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Volume 7789a

ERB 100-Word Drabbles
APRIL VI Edition :: Days 16-30
by Robert Allen Lupton
Back to Days 1-15 at ERBzine 7789

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

April 16
: All Barsoomians possess some level of ESP and many are able to use it control their mounts, the thoats, however, Thuvia has a special bond with Banths, an apex predator likened to a lion on steriods. She can communicate with them, and command their obedience with a single thought.
Publication details for the novel abound at:
    The drabble for today is “I Think I Can,” inspired by the mental powers of Thuvia, Maid of Mars.”


Carthoris had rescued a beautiful woman, Thuvia, from great white apes roaming the wilderness of the Toonolian Marshes. Two days later, they were attacked by banths, gigantic lion-like creatures. Thuvia closed her eyes and pointed toward the banth pride. The animals all ran away, except for the largest, which lay at her feet.

She pressed her forehead against the savage creature’s face. It led them to safety and brought them food.

Carthoris said, “What just happened?”
“I mentally control the beasts.”
“Wow, does it work on men?”
“If it worked on men, I wouldn’t have been fleeing through the wilderness.”

April 17:
On this day in 1894, Actress Vivian Reed was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Vivian was Ozma in the early L. Frank Baum produced Oz films, but she also appeared in one approved and one unapproved films based on the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs. She portrayed Nakula in “The Lad and the Lion,” the first Edgar Rice Burroughs approved film, predating all the Tarzan movies. The Isle of Content was allegedly based on “The Cave Girl.” In that film, Vivian portrayed an adventuress named Rosann Van Nott. No copies of either film are known to exist.
    Her three Oz films were The Patchwork Girl of Oz, The Magic Cloak of Oz, and His Majesty, the Scarecrow of Oz. Vivian had a small cameo in The Wizard of Oz. She was predominately a silent film actress, with only minor non-speaking and uncredited appearances after ‘talkies’ became the rage.
In her private life, she was married to director Alfred Green for almost 40 years – until his death in 1960. They had three children, Douglas, Hilton, and Marshall, who all worked as assistant directors.
    The 100 word drabble for today is “Silence is Golden,” inspired by the career of Vivian Reed.


Vivian Reed’s son, Douglas, said, “Mom, I found copies of your old Oz films in the attic. Didn’t you make some Tarzan pictures?”

“No. I did one film by Burroughs, “The Lad and the Lion.” There was another, “The Isle of Content,” but the company didn’t pay him and so no one would admit it was based on one of his books.”

“I didn’t find copies of those.”
“Doug, I don’t think any copies exist.”
“Are you okay with that?”
“I’m content. They weren’t much to speak of. I’m not lying.”
“Clever, Mom, but I know what you did there.”

April 18:
On this day in 1914, All-Story Weekly published the third installment of the first Pellucidar novel, “At the Earth’s Core.” Neither Edgar Rice Burroughs nor “At the Earth’s Core” made the cover. That honor went to “The Queen of Sheba’ by Perley Poore Sheehan. I can’t make out the cover artist.
    To mention other stories in the issue, G. P. Wilson contributed “The Tiger-Skin” and Paul Regard (a pseudonym of Perley Poore Sheehan) story, “Finnigan’s Gun,” made an appearance. The gun came first, the wake was years later. Sheehan wrote several stories in the vein of Edgar Rice Burroughs. “Abu, the Dawn Maker,” “The Leopard Man,” and “Jungle Joss” come to mind.
    “At the Earth’s Core” has been reprinted several times in several countries. Just a reminder, that in Pellucidar, the sun always shines, and time exists only in the minds of visitors from the surface. The saying, “There’s no time like the present,” would never have been uttered, because it’s always the present. It took the first two surface dwellers, David Innes and Abner Perry a while to become accustomed to the time paradox, or maybe it didn’t – time being subjective, after all.
    Publishing details and an electronic version of this wonderful novel are at:
    The drabble for today, “Aging in Place,” was inspired by “At The Earth’s Core.”


