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ERB 100-Word Drabbles
DECEMBER II Edition :: Days 1-15
See Days 16-31 at ERBzine 7097a
by Robert Allen Lupton
With Collations, Web Page Layout and ERBzine Illustrations and References by Bill Hillman
Twice a month, Bill Hillman, at ERBzine. takes 15 of my ERB themed drabbles, organizes them into a beautiful layout,, adds appropriate source references, and other details. Here's the link to the current selection:
www.erbzine.com/mag70/7097.htmlERBzine is a trove of information, photos, illustrations, references, and history about Edgar Rice Burroughs and new pages are published weekly. The site says "more than 15,000 pages. I think there's a lot more than that. The site has more than 500 of my drabbles, several articles about foreign Tarzan films, and few semi-scholarly articles. Enjoy. www.erbzine.com/mag67/6730.html
December 1: On this day in 1941, the film, “Tarzan’s Secret Treasure,” was released. Richard Thorpe directed Johnny Weissmuller, Maureen O’Sullivan and Johnny Sheffield in this 81 minute film. Evildoers capture Jane and Boy and force Tarzan to join their expedition seeking gold in darkest Africa.
Along with other Tarzan films, Secret Treasure was filmed in Wakulla Springs, Florida. More films were shot there as well, including The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954).
Since the early 1940s when the original Tarzan film was shot in Wakulla Springs, the lore has been that monkeys escaped during filming to set up shop in the woodland areas of the Gulf Coast. Sightings of the monkeys occur regularly, if not frequently.
Maureen O’Sullivan watched Sheffield playing around the caged animals near the set of “Tarzan’s Secret Treasure." The boy kept taking the lock off the monkey cage. Maureen said, “Johnny, don’t do that. Monkeys are smart. They’ll watch you and learn open the cage.”
“Critical Review” is today’s Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired drabble.
“I hope so. I want them to come out and play.” He opened the cage and a dozen monkeys scampered into the Florida forest.
Three days later after four retakes of a scene, Richard Thorpe, the director, said, “Cut. That’s perfect.”
Two monkeys threw fresh monkey poop at the actors.”
Weissmuller wiped his face. “Everyone’s a critic.”
December 2: On this day in 1933, Liberty Magazine published part four of “Tarzan and the Lion Man.” The cover by Paderewski illustrated the story, “The Stewed Kidneys of an Angel” or maybe not. The cover drawing is of a turkey chasing a woman with an axe.
“King’s Gambit” is today’s Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired drabble.
After Tarzan saved Rhonda Terry from the gorilla city where the gorillas were named for and behaved like the court of Henry VIII, Naomi Madison, helped Rhonda recover from her ordeal.
“Rhonda, so Henry VIII wanted you. It must be wonderful to attract the attention of a king. It’s like being a princess.”
“Not so much. He had several wives and a couple mistresses. If I wanted a deal like that, I’d work something out with a film producer.”
“But he was a king. What woman could ask for more?”
“Let’s just say that he wasn’t the gorilla my dreams.”
DON'T SEND A BOY TO DO A MAN'S JOB
December 3: On this day in 1933, the Hal Foster and George Carlin Tarzan Sunday Strip “The Egyptian Saga V: Child of Fire” began. Part One of the Egyptian Saga began on November 20, 1932 and the saga concluded on February 24, 1935. The seven parts spanned 82 weeks.
Details are available at www.erbzine.com/mag22/2292.html, and www.erbzine.com/mag8/0809.html.
The new high priest of the god, Moloch, ordered all officers of the temple gods submit their youngest son as a harvest sacrifice. Hotep overheard his father tell his mother. The boy fled the temple and the city. He ran into the jungle.
The Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired drabble of the day is “Don’t Send a Boy to do a Man’s Job.”
He escaped a lioness and crawled bleeding into Tarzan’s tree hut. Tarzan fed and bandaged the boy.
Tarzan said, “Don’t care for human sacrifices. Life is hard enough as it is.”
“Without a sacrifice, the crops will fail.”
“Sounds like a job for the new priest. I’ll stop by and ensure that he’s available for the job.”
December 4: On this day in 1915, All-Story Weekly published part one of “The Son of Tarzan”, the fourth Tarzan novel. Other stories to appear in the issue included “Justice Ends at Home” by Rex Stout, Part two of “The Quest of the Queen’s Jewels” by Coralie Stanton & Heath Hosken. The couple wrote several westerns, a sheik story, and a jungle adventure, “The Jungle Calls” most of which were published by All-Story.
