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ERBzine 7523

The Immortal Tarzan
By Robert Allen Lupton

I read Philip Jose Farmer’s “Time’s Last Gift. Wherein Farmer presents what I call the “What goes around comes around” theory. The immortal Tarzan time traveled back to the past in Philip Jose Farmer’s “Time’s Last Gift.” Farmer presented as much of the story as he was allowed, but Lord Greystoke limited what could be told and what couldn’t. However, Farmer made extensive notes and by a fortune set of circumstances, I was given brief access to those notes by a researcher named Jackson Corrack who worked at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois.

After the events chronicled in “Time’s Last Gift,” Tarzan lived to reach the late 1800’s for the second time. He was actually numerous legendary heroes including Gilgamesh, Hercules, Ulysses, and Sampson. He was Atlas, Zeus, and Jupiter. In an interesting footnote, he fathered Mars, the god of war during this time period. He was the fire bringer, Prometheus. He was not Odin, but he was Loki. I suspect that he spent some time as a Caesar or two along the way.

He certainly wasn’t Hannibal, a maniacal leader who killed most of his elephants forcing them to march where they shouldn’t. He wasn’t Alexander the Great. He was never prone to long wars of fruitless conquest and would have had not have shared the historical Alexander’s reputed sexual orientation. He was never a pharaoh, but was the god, Seth. Seth was a troublemaker, not unlike the coyote of American Indian legend. There is no evidence that Tarzan accompanied the Native American ancestors across the land bridge from Asia, but there is no evidence that he didn’t. There is some evidence that he prepared a certain cave in Arizona as a functioning transportation chamber, but there is no proof to that allegation, other than the fact that he found it while living as John Carter, a Civil War veteran, and used it to travel to Barsoom, where he lives as the Warlord of Mars, with occasional visits back to world of his birth.

There in inconclusive evidence that Tarzan was present in what is now known as the country of Georgia around 7000 BC. This is the earliest evidence of wine making. While Tarzan would later appear as Bacchus, the god of wine, it is believed that during the time in Georgia, he was known as “tsit’eli pekhze”, roughly pronounced as sitelpez, sitelpez of the grapes. Tsit’ eli pekhze means “red feet”.

About this same time we have archeological evidence of the first creation of beer. Chemical tests of ancient pottery jars reveal that beer was produced about 7,000 years ago in what is today Iran, and was one of the first-known biological engineering tasks where the biological process of fermentation is used in a process. In Mesopotamia, the oldest evidence of beer is believed to be a 6,000-year-old Sumerian tablet depicting people drinking a beverage through reed straws from a communal bowl. We know that Tarzan was near this area within a century of so when he was inventing wine up north in Georgia. During this time he took the name shah aab ja’u or the beer king. Over the centuries his descendants moved to the area that eventually became Germany and then America. They changed the name a letter at a time, dropping the "sh" and gradually becoming known as the Anheuser family. They joined forces with another family well known for growing trees and bushes. This family grew some amazing hops and was known as the Busch family. The Anheuser Busch family still makes beer using the same principles developed by Tarzan thousands of years ago.

Tarzan wasn’t the famous King Arthur. However, he did have a significant role in the Arthurian legends. He was Merlin and he was Arthur’s grandfather. He forged the blade known as Excalibur from a meteorite. The story of this particular meteorite is told in “The Iron Star – And What It Saw on Its Journey through the Ages” by John Preston True. His last Arthurian appearance was as the Green Knight during the tale of Gwaine. Unlike the Green Knight of legend, Tarzan did not have green skin or hair. He was, however, immortal. His true name is sometimes believed to be “Bertliak” a name from old French which would roughly translate as bright sport or play. In many of Tarzan’s incarnations, he is a trickster. I suppose that one has to amuse oneself over thousands of years. It would be boring to always be hero. There are unproven claims that the Green Knight was a four-armed warrior of extreme height who went by the name ‘Tarkas Tar’ in private. While this is unproven, Abbey records from the time universally agree that the Green Knight was ‘uncommonly ugly.

