Official Edgar Rice Burroughs Tribute and Weekly Webzine Site
Since 1996 ~ Over 15,000 Webpages in Archive
ERB 100-Word Drabbles
SEPTEMBER II Edition :: Days 16-30
See Days 1-15 at ERBzine 7159
by Robert Allen Lupton
With Collations, Web Page Layout and ERBzine Illustrations and References by Bill Hillman
MAN IN TIGHTS
September 16: On this day in 1892, Joseph C. Pohler was born New York, New York. The firefighter took the stage name, Gene Pollar and portrayed Tarzan in the 1920 silent film,“The Revenge of Tarzan.” Numa Pictures was pressured by new industry moral standards regarding nudity. In response to these restrictions they designed an over-the-shoulder animal skin to hide most of Pollar's torso, as well as leggings that covered his thighs.
He was paid the munificent sum of $100.00 per week to be the second screen Tarzan. The completed film was sold by Numa Pictures, the production company to Goldwyn Distribution Corporation in 1920. The Weiss brothers, who had Pollar under contract, refused to release him to accept a contract from Universal Pictures.
He returned to firefighting until 1944, when he became a purchasing agent for a retail chain. Pollar emerged briefly from obscurity in 1966 at age 73. That year, a publicity event surrounding the premiere of NBC's Tarzan series brought together several actors who had played the apeman, and the guest of honor was James H. Pierce, then 66, who was dubbed the "oldest living Tarzan. Pollar contacted the media and declared correctly that he was the oldest. "Pierce is just a kid compared to me", he joked. Pollar blamed the mix-up on a New York City paper's erroneous report of his death a few years earlier.
Today’s drabble, “Man in Tights” was inspired by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Gene Pollar, and the motion picture industry’s dress code of the early 1920s.
Gene Pollar walked onto the set in full Tarzan costume and looked at what Karla Schramm was wearing.
MAN IN TIGHTS
He spoke to director Harry Reiver. “I feel stupid in these leggings. I’m wearing more clothes that Karla’s wearing as Jane.”
Reiver said, “She’s got better legs than you.”
“These leggings itch. A jungle man wouldn’t wear tight leggings.”
“’You are thinking of this right. Think of the leggings as tight pants.”
“I can’t. If leggings were actually pants, do you know what they’d be called? Pants!”
“Fine, pull up your pants and leg it over here. Time to fight a lion.”
WILL THAT BE ALL, SIR
September 17: On this day in 1932, Edgar Rice Burroughs and Inspector Muldoon visited the house of the great J. Schuyler Dupuyster house to invstigate a murder in Burroughs’ murder mystery story, “The Dupuyster Case.” Burroughs decided that the story was too long and too complicated and left it unfinished. The entire unfinished fragment and Burroughs’ outline for the rest of the story is online at:
Today’s drabble, “Will That Be All, Sir,” is inspired by Edgar Rice Burroughs and every butler in literature who every had a bit of murder in his heart.
“Well, Burroughs, I’ve finally figured this out. Hanky-panky is fun and games until someone takes a knife to the heart. Hutton loves Katy. Katy loves Miller. Osting loves Irene. Dupuyster was sleeping with Katy and Irene, so any of the three men might have killed him.”
WILL THAT BE ALL, SIR
“Muldoon, have you considered that either woman might have killed Dupuyster out of jealousy.”
“Indeed, I have, but I find that in murders taking place in musty old mansions inhabited by the rich and their servants, one needn’t overcomplicate the search for the guilty. It’s obvious. The butler did it.”
“Of course he did.”
September 18: On this day in 1926, A. C. McClurg published the first edition of “The Mad King.” The novel combined two stories. Part One, “The Mad King,” originally “The Mad King of Lutha” was written in October and November of 1913. Part Two, “Barney Custer of Beatrice” was written in September of 1914. Both parts were serialized in ‘All-Story Weekly,” the first in 1914 and the second in 1915. It was 11 years before “The Mad King” would be published in book form.
J. Allen St. John did the DJ illustration for the 365 page book. According to Robert B. Zeuschner in ERB The Bibliography, there may be as many as four states of the first edition. In the true first there are some errors. The date on the title page is 1026 instead of 1926. This could be a problem with the printing plate, but the date is clearly 1026. On page 12, the last line in the 6th paragraph, “face of the man” is in the wrong place and on page 92 line. 16 and line 22 are identical. The true first has all three errors. So pull out that blue bound book with orange printing on the cover and check it out. My copy is a true first, but I didn’t come by it intentionally, I had no idea the variants existed when I bought it. It’s better to be lucky than good.
