Henry Ford And Albert Lasker

December 17, 2014

Henry Ford And Albert Lasker


R.E. Prindle


Gunther, John:  Taken At The Flood, The Story Of Albert D. Lasker, 1960, Harper, NYC

Hoover, Herbert:  Memoirs Of Herbert Hoover:  The Great Depression 1929-1941,  1952, MacMillan Company, NYC

Weir, Alison:  Against Our Better Judgment: 2014, Self-published.

Schmidt,  Sarah,  The Parushim: A Secret Episode In American Zionist History, http://ifamericansknew.org/history/parushim.html

Tugwell, Rexford: The Brains Trust, 1968, The Viking Press, NYC

Woeste, Victoria Saker:  Henry Ford’s War On The Jews And The Legal Battle Against Hate Speech, 2012, Stanford U. Press, Palo Alto


In 1924 Harold Gray sat down and drew the first panels of his new comic strip.  A comic strip that outlived him.  Yes, Little Orphan Annie made her first appearance in the newspapers.  It was in 1948 that I spread the newspaper out on the floor and made my acquaintance with the little orphan girl and her dog Sandy.  I myself had just gotten out of the orphanage so there was an instant bonding.

I hadn’t been reading the strip for too long before the most fascinating character of the comics ever made his appearance.  Daddy Warbucks stepped on stage.  Warbucks, what a name.  Did he make his incredible fortune making munitions in WWI?  If so, it was only implied.

Warbucks was tall and slim, supremely confident with an incongruous joyish attitude.   I mean this guy killed people who got in his way as a matter of course.  Imagine trying to reconcile murder with business as usual in a young boy’s mind.  He had his own private army with two killer sidekicks.  The sinister looking Asp and the jovial giant East Indian, Punjab.  If your transgression was mild Punjab waved his cape over you and you disappeared.  If you made Warbucks angry The Asp pulled out his stiletto and you heard a splash.  The Asp always killed near water.  Daddy knew how to manage his affairs.

The Dangerous Duo

The Dangerous Duo

Warbucks was fabulous.  He had his own grotto where he moored his own private submarine.  He had unlimited cash so he was able to maintain his own secret service.  I wasn’t aware enough then but now I think that Daddy Warbucks was modeled on the great industrialist Henry Ford.  Henry didn’t have a submarine,  but he owned a fleet of Great Lakes ore ships, sort of his own personal navy, with a big F-O-R-D blazoned on the sides you could read a mile or more away.  He even had his own personal river up which his ships delivered the ore from his own personal iron mines.

His estate was upstream a bit on the River Rouge, his river, just above the incredible turn around basin he dug so his ships could go back out on the lakes to pick up more iron ore to keep his Model Ts chugging out the other end of the most astonishing factory in the world.  One time he unloaded the ore into his huge River Rouge factory and 24 hours later a brand new Model T rolled out the other end.  Daddy Warbucks had nothing on Henry Ford.

While the rest of us had to settle for our little electric train sets Henry owned his own personal real life railroad, locomotives, cars and all, real smoke.  Henry was pictured sitting on the coal from his own mines in his own coal car playing the harmonica as he chugged on down the line.  How cool was that?

Better yet, like Daddy Warbucks, he had his own secret service, the Service Department of Ford Motors led by his own intrepid Edgar Hoover, Harry Bennett.  I’m tellin ya, that guy Henry was on the spot, heck, he was the spot.  During the twenties he needed a secret service what with kidnappers, bootleggers, the Jewish Purple Gang, the Italian Mafia, and numerous other free lancers going around, labor fanatics waving bombs in the air, it paid to sniff things out.

Shots flying here and there, rough times in Detroit City.  All Henry wanted to do was make his cars, not battle in a war zone.  And then when the Jews began to war with him he sent his force out to gather incriminating evidence of their activities against him.

Of course the Jews reviled him for defending himself with his Service Department although of course they had no room to talk being awash in paramilitary and terrorists groups themselves.  They even had their own personal shadow government conspiring for a quiet takeover of the country.  Henry took them a step further pointing out that they had an international government working toward a takeover of Europe and the Americas.  He was right too.


All US histories have excised the Jewish influence on politics and social affairs.  To mention them is to be defamed as an ‘anti-Semitist.’  Jewish histories written by Jews for Jews are quite explicit.  They are seldom read either by Jews or gois.  Copies are sent free to libraries however they are seldom and quite often never checked out, even have the presentation slips inside.  If they are read they tell a clear tale of Jewish activities.

In point of fact there was and is an international Jewish government.

In the nineteenth century the government was run from France by the Alliance Israelite Universelle.  During the first years of the nineteenth century the US was disregarded as a fledgling country while the ocean transit was difficult in small sailing ships.  However as the century progressed the country blossomed, large capacity steel ships replaced the wooden ones and failed revolutions like that of 1848 displaced Jews sending them to the US.  With the industrial development after the Civil War it was realized that Jewry could be more effectively directed from the US with much better security.  Hence beginning in the 1870s the European Jewish population began to be transferred to the US while in 1898 the Alliance Israelite Universelle was shipped from Paris to New York City transferring the Jewish world capital to the latter city.  International Jewish activities began to multiply.

A big one was the International Order of B’nai B’rith in the US.  It was organized in 1843 but having branches throughout Europe by 1900.  The Vienna branch was a key lodge as it was joined by Sigmund Freud in 1895.  He remained a lifelong member.  Freud was beginning his psychological career at that time.  Nineteen years later his system of psycho-analysis was the standard of the emerging discipline.

His influence on world affairs through his association with B’nai B’rith would be increasingly felt throughout the twentieth century.  He was essential to forming the Jewish ideology through the death of Roosevelt in 1945.

Now, the Jews had been awaiting a messiah to redeem them for two thousand years.  The last bona fide messianic candidate, Sabbatai Zevi failed them in 1666.  Unwilling to place their hopes in a single individual the Elders then evolved the notion that the Redemption would come from the whole people.  The years set for the Redemption or Jewish Revolution were from 1913 to 1928.  As Ford understood, the events in all countries of Europe and North America were coordinated.  The two key events of the plan were the assumption of the control of US currency in 1913 through the creation of the Federal Reserve and the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia of 1917.  Both countries were seemingly secured although the US Redemption was about to be consummated but was aborted by FDR’s death in 1945.