David Innes said, “Abner, I’m going hunting. We need fresh food.”
“How long will you be gone?”
“Back by sunset. No, that’s not right. Moonrise? No! Damn it, I’ll be back when I’m back.”

Abner said, “I’ll be here.”
David disappeared into the forest and almost immediately limped back out. Heavily bearded and much thinner, David wore decaying animal skins. “Abner, I was captured and escaped. I’ve been lost.”

“David, you haven’t been gone long enough for me to set down.”
“A year for me and seconds for you. I’m getting old faster than you are.”
“Older, but not wiser!”

April 19:
On this day in 1992, the Gray Morrow illustrated and Don Kraar scripted Sunday comics Tarzan story arc, “The Leopard’s Trail,” began. It ran for 14 weeks and ended on July 19, 1992. The story is reminiscent of “The Monster Men.”
Amad scientist is experimenting to create the ultimate warrior by manufacturing a genetic cross between humans and animals, predatory animals. Bror is a leopard-man and Marcus, a lion-man. The animal men joined with Tarzan to stop the scientist. After winning their freedom, Tarzan guided them to the Pal-ul-don, a valley filled with many strange creatures. We hope they lived happily ever after.
    The 100 word drabble for today is “Beasty Boys” and it was inspired by the Sunday comic, “The Leopard’s Lair.”


Tarzan confronted Dr. Forescu, a scientist who’d combined men and predators to create the ultimate warriors. “Why do this? The difference between men and beasts is only a couple days of starvation.”’

“To be good fighters, they must understand orders. Both man and beasts are cognizant. Simply, both man and beast know things, but the man knows that he knows.”

Tarzan growled. “Double talk. I know that these beasts understand what you’re doing to them.”

“What do they understand?”
“Enough to be very very angry.”
“So what does that mean?”
“Have lunch with an angry lion. You’ll figure it out.”

April 20:
On this day in 1925, Edgar Rice Burroughs began writing the final installment of “The Moon Maid.  “The Red Hawk” was serialized by Argosy All-Story Weekly in three installments from September 5, 1925 through September 19, 1935. The first installment’s cover was by Modest Stein. Roger Morrison did a black and white interior illustration for each issue.
    It’s been 100 years since the Kalkars and their earthly allies, aka communists, have controlled America. The desert clans, Americans who refuse to surrender, are a mixture of the people living in America at the time of the conquest. They live the lifestyle of the Native American desert tribes and the time has come to fight back.
The leaders are Red Hawk and Rain Cloud. This is their story.
    The drabble for today is, “Time To Go Home.”


Rain Cloud and his brother, Red Hawk, had led the desert tribes to war against the Kalkars and after hard fought battles, forced the invaders into the ocean. Red Hawk snarled, “We’ll patrol the coast and kill them if they dare to come ashore.”

Rain Cloud agreed. “Time for them to go home. They can go back to from where they came.”

“Brother, do you believe they can swim that far.”
“I wouldn’t know about that.”
“So is forcing them into the ocean, murder?”
‘No, Red Hawk. “They can swim across the ocean or drown. It’s their decision, not ours.”

April 21:
On this day in 1917, All-Story Weekly published the fourth installment of “The Cave Man” by Edgar Rice Burroughs, which became the second half of the novel, “The Cave Girl.
The cover by Modest Stein illustrated the first installment of “Ladyfingers” by Jackson Gregory and it features a remarkably clean-shaven safecracker. Gregory was an active contributor to the pulps from 1911 through 1939 and a couple of his stories were reprinted in the 1950s. The issue also contained an installment of a Semi-Dual novel by J. U. Giesy and Junius B. Smith.
    In the last portion of the “Cave Man,” Waldo Emerson Smith-Jones, a spoiled Boston dandy, has become a stone-age warrior and he fights to protect Nadara, the woman he has come to love. His mother arrives in a chartered ship to rescue him, but it turns out she needs rescued as well. How will a society matron accept a cave woman as a daughter-in-law?     You’ll need to read the book to find out.
    The drabble for today, “Food Chain,” is inspired by the first meeting of Nadara and Mrs. Smith Jones.


