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Volume 7660a

ERB 100-Word Drabbles
JANUARY V Edition :: Days 16-31
by Robert Allen Lupton
See Days 1 - 15 at ERBzine 7660

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

January 16:
On this day in 1944, Edgar Rice Burroughs, the world’s oldest war correspondent, wrote a letter home to his grandson, First Lieutenant Michael Pierce of the Bel-Air Rangers in California.
The short biography that follows is attributed to Part Four of the Joan Burroughs Pierce biography, “Into the 50s and the Final Years,” which appears at:
    Mike, the son of James Pierce and Joan Burroughs Pierce, Mike went to Harvard Military Academy in Studio City where he was graduated with honors. He attend Arizona State University, Colorado College and the Naval Aviation program at Pensacola, Florida.  He played on the football and basketball teams and was a champion swimmer and diver. He married Jan Watts of Whittier, California after graduation and they had a son, James Christian Pierce, on August 26, 1961, followed by two daughters: Brooke and Courtney. Mike had often flown with his father in the aircraft that Jim had used for his real estate dealings and obviously inherited his father's love of flying as he became a decorated Marine pilot in Viet Nam.
    You can read the entire letter and several more at:
    The 100 drabble for today, “Be Prepared,” was taken from Burroughs’s letter to his grandson.


As a Ranger, you’d have enjoyed being with me when I visited a jungle training unit.

The training is rugged. The men engage in personal combat without weapons, learning all the dirty fighting tricks ever devised.

I hope, Mike, you’ll never have to fight in a war; but I also hope you’ll get all the military training you can and your generation will insist on compulsory military training.

If we train our millions and maintain a large Navy and Army, no nation will dare make war unless we’re on its side. So there won't be any war - I hope.

January 17:
On this day in 1943, the fifty-ninth installment of the John Carter of Mars Sunday comic was published. The entire series ran for seventy-three Sundays. This installment, “Into the Jungle,” featured Dejah Thoris and John Carter battling plants controlled by the Plant King. The series was written and illustrated by John Coleman Burroughs. His wife, Jane Ralston Burroughs was the model for Dejah Thoris and she illustrated most of the backgrounds in the comic. Jane also inked and lettered many of the pages.
In 1941, United Feature had agreed to the creation of a John Carter strip, hoping it would become as successful as Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon. This strip debuted on Sunday, December 7, 1941—the very day of the infamous Pearl Harbor Attack.
    You can read all seventy-three pages and an adaption of the strip into a novel by Dale Broadhurst at:
    The 100 word drabble for today, “Sap For Brains.” was inspired the January 17, 1942 installment of the Sunday comic. The man is the short video is Willard Blaine, my great uncle.


John Carter chopped off a moving branch which had grabbed Dejah Thoris. He braced himself and sliced through a questing tendril. “Dejah,” he gasped. “These trees and vines seem almost intelligent.”

“Indeed, my chieftain, they are like ants and are controlled by the Plant King, a collective brain. They’re very clever and very hungry.”

Carter guided her to safety. “Ridiculous. I’ve never heard of such a thing as smart plants.”

“John,” she said. “Intelligence is judged by the standard we use. If smarts were judged by our ability to fly like birds, we’d all grow up believing we were stupid.”

January 18: On this day in 1917, an Edgar Rice Burroughs article, “To The Home Girl,” was published in the Van Nuys News. The article is about how ‘good’ girls can and should treat the young men who have become soldiers and are soon to be in Europe fighting WW1. It’s a follow up to his article, “To The Mother.
    Read the entire article at:
    The drabble for today is “The Good Girl,” and it is 100 words written by Edgar Rice Burroughs in the article.


There are girls who meet soldiers on street corners, fools who mean no harm and do a lot of it. There are other girls, who live under the red light, and serve, unwittingly, the Kaiser.

From these two classes you can protect the boy away from his home and learning to fight for you and your home.

If a bad woman hangs a sign in her window luring men to destruction, it’s your duty to display an emblem upon your home offering these men the home life which’s the only antidote for the homesickness which drives them to evil companionship.

