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Volume 7872a

ERB 100-Word Drabbles
MAY VI Edition :: Days 16-31
by Robert Allen Lupton
BACK TO Days 1-15 at ERBzine 7872

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

May 16:
On this day in 1979, director Robert Florey, “Tarzan and the Mermaids, died in Hollywood, California. His 120 directorial credits include “The Twilight Zone,” “The Outer Limits,” “The Untouchables,” “The Beast With Five Fingers,” “God is My Copilot,” “The Cocoanuts,” and Murders in the Rue Morgue.”
    Robert first wrote several film articles in Europe and came to Hollywood as a film correspondent for La Cinematographie Franaise.
In Hollywood, Florey proposed to write and direct Frankenstein staring Bela Lugosi for Universal. It was originally accepted, the producer hated Lugosi’s makeup and Lugosi was unhappy that his part wasn’t a speaking one. The script was discarded, but Florey was given Murders in the Rue Morgue to direct, which featured Lugosi. In 1951, Florey moved exclusively to television.
    Details about “Tarzan and the Mermaids” are located at:    The fictional drabble for today, “Swim, Johnny, Swim,” was inspired by the film, “Tarzan and the Mermaids,” directed by Robert Florey.


Robert Florey reviewed the script for “Tarzan and the Mermaids” with producer, Sol Lessor. “Sol, I’m a little confused. Whenever an actress gets into trouble, there’s a short note, “WSTTR,” What does that mean?”

“Weissmuller swims to the rescue.”
“That’s it?”
“That’s it. Ocean, lake, pond, or river. Johnny dives in, swims furiously, and saves the actress. You can toss in a crocodile or a shark if you want.”

“Seems trite.”
“The audience wants two things, Johnny to swim and the Tarzan yell.”
“Johnny’s getting old.”
“The water and the audience don’t care how old he is. Swim, Johnny, swim!”

May 17:
On this day in 1911, Maureen O’Sullivan was born and Burroughs historian, Darrell C Richardson, was born in 1918, but previous posts about both of those events have been published in this series. On this day in 1885, actress Bessie Toner, a star of stage and screen, was born.
    Bessie appeared in 1918’s Tarzan of the Apes ( and 1918's Romance of Tarzan ( ) In Tarzan of the Apes, she played a barmaid and an equally, but vital small role in “The Romance of Tarzan.” She only had seven screen credits, five of them being short films, including “The Millionaire Engineer,” Human Hearts,”  and “The Broken Toy.” Her stage career began years earlier. She toured with her first husband, Harry Childs in “The Sign of the Cross” in 1904 and appeared in “The College Widow,” in 1906. She was on Broadway with “Girls” in 1908 and “Tricked” in 1913. After her brief film career, she became a very successful voice teacher.
    The drabble for today is “Sound and Fury, inspired by Bessie’s film career.


Bessie Toner’s son, Russell Chesley, a film writer and producer said, “Happy Birthday, Mom. I always wondered why you gave up acting after those two Tarzan movies.”

“I loved the stage, but I hated the travel.”
“But what about film?”
“Silent pictures just didn’t work for me. Besides, I met your father.”
“And why a voice teacher?”
“When talking pictures started, I was almost 40 years old and had you to raise. Teachers work regular hours, no five AM make-up calls, and no late nights. The depression taught us about a dependable paycheck. Film roles were gone with the wind.”