“Mother,” said Waldo. “This is Nadara. I’m going to marry her.”
“I think not. She’s dressed in animal skins and has no shoes. Who does her hair? You’ll marry someone like us, someone from the top of society.”

“She is at the top of society on this island.”
“I didn’t claw my way up from the South End to have my son marry a troglodyte!”
“Nadara didn’t claw her way up from a fetid cave to be treated this way. Mom, you both climbed the same ladder, just in different places. Neither of you can climb above the highest rung!!!

April 22:
On this day in 1933, the Los Angeles Police Department awarded Edgar Rice Burroughs with a “Protective Order of the Police,” and issued a POOP certificate in his name. Quite an honor in spite of the unfortunate acronym. Better to call it the “LAPPO,” Los Angeles Police Protective Order, or even the “POPLA,” Protective Order of the Los Angeles Police,  ::  ::
The drabble for today is “Keep Shoveling,” and it was inspired by the Protective Order of the Police.”


“Mr. Burroughs, the Los Angeles Police have awarded you a POOP award. I’d like to schedule a presentation ceremony.”

“POOP award? Why, I don’t let my dog, Tarzan, on public property.”
“This has nothing to do with dogs. It’s an award, not a citation.”
“What kind of award is it?”
“Protective Order of Police.”
“Like a get out of jail free card?”
“Mr. Burroughs, do you need a get out of jail free card?”
“Gosh, no. I work so hard I’m too pooped to get in trouble.”
“Are you making fun of our award?”
“Never, that would be crappy behavior!”

April 23:
On this day in 1921, The Range Ledger, newspaper in Hugo, Colorado, began serialization of A Princess of Mars:. Serializations of novels in newspapers was quite common in those days. No one is sure how many newspapers serialized A Princess of Mars, but www.erbzine.comlists several at:
I’ll add one more to that list, The Hope Penasco Valley Press in New Mexico serialized the novel beginning on Christmas Eve, 1920.
Hugo, Colorado had a population of about 800 people in 1920 and has a population of about 800 people today. As they say, things ain’t changed all that much. The Range Ledger was published by Clarence M. Miles from 1899-1935, when it ceased publication. It was a weekly newspaper and most issues are available on microfilm from the Colorado Historical Society. I’ve never been able to find out what the newspapers paid for serialization rights, but considering that the Range Ledger’s print run was about 300 copies at five cents each, the weekly subscription income was about $15.00. Spread that over a ten week serialization and the total distribution income was $150.00. I’ve looked at two issues and there’s a lot of advertising, the life blood of a newspaper. In any event, I expect the Range Ledger paid less about $10.00 for the rights. Those small time weekly newspapers had a simple business plan. Subscriptions were cheap. Circulation was king. The money was made with advertising.
    The drabble for today, ‘No Such Thing As A Free Lunch,” was inspired by the gone, but not forgotten, “Range Ledger,” a newspaper for its time. A tip of the hat to another of my favorite writers, Robert A. Heinlein.


Joyce Miles said, “The typesetting’s finished. Those made up names from the Princess of Mars just wear me out. I don’t understand why you bought the rights anyway.”

“It’s four pages an issue I don’t have to write. I’ve sold enough advertising for twelve pages and we have to print twelve pages.”

“Okay, but what’s Barsoom to do with the price of corn.”
“Nothing, but Ralph at the Hope Feed and Seed pays for it. He says Burroughs gave him half his sandwich when he was a railroad cop.”

“Twenty bucks for the rights. That must have been some sandwich!”

April 24:
On this day in 1983, The Gray Morrow illustrated Tarzan Sunday comics story arc, “The Most Dangerous Prey,” concluded. The story ran for eight consecutive Sundays, having begun on March, 6, 1983.
The story is somewhat predictable. The most dangerous game is hunting other humans. A big game hunter, cleverly named Mr. Slaughter, decided to hunt another human and they he chose Tarzan. This proves to be a terrible idea.
The entire story is available at:
    The drabble for today is “Target Fixation,” and it was inspired by the story arc, “The Most Dangerous Game.”


Tarzan shared a meal with his companion, Nkima, a monkey. “Someone stalks us. He’s carrying a rifle. His scent is distinctive.”