January 19:
On this day in 1988, President Reagan wrote a letter to George McWhorter, Editor of the Burroughs Bibliophiles, on his penultimate day in office.  Reagan thanked George for sending a copy of a letter ERB had written to his grandson, Danton Burroughs on June 10, 1944. While Reagan’s letter was on White House stationery, he didn’t identify himself as President.
    Reagan never appeared in a Tarzan film, but he starred with Laraine Day (Tarzan Finds A Son) in 1941’s “The Bad Man” and 1942’s “Mister Gardenia Jones.” He appeared with Bruce Bennett (The New Adventures of Tarzan) in 1951’s “The Last Outpost.” In 1953, he appeared with Dorothy Hart (Jane in Tarzan’s Savage Fury) in Medallion Theatre’s “A Job for Jimmy Valentine,” and later that year with Maureen O’Sullivan (Jane the Magnificent) in Lux Video Theatre’s “A Message in a Bottle.”
     In Burroughs’s letter to Danton, he said. “You have been born into the greatest nation the world has ever known. Keep it strong. Put this letter away and read on June 21st 1965. You will be of age then. See if the politicians have kept your country great and strong. If they haven’t, do something about it. If I’m around, I’ll remind you.”
    Read the both letters at:
    The 100 word drabble for today, “Duty,’ was written by Ronald Reagan to George after Regan read the copy of ERB’s forty-four year old letter. The drabble contains the complete wording of the Regan letter.


Dear Mr. McWhorter,
Thanks very much for sending alone the letter you had in your collection from Edgar Rice Burroughs. And you’re right, it still has relevance today. It reminds me of the responsibility that we have to make the world a safer and better place for generations to come. He had a lucky grandson, didn’t he, to have such wisdom imparted at such an early age. I hope that, looking on, Edgar Rice Burroughs knows that this country is still going strong and the generation coming alone will keep the spirit that he conveyed so well.
Ronald Reagan

January 20:
On this day in 1923, Argosy All-Story Weekly published the final installment of “Tarzan and the Golden Lion.” Burroughs and “Tarzan and the Golden Lion” weren’t mentioned on the cover by Stockton Mulford, which illustrated the first installment of “Last Hope Ranch” by Charles Alden Seltzer, who wrote dozens of westerns for the pulps. The issue contained part two of five of the novel “Jungle Test” by Kenneth Perkins, a man who wrote adventure and western stories. Homer Eon Flint was also a contributor.
Publication details about the novel “Tarzan and the Golden Lion” in Argosy All-Story Magazine, several book editions, comics, and in the newspapers may be found at
    The drabble for today, “Lion Training, Sir,” was inspired by the thought of raising and living with a lion. The title of the drabble was inspired by a line, not a lion, in the film, “Stripes.”


La, the high priestess of Opar was rescued by Tarzan and Jad-bal-ja, his faithful lion.
“Many men capture and keep lions, but they keep them caged. Your lion runs free.”

He’s my friend not my captive.”
“How did you teach him to be your friend?”
“One doesn’t train friends, he cherishes them. I’ve learned much from Jad-bal-ja."
The lion sniffed the air and growled. He wanted to move on.
“It doesn’t matter whether you’re a lion or a springbok, when the sun comes up, it’s time to run. Never give up. The slowest lion only has to outrun one gazelle.”

January 21:
On this day in 1930, Edgar Rice Burroughs made some observations concerning Southern California, owning a yacht, traveling by rail, and drinking good alcohol. His comments and observations were noted at the time and are recorded in the Danton Burroughs Family Archive and reproduced in the Edgar Rice Burroughs: Bio Timeline 1930-1939, which was compiled by Bill Hillman at:
The drabble for today is “One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer,” and it is 100 words taken from ERB’s comments on January 21, 1930. My thanks to George Thorogood for the drabble’s title and the song.


“My profession is such that I can live anywhere; yet I choose to live in Southern California and I’m only one of a hundred and thirty million people who would like to do the same thing.

"I’m still looking at yachts, principally through the LA Times classified, which is about as near as I get to the ocean. Someday I’ll have a yacht. It may be twenty feet long and propelled with oars, but I’ll call it a yacht.

"Insofar as I am concerned, there’re only three drinks -- Scotch, Bourbon and beer. All of this other stuff is poison."