The history of the Jews in the US from 1900 to 1945 then is the progression or realization of their goal.  The first key event of their plan was the fortuitous election of Woodrow Wilson in 1912.  Had Theodore Roosevelt not split the Republican vote by his Bull Moose third party candidature William Howard Taft would have been reelected and the Republican program perfected.

As it was the American public clearly did not want Wilson as President as his vote was half that of the combined Roosevelt-Taft total.  He got in by a fluke proceeding to begin elaborating a socialist government he called the New Freedom.  His administration was a virtual partnership with the Jews who assumed a position of power in his government through 1920.

One of the first acts Wilson performed in 1913 was to sign into law The Federal Reserve System.  In recent years it has been publicized to an increasing extent that the Federal Reserve is not an agency of the US government; it is a private corporation wholly owned and operated by nine international Jewish banks in both the US and Europe with a Rockefeller interest being the tenth thus forming a minyan.

The US monetary affairs had previously been managed by the J. P. Morgan interests also from NYC.  The Jews thus switched that responsibility from the Morgans and also beyond the control of the US president who had no authority over it or influence on it.  When the Fed engineered the Crash of ’29 Herbert Hoover the president bitterly remarked that the Fed had been placed outside of governmental and presidential control specifically to prevent such debacles while guaranteeing that under the Fed they could never again happen.  Woody blew it there, bless the Democrats.

In preparation for WW1 the remaining components of the Jewish government were transferred from Germany to the US.

Now, the Federal Reserve is responsible for the currency of the US so that the Fed actually issues the currency then loans it to the government, that is the citizens, for their use at interest.  Thus the Jews earn interest on every dollar in circulation. As the currency standard for the world you will understand how many trillions are now out at interest.  At the time the upcoming war would expand the currency in circulation exponentially thus providing huge interest to the Jews.  This is a key point because Jewish activities during the redemption would require more money than the Jews could ever have raised on their own.  While so-called Jewish charity did raise a few millions that was nothing compared to their financial needs.  Remember the Jews were supporting dozens of committees and congresses such as the American Jewish Committee at enormous expense as well as hundreds of synagogues along with their rabbis

Organized crime provided huge sums while Prohibition was a positive godsend.  All those criminals are buried in consecrated ground.  Today a museum in Las Vegas has been built to enshrine the activities of Jewish criminals.  No stigma attached.

Organized crime was important to the Jewish program but so were legal activities.  Thus it was that in 1916 Wilson appointed Louis Brandeis to the Supreme Court of the United States.  This was a break with the past as formerly the court was all Anglo.  As imperfect as his appointment was, the fact that Brandeis was a Zionist was even more important.  Zionism was and is in conflict with what was then the American system now almost completely eroded.

Perhaps it was not known to Wilson that Brandeis had the dual identity, or perhaps he did and was complicit.  An objector to Brandeis’ appointment described him as ‘a man who had certain high ideals in his imagination, but who is actually unscrupulous in reaching them.’  What the objector was describing is what is known as a justified sinner; that is one who is ‘saved’ in Christian terms at birth and thus can be as unscrupulous as he likes to satisfy his desires without sacrificing his guaranteed redemption.  The objector might as well have been describing the whole Jewish belief system, essentially the end justifies the means.

The drum roll began to establish a reputation for Brandeis as the greatest living jurist and the purest man alive.  Actually Brandeis was a ringleader of both Zionism and the Jewish Revolution.  Using his status as a Supreme Court justice one of the first things he did was buy a professorship at Harvard for his lieutenant Felix Frankfurter.  The drum roll then began to portray Frankfurter as one of the wisest legal scholars backed by his professorship at Harvard.

Thus he and Brandeis became two secular saints of both societies.

Frankfurter then began recruiting a cadre of acolytes to further Jewish objectives.  Over the next twenty years Frankfurter assembled the cadre that became important when Roosevelt brought the Jews back to DC.  No sooner installed than Frankfurter filled the Dept. of Agriculture with his acolytes.  Thus in one fell swoop he completed the program fostered by Aaron Sapiro that was temporarily frustrated by Henry Ford from 1924-27.

A key event in the establishment of Jewish supremacy was the trial of Leo Frank from 1913-15.


The Leo Frank Affair

The Leo Frank affair is a very important event in the Jewish calendar.  They never tire at bringing it up while it had long ranging repercussions.

For those unfamiliar with the story Leo Frank was a Jewish businessman living in Atlanta Georgia.  While his personal life is carefully avoided he is depicted as a Jewish secular saint who never did nobody no harm.   Contrarily he was described as a sexual pervert.  He employed young girls to make his pencils. By young girls we are talking child labor, pre-pubescent and pubescent.  So our secular saint was exploiting young children to line his pockets.  The temptation of all those young girls may have been too strong for his resistance.  On this occasion he called fourteen year old Mary Phagan to the factory on a Saturday when he was alone in the office, all others being absent, to pick up her paycheck.  Probably the amount was 1.86 or some such ridiculously low figure as that.

None saw Mary pick up the check obviously, but she was discovered in the basement on Monday murdered.  Frank tried to pin the crime on a Negro janitor.  Of course there was no hard evidence as to who had committed the crime but Frank was condemned as the perpetrator.

Why call the girl back to get her paycheck on Saturday after all the others?  Frank was tried in an American court of law and found guilty.  Louis Marshall, president of the American Jewish Committee, considered the conviction and death sentence as an anti-Semitic act somewhat like the blood libel.  Frank had been convicted solely because he was a Jew in Marshall’s eyes.  Marshall then began to organize a committee to free Frank.

Marshall was the president of the AJC, the AJC was the most important Jewish organization at the time as it is now.  It has always kept a low profile or semi-secret existence.  My wife’s aunt who was very active in Jewish affairs and the civil rights movement had never heard of the AJC until I told her about it which I find stunningly remarkable.

Mr. Marshall was a lawyer as well as president of the AJC.  In his lawyer guise he frequently accuses opponents of being ignorant of the law, yet on page 295 of his Champion of Liberty he says ‘…I am morally convinced that the young man is innocent.’  I have no idea what legal standing being morally convinced of innocence is but I rather imagine, slight.