Unconcerned, Nkima shrugged. “He can’t climb trees, can he? He’s slower than us.”
“Speed is unimportant is he never stops. Eventually, I’ll want to go home and he will find me there. It’s time to turn the tables and stalk the stalker.”

Tarzan laid a false trail, doubled back, and captured the hunter. “How did you find me?”

“You were too focused on being the hunter. Every hunter is another hunter’s prey. You’re lucky I’m not a hungry lion.”

April 25:
On this day in 1914. All Story Weekly published the fourth installment of the first Pellucidar novel, “At The Earth’s Core.” The magazine was priced at ten cents and cover, by an unidentified artist, illustrated the story “On the Drop” by Stephen Chalmers, a prolific writer, who’s best known character was Captain Willipots, although I confess I’ve never read any of his work. Pretty spooky cover.
    Details about “At The Earth’s Core” abound at
The drabble for today is a fictional conversation, “Which Way is Up,” inspired by who knows what and the novel “At The Earth’s Core.”


Emma Burroughs asked her husband. “Ed, I’ve reread “At The Earth’s Core.” I don’t understand why the people inside don’t just fall off the ground and burn up in that big sun in the middle of the hollow Earth.”

“Emma, the ground between the outer and inner surfaces creates gravity in both directions. Why not ask why people in Australia don’t fall off the planet.”

“I know that. Science says gravity pulls everything toward the center of the Earth.”
“You believe science or my story.”
“Probably science. You haven’t been added in the New Testament, have you? Good book, though!”

April 26:
On this day in 1947, Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote “The Los Angeles Examiner” newspaper, which had mentioned his death in their review of the film, “Tarzan and the Huntress.” Like Mark Twain many years earlier, the reports of his death had been greatly exaggerated.
Mark Twain is one of the most misquoted people of all time. The actual quote, different from the one in the paragraph above, is “I can understand perfectly how the report of my illness got about, I have even heard on good authority that I was dead. James Ross Clemens, a cousin of mine, was seriously ill two or three weeks ago in London, but is well now. The report of my illness grew out of his illness. The report of my death was an exaggeration.
I haven’t read Burroughs’ letter to the Examiner. Electronic versions of the newspaper are available on a couple websites, but they’re behind paywalls and I refuse to do that. The Library of Congress didn’t have any issues of the LA Examiner available, but it had copies of several newspapers that serialized “A Princess of Mars” prior to 1925. I’ll explore that another day.
Information about “Tarzan and the Huntress:
    The 100 word drabble, “Alive and Well, for today was inspired by the erroneous report of Burroughs death. A bit of credit to the film “Catch Twenty-Two.”


“Hello, is this the film reviewer for the Examiner?”
“Yeah. You gotta problem.”
“Perhaps with your tone. I recently read your review of “Tarzan and the Huntress.” It’s factually incorrect.”
“I doubt that. I pride myself on my research.”
“This is Edgar Rice Burroughs and as you can tell by the fact that I’m speaking to you, I still live, I still pay taxes, and I still read the paper every day.”
“Wow, you gotta be a hundred years old.”
“I’m seventy-one, actually.”
“I’ll be thirty-two in July.”
“If you live that long, young man. If you live that long.”

April 27:
On this day in 1874, Director Scott Sidney was born in Warren County, Pennsylvania. He was named Harry Wilbur Siggins at birth. His 136 film direction credits included the 1918 film, Tarzan of the Apes and the Adventures of Tarzan, both of which featured Elmo Lincoln, Gordon Griffin, and George B. French.
Sidney began his career in vaudeville and stock theatre. Appearing with his wife, Josephine For in a vaudeville sketch, “The Inspector,” he was noticed by film producer Thomas Ince. He died of a heart attack while on vacation in London.
    Warren County, in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley, was of strategic importance during the civil war. The Battle of Front Royal was parto of Stonewall Jackson’s famous Valley Campaign. By the time of Sidney’s birth, the area was none for leather tanning, lime works, and copper and iron mining.
For details about “Tarzan of the Apes” and “Adventures of Tarzan” visit:
    The drabble for today is, “Song and Dance,” and it was inspired by the career of Scott Sidney.