May 18:
On this day in 1928, Elaine Sterling was born in Saint Louis, Missouri. She signed a contact with MGM and appeared in a few musicals before her contract was dropped in less than 1/2 a year. She changed her name toSara Shane an appeared in “Four Queens and a King“ with Clark Gable. Her last film role was “Tarzan’s Greatest Adventure” with Gordon Scott in 1959. She acted on television for five more years, appearing on Perry Mason, The Outer Limits, and Voyage to the Bottom or the Sea.
Details about Tarzan’s Greatest Adventure:
In 1964, she became the director of the Hippocrates Health Centre in Queensland, Australia. She authored the non-fiction novel, Zuma, about a Mexican pre-op trans woman’s life in La Mesa Prison.
Later she promoted “Black Salve,” allegedly an alternative cancer treatment. Tests have proven the salve to be a dangerous corrosive and ineffective at best. It’s illegal for it to be sold in Australia, the United States, and several other countries. One of the primary ingredients is zinc chloride, which causes ulceration and burns and chronic exposure has been associated with anorexia, fatigue and weight loss.
    The drabble for today is “Snake Oil” and it was inspired by Sara’s transition from actress to alternative medicine promotor. Perhaps she was sincere. I hope so.


Gordon Scott said, “I think this will be my last Tarzan film. I can make a lot more money acting in Italian films.”

Sara Shane said, “I know this will be my last film, period. I’ve learned that a person can make much more money in sales than in making pictures.”

“So you’re going to make television commercials.”
“Not exactly, I’ve found this salve made from bloodroot and zinc chloride to sell people who have skin cancer.”

“Does it work?”
“Not exactly, but I’ll make twelve dollars an ounce.”
“So you’re giving up acting to become a witch doctor?”

May 19:
On this day in 1944, Edgar Rice Burroughs began writing the short story, “Uncle Bill.” The story wasn’t published until 2000 when it was included in the collection, “Forgotten Tales of Love and Murder,” published by John Guidry and Pat Adkins in a limited edition of 1000 copies.
    Uncle Bill is a short horror story, 1787 words. Burroughs didn’t focus on horror, but the argument could be made that everything he wrote hand elements of horror in it. Kaldanes and Kalkars and Weiroos, oh my! The story wasn’t published early enough to have inspired the film, “Psycho,” but it could have been? Uncle Bill has been missing since the Civil War, but his wife tells her niece and nephew, along with everyone else, that Bill will come home from the war soon even though the war ended many years ago.
 “Uncle Bill” can be read in its entirety at: and details about
Forgotten Tales of Love and Murder” at
    The drabble for today, “Psycho,” it’s excerpted from the short story “Uncle Bill,” written by Edgar Rice Burroughs. It’s a spoiler.


"I wonder what's in that trunk,' wondered Bob.
"Oh, please don't," I begged. "Aunt Phoebe wouldn't like it
He threw back the lid.
I screamed. Bob shrank back, his face was white as a sheet. In the trunk was a mummified corpse clad in the Civil War uniform of a captain. There was a round bullet hole in the skull between the eyes.

At the foot of the stairs stood Aunt Phoebe. Her face was livid pale. "What were you doing up there?" she demanded. It didn't sound like Aunt Phoebe's voice. "What did you find?"

"Uncle Bill," said Bob.

May 20:
On this day in 1931, Edgar Rice Burroughs finished writing “Tarzan and the Raiders,” which was published in Blue Book Magazine as “The Triumph of Tarzan” and in first edition as “Tarzan Triumphant.” Visit ERBzine for more on TARZAN TRIUMPHANT (pulps, original, reprints, foreign) ~ e-Text Edition ~ Publishing History ~ Reviews ~ Interior Art ~ Cast ~ Titles ~ Comics ~ Daily Strips ~ Reference Links ~ etc.
   Laurence Herndon drew two covers for Blue Book and Studley Burroughs’s artwork graced the first edition, published by Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc.
    The drabble for today is “Spoiler Alert,” a fictional conversation between ERB and his nephew, Studley, about “Tarzan Triumphant.”


Ed said, “Love the cover illustration. Have you started the interior artwork?
His nephew, Studley, replied. “I’ve a question about the title. Doesn’t “Tarzan Triumphant” give away the ending?”

“First, Blue Book titled their magazine version, “The Triumph of Tarzan.” That ship has already sailed.”

“But Uncle, it spoils the suspense.”
“What suspense, Studley? People don’t buy Tarzan books for Tarzan to lose. Arthur Conon Doyle tried to kill Sherlock Holmes and was almost stoned for it. Everyone knows that Tarzan wins. If I tried to kill him, my readers would storm Tarzana like the villagers in a Frankenstein movie.”