The combined printings of all four states of the first edition was 5000 copies. I didn’t find information about the actual print run of the first edition – first state.
For details on editions of the book, domestic and foreign, along with numerous cover and interior illustrations from those editions, visit:
https://www.erbzine.com/mag7/0758.htmlToday’s Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired 100 word drabble is “Captive King.” Barney Custer of Beatrice, Nebraska was touring Europe when he read a poster advertising the escape of the King of Lutha, a ruler thought to be insane. He asked the shopkeeper. “Seems strange to me that a King needs to escape. We don’t have kings in America, but I thought that being the king met you were the boss and the boss is in charge.”
“It should work that way, but Lutha is ruled by regents, who keep King Leopold locked away, because he’s quite mad, you know.”
“If folks kept me locked up, I’d be pretty damn mad myself.”
IN PLAIN SIGHT
September 19: On this day in 1969, actor Rex Ingram died in Los Angeles, California. He was graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in medicine before starting a brilliant acting career that spanned decades. His first role was in the silent 1918 version of “Tarzan of the Apes” starring Elmo Lincoln. 37 years later in 1935, Rex appeared in “Tarzan’s Hidden Jungle". In between those appearances, he played Jim in the 1939 version of “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn ( with Mickey Rooney), the djinn in “The “Thief of Bagdad,” and the Lord in “The Green Pastures.” Ingram had roles in “A Thousand and One Nights,” “Elmer Gantry,” “God’s Little Acre,” “Hurry Sundown,” “Your Cheatin’ Heart,” “Sahara (with Bogart) and several other films.
In 1973, shortly after filming a guest spot for “The Bill Cosby Show, Rex Ingram died of a heart attack. He was interred in Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood Hills, California.
Today’s drabble is “In Plain Sight.”
Gordon Scott approached actor Rex Ingram.
IN PLAIN SIGHT
“I understand you were in the first Tarzan Film. If that film hadn’t been made, I’d probably still be a lifeguard.”
“I was cast while I waited for a bus. If not for that, I’d be working in a pharmacy somewhere.”
“Worked out for both of us.”
“Things have changed. You’ve less hair and wear less clothes than Elmo Lincoln and this movie has a stupid title.”
Scott asked, “How so?”
“Tarzan’s Hidden Jungle. A man can hide in a jungle or hide things in a jungle, but he can’t hide a whole jungle.”
HERE'S YOUR SIGN
September 21: On this day in 1991, actress Spencer Locke, who was the voice of Jane in the English language German produced 3D computer-animation motion capture film, “TARZAN,” was born in Winter Park .Florida. That’s a mouthful, isn’t it? Spencer appeared in “Resident Evil: Extinction” and “Resident Evil: Afterlife” as K-Mart. Her television roles include parts on “That’s So Raven,” “Cold Case,” “Cougar Town,” ‘In Plain Sight,” “CSI Miami,” “NCIS,” “Two and a Half Men,” “Hawaii Five-O,” “The Vampire Diaries,” and CSI: Cyber”
Today’s drabble, “Here’s Your Sign,” is inspired by Edgar Rice Burroughs and the 2013 animated Tarzan Film.
Pat said, “The plot to this German made Tarzan animated film seems familiar to me.”
HERE'S YOUR SIGN
John said, “It should. Everyone’s looking for a meteorite.”
“Did Burroughs write about meteorites?”
“No, John, but Philip Jose Farmer did – the Wold Newton meteorite created several heroes, including Tarzan and Doc Savage.”
“I missed that in the movie.”
“Probably got lost in the gorilla wars, the corrupt businessmen, the carnivorous plants, dinosaurs, and Tarzan and Jane trying to figure out who Tarzan really is. That’s a lot for 94 minutes.”
“I missed the roadsign that said, “Watch for Falling Rocks.”
“So did the dinosaurs.”
September 22: On this day in 1967, Season 2 Episode 33 of television’s “Tarzan” starring Ron Ely debuted. The episode was titled “The Voice of the Elephant” and featured actor, Fredrick O’Neal. O’Neal also appeared in the movie, “Tarzan’s Peril.”
O’Neal was an American actor, theater producer and television director. He founded the American Negro Theater, the British Negro Theatre, and was the first African-American president of the Actors’ Equity Association. O’Neal was vice president of the AFL-CIO and a member of its executive council. Frederick O'Neal was known for his exemplary work on stage and TV, but is hailed (and, arguably, better remembered) for his work behind the scenes as a revolutionary unionist and certifiable mover-and-shaker, earning major applause for his equally inspiring work and steadfast dedication to black actors everywhere by opening doors where no doors were before.
