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ERB 100-Word Drabbles
SEPTEMBER V Edition :: Days 1-15
by Robert Allen Lupton
Go to Days 16-30 at ERBzine 7742a
With Collations, Web Page Layout and ERBzine Illustrations and References by Bill Hillman
September 1, 2023 and 148 years ago on this day in 1875, Edgar Rice Burroughs was born in Chicago, Illinois, the fourth son of Civil War veteran, Major George Tyler Burroughs and his wife, Mary Evaline Burroughs. Edgar Rice became a writer, perhaps, one of the best-selling writers in history. To celebrate his birthday, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Incorporated published five novels on his birthday. “Tarzan Triumphant” in 1932, ‘Tarzan and the City of Gold” in 1933, “Tarzan and the Lion Man” in 1934, “Tarzan’s Quest” in 1936, and “I Am A Barbarian” in 1967.
Happy Birthday, Edgar Rice Burroughs.
The drabble for today is “Best Friends,” and it was inspired by the creations of Edgar Rice Burroughs. It features my old friends Pat and John from New Orleans.
John said, ‘Pat, you always seem to know the right thing to do. You persevere, you keep your word, and you work hard.”
“John, I learned how a man should behave from my old friends.”
“I thought I was your old friend. We’ve known each other since we were fifteen years old.”
“I mean John Carter, David Innes, Jason Gridley, and John Clayton, Lord Greystoke.”
“So they’re your old friends.”
“Absolutely, I met them when I was twelve. I’ve known them longer than anyone else. They’re dependable, always there when I need them, and they’ve never given me bad advice.”
IN THE PINK
September 2, 2023 and 82 years ago on this day in 1941, Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote a cheerful letter from Hawaii to his daughter, Joan. Barely two months before Pearl Harbor, ERB was pleased to have received six letters and a greeting card for his birthday. He told Joan not to worry about his health and that his hospital visits were only an “eccentricity."
The entire letter has be faithfully transcribed at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag10/1022.html#Sep%202
The drabble for today is “In The Pink,” an excerpt from ERB’s letter dated September 2, 1941.
I wish you wouldn't worry about my health. I'm in the pink. Going to a hospital occasionally is a little eccentricity of mine. Twice I’ve gone because of a strange nervous reaction following treatments that most people don't bat an eye over. In a few hours after the treatment I start running a temperature around 103. It lasts a few hours; then I’m as fresh as a daisy. The last time, I leaped out of the hospital and went to a baseball game. There nothing to worry about; so don't worry. I'm too tough to die - maybe too mean.
IN THE PINK
September 3, 2023 and ninety-five years ago on this day in 1928, chapter four, “The Lion’s Leap,” of the movie serial, “Tarzan the Mighty,” first appeared in theatres across the United States. The serial starred Frank Merrill as Tarzan and Natalie Kingston as Mary Trevor, there is no Jane. It was directed by Jack Nelson and Ray Taylor.
Merrill, a national gymnastics champion whose real name was Arthur Poll, had previously doubled for Elmo Lincoln in “Adventures of Tarzan” and “Perils of the Jungle.” No prints of the film are known to exist.
Episode Four begins with Tarzan tied to a stake in the Lost Village. Tarzan calls and Tantor frees him. Tarzan takes Mary Trevor and her brother, Bobby, to safety.
Mary Trevor investigates the books and pictures in Tarzan’s possession and concludes that Tarzan is Lord Greystoke, and not Black John, who claims to be Lord Greystoke. He captured Mary and Bobby Trevor and trapped them over a pit containing a large and hungry lion.
Details about the serial: https://www.erbzine.com/mag5/0592.html
The 100 word drabble for today is “Snidely Horton,” and it was inspired by Chapter Four of “Tarzan the Mighty.” A tip of the hat to Snidely Whiplash and Johnny Horton. And yes, there are rabbits in Africa.
Black John captured Mary and Bobby Trevor. “Give give me the papers to prove that I’m Lord Greystoke, or I’ll throw you on the railroad track.”
“Idiot,” replied Mary! “There’s no railroad track.”
“I’ll feed you to the wolves.”
“No wolves in Africa.”
John pointed. “A pit with a hungry lion. That’s it.”
Tarzan arrived. “I’m not Androcles, but that’s my lion.”