On p. 297 he writes:  It is desirable to eliminate from consideration of the case, that Frank is a Jew.  The important thing to consider is, that he was a respected industrious, law-abiding citizen…’

The question is a legal one not a question of the status of Frank’s reputation.  In fact there was some question as to whether Frank was a sexual pervert.  Certainly his desire to be alone with Mary in his factory, a poor defenseless very young girl, might tend to confirm the opinion.  I am morally convinced this was so.

Marshall sets the wheels in  motion in his attempt to reverse the conviction.  In his reply to the letter from Judge Irving Lehman he further goes on to write, p. 295:  “Obviously it would be most unfortunate if anything were done in this case from the standpoint of the Jews.  Whatever is to be done must be done as a matter of justice and any action that is to be taken should emanate from non-Jewish sources.”

So, Mr. Marshall is falsely going to act on justice rather than the fact that Frank is a Jew.  He is going to conceal the fact while getting non-Jewish persons to front for him.  He apparently believes that if Frank were not a Jew the murder would be let drop.  On the other hand he seems to feel that Frank has been convicted solely because he is was a Jew not a rapist murderer.  Apparently overlooking the dead child he believes a Christian would never have been convicted.  Thus it is not a matter of justice but a question of the religion of the murderer but we’re not going to talk about that.

While recruiting a Christian front group to mislead the actual actors Marshall also recruits, one might almost say commands, a Jewish cadre of activists.  Now, Marshall was convinced or said so that the Frank case was the most important case since the Dreyfus Affair in France of the 1890s.  Dreyfus was a Jewish spy in the French army who was originally convicted but after a furious publicity campaign by the Jews using French front men they had the decision reversed a few years later.   It was then that the important French novelist Emile Zola was recruited as a front issuing his famous J’ accuse letter.  One guesses that the Dreyfus campaign was the model for the Frank case.

Of the variety of Jews recruited to act behind the front one was the advertising executive from Chicago, Albert Lasker.  Today both Marshall and Lasker have been obscured by time and may for practical matters be considered forgotten.  Yet both men had significant roles during this time.  Lasker as a young man entering his twenties at the turn of the century took a job with a Chicago advertising firm Lord and Thomas.  At the turn of the twentieth century advertising had nowhere near the importance or prominence that it has today.  Lasker joined the firm just as the advertising industry was about to develop.  Lord and Thomas, the founders, were men of the nineteenth century not having yet learned of the psychological learning developing under their noses.  Advertising was more educative at the time and less propagandistic.  Lasker would develop newer methods based on propaganda and psychology.

We are not too concerned with his work on the Frank case although its work would require a leave of absence from his agency that would continue through the Aaron Sapiro legal battle with Henry Ford.  Lasker was much involved in Sapiro’s attempt at a Jewish food monopoly.


The question that is never addressed by goi historians and not fully disguised by the Jewish historians is what were the Jews doing after emancipation.  The two key American agencies after 1913 were the American Jewish Committee and the Order of B’nai B’rith while Freud’s psychoanalytic Order played in the background.  One should not underestimate the Freudian conspiracy and its activities in Central and Eastern Europe.

Organization stepped up after the inauguration of Wilson in 1913.  Brandeis and Frankfurt would be key players from Wilson through FDR.  Alison Weir gives some indication of the basic Jewish attitude in her Against Our Better Judgment in her discussion of a Jewish revolutionary group called the Parushim of 1913 and on.

This was a Jewish guerilla group formed as an order with elaborate oaths.  As reported by Miss Weir:


“You are about to take a step which will bind you to a single cause for all your life.  You will for one year be subject to an absolute duty whose call you will be compelled to heed at any time in any place and at any cost.  And ever after until our purpose shall be accomplished you will be fellow of a brotherhood whose bond you will regard as greater than any other in your life- dearer than that of family, or school, or nation.”


Horace Kallen the author of the Order made Louis Brandeis, before his Supreme Court appointment, an honorary member.  Brandeis’ acceptance may have been more political in nature while as an honorary member he may not have felt bound by the oath, nevertheless as a Supreme Court justice he had pledged himself to an authority higher than the ‘nation’ and actually US law.  Of course he had pledged himself as a Zionist to that end.  Judaism uber alles.

Whether or not Lasker had pledged himself to the Parushim, as an ardent Jew and Zionist he also would have the same attitude as Brandeis and Frankfurter.  After his activities in the Leo Frank case Lasker devoted several years to Jewish activities, the Lord and Thomas interests being managed by his surrogates.

Bearing the Parushim oath in mind, in 1924 Henry Ford used his newspaper to expose the activities of Aaron Sapiro, a Jewish lawyer organizing North American agricultural cooperatives leading to the Jewish goal.  According to Ford’s researchers, a competent corps of men, Sapiro was aided in devising the co-op movement by Bernard Baruch, Lasker and Eugene Meyer.

As noted Sapiro had been recruited by the co-op plans deviser, David Lubin.  The first step in the plan had been the organization of the Jewish orange growers of Sacramento.  Lasker had been called in to promote the sale of oranges which he successfully did, thus it seems that he would have known both Lubin and Sapiro and probably was clued to the plan thus there should be no surprise that he was subsequently involved as Ford’s articles indicated.

Bernard Baruch, the King of the Shadows, served as a commodity expert in the Wilson administration thus he would have been very useful in forming these co-ops of commodities.  Working from the shadows Baruch had more power than one would believe.  As an instance FDR had to take him into account because as FDR said, he owned sixty congressmen.  That almost amounts to a shadow government.  Of course you will never learn that from Baruch’s autobiography.

Eugene Meyer was president of the Federal Reserve which would have been very useful although gaining information on him has been difficult.

One must believe that Ford’s exposure made Sapiro’s co-op organizing difficult although his influence was in decline after David Lubin’s death in 1919.  Apparently Lubin’s direction was essential.  Thus Ford’s exposure was effective regardless of any results of Sapiro’s lawsuit.  However the agriculture issue was not settled by Sapiro’s defeat.

As noted Brandeis was given terrific influence over American political affairs when Wilson appointed him a Supreme Court justice.  Like Baruch he was a major influence in forcing Jewish affairs forward leading a double life.

Brandeis, in whose honor Brandeis University was is named, bought a Harvard professorship for his disciple Felix Frankfurter.  The drum roll then began to blazon Frankfurter as well as his master as the greatest legal minds the world had ever seen.  Frankfurter himself began to indoctrinate decades of students, Jew and goi alike in the goals of Parushim.  Thus the oaths terms ‘on behalf of the Jews, my [own] people, and of mankind’ were inserted to include not only Jews but any of the goyim Frankfurter might seduce.  Plus Frankfurter could control to a great extent who was at the top of their class and who was at the bottom.