January 22: On this day in 1906, writer Robert E. Howard, the creator of Conan, Red Sonja, King Kull, Solomon Kane and Bran Mak Morn and several more, was born in Peaster, Texas. In his short career, he wrote hundreds of stories for the pulps, primarily for Weird Tales. He wrote of sailors, boxers, and street fighters. As his career neared its premature end, he focused on western stories. The Breckenridge Elkins’ tales are a treat.
    Howard was often compared with ERB, but his sword and sorcery tales always seemed grittier to me than ERB’s novels, his protagonists were more tarnished, and his women not as innocent.  Howard’s output was almost exclusively short stories, with some notable exceptions, while ERB’s output was primarily novels, with some exceptions. Howard earned less than $20,000 from his writings, beginning with a payment of $16.00 by Weird Tales, for his short story, “Spear and Fang,” which was published in July 1925. The story is available to read for free at the Gutenberg project:
    Howard had a phobia of aging and old age, a frequent subject in his writings, where characters were always eternally youthful and vigorous. He often spoke of a desire to die young. Howard took his own life on June 11, 1936.
    The drabble for today, “Here Comes Conan,” and it’s the opening of his story, “The Phoenix on the Sword.” I’ve always loved this passage.


"Between the years when the oceans drank Atlantis and the gleaming cities, and the years of the rise of the Sons of Aryas, there was an Age undreamed of, when shining kingdoms lay spread across the world like blue mantles beneath the stars - Nemedia, Ophir, Brythunia, Hyperborea, Zamora with its dark-haired women and towers of spider-haunted mystery, Zingara with its chivalry, and Stygia’s shadow-guarded tombs. Hither came Conan, the Cimmerian, black-haired, sullen-eyed, sword in hand, a thief, a reaver, a slayer, with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandaled feet."

January 23:
On this day in 1915, the first installment of “Sweetheart Primeval” was published by All-Story Weekly. The cover art was by P. J. Monahan.
“Sweetheart Primeval” was the sequel to “The Eternal Lover,” the further adventures of the time-crossed lovers, Nu, Son of Nu, and Victoria Custer from Beatrice, Nebraska. The two stories were combined into the book, “The Eternal Lover,” which was retitled in the 1960s as “The Eternal Savage.”
    In “Sweetheart Primeval, Victoria Custer was somehow transported into her previous stone age incarnation where she was known as Nat-ul, a beautiful tribeswoman, who once more courts and is courted by Nu, Son of Nu. Will they survive their savage world long enough to enjoy their love?
    Complete publishing details and a free electronic version of the novel are at:
    Here are two illustrations, one is the original pulp magazine cover and one is my artificial intelligence enhanced painting. I always hoped that after Victoria reawakened in the present, she’d remember her prehistoric past, train a couple of tigers, and search the world for Nu’s new incarnation, which brings us to today’s drabble, “Run With Tigers,” inspired by “Sweetheart Primeval” and my wish that Victoria found Nu and the two lived happily somewhere and somewhen.


After living in her prehistoric incarnation, the pleasures of civilization held no attraction for Victoria Custer. She was determined to find the next incarnation of her stone-age lover, Nu, son of Nu.

Her senses told her the new Nu was in Southeast Asia, a dangerous place for anyone, especially a young woman. She sailed to Siam, bought two tiger cubs, and trained them.

They encountered the King of Siam who demanded she marry him. Her tigers cowed his army while she held him at spear point. “Not so. He who would tame a tiger needs be braver than the tiger!"

January 24:
On this day in 1915, Edgar Rice Burroughs began writing the sequel to “The Mucker,” using the title of an H. H. Knibbs poem, “Out There Somewhere,” as his working title. The finished work was published as “The Return of the Mucker” by All-Story Weekly in June and July of 1916.
    Over New Years, I had the opportunity to tour a copper mine with close friends and learned that the debris created by a controlled detonation inside the mine is called ‘muck’ and the men who load the ore rich muck into the ore cars are called muckers! Of course a mucker can be many things.
The photograph attached hasn't been modified or retouched.
    You can read a tribute to Henry Herbert Knibbs at: and publishing information about The Return of the Mucker” at
    The 100 word drabble for today is from “Out There Somewhere” by H. H. Knibbs.