Today’s drabble, “Elephant Trial,” was inspired by Edgar Rice Burroughs, the Tarzan television episode, and the true trial of Mary the Elephant. For details on her trial and execution, visit
“Tarzan,” said the tribal chieftain,”Jai’s elephant is accused of killing a villager. He must stand trial.”
“Who, the boy or the elephant?”
“People don’t try elephants.”
“They convicted an elephant for murder in Tennessee in 1916. Her name was Mary. They hung her.”
“Something that happened in another country 70 years ago doesn’t justify like behavior today. If you have this trial, who’ll carry out the sentence?”
“That’s the tricky part, Tarzan. It’s sort of like the mice belling the cat. Everyone thinks it’s a good idea, but no one wants to be the one who does it.
September 20: On this day in 1931, the last Tarzan Sunday page by Rex Maxon and R. W. Palmer arrived in the morning paper. The story, “The Perils of Bob and Mary Trevor” had run for 28 weeks. It was the first story line in the Sunday Funnies. The next week, Hal Foster took over the artwork. Maxon continued to draw the Tarzan dailies, but he never returned to the Sunday pages with the Lord of the Jungle.
The entire run may be read in its entirety at:
"Vacation" is today’s Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired drabble.
Mary Trevor said, “I’m happy to be back on board our ship. Africa was terrifying. Thank goodness, Tarzan saved us from the lions. The man is so handsome.”
“That’s true,” said Bob Trevor. “I thought we’d get to try the local cuisine before we left.”
“Being lunch for cannibals isn’t a three star experience.”
“Mary, Tarzan saved us then, too, and then he stopped that gorilla from carrying you off.”
“Yes, Bob, the beast was strong and powerful and so was Tarzan. I promise I was frightened they entire time.”
“Don’t swoon and don’t say we never do anything exciting.”
September 23: On this day in 1966, the third episode of “Tarzan” starring Ron Ely aired in the United States. The episode titled “Leopard on the Loose” was written by Oliver Crawford and directed by Paul Stanley. Oliver Crawford wrote screenplays for 1952’s “Terry and the Pirates,” “Rawhide,” “The Aquanauts,” “Perry Mason,” “ The Outer Liimits,” “Gilligan’s Island,” “Voyage to the Botton of the Sea,” “Kojak, the Night Stalker,” “The Six Million Dollar Man,” and “The Bionic Woman.”
He authored the story “The Cloud Minders for “Star Trek, the original series and is credited with the teleplays for two other episodes, “Let That Be Your Battlefield” and “The Galileo Seven."
Meanwhile, back where the leopard is on the loose, actually the leopard is Jai’s pet and is stolen by a trading post worker who intends to sell it for some quick cash. Things go badly for the worker, the leopard escapes and Tarzan must intercede and put things right.
The drabble today is “Spot On,” and it was inspired by Edgar Rice Burroughs and that episode.
“Tarzan, there’s a leopard loose and the villagers are frightened.”
“Has it hurt anyone?”
“Not yet, but it’s only a matter of time.”
Jai ran to Tarzan. “You can’t kill the leopard. He’s one of my pets.”
“Jai,” said Tarzan. “You have too many pets. You’ve got parrots and elephants, wild dogs and antelopes, and even, monkeys and snakes.”
“And they all miss my leopard.”
“I won’t kill him. Any idea where he is?”
“The village chief said, “Some trappers spotted him near the river.”
“I doubt that, the leopard was already spotted. They’re born that way. Where is he?”
September 24: On this day in 1942, the article “Wanted 1,000 Men,” written by Edgar Rice Burroughs was published by the Honolulu Advertiser. Burroughs, the oldest war correspondent during WW2, frequently wrote patriotic articles that appeared in Hawaiian newspapers and some were published on the mainland.
The article may be read in its entirety at:
The 100 word drabble for today, “Volunteer,” was written by Edgar Rice Burroughs. It’s an excerpt from that article. BMTC is the acronym for Businessmen’s Military Training Corps.
“We mustn’t think that the Japanese have given up on the invasion and occupation of Hawaii.
We can do what the Army wants us to do to help.
And the BMTC wants 1,000 more men. It wants you if you’re a male citizen, dry behind the ears, and not more than one foot in the grave. Army officers and non-commissioned officers permanently assigned to the BMTC will assist in your training.
The BMTC contain men from every walk of life -- laborers, bankers, clerks, executives, salesmen, professional men.
Honolulu needs you. It may need you damn bad some cloudy morning.”