May 21:
On this day in 1968, actress Hessy Doris Lloyd, who performed as Doris Lloyd, died at age 71 in Santa Barbara, California. Doris appeared in over 200 films including “The Time Machine,” “Tarzan the Ape Man,” “Tarzan and the Leopard Woman,” “Mutiny on the Bounty,” “Farewell to Arms,” “The Sound of Music,” and ‘”Mary Poppins.” She provided her voice to Disney’s “Alice and Wonderland.”  More About Doris Lloyd's Two Tarzan Films:
    A long and distinguished career. Her role in “Tarzan the Ape Man” was Mrs. Cutten and in “Tarzan and the Leopard Woman’ she was Mrs. Wetherby, the school superintendent.
    The 100 word drabble, “She was a Lady,” for today, honors her long career. It contains 16 of her film titles, 17 if we count the title of this drabble.


Doris Lloyd said, “My suspicion was that directors knew I played my small roles one step beyond. I was an imperfect lady, but a kind lady.”

“You averaged four films a year.”
“I was told Hollywood was no place for a lady, but to each his own. This above all, I’d have acted forever and a day. The screen was my first love. No secrets! Had I a time machine, I go chasing yesterday. It was a careless age. I wasn’t rich, but honest and I did my best. The audience would always exit smiling.

“Is Zat so?”
‘It is.”

May 22:
On this day in 1998, actor / director John Derek died in Santa Monica, California. Derek had over 40 film credits as an actor including “The Ten Commandments, and “Rogues of Sherwood Forest.” He is best known as the husband of actress Bo Derek, whom he directed in “Bolero’ and “Tarzan the Ape Man.”
    In 1973, Derek met the 16 years old, Mary Catherine Collins, who performed as Bo Derek. They later married and remained together until John’s death.
    The 100 word drabble for today, “Speechless,” was inspired by the film, “Tarzan the Ape Man,” and especially the dialogue therein or lack thereof.


Bo said, “John, we need more dialogue in this film. Tarzan hasn’t a single line.”
“Pictures are worth a thousand words. My vision is that Tarzan represents everyman’s reaction when confronted with a woman as beautiful as you.”

“That’s sweet, confusing, but sweet. I don’t understand.”
“Most men are dumbstruck by you. They don’t know what to say and probably couldn’t speak if they wanted.”

“John, you exaggerate.”
“What do most men that you meet say to you?”
“They say duh, or they say nothing. Mostly they just stand with their mouths open and gape at me.”

“My point exactly.”

May 23:
On this day in 1914, All-Story Cavalier Weekly published the second installment of “The Beasts of Tarzan.”
This was the second issue of “All-Story Cavalier Weekly,” a temporary title in use because Munsey, the publisher of All-Story merged “The Cavalier” with All-Story in hopes that they could maintain the sales levels of the two and only publish one.
The cover illustration was for “To the Victor” by Harold Titus, who wrote at least 100 stories for the pulps. The issue contained an installment of “A Prize for Princes” by Rex Stout.
    The fictional 100 word drabble for today, “Jungle Dwellers,” was inspired by “The Beasts of Tarzan” and the merger of the two Munsey magazines, “All-Story,” and “The Cavalier.”


“Ed,” said Robert Davis, the editor at Munsey, “I’m concerned about the title, The Beasts of Tarzan.”

“Too long for you, Bob? Would you like “Tarzan’s Beasts,” better?”
“Don’t be cavalier, Ed. The title implies that Tarzan’s lives in the jungle and that the animals belong to him.”

“That would be because he does live in the jungle, he doesn’t own the beasts,  but he’s “THE LORD OF THE JUNGLE,” all caps.”

“It’s confusing for new readers who’d subscribed to “The Cavalier.” They may not have read about Tarzan before.”