Two covers are included with this post. The first is the All-Story Weekly cover for “Son of Tarzan” and the second is the All-Story Cover for “The Jungle Calls.”
Korak disguised Akut, the ape, as his grandmother and they boarded a steamship bound for Africa. Akut wore a shawl and moved about in a wheelchair.
“Manners Matter” is today’s Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired drabble.
During dinner in a hotel dining room, Condon, a fellow passenger and thief, attempted to rob Korak. Grandma Akut jumped from her wheelchair, screamed the bullape’s victory cry, grabbed the thief, pounded him on the ground, and tossed him off the hotel balcony.
The other guests were aghast.
Korak helped Akut back into the wheelchair. “Grandma can’t abide bad manners. He used the wrong fork and worse, he took the last piece of chicken.”
THINGS TO COME
December 5: On this day in 1912, Edgar Rice Burroughs sent a letter to Thomas Metcalf at All-Story summarizing his plans for “The Return of Tarzan ~ERBzine 0484.” All the ideas in the letter didn’t make it into “The Return of Tarzan,” and some foreshadowed future books – some written years later. The letter references having Tarzan join the foreign legion, having contact with and adventures a strange race, a forgotten city filled with treasure, and a scientific experiment concerning the creation of humans (The Monster Men ~ ERBzine 0756.)
The entire letter can be read at www.erbzine.com/mag28/2835.html
The illustration is for a Japanese publication of “Return of Tarzan. The art is by Motoichiro Takeb ~ ERBzine 5842.
The above covers roughly the principal changes I contemplate. I may make changes as I write, for I want to have a story that will grip the interest of those who liked the first one and hold it from start to finish.
Today’s drabble is “Things to Come.” 99 words long, not 100.
It is an excerpt directly from the Burroughs’ letter.
I have two other bully stories mulling around in my head. One of them has possibilities far beyond any I have yet written - I don't mean literary possibilities, but damphool possibilities. It will be based on an experiment in biology the result of which will be a real man and a real woman - not monsters.
A HYENA IS A HYENA
December 6: 18 days and a wakeup until Christmas morning and on this day in 1941, the day before Pearl Harbor day, the Rex Maxon - Don Garden Tarzan daily comic strip, “The Path of Lions” began. The story ran for 82 days and ended on April 18, 1942. The Path of Lions continued the storyline from the preceding story, “Lost on an Island.” Tarzan battles Lupin Jagger, the evil leader of the band of mutineers who stranded everyone on the island. The first panel of the story is included in this post.
For the entire story, go to http://www.erbzine.com/mag47/4777.html To see ALL the Manning strips go to www.ERBzine.com/manning
Jagger had all the interference from the apeman he could stand. He found a club and confident of an easy victory, confronted Tarzan. “I’m in charge here. I’ll kill you.”
"A Hyena is a Hyena" is today's 100 word Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired drabble.
Tarzan said, “You can try.” Jagger was strong, but Tarzan was quicker and overcame the villain. He choked Jagger.
The other castaways pled for mercy. “Tarzan, nothing good will come from killing him.”
Tarzan released Jagger. “Nothing good will come from letting him live. He is a hyena and understands neither mercy nor thanks. Mark my words, sooner or later, it will be him or us.
And so it was.
YOU'LL ALWAYS WORK IN THIS TOWN, AGAIN.
December 7, the anniversary of Pearl Harbor Day, and on this day in 1915, one of my favorite authors, Leigh Douglas Brackett ~ ERBzine 1783, was born. (December 7, 1915 – March 18, 1978) Leigh was one of the more talented and influential writers in the field of science fiction. In addition to the genre, she wrote mystery novels, and was even a notable screenwriter -- among her scripts are “The Big Sleep,” “Rio Bravo,” “The Long Good-bye: and “The Empire Strikes Back.” That means she wrote the Darth Vader line, ‘No, I am your father.” (The line wasn't "Luke, I am your father."
She wrote over sixty short stories and a dozen novels between 1940 and 1978, including collaborations with Ray Bradbury and with her husband, Edmund Hamilton.
Brackett was influenced by Edgar Rice Burroughs, and wrote planetary romances including several that take place on Mars. Her first story published, in 1940, was “Martian Quest.” She would follow that up with ten stories and four novels set principally on her Mars, and another half dozen set on or around other planets of the solar system which touched on Mars, as well as over a dozen more set on Venus, Mercury, the Jovian moons or other regions. A number of her stories featured Eric John Stark.