“He’s not lyin’” said Mary.
At Tarzan’s command, the lion leapt from the pit and chased Black John, who ran through the briars and ran through the brambles and ran though the places that a rabbit couldn’t go.”
September 4, 2023: On this day in 1933, the last Tarzan daily comic strip based on the MGM film, Tarzan the Ape Man” was in newspapers across the United Stated. The adaption of the film, also titled “Tarzan the Ape Man,” was illustrated by Rex Maxon. R. W. Palmer wrote the strip, typically called the “continuity.”
Interestingly, the penultimate line of the newspaper adaption is “They met - and Tarzan of the Apes enveloped his wife in a loving embrace.” I don’t remember a wedding in the movie, but hey, all I know is what I read in the newspaper. There are several references to Tarzan’s wife in the newspaper adaption. Tarzan had amnesia and forgot he was married. A woman named Jean Parker is pretty upset about that.
Read all 183 pages of the comic at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag32/3272.html
He drabble for today, “Honkytonk Safari” was inspired by Tarzan’s amnesia, as presented in the comic strip arc. Thanks to Hank Thompson for the assist with the words.
Jean Parker, a woman who’d fallen in love with Tarzan, without knowing his name, said, “What’s happened.” You don’t love me anymore. I can tell.”
“I don’t know exactly, but it matters little. I must go to my wife.”
“Wife, you’re married! We’ve been hanging out together for almost a month and now you tell me you’re married.”
“Who are you? I was in an avalanche. I had amnesia. I forgot my name and I forgot I was married.”
“Convenient. Too many times married men think that they’re single.”
“Sorry, but I’m going back to the wild side of life.”
THE WRITINGS MAKE THE MAN
September 5, 2023: Happy birthday to Linda Burroughs and 114 years ago on this day in 1909, Irwin Porges, author of the massive volume, “Edgar Rice Burroughs, The Man Who Created Tarzan,” was born in Akron, Ohio, or maybe it was in Maywood,, Illinois. Irwin was a talented pianist and composer. He was graduated from the University of California in Berkeley and served in three decades for the Merchant Marines.
He wrote numerous short stories, television scripts, and non-fiction articles. He taught English and writing courses at Los Angeles Valley College in Van Nuys California.
For more details about this talented man, visit: https://www.erbzine.com/mag64/6445.html
And for details about “Edgar Rice Burroughs: The Man Who Created Tarzan:” https://www.erbzine.com/mag64/6445.html
The drabble, ”The Writings Make the Man,” for today is taken from the preface to ERBTMWCT.
A definitive biography is written to offer some integration of the man and his works. Seventy published novels to read or re-read, plus many unpublished works.
THE WRITINGS MAKE THE MAN
Burroughs, as with all individuals, revealed himself through his actions, through what he said, and what others said about him, as a writer he operated in an additional dimension to expose himself. Even a man who escapes into fantasies of other worlds uncovers himself with every page he creates. Through his writings - and this idea he would have been happy to accept - we obtain a most significant understanding of Edgar Rice Burroughs.
September 6, 2023 and 83 years ago on this day in 1940, Edgar Rice Burroughs finished writing “John Carter and the Pits of Horz,” the first story in a series planned to became a novel with the working title, “Frozen men of Mars.” This story was published in Amazing Stories in March 1941, retitled as “The City of Mummies.” Cover and interior art by J. Allen St. John.
The completed novel was published s “Llana of Gathol” by Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc on March 26, 1948. The cover and interior art were by John Coleman Burroughs.
Details about the story and the book, several illustrations, and the complete text are located at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag7/0738.html
The 100 word drabble for today, “Cold Toes,” was inspired by “The City of Mummies.”
John Carter led thousands of newly awakened Red Martians from the freezing cold Pits of Horz, where they had been hypnotically put to sleep and stored, some for days and some for thousands of years. The Jeddak of Horz said, “What are you doing with my army?”
“Army, why would you keep your army sleeping in a frozen cave?”
“Efficiency. Sleeping soldiers don’t eat, they don’t revolt and they don’t run away. Besides, war is frightening. They could become afraid and get cold feet!”
“Trust me. I’ve only been in the caves a couple days. We all have cold feet.”
TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE
September 7, 2023 and eighty-three years ago on this day in 1940, Edgar Rice Burroughs began writing “Hodon and the 0-AA,” one of four Pellucidar stories that he planned to combine into a novel. He finished the story in eight days. “Hodon and the 0-AA” was retitled “The Return to Pellucidar” and published by Amazing Stories in February 1942. The cover was by L. Raymond Jones and it illustrated “Kidnapped to the Future,” by William P. McGivern. ERB received a cover mention – above the magazine title. The issue also contained stories by Raymond Palmer, Ralph Milne Farley, Eric Frank Russell, and Frank R. Paul. "The Return to Pellucidar" featured interior illustrations by J. Allen St. John.
Burroughs intended to publish the four parts as “Girl of Pellucidar,” but the full novel wasn’t published until 1963 when Canaveral Press published it as “Savage Pellucidar.” The Canaveral Press edition reprinted illustrations by J. Allen St. John that had previously appeared in pulp magazines.
Visit https://www.erbzine.com/mag7/0747.html for the publishing history, several illustrations, and an electronic version of the novel.
The 100 word drabble for today, “Too Little, Too Late,” was inspired by “Hodan and the 0-AA, aka “The Return to Pellucidar. Thanks to Orville Wright and Kenny Rogers.
Abner Perry, inventor extraordinary, built an airplane to explore Pellucidar, the primitive world inside the Earth. He cranked the engine, it smoked and exploded.
TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE
A warrior, Lu-Seal, nodded. ”I knew it wouldn’t get off the ground. Too many moving parts.”
Undeterred, Abner built a gas balloon to stop the warlike Sari tribe. “We’ll drop rocks on them,” said Perry.
“We’re missing the village and flying toward hungry trodons, flying reptiles who will eat us. Turn left.” said Lu-Seal.”
“Only down, up, and downwind,” said Perry. “Forgot to install a steering wheel.”
“You picked a fine time to remember,” said Lu-Seal.
September 8, 2023, and on this day fifty-seven years ago in 1966, the first episodes of two television shows aired in the United States. “The Man Trap, the first Star Trek episode, was broadcast, and so was “Eyes of the Lion,” the first episode of the Ron Ely television Tarzan series. Not bad for one day.
Both episodes use contain the theme “appearances are deceiving. In “Eyes of the Lion,” Tarzan finds a young blind girl, Laurie Sibbald, living in a cave and gives her a lion to use as a seeing-eye pet, but unfortunately, one lion looks much like another and even though you’re blind, it’s hard to tell them apart. For details about all the episodes: https://www.erbzine.com/mag74/7421.html
On Man Trap, a shapeshifting creature comes on board the Enterprise and tricks the crew by shifting its appearance. The beast eats salt and kills people by sucking all the salt from their bodies.
The drabble for today is “Skin Deep,” and it was inspired by deceiving appearances.
“Nara,” said Tarzan to the blind girl. “This is Zamba, a lion who will guide and protect you.”
“He smells safe,” she said.
Meanwhile an enterprising shapeshifter caught the lion, killed it by sucking the salt from its body, and took its place.
Tarzan found Nara crying over the dead body of an ugly monster. “What happened?”
“It pretended to be Zamba, but even a blind girl could tell that it wasn’t. I convinced it to turn into a cockroach and then I crushed it. It changed into this.”
“I’m really impressed. That’s pretty salty behavior for a little girl.”
POUND HIS CHEST
September 9, 2023 and ninety-five years ago on this day in 1928, actor Will Machin died in Los Angeles, California. Born in Coventry, Warwickshire, UK, he appeared in several silent films, “The Yellow Dog,” “The Garden of Allah, “The Corsican Brothers,” and he played the lead role, William Blankington, aka “The Lad,” in Edgar Rice Burroughs’ “The Lad and the Lion.” Vivian Reed, who played Ozma in OZ films, was considered the star of the film and her name appeared above the title in most the advertisements. All-Story Weekly did a tie-in cover for their publication of the story and the movie's release. No copy of this film is known to exist.
Details about the film: https://www.erbzine.com/mag4/0450.html
The drabble for today was not inspired by Will Machin, I could find very little information about and no photos of him. Instead, “Pound His Chest,” was inspired by the behavior of an unnamed acquaintance. Anger is the last refuge of the incompetent!
