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Volume 7381a

ERB 100-Word Drabbles
MARCH IIIa Edition :: Days 17-31
See Days 1-16 at ERBzine 7381
by Robert Allen Lupton

With Collations, Web Page Layout and ERBzine Illustrations and References by Bill Hillman

March 17:
On this day in 1967, the episode, “The Perils of Charity Jones Part II," an episode of the Ron Ely Tarzan television series, was broadcast for the first time. The role of Charity Jones, a missionary, was played four in four episodes by Julie Harris. The woman, a star of stage and screen, received several award nominations during her career and won five Tony Award winner, a Grammy and an Emmy.
    Jai helps Charity Jones deliver an organ to a friendly tribe, but the two are captured by hostile natives. After escaping, Jai discovers a supply of guns and hides them. A bad of cutthroats chase Charity and Jai wanted the hidden guns.
    The two episodes were combined and released internationally as a film under many different titles including, “Tarzan En Nirobi” (French – “Tarzan in Nirobi”), “Tarzan El Trafficanti D’Armi” (Italian – “Tarzan and the Arms Dealers), “Tarzan Og Flodpiraterne,” (Danish – “Tarzan and the River Pirates”),“Tarzan Est En Difficulte” (French – Tarzan is in Trouble”), and ”Tarzan Och Vapensmugglarna” (Swedish – “Tarzan and the Gun Smugglers”). There may be more.
    Today’s drabble, “Cloak of Piety,” was inspired by that episode, which in turn was inspired by the Tarzan novels of Edgar Rice Burroughs.


Tarzan said, “I just saved you from the natives who wanted to kill you both for delivering an organ for a local church.”

Charity Jones, the missionary said, “Yes, they didn’t like the music that I played, everyone’s a critic.”
“And now, the two of you are being chased by renegades who claim that you and Jai took their weapons.”
“Yes, we did.”
“And you didn’t think that would make them angry.”
“Not angry enough to kill us, Tarzan.”
“Charity, theft is theft, no matter how many of layers of piety disguise it.”
“Possibly, I’ll have to pray about it.”

March 18:
On this date in 1945, the Burne Hogarth Tarzan Sunday comic strip began the story, “Tarzan and the Goru-Bongara Monster.” It ran for 17 Sundays. It is available in two reprintings of the Hogarth Tarzan Sundays, volume 14 or “Tarzan in Color” and more recently in the Titan book, “Tarzan Vrs. The Nazis.” Both books are regularly available from EBAY an Amazon at reasonable prices.
    Goru-Bongara Monster is a great name for an evil creature hiding in the woods. “If you don’t eat your yams, young man, the Goru-Bongara monster will eat you!"
In the case of this story it might be true. Tarzan encounters a tribe of pygmies who plan to sacrifice the apeman to the Goru-Bongara. The pygmies hold an exotic woman, “Lurulia,” prisoner and plan to marry her to the monster. It would have been a strange wedding night, because Goru-Bongara is a tyrannosaurus.
The pygmies lose control over the monster and destroys their village and in the best Godzilla tradition, tries to eat everyone. Tarzan saves the day.
    The drabble for today, “You Better Not Cry,” was inspired by that story, based on the Tarzan books by Edgar Rice Burroughs and mother’s everywhere.


The two pygmy children said, “Mother, yams and zebra meat taste nasty.”
“Be grateful. It you don’t finish your dinner, you know what will happen.”
The two children rolled their eyes and chanted.
“You better watch out
You better not cry
You better not pout
I'm telling you why
Goru-Bongara is sneaking around
He's hungry tonight
You better not fight
He's gonna find out who's naughty or nice
Goru-Bongara is coming around.
He sees you when you're sleeping
And he knows when you're awake
He knows if you've been bad or good
And will eat you like an oat cake!”

March 19:
On this day in 1950, Edgar Rice Burroughs passed away quietly after eating breakfast in bed. He had the newspaper comics in his lap. Somewhere warriors weep, Tharks scream at the moons hurtling overhead, and if you listen closely, you can hear the apes pound their drums as they dance the dirge of death beneath the dum dum tree.
As Shakespeare wrote in Hamlet, “He was a man, take him for all in all, I shall not look upon his like again.”
Today’s 100 word drabble combines a series of quotes by Edgar Rice Burroughs about life and living.