The mountains are all hid in mist; the valley is like amethyst;
The poplar leaves they turn and twist; oh, silver, silver green!
Out there somewhere along the sea a ship is waiting patiently,
While up the beach the bubbles slip with white afloat between.
The tide-hounds race far up the shore — the hunt is on! The breakers roar,
(Her spars are tipped with gold and o'er her deck the spray is flung);
The buoys rollick in the bay, they nod the way, they nod the way!
The hunt is up! I’m the prey! The hunter's bow is strung! "

January 25
: On this day in 2021, author Geary Gravel completed the manuscript for “John Carter of Mars: Gods of the Forgotten,” the twelfth book of the Martian series, hit the send button, and submitted it to Edgar Rice Burroughs Incorporated. One of the four books in the ‘Swords of Eternity super-arc in the Edgar Rice Burroughs Universe, the novel is meticulously researched. Burroughs’s Barsoom is flawlessly recreated and places and characters from the previous eleven books appear throughout – some in detail and some as almost hidden references. Chris Peuler’s cover is simply magnificent.
    The book is available in three formats at:
The drabble for today is “Time and Tithe Wait for No Man,” it was inspired by the title of the book, but not the wonderful story. It features my old friends from New Orleans and ERB aficionados, John and Pat.


The archbishop sat in judgement of the parishioners and John and Pat were bound in chains and forced to kneel before him.

“Pat, you haven’t be paying your tithes.”
“I’ve been in Asia volunteering as a church missionary without any payment. I understood the church s my donated labor to be my tithe.”

“Pat, I honor you for your service. John, you haven’t been paying your tithes. Were you also a missionary?”

John shrugged, “No, I’ve been binge watching cartoons and I forgot.”
“Forgot, did you? I can help. Perhaps a few days on the rack will help you remember.”

January 26:
On this day in 1922, episode number nine of the movie serial, “The Adventures of Tarzan.” was first released. It was titled “Fangs of the Lion,” and of course, starred Elmo Lincoln, Louise Lorraine, and Lillian Worth. Future. Tarzan Frank Merrill played an Arab guard.
    The original 15 chapter version isn’t available, but an edited ten chapter version from 1928 is available on DVD. The first thirteen chapters survive in 16mm film at the Niles Essanay Silent Film Archive. The UCLA Film and Television Archive has restored chapter 11: "The Hidden Foe". There are unsubstantiated claims that the UCLA archive also has complete prints of the film and 1928 re-release.
    The drabble for today, “Name of the Lion,” was inspired by the chapter title, The Fangs of the Lion.”


Jane said, “Tarzan, you say numa. The natives say simba. Which is correct?”
“My mother, Kala, taught me to say numa. Simba is lion in Swahili.
“I understand. In America our lions have many names; mountain lions, cougars, pumas, panthers, painters, red tigers, catamounts. I’m pretty sure we got about forty different names for lions.”

Tarzan grunted. “There’s no reason to have so many names. Some tribes have many names for rain. That’s also silly. No matter what name you call it, rain is wet and no matter what you name a lion, he won’t come when you call him.”

January 27:
On this day in 1943, the world’s oldest war correspondent, Edgar Rice Burroughs was in New Caledonia, an island and French territory located south of Vanuatu and east of Australia. According to his journal, “Diary of a Confused Old Man”, which is reproduced at:, ERB spent the day with a tank company on military exercises. Among other things, ERB was pleased that he was too old to be drafted and wasn’t required to help dig slit trenches.
 He also made the observation that it’s not easy getting in and out of a tank. The first time he got into a tank was at Schofield Barracks, Oahu. Warrant Officer Harold S. O'Dell of Corning, NY tried to show him how to enter a tank through the turret. He got stuck; so Burroughs crawled in through the front door, which is not all that easy to do.
The tanks were probably Sherman M4s, which the GIs regularly covered with improvised armor.
    The drabble for today, “Stuck in the Middle With You,” is 100 words taken from Burroughs entry for that day. Somehow the image herein makes me think of Pooh Bear with his head in the honey tree. Credit for the title of the drabble goes to the band, “Stealers Wheel,” and a tip of the hat to “Reservoir Dogs,” a film which featured the song.


“Seventeen tanks, a half-track, a kitchen truck and trailer, a supply truck and the other jeep came roaring down from camp. I’ve ridden in many tanks. They are hot, cramped, hideously noisy, and full of protuberances and gadgets. I wedged into a narrow seat with a machine gun between my legs and a most uncomfortable crash helmet jammed down over my ears. It took me minutes to get in and much longer to get out. Once I got doubled up, I thought that they were going to have to take either me or the tank apart to get us untangled.”