Brandeis and Frankfurter were rewarded in 1933 when Roosevelt was inaugurated.  Frankfurter immediately filled the Dept. of Agriculture with his disciples, none of whom were farmers.  One of the first acts of the Roosevelt administration was the passing the Agricultural Adjustment Act- the AAA.   Thus although temporarily derailed in the mid-twenties by Ford, in 1933 the Jews obtained more under Roosevelt than they could have by the laborious and patient work of Sapiro, Baruch, Lasker and Meyer.

Of course the AAA was declared unconstitutional in 1935 by the Supreme Court confirming Ford’s opinion of the plan but that was nullified in after years by its implementation step by step anyway.

It is probable that Ford never met Albert Lasker but their lives touched indirectly.


Themes And Variations

The Tarzan Novels Of Edgar Rice Burroughs

#15 Tarzan Triumphant


R.E. Prindle

Part 3:

Two Peas And The Pod.

     The ease with which ERB shifts from one complicated subject to another is truly remarkable; no less so in the facility he has for organizing these matters into a few lines or paragraphs.  No one can do this without a firm grasp of his subject matter.  ERB is simply one of the best informed writers of his era.

     In a little less than a page ERB summarizes the Torrio-Capone years in Chicago from the beginning of Prohibition in 1920 while incorporating a fictional history of his character, Danny ‘Gunner’ Patrick.  Patrick as his name indicates is Irish.  He was part of the Dion O’ Bannion gang led bhy Bugs Moran after O’Bannion’s demise in 1924.  According to Burroughs Patrick took part in the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre in 1929.

     …but Danny Patrick was ambitions.  For years he had been the right hand of a Big Shot.  He had seen his patron grow rich– “lousy rich” according to Danny’s notion– and he had become envious.

     So Danny double crossed the Big Shot, went over to the other side, which, incidentally, boasted a bigger and better Big Shot, (Al Capone) and was a party to the hijacking of several truck loads of booze belonging to his former employer.


     Many of the Big Shot’s enemies and several of his friends, had Danny taken for a ride.  He knew the power of the Big Shot, and feared him.  Danny did not want to go for a ride himself, but he knew that if he remained in dear old Chi he would go the way of all good gunmen much to soon to suit his plans.

     Patrick is not not a nice guy, he is definitely not a nice guy.  For my tastes ERB is much too tolerant of a man he describes as a psychopathic killer.  “many of the Big Shot’s enemies, and several of his friends’ implies that Patrick has many, perhaps dozens, of murders to his credit yet Burroughs is going to have Tarzan befriend this guy.

     While O’ Bannion was done in in 1924 by the Capone gang, being succeeded by Moran, ERB seems to telescope the years reversing things so that O’Banion is still alive after the 1929 St. Valentine’s Day Massacre– ‘The Day Chicago Died.’  ERB is clearly following and thinking about the situation in Chicago as he says, p. 27:

     (Patrick) knew that sooner or later, the Big Shot woud have a grand funeral with truck loads of flowers and, at least, a ten thousand dollar casket.

     Underworld funrals were prodigious affairs.  There is a certain irony in the fact that Dion O’ Banion ran a flower shop.  As a big crime figure it would be expected that the flowers for those expensive funerals would come from his shop.  Is it any wonder Patrick was taking so many people for a ride.  O’ Banion had a good racket going there.

     Not wanting to be taken for a ride himself Patrick had opted for an extended vacation taking his typewriter with him.  A Chicago typewriter, of course, was a Thompson machine gun.  Tommy gun.  The Chicago underworld qauickly adopted the Tommy gun which was new at the time.  The Tommy made those Dick Tracy comic strips so thrilling.  Although one has come to accept the Chicago hoodlum story as a commonplace if one actually thinks about it the open war between the underworld and legitamate society is so startling that one should be appalled.  ERB  like the rest of his contemporaries seems to have taken the fact in stride even, in his case, making Patrick a hero.

     It is almost as though he made Patrick the dark side of the mild mannered Geology professor, Lafayette Smith.  Or, in other words, himself.  In this series of books from Invincible to Lion Man ERB explores the split or dual personality as examined in Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde.  Convinced as ERB is that the Animus is represented by two archetypes, whith which I find no difficulty other than it can be three, four or more, in this story as usual he divides the two aspects of the personality between two characters.  Although Lord Passmore who is Tarzan in disguise has a decidedly homosexual feel, which would make four  personalities.

     Lafe Smith is clearly an alter ego of Burroughs. Borrowing from ERB’s own experience he says of Smith, p. 11:

     …Lafayette Smith, A.M., Ph.D., Sc.D, professor of geology at the Phil Sheridan Military Academy.


     For a school year now, he had been an instructor in an inconspicuous western military academy.

     Here we have ERB as he would like to have been with a string of degrees after his name.  First in this dream life he is a professor of Geoplogy athe Phil Sheridan Military Academy which sounds pretty impressive but then he is mysteriously down graded from a professor to a mere instructor (which ERB was in fact) for a schoolyear, nine months, at an inconspicuous military academy.  Thus fantasy collides with reality.

     Another fantasy, now Smithe was on his way to achieve another cherished ambition, that of going to Africa to study the Great Rift Valley perhaps as ERB himself might have liked to have done but which he never did.

     So ERB has his ego ideals, his Jekyll and Hyde sides going as pals to Africa.  As Tarzan is also an ego ideal we have an actual trinity.  Jekyll and Hyde and what?  God?  David Adams who is a pretty thorough Jungian is mystified by the lack of the benevolent old man in Burroughs’ work who according to Jungian theory should have been there.  This is more htan likely a very involved question but I am going to sugest that possibly characters like Tarzan and John Carter seve in that capacity of Old Man/Jekyll figures while the actual Old Man figures who are betrayers serve perhaps as the Hydelike figures representing his father.

     In real life Burroughs ‘old man’, his father, was a betrayer who had little good to say about his son even to the extent of defaming him to all and sundry.  So, it is possible that ERB split the Jungian benevolent Old Man figure into Jekyll like Tarzan and John Carter and his father into the Hydelike Old Man character.  As he was conflicted with a love/hate relationship with his father it would be easier for him not to mention his father by name.  I offer this interpretation only as a suggestion and do not insist n it, still it is a possible solution to the problem perhaps leading to a full solution.