“What difference does it make what you like and what you don’t like? You’re here for but an instant, and you mustn’t take yourself too seriously. I’ve ever been prone to seek adventure and to investigate and experiment where wiser men would have left well enough alone. If I had followed my better judgement always, my life would have been a dull one, but life would be very miserable indeed were I to spend it in terror of the thing that hasn’t yet happened.
And yet I feel that I cannot go on living forever. Death, only renders hope futile.”

March 20:
On this day in1927, the silent film, “Tarzan and the Golden Lion,” was released. Edgar Rice Burroughs convinced actor, James Pierce, to turn down a role in the film “Wings,” to play Tarzan. Gary Cooper took the small role of Cadet White in “Wings,” a picture that won a Best Picture Academy Award. The role launched both his career and an affair with actress Clara Bow.
    Boris Karloff played “Owaza,” a renegade witch doctor in his film debut. Pierce, on the other hand, met his future wife, Joan Burroughs, during the filming of “Golden Lion. They later married, starred in the Tarzan radio show, and lived happily ever after.
    A photoplay reissue of the book, “Tarzan and the Golden Lion,” was published as a movie tie-in, with James Pierce on the cover.
    The drabble for today, “Magic Potion” was inspired by the film, the actor, Boris Karloff, and of course, Tarzan of the Apes, star of books, stage, and screen – created by Edgar Rice Burroughs.


Tarzan found the evil witch doctor, Owaza’s hidden campsite. He and his followers were hiding in a dank cave. Owaza tended a black caldron suspended over a fire.

Tarzan said, “Smell’s good. Did you cook enough for everyone?”
“Not lunch. Magic potion. The villagers laughed at me. I’ll make them sorry. One taste will turn all those who don’t follow me into mindless creatures forced to do my bidding.”

Tarzan stepped back. “Is it finished?”
Owaza danced around the caldron. “No, this is the first step. It must be filtered and distilled. This is only the mash, the monster mash.”

March 21:
On this day in 1914, All-Story Weekly published the “The Mad King.” The story was originally called “The Mad King of Lutha,” and a reproduction of the first page of the contract between ERB and Munsey is appended with this article. Burroughs was paid $880.00 for the story – about $23, 250.00 in today’s money.
    The cover was by Fred W. Small, one of my favorite pulp illustrators.
    Details about the book, its editions, and numerous covers are located at:
    The novel always reminded me of “A Prisoner of Zenda,” written by Anthony Hope in 1894, but the story is all Burroughs. An American is tossed into a romantic adventure ( It even says ‘Fighting Romance’ on the cover), replete with mistaken identity, swordplay, a princess to rescue, a crumbling nation, evil conspirators, and honorable countrymen. Trade the country of Lutha for Barsoom and the plot elements are more familiar. Nevertheless, one of my favorite Burroughs’s stories.
The drabble for today is “Perspective,” and it was inspired by “The Mad King.”


Peter of Blentz, the evil regent in the country of Lutha, had locked King Leopold in a cell and ruled in his stead.
Peter showed Barney Custer, the king’s doppelganger from Beatrice, Nebraska, the locked door. “The King is in there. You may impersonate the king and join me, or you may join him in his cell. I warn you, on one side of this door is a crazy man.”

Barney looked through the small window. “Indeed, but I suspect that who is crazy and who is not is likely a matter of who is the keeper of the keys.”

March 22:
On this day in 1917, actress Virginia Grey was born in Edendale California. Gloria Swanson babysat her when she was a child. Her first role was at age 10 when she played Little Eva in the 1927 silent film, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.”
    Virginia played the role of Connie Beach, a singer, in “Tarzan’s New York Adventure.” She appeared with Johnny Weissmuller again in 1948’s Jungle Jim, playing Dr. Hilary parker. During her career she appeared in over 100 films including. “Tammy Tell Me True,” “Another Thin Man,” “Sweet Rosie O’Grady,” ”Mr. and Mrs. North,” “The Rose Canteen,” “Flower Drum Song,” “Airport,” and “Stage Door Canteen.”
    In 1951, Grey portrayed Blanche Bickerson on the syndicated comedy TV series, “The Bickersons” and regularly appeared on television during the 50s and 60s.
    Today’s drabble, “Paid Performance,” is inspired by Virginia Grey and "Tarzan’s New York Adventure," a film based on the writings of Edgar Rice Burroughs. Two of the quotes in today’s drabble are real.


