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Since 1996 ~ Over 15,000 Webpages in Archive
Volume 7695a

ERB 100-Word Drabbles
APRIL V Edition :: Days 16-30
by Robert Allen Lupton
Continued From Days 1 - 15 at ERBzine 7695

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

April 16:
On this day in 1932, Argosy Weekly published the sixth and final installment of “Tarzan and the City of Gold.” Robert A. Graef was the cover artist and his illustration was for part one of the novel, “The Insect Invasion” by Ray Cummings. As was typical at the time, the final episode of a serial did not receive any cover mention. Samuel Cahan furnished an interior illustration for each installment of the serial.
    This is, in my opinion, one of the best Tarzan novels. Queen Nemone of Cathne becomes enraptured with Tarzan, who refuses her advances. Jane never appears in the novel, not is she mentioned by name, but Tarzan does tell Nemone that ‘he belongs to another.’
    Tarzan is ordered to fight for his life in the arena, but he refuses because he only kills for food or self-defense. While fighting in the arena seems like self-defense to me, Tarzan doesn’t fight and Nemone sends him to the palace. Later she gives him the choice of joining her or of facing her pet lion, Belthar. Tarzan takes the lion. The lion attacks him, but Tarzan’s lion, Jad-bal-ja, saves Tarzan. There's more, but you should read the novel.
    The drabble for today, is “Lady or the Lion,” and it was inspired by “Tarzan and the City of Gold.”


Queen Nemone spoke to Tarzan. “Marry me. Be my king and husband. Otherwise, I’ll feed you to my lion, Belthar.”

Tarzan replied, “I belong to another. This sounds like a melodrama. If I don’t marry you, you’d throw me on the railroad track, if you had a railroad track.”

“Don't know that means, but it's me or the lion.”
“I’ll take the lion. He can only kill me once. You can’t live with people who are willing to hurt you, because if you fear life, you’ll never live. Living in fear is just another way of dying before your time.”

April 17: On this day one hundred and sixteen years ago in 1907, Edgar Rice Burroughs was promoted to manager of the Stenographic Department at Sears Roebuck and Company. In spite of his frequent self-depreciating comments about how he was a failure at everything he tried before writing, he excelled at Sears. He supervised 150 stenographers and other employees. He worked at Sears for two years before he resigned to go into the advertising business for himself.
More information about ERB’s career at Sears is located at:
    The 100 word drabble for today, “Better Today Than Yesterday,” was written by ERB’s unnamed supervisor at Sears.


“I found the Stenographic Department to be in very satisfactory condition. The department is very well managed by Mr. Burroughs, who is handling the department in a business like and rather professional manner. He seems to be conversant with every detail of the department; he knows all that goes on, and is in every respect all that could be expected of a Manager. . . . In all the department shows a remarkable improvement over its condition a year ago, and I think that Mr. Burroughs and his division heads should be given due credit for what they have done.”

April 18:
Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote of many thrilling escapes in his novels, but he actually escaped once himself. His escape may not have been as exciting as the ones he wrote about, but on this day in 1892, Captain Charles King of the Michigan Military Academy at Orchard Lake, wrote a letter to Edgar Rice Burroughs’s father, Major G. T. Burroughs detailing the offences that ERB had committed, included attempted desertion and actual desertion. Ed complained of the harsh treatment, he’d received, but after consultation with his father, he decided to return to the Academy and take his punishment. King gave the young man a second chance, and ERB became a model cadet, president of his class, and was graduated in 1895.
    The letter followed a telegram dated April 16, 1892, which simply said, “Your son deserted Thursday letter will follow.”
    Ed later described the experience, “I think it was the word ‘deserted’ in the telegram that got me, and the next day I was back at Orchard Lake walking punishment. But walking punishment has its compensations, one of which was that the old boys could not subject us to any of the refined and unrefined torture of hazing, which was carried on to an exaggerated extent at Orchard Lake at that time.
    Ed’s time at the Michigan Military Academy is covered in detail at:
    In the photo, ERB is the second from the left on the front row.
    The drabble for today, “For Every Action,” was inspired by ERB’s daring escape from the Michigan Military Academy.