Jane said, “Tarzan, the big bull ape is upset. He’s screaming, yelling, and ripping the trees and bushes apart. The other apes don’t seem too bothered at all.”
POUND HIS CHEST
“They aren’t. He behaves like this all the time. When he doesn’t get his way, he throws a tantrum and calls everyone names.”
“Why would he do that?”
“When you can’t be bothered to know the facts or the rules, the only thing left is to call everyone else names.”
“Does that work on adults?”
“No, but it keeps him entertained so the rest of the apes can take care of business.”
RUN AWAY, LION
September 10, 2023 and 104 years ago on this day in 1919, Edgar Rice Burroughs finished writing “Tarzan and the Valley of Luna,” which would become the second half of the novel, “Tarzan the Untamed.” The story was rejected by Cosmopolitan and Blue Book, but it was serialized from March 20, 1920 through April 17, 1920 by All Story Weekly. P. J. Monahan drew the March 20th cover illustration. There were no interior drawings.
Details about “Tarzan and the Valley of Luna”: https://www.erbzine.com/mag4/0493.html
The drabble for today is RUN AWAY, LION, and it was inspired by “Tarzan and the Valley of Luna,” and by the confrontation between a bad man and a lion.
The soldier stepped away from the woman he was threatening and faced a lion. Tarzan stood behind the lion.
RUN AWAY, LION
“That your lion? I’ll kill him.”
“He’s not my lion. It’s more like I’m his human.”
The soldier screamed, waved his arms, and shouted about what a mighty warrior he was. He pounded his chest and pointed at his campaign ribbons. “Run away, lion. Run away. I’ve fought a thousand battles and won them all. Nothing can beat me.”
The lion ripped his throat out. The woman asked, “What just happened?”
Tarzan smiled. “He tried to talk the lion to death.”
September 11, 2023 and 81 years ago on this day in 1942, Edgar Rice Burroughs, the World’s Oldest War Correspondent wrote a letter home to his daughter, Joan. Burroughs was living at 1298 Kapiolani Boulevard, Honolulu, in the Hawaii Islands at the time.
The entire letter has been meticulously reproduced at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag4/0429.html#11.09.42 Read it in its entirety.
Burroughs’ family had concerns about his health and ERB addressed the issue in the closing paragraph, a section of which is today’s drabble, “Insomnia.”
Once a month I go to my doctor for a checkup. I went this morning. I’ve been suffering from insomnia.
Can't seem to sleep more than eight to ten hours a night. Last night
I slept only eleven hours, and the dining room was closed when I awoke. Had to go down town for breakfast. The doctor says he’s afraid that I’ll live, not being able to find anything wrong with me. I told him that I was worried because I felt so well. I’ve no business to feel so well at my age. I think he agreed with me.
READY MADE AUDIENCE
September 12: On this day in 1932, the first episode of the syndicated Tarzan radio series, “Tarzan of the Apes,” was broadcast. Two days earlier, a live stage introductory gala and show took place. James Pierce and his wife, Joan Burroughs Pierce, played Tarzan and Jane. The cast included Gale Gordon and Jennette Nolan.
The original 77 episodes, their airdates, and summaries are all available at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag0/0011.html
The advertising material for the show is the drabble for today, “Ready Made Audience.”
For twenty years Tarzan of the Apes has been building an eager audience, composed of the readers of the ten million Burroughs books that have been sold in English-speaking countries.
READY MADE AUDIENCE
116 daily newspapers are publishing the Tarzan strips now.
93 Sunday papers are publishing the Tarzan full-color page now. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's Johnnie Weissmuller Tarzan the Ape Man was one of the six best box-office attractions of 1933. They have just released a new Tarzan picture, Tarzan and his Mate. These are some of the reasons why the Tarzan Radio Program has the largest ready-made audience ever gathered under thirty million roofs.
MUST BE OBEYED
September 13: On this day in 1917, the first UK edition of “Tarzan of the Apes,” was published in Great Britain. The book was published by the Methuen Publishing Limited and the cover was by “Walpole Champneys. Later editions had cover art by G. W Goss.