“Nonsense, Bob. Tarzan lives in the jungle. Your readers don’t.”

May 24:
I try to never write one of these articles/posts about the same event twice. So far so good. I say article and post because this short items begin as a post on Facebook, are then published on and will finally appear in some form in my book, “Every Day With Edgar Rice Burroughs.” That means that some events are much more important than others, but I go with what I have. Edgar Rice Burroughs began his military service at Fort Grant, Arizona, finished The Bandit of Hell’s Bend” and “Uncle Bill” – all on May 24th, but in different years.
    So, May 24 And on this day in 1940, Edgar Rice Burroughs sent his poem, “Mud In Your Ai,” to his son, Hulbert. Just to be clear, Ai isn’t AI as in artificial intelligence. The word 'Ai is a shortened form of '?ina, which means Land in 'õlelo Hawaii (Hawaiian Language). The term for food is 'Ai, so there is a direct and constant connection between food and land. In Hawaiian culture, there is a deep relationship to '?ina, the Place that Feeds. And who wants mud in their food.
    The entire poem is available at: and it’s reproduced in its entirety as the drabble for today. “Mud in you Ai.” violates the rules, is 125 words long, not 100 – written by Edgar Rice Burroughs, of course. A few definitions for you. Mauka is the mountainside of the road. Makai is the ocean side of the road. Buffo buffo is a toad.


On the beach at Lanikai, lovely, lovely Lanikai
Where the mud comes down from mauka, from mauka to makai;
Where the piebald fishes ply through the mud at Lanikai;
There's where I love to be beside the yellow sea
With my water-wings and slicker, and umbrella over me.
Where the liquid sunshine tumbles and the thunder rumbles, rumbles
And a cloud-burst is a sun-shower on the beach at Lanikai.
I love the buffo buffo and the rain upon my roof, oh!
And the mildew and the rust and the typhoon's throaty gust
And the roaches, and the ants that have crawled into my pants.
I love it! oh, I love it! I cannot tell a lie,
From Kalama and Kailua all the way to Lanikai

May 25:
On this day in 1913, Director Lee Sholem, whose first directorial credit was Tarzan’s Magic Fountain” ( and who also directed “Tarzan and the Slave Girl,” ( was born in Paris – Paris, Illinois, that is. Besides directing the two Tarzan films, Sholem directed some of Hollywood’s greatest classics, including ‘Superman and the Mole-Men,” “Ma and Pa Kettle at Waikiki,” “The Louisiana Hussy,” “Torbor the Great,” and two Jungle Jim films, “Jungle Man-Eaters,” and “Cannibal Attack.” If you think about it the two Jungle Jim film titles are almost interchangeable.
Lee directed an astonishing 1300 films and television episodes during his career and his name was synonymous with speed and efficiency. Always on time and always within budget. He is credited with never, that would be never, brought a production in behind schedule. Remarkable.
Sholem tells the story of how, in the late 1940s, Sol Lesser, who was producing the "Tarzan" films--which Sholem was directing--was looking for a new Jane. Sholem found a young, attractive blonde actress who he thought would be good for the part, but Lesser nixed her. Sholem had her read for Lesser a total of eight times, but Lesser kept turning her down, saying she was all wrong, and eventually hired another actress. The one he turned down was Marilyn Monroe. Aah, what might have been!
The drabble for today is, “Burning Daylight, and it was inspired by Sholem’s commitment to time and budget.


Lex Barker said, “Let’s call it quits for today. I’m tired and my hair is a mess.”
Director Lee Sholem shook his head, “We got a full length mirror for your birthday. Fix your hair and buck up.”

I’ve been at this for ten hours.”
“As have I. Brenda Joyce was on set before you. She’s not complaining. Even the monkey is ready to film a few more scenes."

“Relax. Who cares if we’re a few days late.”
“I do. You can’t get back wasted time. If you don’t win the first game you play, you can’t win ‘em all.”