Major Burroughs said, “Why are you home?”
“Everyone is mean to me. I escaped.”
“I’ve a telegram from Captain King. It says you deserted. The real army hangs deserters.”
“I wasn’t treated fairly.”
“Tough. Life isn’t fair. How did you escape?”
“Crawled out a window and used my train pass to come home.”
“Making me pay for your escape. Now I’m an accomplice, thank you very much. You need to get back on that train, return to the Academy, and face the music.”

“But Captain King and the upper classmen will treat me  worse than before.”
“I certainly hope so!”

April 19:
On this day in 1928, filming began for the film serial, “Tarzan the Mighty,” which starred Frank Merrill as Tarzan and Natalie Kingman as Mary Trevor. There was no Jane in the film. Al Ferguson played Black John, the bad guy. Strangely enough the movie began filming on Ferguson’s 40th birthday, he was born on April 19, 1888.
    The working title for the film was “Jungle Tales of Tarzan,” and it was directed by Jack Nelson and Ray Taylor.
    Frank Merrill’s real name was Arthur Poll and he’d doubled for Elmo Lincoln in ”Adventures of Tarzan” and “Perils of the Jungle.” While no copy of “Tarzan the Mighty” is known to exist, the UCLA Film Archive has a complete 16MM copy of “Perils of the Jungle.” My Video Classics claims to have the film available to stream at no charge, but I declined to use the website for no particular reason other than I chose not to do so.
    The 100 word drabble for today is and it was inspired by the film “Tarzan the Mighty.” You should be able to tell that I really thought that the Tarzan costume inflicted on Frank was beyond terrible. How ever unfortunate.


Tarzan said, “Black John, release Mary Trevor and her brother or face the consequences.”
“That’s mighty big talk for a man wearing cute little boots. Lily Langtry called and she wants her leopard-skin high-hell shoes back!”

“I’m serious. Release her immediately.”
“Take care that stupid headband doesn’t slip over your eyes. It’s bigger than a halo in a Renaissance painting. I don’t take orders from a man whose shoes, headband, and leopard-skin smock make a lovely matching ensemble.”

Tarzan drew his knife and stepped forward.
“You don’t scare me. I called the fashion police and they’re coming to arrest you.”

April 20:
On this day in 1934, the film, “Tarzan and his Mate,” opened in New York City. Various reports show that the film debuted earlier, April 16th. The film was not without controversy, Jane’s nude swimming scene was cut, but restored decades later and the film was banned in Germany. Weissmuller and O’Sullivan wore the skimpiest costumes in the series, until Bo Derek visited the jungle.. Cheetah’s outfit remained unchanged.
    Details about the film abound at:
The 100 word drabble. “Skimpy Budget,” for today was inspired by the film, “Tarzan and his Mate.”

Maureen O’Sullivan shook her costume at director, Cedric Gibbons. “This isn’t a costume. It’s a wash cloth and a towel. I own underwear that covers me better. What’s going on?”

“Budget problems, dearie. We cut all filming in Africa. We deleted the big fire. We’re using old footage for the panoramic scenes. It it’s any consolation, we also deleted part of Weissmuller’s costume.”

“Cloth isn’t expensive. This is ridiculous!”
“No, it’s revealing. Don’t complain. Josephine McKim, your swimming double, has to perform naked.”

“So you’re saying the budget is too skinny to dip into and buy her a bathing suit?”

