and the Apes”
Barney Fife replied, “It’s hard to be a lawman. I got but one bullet and today I tracked down the Markey Gang. Those apes robbed the banks in Enid, Oklahoma and Lincoln, Nebraska.”
“Sounds dangerous, Barney. How did you find them?”
“I’m no dumdum. I recognized them from their pictures. Andy helped a little.”
“You poor thing. It must be a jungle out there.”
“Yep, somedays you whip the lion and somedays the lion whips you.”
‘Yes, dear. Be safe and pay your rent on time.”
See Days 16-30 at ERBzine 7096a
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