May 26:
On this day in 1928, Edgar Rice Burroughs finished writing “Tarzan and the Lost Empire.” The novel about a lost expedition of ancient Romans was serialized in Blue Book Magazine in 1929. The first edition was published by Metropolitan Books on September 28, 1929. This was the first book by Burroughs not published by A. C. McClurg. The wraparound dust jacket was by Armstrong Sperry.
    The story features Erich von Harben. Von Harben is a name we’ll see again and again in the worlds of Edgar Rice Burroughs.
Publishing details and several illustrations of the book, which had the working title, “Tarzan and the Lost Tribe,” are located at:
The drabble for today is the cover blurb of the Ballantine Books edition on the novel, no doubt written by some unknown and underpaid individual working quietly in a small windowless room.


Somewhere in the heart of Africa, a man had disappeared—Erich von Harben, the son of an old friend of Tarzan of the Apes. Now the ape-man was seeking to rescue him. The trail led to a mysterious valley where Tarzan discovered two surviving outposts of ancient Rome, almost completely unchanged by time. And there, Tarzan was thrust into the bloody arena, to face every peril the cruel and corrupt Emperor of Castra Sanguinarius could devise to ensure the ape-man's death. Miles away in Castrum Mare, Erich von Harben was also awaiting execution upon the sands of another tyrant's arena.

May 27:
On this day in 1934, aspiring pilot Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote his son, Hulbert and announced that he’d made a perfect landing. Ed and Hulbert were both training to be pilots. Ed had taken delivery of his own airplane, a Security Airster, on February 12, 1934, and received his private license on February 14th. Son-in-law James Pierce also became a licensed pilot and made a second carrier of flying. As for Hulbert, his first solo attempt ending in a crash landing, but that’s another story. Another tragedy struck later when their instructor, Jim Granger, was killed in a plane crash.
    The drabble for today is the fictional “New Frontiers,” inspired by Edgar Rice Burroughs’s never ending quest to conquer faster means of transpiration. He was always willing to try new things in life and in his writings. From horses to aircraft and from longhand to Dictaphones.


Ed’s wife, Emma said, “I’m worried about this airplane pilot stuff. It’s dangerous.”
“Not when I do it right.”
“You should be satisfied with your automobiles."
“Emma, when horses were what men rode, I joined the cavalry. I had a bicycle license. I drove the first electric car in Chicago. We’ve owned several automobiles and a couple of trucks. I have to keep up with the times.”

“But airplanes? I suppose you’d pilot a spaceship if you could.”
“Spaceships, really, Emma? Wait a minute, do you know something I don’t. Has someone finally invented a spaceship? Can I take lessons?”

May 28:
On this day in 2021, Edgar Rice Burroughs Incorporated published the Centennial Edition of “The Girl From Hollywood.” The novel was originally serialized in Munsey’s Magazine from June through November in 1922. The first edition was published by the Macaulay Company on August 10, 1923 with a dust jacket by P. J. Monahan – which was also used for the Centennial Edition. Here is more about THE GIRL FROM HOLLYWOOD: history ~ read the e-text ~ Covers ~ Art ~ Reviews ~ Trivia ~ many reference Links, etc.
    The story of Hollywood in the silent film era in contrast to the rural farms and ranches still occupying California at the time and the large differences in the standards of behavior. The story focuses on women led into a nightmare of drugs and illicit behavior by predatory producers a, directors, and actors. Most of the story takes place on the Pennington Ranch, modeled on Burroughs’ Tarzana Ranch. ERB may or may not have been the first to write about the evils of show business, but he wasn’t the last. “Valley of the Dolls” and “The Big Sleep” spring to mind.
    The drabble for today is “Primrose Path, inspired by the novel.


The director said, “Shannon, my dear, try these pills.”
“What are they?”
“Calmer-downer pills. Try it, you’ll like it.”
Later he said, “My favorite scotch. Try it, you’ll like it.”
He led her to a sofa. She said, “I don’t want to do this.”
“It’s a casting couch, try it, you’ll like it.”
“I need a moment.” In the bathroom, she vomited up the whiskey and pills. She washed her face and regained composure. Returning, she picked up a lamp and hit the director across the face.