100% OF THE 90%
April 21:
On this day in 1930, Edgar Rice Burroughs submitted the article, “Entertainment is Fiction’s Purpose,’ to Writers Digest Magazine, which had requested ERB to write the article.
    Writer’s Digest published the article in their June 1930 issue. The complete article may be read at Bill Hillman’s magnificent site,
Another writer contributing to the issue was Albert Payson Terhune, “Lad, A Dog,” who wrote the article, “Waiting for Inspiration is a Grand Excuse for Perpetual Loafing.” Don’t I know it! Write something, even if it’s bad. You can always change it. As writer Jodi Picoult, “Small Great Things,” “Mad Money,” and “My Sister’s Keeper,” said: “You can always edit a bad page. You can't edit a blank page.”
    The 100 word drabble for today, “100% of the 90%,” was written by Edgar Rice Burroughs in his article. The Todd Snyder song, “Statistician Blues,” expressed much the same sentiment.
“They say 3 percent of the people use 5 to 6 percent of their brain
97 percent use 3 percent and the rest goes down the drain
I'll never know which one I am but I'll bet you my last dime
99 percent think we're 3 percent 100 percent of the time”
Here’s what ERB had to say:
100% OF THE 90%
In fiction the reader has a right to expect entertainment and relaxation. If obscenities entertain him he can find fiction that’ll fulfill his requirements. If he wishes to be frightened, or thrilled, or soothed, he’ll find writers for his every mood, but you may rest assured that he doesn’t wish to be instructed. He doesn’t wish to have to think, and as fully ninety percent of the people in the world aren’t equipped with anything wherewith to think intelligently, the fiction writer who wishes for success should leave teaching to qualified teachers and attend strictly to his business of entertaining.

April 22:
On this day in 1899, director Byron Conrad Haskin was born in Portland, Oregon. The son of a schoolteacher, he was graduated from the University of California and went to Hollywood and became a cameraman, and then a cinematographer. By 1937s, he was the head of Warner Brothers’ special effects department.
In 1951, Haskin directed “Tarzan’s Peril,” which starred Lex Barker, Virginia Huston, and Dorothy Dandridge. It was the first Tarzan film actually filmed in Africa.
Along the way, Haskin directed ‘Treasure Island,” “Robinson Crusoe on Mars,” “From the Earth to the Moon,” “The Naked Jungle,” and” and “The War of the Worlds.” He did the special effects for “The Sea Hawk,” “Knute Rockne, All American,” “The Sea Wolf,” and “Passage to Marseille.” He was nominated for four Oscars and the Warner Brothers’ special effects department received an “Academy Scientific and Technical Award” during his tenure. His “War of the Worlds” won a Hugo Award.
    The 100 drabble for today, “Silly-Ass is as Silly-Ass Does,” contains one real comment made by Byron Haskin during his career and one that was entirely made up, but has  accurate historical context.


“Robinson Crusoe on Mars” was the best thing I’ve ever done, because it had one of the soundest stories ever written. Unfortunately, the film didn’t become a hit because of bad judgement by the producer and releasing company. I fought like a tiger to get rid of the silly-ass title, but to no avail. Speaking of silly-ass, when we filmed ‘Tarzan’s Peril” and Lex Barker appeared for the first time in a loincloth, the native extras burst out laughing. They called him punda mjinga. When they told me it meant “silly ass,” I almost laughed my own punda mjinga off!”

April 23:
On this day in 1938, Argosy Weekly published part six of “The Red Star of Tarzan,” which was published with several changes as “Tarzan and the Forbidden City.” The Rudolph Berlarski cover illustrated “On Evil Beach,’ by Theodore Roscoe.
    The original version of the Burroughs novel was the radio show, “Tarzan and the Diamond of Asher.” According to Vern Coriell, founder of the Burroughs Bibliophiles, the radio drama came first, and next, ERB wrote the novel between October 10, 1937 and November 18, 1937 (pretty fast). Argosy bought the story, but it underwent considerable rewriting by the editors at Argosy, where it was published as “The Red Star of Tarzan.” When ERB Inc. published the novel, it was published as originally written by ERB under his original title, “Tarzan and the Forbidden City.”
I’ve read both versions and listened to the radio drama. Although the story is basically the same, the versions are different. Read both and listen to the third.
Read details about the publication history and the entire Argosy Red Star version at: The complete radio series, all the episodes, are also available at this location.
    The drabble for today, “Beware The Fire-Star," 100 words as always, is taken from the prologue to “The Red Star of Tarzan,” which appeared in the magazine version of the story, but not in the novel, “Tarzan and the Forbidden City.” Did ERB write the prologue or is it the work of some unnamed editor at Argosy. I don’t know and the witch doctor who appears in the prologue can’t tell us, but the prologue isn’t in the book version.