January 28:
On this day eighty-one years ago, the world’s oldest war correspondent, Edgar Rice Burroughs, wrote his last “Laugh it Off,” column for Hawaiian newspapers. He was pleased to see the column come to an end. He explained in a letter to his daughter, Joan. “It has been sort of fun; but bucking a newspaper editor, a military censor, and, apparently, the WCTU and the Epworth League, and probably the PTA and the advertisers has rather cramped my well known style. Even a little 'damn' was cut out of one story I told - and the damn was the whole point of the story."
    All of ERB’s Laugh it Off columns are available to read at: and
The drabble for today, “Hold Your Head High,” is taken from ERB’s last “Laugh it Off” column. In the author’s words:


I undertook to conduct this column shortly after December 7, I felt it might aid in bolstering civilian morale. Perhaps it was helpful, but attempting to bolster civilian morale in the islands is like taking coals to Newcastle. Our morale is tops , and it’ll remain tops if each of us takes it upon himself to keep his own morale high, no matter what happens - and plenty may happen before we’re done with this mess. Fear is contagious. If you are ever afraid, camouflage it. I wish to thank those who’ve aided me by their contributions. And so, aloha! “

January 29:
On this day in 1943, Joan Burroughs Pierce wrote a letter to her father, Edgar Rice Burroughs, who was working as the world’s oldest war correspondent in the Pacific theater. While I haven’t seen Joan’s letter, ERB’s response was written on April 6th of that year. That entire letter is reproduced at:
    In the letter, ERB apologized for not replying earlier, and makes a hidden reference to security controlling knowledge about where he and the military troops he accompanied were located. Loose lips sink ships. He goes on to say where he’s been, but not where he is. He recounts a big party and reuniting with old friends, including Major Sheldon, who provided information about Joan’s brother, 1st Lt. Hulbert Burroughs.
    The drabble for today, “A Picture’s Worth A Thousand Words” is an excerpt from ERB’s letter.


"Talked with Major Shelton yesterday, and asked how Hully was getting along. You can't get a darned thing out of Hully other than statements to the effect that he’s a wash-out and a no-good. Shelton said he’s is doing a swell job and that there isn't  another photographer in that outfit that can touch him. He says that Hully is a really top-notch photographer and that his work is appreciated by men in high places. When they have important photographic missions, they sent Hully. He also spoke of Hully's conscientious attention to details and duty.   I was not surprised.”

January 30:
On this day in 1980, Celina Consuela Gabriela Cavajal, known professionally as Lena Hall, was born in San Francisco, California. She’s appeared in many television shows, films, and several Broadway productions, including In 2006 she was in the original ensemble of the musical Tarzan, and was also the understudy to Jennifer Gambatese for Jane Porter.
    She also appeared on Broadway in 42nd Street, Cats, Dracula, and The Toxic Avenger. Currently, she’s on television as Miss Audrey, one of the main characters in Snowpiercer.
The drabble for today is “Flip the Script,” and it is taken from an interview with Lena/ Celina.


“I like singing male stuff and not changing any pronouns. I think a woman singing a song written by a man brings a totally different meaning to it. I sing a lot of Guns ‘N Roses, and their lyrics speak down to women, putting a woman down as a hooker or just using them. When a woman sings about that, it flips the script. It’s like you own it more, and it becomes this power play. There’s a song called “Rocket Queen” that’s a groupie, a girl that sleeps around. When a woman sings it, it changes the meaning completely.”

January 31:
On this day in 1900, Edgar Rice Burroughs married Emma Centennia Hulbert. The two had been ‘courting’ for a little over ten years, Ed was working at his father’s American Battery Company and received a raise to $15.00 a week as a wedding present. The young couple moved in with Emma’s parents at 194 Park Avenue.
    She dutifully followed him across America during the next eleven years. He was a cowboy, a shopkeeper, a railroad policeman, a gold miner, and even an accountant. Life was hard for the couple. Burroughs was depressed and his wife discouraged. But, then, ERB wrote a couple novels, “Under the Moons of Mars” and “Tarzan of the Apes,” Life would never be the same.
    The drabble for today is “Success” and it was inspired by those first few years of marriage.


Ed said, “Emma, a magazine bought my story, “Under the Moons of Mars.” They’re paying me more than I’ve made in the last five years combined.”

“That’s wonderful. There are so many things we need.”

“I appreciate you sticking with me through the hard times. I read once that if you want to test someone’s character, don’t give him poverty or adversity. Tales about overcoming adversity are a dime a dozen. Give him wealth or power. Those are the true test of character.”

“Well, Ed. We’ve tried poverty and adversity, I’m willing to give wealth a try if you are!”

See Days 1 - 15 at ERBzine 7660


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