“It’s called a lamp to the head. I tried it. I liked it.”

May 29:
On this day in 1930, Metropolitan Books published the first edition of “Tanar of Pellucidar” with a beautiful wraparound dust jacket by Paul F. Berdanier. For publishing details and several illustrations, visit
    The Metropolitan edition was 312 pages and approximately 78,000 words long. The story focuses on a native of Pellucidar, hence the title, who is from Sari and one a brave warrior. He’s captured by pirates, cleverly named Korsars.
    The drabble for today, “Here There Be Pirates,” was inspired by the novel, Tanar of Pellucidar.


Tanar, a brave warrior from Sari, a city-state in the hollow Earth, known as Pellucidar, saved his friend, David, and himself from the dreaded pirates, the Korsars. Tanar asked, “David, why do men become pirates.”

“Piracy always exists just beyond the realms where civilized people can protect themselves.”
“But, why?"
“Men who never fit into society, men who lived on dregs and leftovers, band together to survive by violence outside the accepted behaviors of humankind.”

“I still don’t understand.”
“They like to swear, drink grog, wear funny clothes, and say things like “Arrrggg, Matey.’”
“Now that answer makes perfect sense!”

May 30:
On this day in 1931, the Rex Maxon illustrated and R. W. Palmer adaption of Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle for the Tarzan daily newspaper comic strip, concluded. The adaption began on February 9, 1931 and ran for 96 days. Illustrations from the newspaper comic were used in the Big Little Book of the same name.
Enjoy ALL the Rex Maxon daily Tarzan strips as well as his earlier Tarzan Sunday pages -- hundreds of dailies -- at:
    The 100 word drabble for today, “No Time Like the Middle Ages,” is taken from the final page, mostly from last panel of the story. “We could credit it to R. W. Palmer, but we won’t. It’s virtually verbatim with the ending of the novel – written by Edgar Rice Burroughs. The punctuation is unchanged from the newspaper comic.


Blake dressed in iron mail, bestrode his charges as the column started down the trail. Blake reached down and extended his hand to the apeman. “Good-by, sir,” he said, “and thank you a thousand times.”

“Good –by?” demanded Tarzan. “Aren’t you coming home with us?”
Blake shook his head. “No,” he answered. “I’m going back into the middle ages with the woman I love.”

Tarzan and Jad-bal-la stood in the trail watching Sir James as he rode out toward the City of Nimmr, the blue and silver of his pennon fluttering bravely from the iron tip of his great lance.

May 31: On this day in 1931, Blue Book published the first installment of “The Land of Hidden Men,” which was later published as “The Jungle Girl.” Ed’s working title for the novel was “The Dancing Girl of the Leper King.” For publishing details, visit The novel was serialized in seven monthly installments. The film serial, “Jungle Girl, was advertised as based on the novel, but you could have fooled me.
Artist Laurence Herndon painted the cover for the first issue, the only one to feature the story on the cover. Frank Hoban did an interior illustration for each issue.
    The drabble for today was inspired by an early scene in the novel, where the hero, Bill Gordon, rescues the Fou-tan, the Dancing Girl of the Leper King, from a tiger. A small acknowledgement to an old man who watched my wife and her all female crew inflate her balloon one morning near Shiprock, NM. We he learned there were no men involved, he dismissed the entire process as “woman’s work!


Bill Gordon was exploring the dense jungles of Cambodia when he heard a scream. A young woman was threatened by a tiger. Gordon promptly shot the beast.

“Young lady, why are you alone in the jungle. Where are the men?”
“I don’t need any men.”
“Are your journey and destination only women’s work?”
“That’s insulting. My work and my destination are my own business.”
‘It seems that the tiger made it his business as well. It’s dangerous out here and I’ll ask again, where are the men?”

“The men are hidden. Didn’t you even read the title of this book?”

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