Tarzan appeared briefly during the events of “The Outlaw of Torn”. He is neither the title character, nor is he the French sword master. He rides with Norman of Torn as an advisor and protector. Torn’s descendants will later be known as the House of Greystoke. This is one way that we know that Tarzan was not Norman of Torn. Knowing the genealogy of the Torn / Greystoke line, Tarzan chose not to insert himself into that lineage so few generations from his own birth. To paraphrase an old country song, “he didn’t want to be his own grandpa.”

Tarzan came to America prior to the American Revolution and settled in Virginia. He fought in the revolution under the name Francis Marion, also known as the swamp fox. After the revolution, Tarzan returned to Virginia and began using the name John Carter. After the American Civil War, Tarzan, found his way to Barsoom, and lived the adventures chronicled by Edgar Rice Burroughs.

It should be no surprise to anyone that Tarzan / John Carter was the “greatest swordsman who ever lived. After all, he was the unnamed blacksmith who created the first sword from bronze about 2500 B. C. in ancient Egypt.

When he returned to Earth, he did not always return to the same spot. During one of his many visits back to earth, he found himself in Africa and he met a young Jane Porter and probably fathered the child known as John “Jack” Clayton. He would have done this because he knew he had done so.

He remembered that old Tarzan visited young Tarzan and had fathered the child. It amused Tarzan, the trickster to do so. So Tarzan, the elder, rather than Tarzan, the younger, was the father of Korak, just he was the father of hundreds and thousands of other children. The older Tarzan fathered other children during this time frame. All of the boys are the son of Tarzan. It would have amused Tarzan to name many of the boy’s, John Clayton. It would have amused him, like a cowbird, to leave a few of them in the young Tarzan and Jane’s nest for them to raise. Burroughs left out the information about multiple sons’ of Tarzan out of his story lines because of the moral standards of the time. Burroughs also chose not to reveal the escapades of the time-traveling Tarzan and his many trysts throughout the ages.

During the time when Tarzan and Tarzan knew each other, Tarzan told Tarzan about Opar. After all, he’d helped build it. He told young Tarzan about Jane, about his heritage as the Earl of Greystoke, and about other key events that would happen to him in the future. This gave the young Tarzan an interesting viewpoint about his trials and tribulations. He knew he would survive them, however unpleasant they might be at the time.

He shortly returned from Barsoom to earth where he became Elvis Presley, as detailed by Nigel Cox in the novel “Tarzan Presley”. If you missed the novel you can pick up a copy on Amazon for $1500.00. (How is that even possible?) “Following this to its logical conclusion, Tarzan was Michael Jackson’s father-in-law. Tarzan kept a monkey, Nkima, and may have given Michael Jackson the monkey named “Bubbles”. There is no significance attached to the name “Bubbles” and there is no DNA evidence that proves or disproves whether Nkima is Bubbles’ grandfather or great-grandfather.

The descendants of the many, or the few, Koraks have not come forward to be identified. One of the Koraks is believed to have settled in Romania and take the name Weissmuller. Another, born as Gordon Werschkul moved to California and assumed the family name Scott.

After the Presley years, John Guidry claimed that Tarzan lived New Orleans in the early 1970s and was known as ‘Bubba of the Ghetto.” John really liked the Presley song. If I hadn’t known John at the time, I would seriously have questioned his assertion. No one is sure where Tarzan went after that, although rumors of Tarzan playing world cup soccer do persist. There is also one world class ultra-marathoner that has piercing gray eyes. There may or may not be more children, but he doesn’t name them Korak anymore.

Meet Robert Allen Lupton
    Robert Allen Lupton is retired and is a runner, writer and commercial hot air balloon pilot. Robert runs and writes every day, but not necessarily in that order. More than seventy of his short stories have been published in several anthologies including the NYT best seller, “Chicken Soup For the Soul – Running For Good”, and online at,,,,, and Over 1650 drabbles based on the worlds of Edgar Rice Burroughs and several articles are available online at His novel, Foxborn, was published in April 2017 and the sequel, Dragonborn, in June 2018. His collection of running themed horror, science fiction, and adventure stories, Running Into Trouble, was published in October 2017. His annotated edition of John Monro’s 1897 novel, A Trip To Venus, was released in September 2018. His stories have received five honorable mention awards from “Writers of the Future.”

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