"He was big in the smoke," the witch-doctor said, "and red was the danger star.”
Slowly he spoke, with wheezing breath, his eyes glazed, and he didn’t know whence came the words in his mouth.

"The red star will lead him to a world long dead and forgotten. He’ll rule a kingdom yet unborn. In his hands he’ll hold the Father of Diamonds, with war grim about him, and know that his smallest peril is still the deadliest."

The witch-doctor's body jerked and stiffened. "The fire-star! Beware the woman's lips and the beast that flies."

With a whimper he collapsed.

April 24:
On this day in 1904, character actor, Joe Garcio, was born in New Castle, Delaware. The son of a shoemaker, Joe was born as Israel Kominsky and during his film career, he also used his birth name and occasionally, Joe Komins.
    Joe, a sometimes stuntman, appeared in three Tarzan films, “Tarzan and the She-Devil,” “Tarzan and the Slave Girl,” and Tarzan’s Magic Fountain.” Joe appeared in over 250 films and television shows, many of them westerns. He also appeared in one episode of Star Trek, one episode of Mission Impossible, The Girl From Uncle, The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, and pretty much every western television series ever broadcast and many western films.
    He specialized as a henchman, a townsman, and a bartender. His friendships with other actors and film people, ensured that there was always a small part for Joe. “Yippy-Ki-Yay.”
The drabble for today, “Team Player,” was inspired by Joe’s career. The drabble was partially inspired by a friend who stayed in the major leagues for five years, during which time he had 23 hits and three home runs.


The aspiring actor said, “Joe, you’re ugly and can’t act, but you’re always working.”
“I stay busy. When the director needs his sunglasses, I get them. If John Wayne needs a shot of bourbon, I’ve bring it. I’ve done three Tarzan films. I’ve always got a comb for Lex Barker.”

“Sounds like you’re a suck-up.”
“I’m like the utility infielder who stayed in the majors, but never played. I’m first to arrive and last to leave. I carry the bags. I’m indispensable.”

“I’ll make it on raw talent.”
“Let me know how that worked after you’ve been in 200 films!

April 25:
On this day in 1914, All-Story Weekly published the fourth and final installment of “At The Earth’s Core,” the first of the Pellucidar novels. The cover illustration was for “On The Drop,” by Stephen Chalmers, who wrote over a hundred pulp adventures. He specialized in stories of the sea and had a particular fondness for pirate tales.
The novel was reprinted in Modern Mechanics and Inventions, serialized in at least ten newspapers, and in the British Magazine, “Pluck.” Following the first edition published by A. C. McClurg, “At the Earth’s Core” has been reprinted several times in many languages. The novel was retitled “Lost Inside the Earth” for its “Modern Mechanics and Inventions” appearance.
    The 100 word drabble for today, “Mind Travelogue,” was inspired by “At The Earth’s Core,” and “Journey to the Center of the Earth.” Verne wrote meticulously researched novels about foreign lands, but his only documented travel of consequence outside of France was to Scotland.


Thomas Metcalf, the editor at All-Story Magazine, said, “Your novel about the Earth’s center paints a different picture than portrayed in Jules Verne’s “Journey to the Center of the Earth.”

“Thomas, I’ve never read Verne’s book, but he never visited the center of the Earth, went off on a comet, flew to the moon, or rode in a balloon, even though he wrote about those things.”

“People should write what they know.”
“Nonsense, I’ve never been to Mars or Africa. The less you know about a place, the freer your imagination and the easier it is to make stuff up.”