Elmo Lincoln asked, “Scott, why’d you become a director?”
“Elmo, if you’d seen me act, you wouldn’t have to ask.”
“You and your wife a pretty good vaudeville career, didn’t you.”
“Josephine was great. I wasn’t much of a song and dance man.”
“Then why vaudeville?”
“I was born in rural Pennsylvania. I tried the local jobs. I was terrified in the mines, my cigar rolling was dreadful, and tanning leather. I’m allergic to grapevine.”

‘But you said you were a bad actor.”
“True, but if you’re bad a something, be bad at something which lets you see the country.”

April 28:
On this day in 1924, Time Magazine reprinted an article, “Tarzanism vs. Marxism” about how the Tarzan novels priced at the equivalent of sixty cents US, were best sellers in Russia. ERB and the editor/publisher of Time, Henry Luce, exchanged messages on the subject. View the TIME 1924 magazine article with photos and ERB's letter to TIME in response in ERBzine at:
    The subject of the drabble for today is, “Mountaintop,” inspired by the sales of Tarzan novels in the Soviet Union in the early 1920s.


“Henry,” said Edgar Rice Burroughs. “I expect to be outlawed in Russia as soon as someone in power reads “The Moon Maid.” I’m quite critical of communism.”

“I thought your observations about Tarzan’s birthright would have you banned by the Bolsheviks.”

“I’m outselling Karl Marx in Moscow.”
“I hope so. I’ve read several manifestos in my editorial career. They’re pretty much the same. Some bearded malcontent claims he’s been to the mountaintop and knows how the rest of us should live.”

“You make Marx sound like the old busybody who lived next to my childhood home.”
“Same thing, different scope.”

April 29:
On this day in 1982, actor Ivory Williams died in Los Angels, California. The actor appeared in only five films, “Tarzan the Ape Man” (1932), “King Kong,” Green Pastures,” “White Hunter,” and Tarzan the Fearless.”
    Williams gave of show business after 1936 and opened and operated the “White Spot Hand Laundry” in Watts, a Los Angeles neighborhood. He was drafted into the US Army and served during WW2.
    The drabble for today is “Day Job,” and it was inspired by the brief film career of Ivory Williams.


A customer paid for his laundry and said. “I know you. You played Jacob in “Green Pastures.”
“I did. I also did a couple Tarzan pictures and hunted King Kong.”
“Why you working in a laundry.”
“First, I’m the owner and second because I learned making jungle films, everyone’s clothes get dirty. Also a man only gets paid once to make a film, but I get paid every time we wash the same shirt.”

“There were angels in Green Pastures.”
“You ever hear of ‘Angels With Dirty Faces? Well, angels have dirty robes, too. Someone’s got to clean them up.”

April 30:
On this day in 2000, The Gray Morrow illustrated and Alan Gross written Tarzan Sunday comic story arc, “Flight From Pellucidar,” began. The story ran from 16 weeks and ended on August 13, 2000. Read the WHOLE series in ERBzine at:
    Tarzan and a woman named Moxie, who apparently doesn’t have any, are wandering Pellucidar in the company of Nkima, Tarzan’s monkey companion. Tarzan fought tigers and wolves. Lions and bears weren’t available. They find a crashed airplane and miraculously manage to repair it in a prehistoric jungle, which is almost as miraculously as finding the plane with enough fuel to fly home.
    The novel for today is “Bait,” and it was inspired by the story, “Flight From Pellucidar.”


Moxie straighten her animal skin top and whispered. “Tarzan, a saber-toothed tiger is following us.”

“Yes, she’s been on our trail for a while. I need you to scream and run away. The tiger will be attracted by the movement and the noise. She’ll chase you.”

“You want me to lead the tiger away from you? Why don’t you just tie me to a tree?”
“Don’t have a rope. I’ll surprise the tiger and kill her before she catches you.”
“What if you don’t?”
Tarzan shrugged. “In that case, I’ll need to know how to contact your next of kin.”

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