     You can take the boy out of Chicago but you can’t take Chicago out of the boy.  ERB was always fascinated by slang.  Gunner Patrick gives him the opportunity for extensive and amusing word play.  The criminal culture from which patrick comes has what amounts to a patois.  At one point ERB calls it by the French term of argot.  Even though he is pronouncing English words that the English speaking characters can recognize the meanings of  the meaning he attaches to the words  are beyond the comprehension of his auditors.  Thus one has the intersting effect of the cultural clash between two examples of what should be the same culture but is not.

     Of course ERB is in full command of not only both these cultures but seemingly all cultures.  In his zany multi-cultural world he is the Master of Cultures.  I pretend to the succession of ERB.

     Thus disembarking from a ship the bright and dark sides of ERB tramp across Africa in the direction of the Great Rift Valley.  Perhaps like Kitchener they came down the Nile to Khartoum and cut up the Blue Nile to Ethiopia like Samual Baker.  Now Burroughs has to integrate his master alter ego, Tarzan, into the Jekyll and Hyde pair.

     A psychological interpretation is that Tarzan must accept the Hyde of Burroughs’ personality as well as the Jekyll.  Indeed, Tarzan seems to respect the Hyde side much more than he does the clown like but educated Jekyll side.

     As the story is told Tarzan hears the sound of a machine gun and goes to investigate.  Patrick had fired into the bush hoping to hit a lion nosing about the safari camp.  He succeeds in temporarily scaring it away, giving Tarzan time to locate the camp.

     The lion returns.  Imagine this scene.  Patrick with this Tommy gun is standing under the convenient tree, while Smith stands behind him with his nickel paltged .32 that he doesn’t even know how to aim.  Here ERB’s dark side is in command while his incompetent but intelligent bright side is subordinate to the dark.  What does this mean in real life?

     As Patrick fires on the lion the Tommy gun jams leaving both sides of Burroughs’ alter-ego defenseless.  At this time the Master alter ego falls on the lion from the tree killing him and saving the lives of the subordinate alter egos, Patrick and Smith.  Patrick is Irish and the more aggressive while one presumes Smith is English and more passive.  Thus a major theme of Irish and English which runs throughout the corus is here erepresented.  While ERB claimed to be ‘pur’ English he was actually only English on his father’s side while Bennsylvania Dutch, in other words, Rhineland German, and Irish on his Mother’s side.  the Irish surfaces not only here but in the following year when he assumed his Irish ancestral name of John McCulloch to write Pirate Blood.  Also as David Adams points out the killing of the lion puts the seal on the relationship between Tarzan, Smth and Patrick.

     In the same period of time he wrote Pirates Of Venus and Pirate Blood.  Although pirates had figured in his early writing as the Black Pirates of Barsoom and the pirates of Pellucidar unless I’m mistaken this sudden efflorescence of interest in pirates has to do with the ‘pirating’ of Tarzan by MGM.

     While not introducing himself Tarzan peremptorily gives the pair some instruction on how to comport themselves in the jungle then disappers up his tree.

     The next time Tarzan and Patrick meet is a bonding session in which Tarzan accepts Burroughs’ dark side, Patrick.

     Tarzan is squatting on the edge of the cliff observing Capietro and Stabutch in their camp below.  the ground gives way precipitating Tarzan over the edge.  He attempts to save himself by grabbing the chance tree growing out of the cliff face- the chance tree- even here Burroughs equates trees with safety- but the tree gives way.  Tarzan falls through the grass roof of a hut landing safely.  He is imediately engulfed by the goons of Capietro.

     Now, having lunch under another tree not too far away, yards actually, is Gunner Patrick.  HIs attention called to the Ape-man who he had previously not noticed he gets up to investigae.  Aiding Tarzan he lets loose with a blast from the Thompson.  He succeeds in dispersing the crowd as well as Capietro and Stabutch.  this is almost commical:  Tarzan shouts to Patraick to not go away, he’ll be right up.  Good as his word he appears above.

     Now come this very interesting bonding session in which Tarzan accepts Patrick. P. 98:

     The “Gunner” was waiting for him upon the summit of the cliff directly behind the village, and for the second time these strangely dissimilar men met- dissimilar and yet, in some respects, alike.  Each was ordinarily  quiet to taciturnity, each was self-reliant, each was a law unto himself in his own environment; but there the similairty ceased for the extremes of environment  had produced psychological extremes as remotely separated as the poles.

     The ape-man had been reared amidst scenes of eternal beauty and grandeur, his associates the beasts of the jungle, savage perhaps, but devoid of coarse, petty jealousy, treachery, meanness and intentional cruelty; while the “Gunner” had known naught but the squalid aspects of scenery defiled by man, of horizons grotesque with the screaming atrocities of architecture, of an earth hidden by concrete ans asphaltum and littered with tin cans and garbage, his associeates in all walks of life activated by grand and petty meannesses unknown to any but mankind.

Now, Burroughs signed his contract with MGM on April tenth of 1931 while he didn’t finish Triumphant until May twentieth so had forty days in which to realize his mistake.  If he did realize his error so quickly it might acount for some of the misanthropic bitterness in the above passage and elsewhere.  Filching his character would certainly be considered a grand meanness.  On the other hand his misanthropic interpretation was a continuation of his longstanding dislike of mankind and civilization.

It is of interest that both Patrick and Tarzaqn have killed many men.  Some of Tarzan’s kills, quite frankly, verge on the psychopathic.  I can’t get over how he literally ripped a man’s head off his shoulders in Ant Men.  Of course, he may have merely underestimated his strength being a fourth his size but having his full sized strength.

Nevertheless both are laws unto themselves in their own domains so  theoretically they do as they please.  Still, and I don’t know how to interpret this, ‘the extremes of environment had produced psychological extremes as remotely separated as the poles.’  I’m clear on Patrick’s extreme but I’m not sure which extreme Tarzan represents.