September 25: On this day in 2012, the Louisville Cardinal, a weekly independent newspaper published the article, “Edgar Rice Burroughs Collection: The Hidden Jungle of Ekstrom.” The article is about George McWorter, the curator of the University of Louisville Ekstrom Library’s collection of Edgar Rice Burroughs writings and memorabilia.
Sadly, George, who donated most of the collection to the library in 1976 passed away on April 25, 2020. A true gentleman. I treasure the letters I have from him.
The unnamed writer of the article is amazed at the extent of the collection, over 200,000 items. The article quotes McWorter as saying, “There will always be more adaptions of Tarzan.” True words, Tarzan is forever. Wait, that would make a good title for a new book about the eternal Tarzan. I’ll I have to pitch it ERB Inc.
The drabble for today, “Ekstrom Library,” is a 100 word excerpt from the article. The full article may be read at:
“Deep in the heart of the University of Louisville Ekstrom Library lies a hidden treasure: the world’s largest institutional collection of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ writings and memorabilia. The collection was donated by George McWhorter, the collection’s curator. McWhorter started his BuRroughs and Tarzan collection, which now includes over 200,000 items in 1936. He donated the collection to the library in 1976. It was dedicated to his mother, Nell Dismukes McWhorter.
The collection’s most outstanding feature was not its impressive number of books or items, though. It was the love and dedication McWhorter has put into the collection over the decades.”
September 26: On this day in 1940, a Dictaphone arrived in Edgar Rice Burroughs’ office. Years earlier, Burroughs had used an Ediphone, but after finishing “The Moon Maid,” on the devise he abandoned it and returned to writing directly on the typewriter.
Once he began using the Dictaphone his writing pace intensified. On September 30, 1940, he noted, “Mrs. Jane Morse started typing for me today.”
When he’d used the Ediphone and his Dictaphone, his secretary, Mildred Bernard Jenson, transcribed many of ERB’s stories from the both devices.
“Speaking Engagement” is the drabble for today.
Burroughs said to his secretary, Mildred Jenson, “I really like the Dictaphone. It doesn’t hurt my eyes. I just make some notes and I can speak two or three chapters in an hour.”
“Sir, it takes me longer than that to type them up and you spend several hours editing the result.”
“Yes, but I can dictate and edit whenever I choose to. It frees up a lot of time. Besides, the Dictaphone doesn’t get sick, it doesn’t take days off, and it doesn’t get paid overtime.”
“How is it at fetching coffee and reminding you to take your medications?”
September 27: On this day in 1940, Edgar Rice Burroughs began writing “Black Pirates of Barsoom,” which would be published in the June 1941 issue of “Amazing Stories” and ultimately become part two of “Llana of Gathol,” - published by ERB Inc. on March 26, 1948 – the last Barsoom novel published during ERB’s lifetime.
J. Allen St. John drew the cover for Amazing Stories along with two interior illustrations.
The first edition had a print run of 9,225 copies and an unknown number of those copies were destroyed in the ERB Inc. warehouse fire – so who knows how many copies there actually are. The Burroughs first edition is the only stand-alone hardcover edition of the book listed by Robert B. Zeuschner in “Edgar Rice Burroughs The Bibliography.” The Science Fiction Book Club published the novel in hardcover in combination with “John Carter of Mars” in 1977 and in 2007. Zeuschner lists over 20 paperback editions of “Llana,” published by Ballantine / Del Rey over the years.
Llana of Gathol publishing details and several cover illustrations are available at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag7/0738.html
“Completist” is the drabble for today and it’s inspired by Edgar Rice Burroughs and my old friend and Edgar Rice Burroughs Amateur Press Association founder, John Guidry.
Pat inspected John’s “Wall of Edgar Rice Burroughs. “John, you’ve an entire shelf filled with copies of “Llana of Gathol.”
“Yes, I do, and every copy’s a different edition. I have two copies of the first edition, one with the warehouse fire notice and one without.”
“John, these Ballantine editions look the same.”
“They aren’t. In Ballantine editions eleven through fifteen, the date was changed every year.”
“The smallest change is enough. Every edition’s a new edition.”
“John, that’s insane. Do you buy another copy of every book you like every time it’s published?”
“Of course, doesn’t everyone?”
September 28: On this day in 1918, A. C. McClurg published the first edition of “Gods of Mars, the second book in the original Barsoomian trilogy. The 348 page book had a print run of 10,000 copies and a cover by Frank E. Schoonover. McClurg reprinted the book in 1919. The McClurg reprint is clearly dated 1919 and is easily distinguished from the first edition. Robert B. Zeuschner lists 66 different American editions of the book in “Edgar Rice Burroughs The Bibliography.”