“Welcome, Virginia. Remember, everything is about Tarzan.”
“I consider myself a professional who acts – not to express my soul or elevate the cinema, but to entertain and get paid for it.”
“The first time the chimp gets it right is the take we use, so you have to be perfect every single time.”
“I’ll hit my spots, remember my lines, and do my job. This isn’t the first time I’ve worked with a monkey.”
“I don’t understand.”
“The monkey, unlike most actors, knows that he’s working for peanuts. He’ll do his best. Hollywood men are a bunch of phony balonies!”

March 23
: On this day in 1975, an episode of the Russ Manning written and illustrated Tarzan Sunday Comic page appeared. The story line was “Korak and the Amazon of the Mammoth/ Elephants’ Graveyard.”  The story ran from February 16, 1975 to August 10, 1975. The reason this day is special is actually an unfortunate truth. The story features hot air balloons as an important part of the storyline with the same lack of accuracy prevalent in novels, comics, movies, and television. The realities of how balloons work are universally ignored in fiction. In the story, a hot air balloon is tied down and kept inflated all night long with the burner set on low. It doesn’t work like that. The balloon pictured has two fuel tanks – let’s say 15 gallons each. The balloon in question had already completed a long flight before landing and being put on hold for the night. 15 gallons of fuel won’t keep a hot air balloon inflated from dark until dawn. Korak and the pilot take off with one tank of propane to chase another balloon and they’re soon caught in a thunderstorm. It’s a brave pilot that would launch with only one tank of fuel and face an impending storm. Not me!
    Of course, the balloon crashes, but the pilot and the Korak survive. The FAA would love to visit with the PIC (Pilot in Command.)
    Read the story at:
Several factors influence flight time in a hot air balloon. The primary ones are weight, ambient temperature, altitude, and age of the balloon. Older fabric becomes porous and requires more fuel. In the Africa jungle, one can assume it’s warm. Realistically, two people of average weight in a relatively new sport balloon on a warm day could realistically expect to remain safely airborne an hour tops with 15 gallons of fuel – not counting the thunderstorm.
    The drabble for today is “Pilot In Command,” and it was inspired by the way hot air balloons work. It does ignore the possibility of inflating the envelope with what we used to call a flap inflation, a miserable process and one I hope to never repeat.


Korak and the pilot raced to the balloon. It was draped over the trees and bushes. Korak said, “Can we re-inflate this and chase that other balloon?”

“We don’t have a fan to open the envelope. If I try to put hot air in an uninflated envelope, I’ll burn it up.”
“Can we build a fire and fill it with smoke?”
“Maybe, but there’s only one tank of fuel. I have a rule. Never start the day without full tanks.”
“This is an emergency!”
“No sir. Problems on the ground are inconvenient. Problems a thousand feet in the air – those are emergencies!”

March 24:
On this day in 1967, the Ron Ely Tarzan television episode, “The Circus” was broadcast. The episode featured Jack Elam as Bellak and Sally Kellerman as Ilona, the circus owners.
Tarzan leaves Jai with Dutch Jenson (Chips Rafferty) while he pursues a dangerous criminal. Jai and Dutch join a small circus, but they become concerned about a man who keeps his face hidden. Could it be that the masked man is the criminal, they’ll need Tarzan’s help to find out.
    Sally Clare Kellerman’s acting career spanned 60 years. She received an Oscar nomination for her role as Major Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan in the 1970 film, “M*A*S*H.” She appeared in countless television series including “The Twilight Zone,” “The Outer Limits,” and “Star Trek.” Her resume is amazing.
    The drabble for today, “No Easy Days,” is a M*A*S*H*U*P of quotations from Sally Kellerman.