These extremes were caused by the differences in the environments of the two men.  Tarzan was raised amongst beauty , while Patrick was raised amongst squaor.  As Burroughs roamed over Chicago, and it seems certain he searched out nooks and crannies, he was appalled byh the ‘screaming atrocities of architecture’.  Chicagoans have been quite proud of their architects and architectures so Burroughs critique is quite different.  The paving over of the environment bothered him as much as it does me.  We no longer see the tin cans and bottles but the dumping of garbage wherever by certain people still goes on.

Tarzan was raised among the ‘noble’ beasts while Patrick was raised essentially among thieves and cheats.

Still, invironment aside both men had many kills or murders to their credit.  Seems like a double standard to absolve Tarzan while condemning Patrik especially since each is obviously a product of their environment while neither therefore is inherently good regardless of their environment.

Perhaps Tarzan kills only for just reasons, of his own reckoning as he is a law unto himself, while patgrick kills for gain is where the difference lies.   Perhaps that is the difference between constituted society and the criminal world.  There are times when the most mild mannered and best of men and women must kill, whether in the individual or collective sensel.  Burroughs brings this out when Lafe Smith attempts to liberate Lady Barbara and Jezebel from the Midianites.  As he faces the Midianites with his .32 a cultured English voice comes down from the cross telling him that he is goint to have to kill someone if he and women wish to survive.

Perhaps this scene isn’t just entertainment but Burroughs relating a hard fact of life.  No matter how good you may be a situation in life will appear when you will have to do that which goes against evrything you believe if you wish to survive.l  Such is the West’s situation in the world today; commit suicide yourself or shoot to kill.  Sometimes it comes down to that; left multi-culturalism or no.

This scene may be a very important psychological moment for ERB.  There is wry truth in Tarzan’s next utterance to Patrick:  “‘ A machine gun has its possibilites,’ the ape-man said with the flicker of a smile.'”

Perhaps ERB is in some midlife evaluation.  The scene with his alter-ego Smith’s entry into Midian is laden with symbolism also.  Let’s see how Burroughs handles that as he and Fate continue to weave the warp and woof of this remarkable tapestry to bring out the pattern.

Continued in Part 4: Lafe Smith, Born Again.

Edgar Rice Burroughs As A Feral Child


R.E. Prindle


Cronus married his sister Rhea, to whom the oak is sacred, But it was prophesized by Mother Earth and by his dying father Uranus, that one of his own sons would dethrone him.  Every year, therefore, he swallowed the children whom Rhea bore him, first Hestia, then Demeter and Hera, then Hades, then Poseidon~ Robert Graves, The Greek Myths

I. The Father As A Cannibal Figure

     Following Poseidon came Zeus.  In place of Zeus Cronus was given a stone which he swallowed instead.  When Zeus grew up he then castrated Cronus, replacing him.

     While on the one hand an astrological myth denoting the precession of the equinoxes from one Astrological Age to another, on a psychological level the myth relates the fear of the Father that as the strength of his sons waxes his own wanes resulting in an eclipse.

     Different human fathers react in different ways.  Some nurture, some castrate or cannibalize their young.  This is a serious problem for the son.  For instance, what Tom Brokaw, a thoroughly castrated son, is pleased to call The Greatest Generation who were so enamored of their success in WW II, that they chose to emasculate a whole generation rather than surrender or even share power.

     I correspond with David Adams from time to time while doing my writing from whom I sometimes receive valuable input.  I had come to the conclusion that ERB’s father, George T, was a problem for ERB, especially as represented by ‘God’ in Tarzan And The Lion Man.  The new year opened with Hillman publishing Dodds’ feral child collection which clicked in my mind.  The week before ERBzine published my Part III, Two Peas And A Pod of the Tarzan Triumphant review.  David Adams commented favorably on my comments about the Jungian Old Man archetype.  He said in an email to me:

     I agree with your interpretation that “characters like Tarzan and John Carter serve in the capacity of Old Man/Jekyll figures while the actual Old Man figures who are betrayers serve perhaps as Hydelike figures as represented by the father.” (David quoting me.) Those old man figures, early and late, are also cannibals who are hell-bent on eating him up while then spreading the bones across some desert for the hyenas to chew.  Who was that old cannibal with the cancerous face followed by a pair of African wolves? (Jungle Tales of Kipling)

     As can be seen I picked up on the Father figure but adding the cannibal detail adds the needed dimension for full comprehension.

     George T. had been bothering me for some time.  The love-hate relationship ERB had with him is quite obvious, but then it occurred to me that the other sons had the same relationship to their father while George T. appeared to program them all for failure- that is they not surpass him in their lifetime somewhat like Cronus of Greek mythology.  He made them all dependent on him.  The supplicating tone of the letters from college of sons George and Harry is all too obvious.  George T. sending the boys to Yale without the means to support a position would have had the effect of emasculating them relative to their fellow students thus subordinating them.

     Then on graduation he took them into his battery business.  As a businessman in Chicago it wouldn’t be unreasonable to believe that George T. had some relatively influential contacts in town who might have been able to place Yale graduates advantageously but he chose to keep the boys with him and subordinate to him.

     The battery factory proved dangerous for his son Harry who developed respiratory problems from the battery chemicals plus perhaps in psychological reaction to suppression by his father.  He went West to join fellow Yalie, Lew Sweetser, in Idaho.  Son George, who had had enough of working for his father, also fled to Idaho to join Harry and Sweetser.

     None of the three knew enough about the cattle business to survive so that by 1913 when George T. had his basket pulled up all the sons were back in Chicago in various degrees of failure or, at least, lack of success.  As of that date it would appear that like Cronus George T. had swallowed or cannibalized his sons.

     There was a Zeus figure in the bunch who didn’t want to be swallowed and that Zeus figure was ERB.  Like Zeus ERB was the youngest son.  ERB developed independently of his brothers who were approximately ten years older than he.  Thus when they were at Yale ERB was attending grade school.

     As I pointed out in my Books, Burroughs and Religion George T. was especially rigorous in the attempt to emasculate his youngest son.  His effort culminated when he sent ERB to military school.  This was a form of dislocation and rejection that ERB could not bear.  He tried to escape but his father sternly returned him to the Michigan Military Academy.

     The effects of this were that ERB was declassed as he considered the MMA a rich kid’s reform school.  Thus to some extent he was criminalized in his own mind.  His reaction was also seminal in the formation of his two principal characters John Carter and Tarzan.