Details about the book and several cover illustrations are available at:
“Like A Beacon In The Night” is the drabble for today, and it was inspired by a scene in “Gods of Mars.”
John Carter, Tars Tarkas, and Thuvia, a maid of Mars hurried through convoluted passageways seeking to escape death in the Valley Dor. They encountered a man with skin paler than John Carter. He tried to stop them and Thuvia shot him dead with a radium pistol.
LIKE A BEACON IN THE NIGHT
Thuvia kicked the man. “He’s a Holy Thern. His kind did unspeakable things to me. I hate them.” She ripped a wig from his head. His bald scalp sparkled in the light of the flickering lamps.
John Carter covered his eyes. “Wow, the reflection hurts my eyes. His head looks brighter than our future.”
September 29: On this day in 1938, Ed and wife, Florence left Honolulu for Vancouver on the magnificent RMS Empress of Japan ocean liner. The ship was built in 1929 by Fairfield Shipbuilding in Scotland for Canadian Pacific Steamships. The “Empress” was of Canadian registry and was renamed the Empress of Scotland in 1942. This ship was the second of two CP vessels to be named Empress of Japan and it regularly traversed the trans-Pacific route between the west coast of Canada and the Far East until 1942.
After becoming the Empress of Scotland, she ferried soldiers successfully between the US and Europe during WW2. Following the war, she was returned to civilian duty and was sold to the Hanseatic Lines. On September 8, 1966, the ship caught fire at New York. The fire developed in the engine room and gutted five decks. Deemed beyond economic repair, she was scrapped shortly thereafter.
“True Colors” is the Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired drabble for today.
“Ed,” said Florence, boarding a steamship in Honolulu. “Are you comfortable traveling on a Japanese ship? You said war is eminent.”
“Dear, the ship is only named “The Empress of Japan.” The RMS in front of her name means ‘Royal Mail Ship.’ She’s Canadian.”
“Why a Japanese name?”
“It’s only a name. She flies the Maple Leaf and is registered in Canada.”
“Do the military ships know that?”
“Yes, Dear. Sometimes ships fly different flags as deception. When they go into battle, they fly their real flag. It’s called ‘True Colors.’"
“It’s like an actress’s true hair color?”
ONE TAKE JOHNSON
September 30: On this date in 1922, Ernest Lamont Johnson, who voiced Tarzan in the Commodore Productions radio show, was born in Stockton, California. CBS premiered the show on March 22, 1952 and aired 64 episodes of the 75 episodes that were produced. 60 of the episodes have been packaged and are readily available from several online sources. These Tarzan episodes are available for free download in ERBzine.
Johnson appeared on such radio favorites as The Adventures of the Saint, Broadway’s My Beat, The Clock, Crime Classics, Defense Attorney, Escape, The Man Called X, The Man from Homicide, The New Adventures of Nero Wolfe (one of several actors to play Archie Goodwin), Night Beat, The Silent Men, Suspense, and Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar
He had an extensive film and television career with numerous acting and directing credits. He was nominated for nine Emmy Awards and won twice. He also won five Directors Guild of America Awards, including one for “The Execution of Private Slovik.” He directed eight episodes of the original “Twilight Zone” series - including one of my favorites, “Hocus-Pocus and Frisby” starring Andy Devine.
Listen to all his Commodore Tarzan Radio Shows at:
“One Take Johnson” is the drabble for today.
“Mr. Johnson, how many television shows did you direct?”
ONE TAKE JOHNSON
“Hundreds. Sometimes two or three different shows every week.”
“How could you do so many?”
“My rule was “keep it simple.” No complicated sets, dialogue, or special effects. When I did Tarzan on radio, we created an entire continent with our voices, a little mood music, and the sound effect devices that would fit on a card table.”
“Was that all?”
“Radio was live – no retakes. I directed the same way. There’s a budget and a schedule. Don’t waste either. I told everyone, you do your job and I’ll do mine.”
See Days 1-15 at ERBzine 7159
SEPTEMBER II ILLUSTRATIONS COLLAGE
Click for full-size promo collage
Copyright 2020: Robert Allen Lupton
ALL THE ERB-RELATED FEATURES IN ERBzine.com
By ROBERT ALLEN LUPTON
Visit our thousands of other sites at:
BILL AND SUE-ON HILLMAN ECLECTIC STUDIO
ERB Text, ERB Images and Tarzan® are ©Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.- All Rights Reserved.
All Original Work ©1996-2020 by Bill Hillman and/or Contributing Authors/Owners
No part of this web site may be reproduced without permission from the respective owners.