“I’ve always had a checkered career. I was always playing the hard-bitter drunk. It hasn’t been smooth or delightful every minute and there were lean years and rough years, but it’s been exciting and good and I’m thrilled to be an actress and a singer and to have spent my live this way. I wasn’t a businesswoman, so I didn’t know how to build a career. I work out and I eat everything I get my hands on.

I recorded two albums. I got more bands and went on the road and turned down more movies than you would believe.”

March 25:
On this day in 1922, Argosy All-Story Weekly published the 6th of seven installments of “The Chessmen of Mars,” the fifth book in the Barsoom series. The cover of the magazine was drawn by Fred W. Small, and illustrated the first of six installments of the novel, “South of Fifty-Three,” by Jack Bechdolt. A Max Brand novel, “Gun Gentlemen” concluded in this issue.
Jack Bechdolt (John Earnest Bechdolt) worked for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer until he moved to New York and worked for Munsey Magazines. He left a year later and “Argosy All-Story Weekly’ published his first novel, “The Torch,” in 1920. The man was quite prolific, writing hundreds of short stories and several novels. “South of Fifty-Three,” an Alaskan Adventure, was published in book form by Altus Press in 2016 – using the original cover illustration by Fred W. Small.
    Meanwhile, back on Barsoom, Tara of Helium and the Ghek, the Kaldane, have found their way to the city of Manator, where she finds herself a prize in a game of Jetan – life size with every move contested to the death.
    The drabble for today, “You’ve Got Some Explaining To Do,” was inspired by the novel, The Chessmen of Mars.”


Gahan of Gathol prepared to play Jetan for his life and for the life of Tara of Helium.
“Tara, you ran away, got lost, were captured by bodiless creatures with great mental powers and now, if I don’t win this game, I’ll die and you’ll become a slave bride. What were you thinking?”
“I thought I’d step out for fresh air.”
“That’s not a very good answer.”
“I thought I would get away with my behavior and not have to explain myself.”
“Running away is not normal.”
“I tried normal - worst three minutes of my life. Please fight well.”

March 26
: On this day in 1938, Argosy published the second installment of “The Red Star of Tarzan,” the novel that would be published in book form as “Tarzan and the Forbidden City.”
The Emmett Watson illustration for the cover was for part one of the story, “You’re In The Circus Now,” written by Richard Wormser. One of the other novels serialized in the issue was “A Ship of the Line,” by C. S. Forester. The novel featured a character named Horatio Hornblower. (Hornblower made the cover on February 26, 1938.)
    When “Red Star” appeared in 1938, some fans believed that Burroughs wasn’t the author. Later that year when ERB Inc. published the first edition of the story as “Tarzan and the Forbidden City,” there were significant differences between the Argosy version and the first edition.
    The original version of this story was produced as a radio serial drama entitled "Tarzan and the Diamond of Asher." Burroughs put the story in prose form and it was accepted by the editor of Argosy and published with considerable rewriting by some well-meaning editor as "The Red Star of Tarzan." ERB Inc. published it in book form in 1938 as originally written as “Tarzan and the Forbidden City.”
    For more about the novel and its print and radio incarnations:
    The drabble for today, “Red Star,” is from the novel. The Ngombo witch doctor is hired to place a spell on Tarzan, but the witch doctor stares into a fire and sees Tarzan. He becomes afraid and rather than casting a spell, made a prophecy.


“A spell and power greater than mine holds the white devil. He was big in the smoke," the witch-doctor said, "and red was the danger star behind him. The black of death was there. His legs spanned three worlds we’ll never see. In the belly of a bird he will fly, into the earth he will worm and fish will call him brother in a green deep."

"The red star will lead him to a world dead and forgotten. He’ll rule a kingdom yet unborn. He’ll hold the Father of Diamonds and know that his smallest peril is the deadliest."