     His hurt was so strong, his separation from his parents and home so complete that he became psychologically orphaned.  His parents died to him the day he was returned to the MMA.  He adopted the drunken Commandant, Charles King, as his mentor or surrogate father.  While betrayed by his father ERB apparently thought he found a friend in King.  In that capacity King became the model for Lt. Paul D’Arnot of the French Navy.  D’Arnot was the man who tamed the feral boy that was Tarzan introducing him to civilization much as King taught Burroughs how to survive and prosper at MMA.  Or Burroughs remembered it in that manner.  There may also be a literary connection to D’Artagnan of Dumas’ Three Musketeers.

     This makes the period between the arrival of Jane and her party and the arrival of D’Arnot in Tarzan Of The Apes of special interest.  I’m not sure what the period represents in Burroughs’ own life.

     As his creation Tarzan is a feral child it follows that ERB considered himself alone and on his own as a feral child himself.  A romantic notion but one no less real to him.  Thus just as Tarzan’s parent’s died with the baby becoming a member of an ape tribe so Burroughs began a wild and difficult period as his parents died for him.

     These events occurred just as Rider Haggard was becoming famous for his great African trilogy of King Solomon’s Mines, She and Allan Quatermain which ERB undoubtedly read at this time.  Conan Doyle began his Sherlock Holmes mysteries and H.M. Stanley disappeared into an unknown Congo in pursuit of Emin Pasha.  The West to East transit of the Congo impressed ERB greatly as his own heroes later crossed Africa in the same direction.

     Being a complex individual ERB no longer wished to even acknowledge that he had ever had parents; thus his first creation- John Carter.  As Carter only came into existence when ERB was 36 the writer had plenty of time to knock around learning the odd legend here and there.  John Carter then is a version of the Great Historical Bum- the hundred thousand year old man of folklore.

     John Carter could not remember his parents.  In his memory he had always been the same age he was.  In the words of one of my famorite songs, Stewball, he didn’t say he was born at all, just blew down in a storm.  Certainly Burroughs had heard of the Comte de St. Germain who flourished at the time of the French Revolution.  As esoterical cult figure today, St. Germain’s  legend would have been more prominent from 1875 to 1911 than today.  Like Carter St. Germain claimed to have been alive forever.  In Revolutionary Europe he got away with it.  Calgiostro was another Revolutionary charlatan claiming mysterious antecedents who would have intrigued ERB’s imagination.  It seems certain the two would have been topics of conversation in the time before radio, TV and movies so it wouldn’t have been necessary  for ERB to have read anything.

     I doubt if he had read any of the books on Dodds’ list although one never knows but the list goes to show that the feral child would have been a popular topic of conversation.  In my opinion then ERB’s literary future was cast when his cannibal father returned him to MMA.

     He graduated from the MMA in ’95 but either couldn’t or wouldn’t return home staying on as an instructor.  In ’96, just before the summer break which might have necessitated a return home he joined the Army being sent directly to Arizona without passing through Chicago.  Was he avoiding returning home?  One can’t say as in ’97 having found Army life not to his liking he received an early discharge.  He could have kept going, of course, as many of us in his boots did, to LA, San Francisco or wherever but he chose at that time to return to Chicago.  Of course, Emma was calling.

     From ’97 to ’03 or so he worked for his father which he found as difficult as his brothers had.  Fleeing Chicago to Idaho in 1903, when he came back a year and a few months later to do anything (that word anything has some meaning in this context)  rather  than work with his father.  He became one of the poet Robert Service’s ‘men who don’t fit in.’  He had a very difficult few years from 1905 to 1913 bumping along the bottom.

     But then in 1911 he began his rise via his intellect.  He began to write becoming an immediate literary success of sorts.  By 1913 when he was about to become a financial success through his intellectual efforts thus escaping his father’s curse, his father died.  The young Zeus thus never got to castrate his father Cronus.

     One can’t know what would have happened to his psychology had ERB been able to present his father with evidence of his success.  I’m reasonably certain George T. would have belittled  or rejected his success as like Cronus his youngest would have replaced him.  He wouldn’t have liked that.

II.  A Hand From The Grave

     Had that happened and ERB been able to prove himself a greater than his father it is interesting to speculate as to what effect that might have had on ERB’s psychological development.  As it was, a few months after his father’s death he packed up family and belongings and got out of town as far as he could go to San Diego, California and stayed away nine months.  Time enough to be reborn.

     There are numerous examples of betrayers who are cannibals in his corpus, in fact there is so much betraying and cannibalism in Burroughs’ work I find it slightly offensive.  Rather than work up a list, which for the time being I leave to David, I’d rather concentrate on the most spectacular cannibalistic betrayer of the oeuvre, God of Lion Man.

     I know I just wrote about Lion Man but with David’s interpretation of cannibalism I can present a much more cogent image.  David’s much more into Jungian synchronicity than I am but the scene with God presents a remarkable occurrence of synchronicity.  The scene is very complex.

     George T. was born in 1833 so the book was written on his 100th birthday.  Chicago was incorporated in 1833 while it was celebrating its Century Of Progress forty years after the Columbian Expo at the same time.  Both events occurred just at the time that Burroughs realized he had lost control of his ‘meal ticket’ to MGM.

     MGM was undoubtedly a component of God, the Father, being combined with the Chicago that fathered him and George T., his actual father, in his mind.  From these components ERB then creates the magnificent apparition of God as man and beast.  God has the mind of divine power such as had Zeus but is still a Cronus, is, in fact, the ultimate cannibal.

     Tarzan and Rhonda  represent Burroughs’ Anima and Animus so that God has the whole man in his power in its component parts- the X and y chromosomes.  God tells the pair that he is going to use them to rejuvenate himself by cannibalizing them.  The Father’s desire and the Son’s fear.

     If God represents George T. on one side, MGM on another and organized religion on a third then even though ERB thought he escaped his father in 1913 by his intellectual efforts the father reaches up from the grave on his 100th anniversay to claim his son again.

     At this time Burroughs also wrote Pirates Of Venus and Pirate Blood.  Both would refer to the idea that MGM pirated his creation from him while the very despondent Pirate Blood is almost terrifying in its manic depression as the balloon rises and sinks being almost submerged in the ocean or the waters of oblivion, the subconscious mind, insanity, that I believe we can see it as the insanity of despair.  At the end of that story the hero pairs up with a desperate woman who I believe we can read as Florence.  All very transparent really.