Thomas Beaumont Walpole Champneys was born in 1879 and died in 1961. He illustrated covers of the first four Tarzan novels for Methuen in the UK. He designed murals, wall hangings and other public art displays for the theatre, cinema, and restaurants. He was quite significant in the Art Deco period and was commissioned by several architects.
Details about the publication history of “Tarzan of the Apes,” numerous illustrations, and a wealth of information: https://www.erbzine.com/mag4/0483.html
The drabble for today, “Must Be Obeyed,” was inspired by the first British publication of “Tarzan of the Apes.” The drabble contains eight novel titles by an Englishman who wrote about Africa and also his name.
MUST BE OBEYED“Mr. Methuen, I appreciate the commission. Why is a British Company publishing a novel about an English Lord in Africa written by an American?”
“Walpole, my wife loved it. She knows nothing of publishing, but suddenly she’s wisdom’s daughter and she must be obeyed, after all she’s my love eternal. You look ill.”
“I’m a bit haggard and worn. I’ll finish the Tarzan cover by the morning star before dawn, but a contract rider says I owe your three more.”
“Extra work shouldn’t be hard to swallow.”
“It is when the way of the spirit doesn’t meet the world’s desire.”
September 14: On this day in 1984, actor Clive Morgan died in Santa Monica, California. Clive appeared in 68 films according to IMBD, including Gunga Din, Tarzan the Tiger, Young Bess, Around the World in Eighty Days, Joan of Arc, The Hot Scots, Kidnapped, Dracula’s Daughter, and Magnificent Obsession. His career spanned 33 years, beginning with Tarzan the Tiger and ending with The Notorious Landlady in 1962.
Details about Tarzan the Tiger: https://www.erbzine.com/mag5/0593.html
And about Booloo: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0029935/?ref_=nm_knf_t_2
The drabble for today is “Proper Behavior” and it was inspired by Morgan’s career. As a reminder to the reader, all drabbles are fictional, unless credited to a specific individual. This is one of the fictional ones.
On the set of The Notorious Landlady, Clive Morgan handed Kim Novak a cup of coffee. She said, “Thank you, Clive, you’re such a gentleman.”
“Being a gentleman has kept me employed for thirty years.”
Kim replied, “I hadn’t thought of it that way. Is your behavior only acting?”
“Of course not. A gentleman is always on stage. Manners and courtesy are always important. Whether I played a hero, a rogue, or only had the briefest walk-on, I’ve always behaved politely and properly.”
“Even when you were the bad guy?”
“Especially then. Being evil is no excuse for churlish behavior.”
September 15: On this day in 1970, actor Edgar Hughes ‘Blue Washington’ who appeared in ”Tarzan and the Slave Girl,” “Tarzan’s Magic Fountain,” and “Tarzan Escapes” died in Los Angeles, California.
Washington was also a professional baseball player. He began his career in 1915 with the Chicago American Giants and later played with the Kansas City Monarchs. He was a pitcher and first baseman.
His nickname, “Blue,” was given him by his childhood friend, director Frank Capra, one of his pals. He appeared in several films for John Ford. He was a Los Angeles Police Officer between acting gigs. His son was a standout athlete at UCLA and a teammate of Jackie Robinson.
Frequently cast, but underused, he was typecast in stereotyped roles, and was often uncredited, but he appeared in 88 films including ‘King Kong,’ ‘Bomba the Jungle Boy,’ ‘Gone With the Wind,’ and the 1934 version of ‘Cleopatra.’ His last film was “The Hustler. He had a small role.
For details about the Tarzan films in which he appeared, start at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag6/0618.html
The fictional drabble for today, “Drive Carefully,” was inspired by the careers of Edgar Hughes Washington.
On the set of “The Hustler,” Edgar Washington changed into his policeman’s uniform when filming ended for the day. Paul Newman made a brief salute and said, “Be careful out there.”
Jackie Gleason finished a glass of bourbon and poured himself another. “Washington, I thought you played a worker in the pool hall, not a policeman.”
“I play a policeman most every day. Go easy on that whiskey, Mr. Gleason. You’re driving.”
“I’ll be fine. No one tells me how much I can drink.”
“Yes, sir. You taking Santa Monica Freeway home?”
“No reason,” Washington smiled. “Just curious.”
SEPTEMBER V: 1-15 ILLUSTRATIONS COLLAGE
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