April 26, 2023 and today’s post is the 1770th post in this series of “On This Day Edgar Rice Burroughs” articles and drabbles – a one hundred short story inspired by the daily post. The posts have been collected by the remarkable Bill Hillman and are all available at:

On this day in 1914, comic book artist and writer, Paul Leroy Norris was born in Greenville, Ohio. Norris illustrated Tarzan and Flash Gordon comics for Gold Key Comics. He is credited as being the co-creator of Aquaman and illustrated the Brick Bradford daily comic strip for thirty-five years, from 1952 through 1987, over 11,000 dailies.
    After serving in World War Two as a tech sergeant, He illustrated the Sunday comic, Jungle Jim, for King Features and some Buck Rogers covers for Four Color Comics. In the 1950s, Norris drew issues of Dell Comics' Tom Corbett, Space Cadet and Jungle Jim, the latter of which he had previously drawn as a newspaper comic strip. The following decade, he drew Tarzan and science-fiction hero Magnus, Robot Fighter in comic books for Gold Key Comics.
Norris passed away in Oceanside, California in 2007.
A detailed article about his career and several of his Tarzan illustrations are located at: Today’s illustration is from that website.
    The drabble for today is, “Just the Facts,” and it was inspired by Norris’s career. I try to follow Jesse Marsh’s advice when I write. “Just tell the story!”


Mr. Norris, you illustrated 11,000 Brick Bradford daily comics, one every day for thirty-five years. How did you find the time to illustrate anything else?”

“They published three panels daily, but I could write and draw two weeks’ worth in one day. I stayed a couple months ahead. That gave me enough time to do Tarzan, Flash Gordon, Magnus, and other comic books."

“Your style on Tarzan was clean, but simple.”
“I followed Jesse Marsh. He told me, “Don’t clutter up the pages with fancy layouts, splash pages, or add unnecessary visual details. Don’t show off, just tell the story.”


April 27:
On this day in 1942, actor, director, and producer, Aston Dearholt, died in Los Angeles, California. Dearholt was ERB’s partner in “Burroughs-Tarzan Pictures, Inc.” and the ex-husband of ERB’s second wife, Florence Gilbert.
Dearholt directed “The New Adventures of Tarzanaka, “Tarzan and the Green Goddess,” which featured Bruce Bennett / Herman Brix as Tarzan. It was filmed in Guatemala. Dearholt cast his new girlfriend, Ula Holt, in the female lead.
    MGM threated theaters that if they played this film, the theaters wouldn’t be allowed to screen any future Weissmuller films. The film never made enough money to pay the cast and crew. Burroughs-Tarzan Enterprises went bankrupt with a year.
    Details about the film are located at: and about Burroughs-Tarzan Pictures, Inc. at:
    The drabble for today was inspired by film “The New Adventures of Tarzan,” and its financial woes. A little credit to our old friend, Alfred, for the last line.


Bruce Bennett called Aston Dearholt. “Haven’t seen my paycheck, what’s the deal?”
“MGM convinced the theaters to boycott the film. No showings, no money.”
“Ashton, that’s not my problem as long as I get paid.”
“Listen to me. Small words. We don’t get paid, you don’t get paid.”
“Don’t try to sell me that crap. You’re still driving a Bentley. I saw you and Ula at Sardis for lunch. It didn’t look like you’ve lost weight. Seems like you aren’t worried at all about whether or not I get paid.”

“What, me worry? You’re worried enough for both of us.”

April 28:
On this day, commercial and graphic artist Neal Adams died at age 80 in New York City. Adams was a member of the Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame, the Jack Kirby Hall of Fame, Inkwell Awards, Harvey Awards and the Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame. He was a very influential creator rights advocate and helped secure a pension for Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel, the creators of Superman.
    Besides his work in comic books, especially Batman, X-Men, and Green Lantern / Green Arrow, according to “Jim Goodwin’s “Edgar Rice Burroughs The Descriptive Bibliography of the Ace and Ballantine / Del Rey Paperback Books,” Adams illustrated 11 Tarzan coves for Ballantine Books.
Author and current chairman of the Burroughs Bibliophiles, Gary Buckingham once interviewed Neal Adams about his Tarzan Illustrations and the interview originally appeared in “The Burroughs Bulletin #92 in the fall of 2014. I found the complete interview at:
All of Adams’ Tarzan covers and articles about the artist are at:
The 100 word drabble for today, So Many Tarzans,” is an excerpt from Gary’s interview with Neal.