The receptionist said. “Leigh Brackett is here.”
The drabble today, “You’ll Always Work In This Town, Again.” is inspired by Leigh Brackett,
who was no doubt inspired by Edgar Rice Burroughs.
“Send him in.”
Leigh Brackett entered Howard Hawks’ office, straightened her dress, and took a seat.
“I read “No Good From A Corpse.” I thought you was a guy. I need someone to straighten out Bill Faulkner’s script for “The Big Sleep.” He gets lost in detail. Movies gotta hold people’s attention.”
“Are you withdrawing the offer because I’m a woman?”
“Hell no. The men writers argue with each other instead of work. Fix this script and you’ll always have work.”
“You swear I’ll never be hungry again.”
“With God as my witness.”
GREASY KID'S STUFF
December 8: On this day in 1943, the film, “Tarzan’s Desert Mystery," was released. Some sources report the release date as December 26, 1943, but ERBzine reports the date as December 8th. For detailed information on the film, go to www.erbzine.com/mag6/0624.html.
Filmed at Alabama Hills in Lone Pine California, the film used stock footage from One Million BC. Actor Ben Johnson doubled for Weissmuller in one scene.
Working titles for the movie were “Tarzan and the Sheik,” and “Tarzan Against the Saraha.”
William Thiele directed the film starring Johnny Weissmuller, Johnny Sheffield, and Nancy Kelly. Kelly plays a female magician from America. Tarzan’s wife, Jane, doesn’t appear in the film, she is offstage in England helping with the war effort.
“The Latest Tarzan film is strictly kid stuff. The picture is one long string of events designed to stir up the youngsters to no end. Things happen so fast and furiously that Tarzan is scarcely given the time to draw a deep breath as he applies his strength and cunning to upsetting the plans of a Nazi agent to cause trouble between desert tribes. Johnny Weissmuller plays Tarzan in his usual stolid manner. Nancy Kelly enacts the chorus girl adequately. Johnny Sheffield has lost none of his appeal as Boy. Cheta the Chimp steals the show every time she's around.”
The drabble today is, “Greasy Kid’s Stuff,” and it was written by an unknown reviewer for ‘Motion Picture Daily”
shortly after the film was released. I left the spelling from the review intact.
December 9: On this day in 1922, Argosy All-Story Weekly published part one of “Tarzan and the Golden Lion ~ ERBzine 0495.” The magnificent and iconic cover art is by P. J. Monahan ~ ERBzine 1671. The issue contains the article, “History of the “Tarzan” Novels. Among the other stories appearing in the issue are “Kain” by Max Brand, “The Marble Lady’ by Jack Bechdolt, and “Two Promises” by Baroness von Hutten.
I included the Baroness in this list because I was intrigued by the non de plume. Her real name was Bettina Riddle Freifrau von Hutten Zum Stolzenberg and over 100 of her stories appeared in the pulps under the von Hutton name or as Betsy Riddle. She lived in England during WWI and was arrested and detained because she had a German ex-husband. Later she was engaged to Allister Cooke.
Tarzan trained the lion cub, Jad-bal-ja to stalk and hunt men by tying raw meat to a human dummy and ordering the lion to fetch.
Today’s Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired drabble is “Training Day.”
Tarzan’s son, Jack, was horrified. “You’re training a man killer.”
“Only on my command.”
“I bet he turns on you first chance he gets.”
Tarzan ordered Jad-bal-ja to kill a deer. The lion complied, but snapped at Tarzan when the apeman tried to take the deer.
Tarzan showed his displeasure and the lion behaved like a well-trained hunting dog.
Jack said, “I’d have never believed it.”
“You just have to be smarter than the lion.”
THE SPY THAT CAME IN FROM THE JUNGLE
December 10: On this date in 1918 Edgar Rice Burroughs finished writing “When Blood Told.” The story was published by The Redbook Magazine ~ ERBzine 0224 in June 2019 and became part of the novel “Tarzan the Untamed ~ ERBzine 0493.”
Among the other stories appearing in Redbook that month were “Speed” by Sinclair Lewis and “The Veiled Lady and the Shadow” by George Barr McCutcheon. The cover of a fairly unhappy woman was by Haskell Coffin. Coffin specialized in images of women, which were reproduced on the covers of popular magazines such as The Saturday Evening Post, The American Magazine, Redbook, McCall's, Leslie's Illustrated, and the Pictorial Review. He was one of the most highly paid illustrators of his era. His illustration, “Joan of Arc Saved France” was used as a “Buy War Stamps” poster and advertisement.