March 27:
On this day in 1933, the Tarzan daily Comic strip began the story, “Tarzan the Ape-Man, written and drawn by the team of Rex Maxon and R. W. Palmer. It ran for 138 days and concluded on September 2, 1933. The story was reprinted by “House of Greystoke” as Illustrated Tarzan Book Number 13, which is somewhat confusing to me. According to my records, House of Greystoke published Illustrated Tarzan Books numbered 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 13, 20 and 23.
    The daily comic more or less follows the script of the film, “Tarzan the Ape-Man,” which featured Johnny Weissmuller and Maureen O’Sullivan. I have to admit that Tarzan bears a decent resemblance to Weissmuller and Jane to O’Sullivan, except that Jane is called Jean in the daily comic. One additional problem I had was that Tarzan is sometimes dressed in a loincloth, but sometimes he’s clad in an over the shoulder leopard skin, with costume changes for no apparent reason.
    All 138 episodes may be read online at:
    Today’s drabble, “Jungle Lunch,” is based on that daily comic strip, which was adapted from the Tarzan film, which was in turn adapted from the novel, “Tarzan of the Apes.” I expect apologies to the band, “Dire Straits,” are in order.


Jane was hungry and she watched Cheeta groom another monkey. Cheeta removed something from the monkey’s back and dipped it into honey dripping from a hive. Cheeta chewed, smiled, jumped up and down, and rolled over.

Jane’s stomach growled. She laughed. “I’ll have what he’s having.”
Tarzan carefully groomed three apes and placed small berry-like items on a leaf. He filled another leaf with honey. He dipped a berry in the honey, ate it, and presented the two leaves to Jane.

The berries moved and Jane gasped.
“It’s good. We get the honey for nothing and the ticks are free.”

March 28:
On his day in 1964, the Tarzan Daily newspaper comic story, “Tarzan and the Treasure Chest,” concluded after running for 88 days. The story was written and illustrated by John Celardo, who began illustrating the Tarzan dailies on January 18, 1954 (Tarzan and the Ghost) and continued with the strip until December 9, 1967 (Jungle Girl: Queen of the Gorillas). That’s a little over 4000 daily comic illustrations.
    “Tarzan and the Treasure Chest” was topical for the times, including the Peace Corps, oil exploration, and helicopters. Of course, the new is intermixed with the old – there are indigenous tribes, battles with gorillas, fights with hyenas, riding on a giraffe, nomadic tribesmen armed with machine guns, and an abandoned WWII Panzer tank complete with a chest of jewels and 20 year old functional weapons. Tarzan defeats the nomads, crosses the desert with the treasure chest, and finds its rightful owner, the beautiful Safia, at an Oasis.
    Read all 88 installments at:
One of the more interesting inclusions is that the chief of an indigenous tribe is named “Wambi,” the same as the lead character in a series of Fiction House comic books from the 40s and 50s – “Wambi, Jungle Boy.” Celardo worked for Fiction House during that time and had illustrated some “Jungle Comics” stories.
    The drabble for today is “Relative Value,” inspired by the John Celardo story, inspired in turn, by the Tarzan novels of Edgar Rice Burroughs.


Safia cried when Tarzan returned the chest filled with her family’s jewels which had been stolen during WWII. “Oh, Tarzan, how did you find them?”

“I saved a giraffe from hyenas and rode the giraffe into the desert. I was attacked by armed nomads, I took refuge in an old Panzer tank. Its machine guns worked and I shot the nomads, I took one’s clothing and his camel. I rode for three days across the burning sands."

“Thank you for returning my inheritance.”
“You’re welcome. Jewels have no value in the desert. A man cannot eat rubies, nor drink diamonds.”

March 29:
On this day in 1919, A. C. McClurg published the first edition of “Jungle Tales of Tarzan.” The collection of twelve short stories by Edgar Rice Burroughs was approximately 60,000 words in length and had a first edition print run of 63,000 copies. J. Allen St. John drew the cover and twelve interior illustrations. The twelve stories were originally published by Blue Book Magazine in monthly installments form September 1916 through August 1917.
    Robert B Zeuschneer lists 48 editions in “Edgar Rice Burroughs The Bibliography.” Joe Lukes’ “Edgar Rice Burroughs Bibliography of “Pre-war” Grosset and Dunlap Editions” identifies 32 separate Grosset and Dunlap variants and Jimmie C. Goodwin lists twenty-two paperback variants in his “Edgar Rice Burroughs The Descriptive Bibliography of the Ace and Ballantine/Del Rey Paperback Books.
    For publishing details visit
    The drabble for today is called “Rude Behavior,” and it’s inspired by the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs and most recently by rude people everywhere. Hopefully, the reader will find it to be of some passing interest. A quotation from the Irish poet, Brendan Behen, might be fitting here, “Critics are like eunuchs in a harem; they know how it’s done, they’ve seen it done every day, but they’re unable to do it themselves.