“I watched Tarzan movies from Johnny Weissmuller on; I don’t think I missed anybody in-between. I also worked at Coney Island as a young teenager. These penny machines, the two-penny machines in Steeplechase Park where they played old Elmo Lincoln movies, flip cards - I looked at them through a kind of stereoscopic. So I’ve seen a ton of Tarzans I’d love to see all the old Tarzans, but I think they are gone.

In junior high school, I began to read the Tarzan novels. I fell in love with those, as anybody would. They’re terrific. To me, they’re classic.”

April 29:
On this day in 2022, actress Joanna Barnes died in Sea Ranch, California. The Boston native and Smith graduate received the college’s poetry award (Silva Plath was the previous winner.)
    She turned to acting and among her many screen and television credits are Jane Parker in “Tarzan, the Ape Man,” Gloria Upson in “Antie Mame,” Clauda Marius in “Spartacus,” and Vicki Robinson in “The Parent Trap.” Her numerous televison appearances ranged from “Have Gun –Will Travel” to “The Beverly Hillbillies,” with stops along the way at “Cheers” and “Fantasy Island.”
    Joanna wrote the book, “Starting from Scratch,” about home decorating and several novels, including The Deceivers (1970), Who Is Carla Hart? (1973), Pastora (1980), and Silverwood (1985). She wrote a weekly book review for the Los Angeles Times, and her column "Touching Home" was carried by The Chicago Tribune and the New York News Syndicate.
    Details about “Tarzan the Ape Man,” starring Denny Miller and Joanna Barnes, are located at:
The drabble for today is “Who’s In Charge Here?” and it was inspired by Joanna Barnes.


Backstage before filming “What’s My Line,” Bennett Cerf said, “Joanna, I finished your book, “Silkwood,” Excellent. Please sign it.”

“Of course. Kind of you to ask.”
“You’ve a great career in films and television. Why write?”
“On film, the writers always told me what to do. I’d hoped I could do and say what I wanted in my books.”

‘Charming. I hadn’t thought of it like that.”
“It doesn’t work. My characters do and say whatever the hell they want. When I try to order them about, they ignore me. I expect writer’s block results from arguing with your characters.”

April 30:
On this day in 1920, A. C. McClurg published the first edition of “Tarzan the Untamed.” The novel combined two stories. “Tarzan the Untamed’ was published in 1919 by Red Book Magazine and “Tarzan and the Valley of Luna” was published by All-Story Weekly in March and April of 1920. The first edition of the novel was published thirteen days after the All-Story cover date (April 17, 1920) of the final episode of “Tarzan and the Valley of Luna.”
    The first edition had a cover and nine interior illustrations by J. Allen St. John and a print run of 77,000 copies. The novel was reprinted several times by Grosset and Dunlap, published as a Big Little Book, and in several paperback editions by Ballantine / Del Rey.
    Tarzan believing that the German army has burned his home and killed Jane, embarks on trek of vengeance, racking up an unbelievable body count in the first half of the novel. Later, he encounters the Xuja, a tribe of inbred madmen who eat lions and worship parrots and monkeys. (Who knew that the term “Parrothead,” was that old?) Tarzan also encounters Bertha Kirchner, a duplicitous German spy, who is actually Patricia Canby, a duplicitous English spy.
Details about the publication of the novel, several illustrations, and articles are available at:
The drabble for today is, "Identity Crisis,” and it was inspired by Bertha Kirchner, aka Patricia Canby.


“I’m confused,” said Tarzan. “Your real name is Patricia Canby, not Bertha Kirchner, and you’re really British, not German.”

“Yes, I’m a double agent, sometimes called an "agent provocateur.”
“But sometimes you’re British and sometimes you’re German. You could be German pretending to be British pretending to be German.”

“I’m really British.”
“You could only be saying that because you know I’m British.”
“If you can’t side with the one you want, side with the one you’re with.”
“I prefer to keep things straight and simple. I’m Tarzan all the time.”
“And for which, King and country are eternally grateful.”


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