Tarzan was ashamed that he hadn’t killed Bertha, the German spy, but he was not accustomed to making war on women. He’d killed hundreds of German soldiers as revenge for Jane’s and returned to his jungle roots.
The Spy That Came In From the Jungle” is today’s Edgar Rice Burroughs’ inspired drabble.
Meanwhile, Bertha was captured by the Mangani. Tarzan said, “She is Tarzan’s she.” He was embarrassed to claim a German female.
Later Bertha returned the favor by freeing Tarzan from a native tribe. He still resented her.
He was relieved to learn Bertha was a celebrated British double agent. “Thank goodness, she was hard to hate, even when she was a Nazi spy.”
LEADER OF THE PACK
December 11: on this day in 1967, the first Russ Manning Tarzan daily comic strip, “Tarzan, Jad-Ben-Otho Chapter One: Tarzan Saves Jane from Tergash,” appeared. The entire story can be read at www.erbzine.com/mag26/2601.html
Russ wrote and drew the Tarzan daily comic until the Tarzan daily comic ceased publication. The last daily was July 29, 1972 – a little over 4 ½ years later.
Tarzan battled Tergash while Jane cowered against a tree trunk. The entire gorilla pack screamed, jeered and threw branches at the combatants.
“Leader of the Pack” is today’s Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired drabble.
Tergash was strong and brutal, but Tarzan was clever and quick. He subdued the great ape.
“Jane, let’s go home.”
She took his hand, but several of the gorillas blocked their path. Tarzan screamed his victory cry and the apes faded into the jungle.
“Jane, this has to stop. It seems like I’m always saving you from one gorilla or another.”
“I’m sorry, but every once in a while, a girl wants to walk on the wild side.”
PHOTOSHOP, 1940s STYLE
December 12: On this day in 1936, Edgar Rice Burroughs’ son, John Coleman Burroughs married his Pomona classmate, Jane Ralston. Jane modeled for her husband as Dejah Thoris. She drew all the backgrounds and buildings for the “John Carter of Mars” Sunday comic drawn by her husband, John Coleman Burroughs. She also did the coloring and lettering for the comic.
To quote a letter Jane wrote to the Burroughs Bulletin, “"Perhaps it would be of interest to elucidate on the "John Carter of Mars" ~ ERBzine 2288 comic strip panels drawn by my husband, John Coleman Burroughs, in 1942. My facial features were drawn and I posed in a swim suit and Martian harness for the body proportions and positions. Never has it been known that I also drew all of the backgrounds and buildings, did all of the coloring and all of the lettering, and very much enjoyed the project. My love to all."
Extensive details about the life of Jane Ralston Burroughs are available at www.erbzine.com/jrb
“John, I couldn’t be happier if I was marrying Jane, myself. She’s a wonderful girl. I can’t decide if she looks like Dejah Thoris or Dian, the beautiful.”
The Edgar Rice Burroughs drabble of the day is “Photoshop, 1940s Style.”
“Thanks, Dad. She’s amazing. I can hardly believe she’s marrying me. She does look like one of your heroines, but I look more like a troglodyte that Tarzan of John Carter.”
“Not true. You’re a handsome couple. Perhaps she’ll model for some of your paintings.”
“I couldn’t do her justice.”
Jane’s mom, overheard John’s last comment. “No worries. If she doesn’t like how you draw her, she’ll touch up the painting herself.”
CLEANLINESS IS GODLINESS
December 13: On this day Ed spent the Sunday settling in with the 112th Calvary in the Dumbea River Valley located in the South Province of New Caledonia. He set up his typewriter in a tiny lanai opening onto the main island road and its 24-hour stream of noisy and dusty military traffic. Officers invited him to an evening poker party and they formed the Noumea Chowder and Marching Club.
On December 23, 1042, the Army transported Ed and other officers 28 miles to Tontouta in preparation for next morning's flight to Viti Levu and on to Australia.. Burroughs was required to pay his own room and board while in New Caledonia, $13.60 for entire stay.