Lord Greystoke attended Parliament for the first time and was appalled. He spoke to a neighboring Lord. “This is worse than a stampede. Everyone shouts and screams at the speaker, who yells even louder to be heard above them.”

The Lord said, “We call their behavior, ‘tooting the butt-trumpet.' People having no solution of their own, call their opponents names. It’s bad manners and poor form, the equivalent of passing gas during a silent prayer.”

“The speaker should stop speaking and insist they quiet down?”
“Does the farmer stop tilling the soil when his horse breaks wind? I think not.”

March 30:
On this day in 1914, the Chicago Daily Tribune published “The Climate and the View,” a poem by Edgar Rice Burroughs, using his Normal Bean pseudonym. The poem doesn’t praise Chicago’s climate or the view of Lake Michigan – instead it is a humorous criticism of Southern California for being a den of iniquity where the locals bilk the visitors while simultaneously touting the beautiful climate and the lovely view.
    I don’t agree with the sentiments in the poem, I like Southern California, and I only present the information here. Interestingly enough, Burroughs clearly changed his opinion because he moved his family to Southern California only five years later in 1919.
    The entire poem and other Edgar Rice Burroughs poetry may be read at:
The 121 word drabble for today is “It Never Rains In Southern California,” and it was written by Edgar Rice Burroughs in 1914. I couldn’t bring myself to edit the poem from 121 words to 100. In the poem, ERB uses the adverb, ‘amain,’ which is defined as an archaic word meaning with full force or full speed, suddenly or hastily.


When one first comes to southern Cal
And gloms the cloudless blue,
One swallows nearly everything
While listening to the natives sing
The Climate and the View.

And when one’s robbed and bilked and bled
And flimflammed through and through,
The native tries to ease the pain
By bleating loudly and amain
Of Climate and the View.

The lean and hungry realty man
Adheres to one like glue.
He has not eaten for a year,
Yet still one hears him bravely cheer
The Climate and the View.

And when one comes to leave for home,
And bids the south adieu.
One must admit, would one be fair,
That Sunny Southern Cal is there
With Climate and with View.*
*And nothing else.

March 31:
On this day in 1917, All-Story Magazine published part one of the four installments of “The Cave Man,” which chronicled the continuing adventures of Waldo Emerson Smith-Jones and Nadara. “The Cave Man” was published in book form as the second half of “The Cave Girl.”
    Several illustrations, publishing history, and the complete manuscript are available at:
The cover of the issue of All-Story Weekly was by Fred W. Small. It’s one of my favorites. Other stories included in the issue were “Convalescence” by Frederick Faust, “Crow’s Nest – Black Feathers” by Herman Howard Matteson, and ‘Ocean-Bred” by the prolific, but unfortunately named Captain Dingle.
    The Burroughs story should not be confused with the 1926 film, “The Caveman,” which featured Matt Moore and Marie Prevost, nor the 1981 film “Caveman” with Ringo Starr, Dennis Quaid, and Shelly Long.
    The drabble for today is “More Vicious Than The Male,” and it was inspired by “The Cave Man,” and by women shoppers everywhere on any Black Friday. In the 1910s, Jordan Marsh was a large Bostonian department store.


Mrs. Smith-Jones was pleased to discover that the cave girl, Nadara, was the daughter of the Countess of Crecy, but she didn’t understand how her son Waldo survived in primitive conditions and became a mighty barbarian warrior. He’d fought monsters, cavemen, and pirates for the woman he loved.

Waldo’s father said, “Son, you were the original ninety-seven pound weakling. From where came the will to transform yourself?”

“Father, look to my mother, your wife. She forced me to shop with her at Jordan Marsh, the department store, on sale days. Watching her battle all the other shoppers was inspiration enough.”


See Days 1-16 at ERBzine 7381


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