For more information read ERBzine article, On the Road to New Caledonia. http://www.erbzine.com/mag10/1048.html ~ Full transcription startin at ERBzine 6810
Read the full 1942/43 WWII journals by ERB, transcribed and illustrated by Bill Hillman -- "DIARY OF A CONFUSED OLD MAN" Starting at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag68/6800.html
There is one thing I miss here more than another. That is being clean. I have only four khaki uniforms with me. I haven't space for any more. Two are in the laundry. One got soaked in the rain yesterday and covered with mud, and I got mud on the one I am wearing right after I put it on. And I am invited to a party tomorrow night by Commander Burroughs, whom I interviewed yesterday. He commands a Carrier Group. A nice chap. In addition to being dirty, I am all bitten up by spiders; and I hate fleas.
Today's drabble, “Cleanliness is Godliness” is taken from a letter Edgar Rice Burroughs
wrote to his daughter, Joan, about his experiences as a war correspondent.
BORN TO PLAY TARZAN
December 14: The 555th post in this series. On this day 30 years ago in 1989, Jock Mahoney, born Jacques Joseph O’Mahoney, died after being involved in a car crash in Bremerton, Washington. In 1960, Jock appeared as Coy Banton, a villain in “Tarzan the Magnificent” ~ ERBzine 1958, starring Gordon Scott.
In 1962, Mahoney became the thirteenth actor to portray Tarzan when he appeared in “Tarzan Goes to India” ~ ERBzine 1960, shot on location in India. A year later, he again played the role in "Tarzan's Three Challenges" ~ ERBzine 1961, shot in Thailand. When this film was released, Mahoney, at 44, became the oldest actor to play the jungle king, surpassing Johnny Weissmuller and P. Dempsey Tabler.
Dysentery and dengue fever plagued Mahoney during the shoot in the Thai jungles, and he plummeted to 175 pounds. It took him a year and a half to regain his health. Owing to his health problems and the fact that producer Weintraub had decided to go for a "younger look" for the apeman, his contract was mutually dissolved.
Mahoney made three appearances on the Ron Ely Tarzan TV series ~ ERBzine 0014—“The Ultimate Weapon” (1966), “The Deadly Silence “(1966) (a two-part episode, later edited into a feature film) and “Mask of Rona” (1967).
In 1981, Mahoney returned to the Tarzan film series as the stunt coordinator on the John Derek-directed remake of Tarzan, the Ape Man ~ ERBzine 2150. He was billed as "Jack O'Mahoney".
He also starred in two TV series: "The Range Rider" and "Yancy Derringer." The photo today is of Jock as Yancy Derringer.
You want to know if I liked playing Tarzan in the movies. I loved the role of Tarzan because it was such a distinct challenge. I remember being 40 feet up in a tree and sunburned as hell. And I thought to myself, 'What is a 42-year-old man doing 40 feet up in a tree, getting ready to swing out over a bunch of thorn bushes that if you ever fell into you would be cut to ribbons and damned near killing myself to get up there?' So I laughed and thought, 'Well now, who wouldn't want to play Tarzan?"
“Born to Play Tarzan” is today’s Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired drabble.
Jock Mahoney's words, not mine.
December 15: On this day in 1934, Edgar Rice Burroughs finished writing his 8th Martian Novel, “Swords of Mars.” ~ ERBzine 0736 The first letter of the preface and the subsequent twenty-four chapters of the book form an acrostic message from the author to his second wife, Florence, whom he was in the process of marrying at the time of publication. The message reads "To Florence with all My Love Ed."
Details about the novel’s publication and dozens of cover illustrations are available at www.erbzine.com/mag7/0736.html
The novel was published by Blue Book Magazine ~ ERBzine 0228 in monthly installments beginning in November, 1934. “Swords of Mars” received a cover blurb in the November issue, but the cover illustration by Henry Soulen was of a man in a business suit shinning a flashlight on a pirate for “A Flag of Distress” by Captain Dingle (Albert Edward Dingle.)
Fal Sivas and John Carter toured Savis’ spaceship. “This is my invention. The ship has a mechanical brain, complete with eyes and ears. It links with my brain and I direct the ship with my mind. Jealous inventors have hired assassins. You must protect me.”
“Dream Ship” is today’s Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired drabble.
‘Will your ship respond to anyone’s mind?”
“Only my brain is superior enough to control the ship.”
Carter discovered that he could also control the ship. Sivas suspected the truth and became angry. “You want to steal my spaceship. Your brain can control flight.”
‘No, the only flights in my head are flights of fancy.”
See Days 16-31 at ERBzine 7097a
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