     So there Tarzan/Rhonda/Burroughs is trapped in a prison.  He attempts his earlier escape of rising through his intellectual powers, that is, he ascends through a shaft in the roof.  Unlike the first time when he surprised and astonished the world with John Carter and Tarzan, God, the Father, is waiting for him preventing his use of his intellect.  In point of fact Tarzan And The Lion Man was a dismal sales failure thought by Burroughs to be caused by MGM.

     If his previous four previous Tarzans under the Burroughs imprint had been successes it seems strange that the truly excellent Tarzan And The Lion Man should have failed.  Failing proof of sabotage on the part of, say, MGM, one can only say the public taste is fickle or perhaps the innovative dust jacket didn’t look like the usual Tarzan dust jacket and fans just passed it by.  It is also true that the book was a put down of MGM.

     Tarzan/Burroughs sallies forth from his hiding place against superior forces.  He is knocked unconscious.  A sure sign that Burroughs is under supreme stress.  Meanwhile God’s castle, in other words the literary structure of the last twenty years is going up in flames.  The MGM pirates have lifted ERB’s life work.

     He has to finish the story so he turns the tables on God taking him captive and making him do his bidding.  Tarzan helps God recapture his City then abandons him disappearing down the hole of the subconscious to a lower level from when he emerges to be claimed by the Wild Thing- Balza, the Golden Girl, or Florence.

     In a thinly disguised scene Tarzan, unwittingly it seems, wins Balza from her former husband much as Burroughs took Florence from Ashton Dearholt.  The important thing here is that a transition has been effected from one world to another.  The intellectual City of God has been abandoned in favor of a world of the senses.

     It is at this point ERB abandons his own feral boy persona of horses, puttees and other symbols to become a sort of effeminate Dandy.  He now affects tightly fitted fashionable suits almost effeminate in appearance.  He turn into a party animal and if he had been a moderate drinker during his teens, twenties and early thirthies he now becomes almost a lush.

     So, in the end, ERB was probably devoured by the Father in Cronus fashion.  In the Myth Zeus forced Cronus to vomit up his brothers and sisters and he castrated him.  In real life ERB was castrated and swallowed down.

     He put up one heck of a fight that arouses the warmest admiration of him.  One wonders, that if when all is said and done anyone can escape the imprint of those formative years.  Is one’s whole horoscope cast in the womb and those few short months after birth?  Sure hope not.

Who Is The Mysterious John Carter?


R.E. Prindle


Edgar Rice Burroughs- The Man With The Plan



There are nine wise men who control the destiny of the world and I am on a first name basis with each of them.  Sworn to secrecy I cannot reveal the names of these Unknown Masters.  No Wiki-leaks here.  Due to the upcoming movie concerning doings under the moons of Mars first revealed by the adept Edgar Rice Burroughs beginning in 1912 I have been advised that it is thought expedient to reveal who John Carter really is.

Elipsis being the favored mode of action of the Nine rather than just give the info straight out I have been given a list of web sites, articles and books from which Carter’s identity may be deduced leaving some room for error on my part from which Carter’s identity may be deduced.  Given the nature of the material, much of which I had already read that I have always thought rather fanciful I can’t guarantee that I have succeeded in determining J.C.’s true identity.  If I have failed in this great trust placed in me by the Nine I lay the blame at their feet for having made an erroneus choice but it is possible that, as a result of such a possible failure, I may not be heard from again.

Burroughs, who seems to have known the true identity of Carter, whose books were part of the package given to me, as if I hadn’t already read them many times, gives us a clue in that Carter was at least one thousand years old and had enjoyed many identities over the centuries.  Actually with a little invention I may be able to whiff this past the Nine.

Amongst the papers entrusted to me was the web address of the French Wold Newton Universe which I abbreviate FWNU.  As this site intelligently summarizes a thousand years of history I found it an invaluable resource but just because I’m relying on the FWNU doesn’t mean I’m lazy; I’ve already read the other stuff:  the Greek myths, Homer, Grave’s White Goddess, the Bible, De Santillana, Eco and a host of others, besides which I have to use the sources the Nine supplied.

It will be necessary to begin our search with the Knights Templar and the Crusades.  It is quite possible that J.C. by whatever identity he may have been known is co-existent with the First Hominid Predecessor.  For all we know he was present at the creation, among the artists  who painted the caves at Lascaux or he may even have had an intimate acquaintance with the Via Dolorosa; but, that might merely be relying on the coincidence of initials.  We have no reliable or even quasi-reliable records that far back.

We will have to content ourselves with beginning at the Crusades.  The historical figure who claims an ancient pedigree is the Count de St. Germain.  He makes his appearance under that name in revolutionary France.  As the name he uses then is demonstrably French we have to assume that over the centuries he has been known under many, many names, many guises, many roles as the concept French is of fairly recent origin.  He was perhaps one of the nine who formed the Knights Templar, a very secretive group.  The Crusades changed the course of European society just as the Templars were the first catalysts of that change.  While Templar history is in the hands of those sympathetic to them who find them wholly admirable I who should be among those sympathsizers have a lurking suspicion that the Order was wholly sinister.  Who else, I ask you, would recruit in taverns haunted by criminals and excommunicants?  What building material was this?

The Templars ostensible purpose, good reason as opposed to real reason, for existence was that they were to protect pilgrims to the so-called Holy Land but, once created, they lost interest in such a worthy cause.  Perhaps they were created for a much more subversive and less worthy purpose.  The Templars are frequently linked with another band of ‘holy’ soldiers, the Assassins of Alamut in Persia.  Who were the Assassins?  The FWNU:  Will There Be Light Tomorrow, Part I:

The word “assassins” is usually linked to hashish, and the name of the group is sometimes spelled “hashishins,” because of their alleged use of the drug to keep their fearsome warriors properly motivated…What is not widely known is that, in fact, the name “Assassins” derives from the word “Assass,” meaning “Guardians,” or “Protectors,” for the Assassins were in reality the Islamic Soldier Monks in charge of the protection of the Holy Land.  “Assassins” in Arabic signifies “quardians,” and some commentators have considered this the true origin of the word: “Guardians of the secrets'” – Arkan Daraul, Secret Societies.

If the Assassins had secrets to protect and/or disseminate then they might easily have swayed the minds of a group of simple unsophisticated Nordic warriors.  Once swayed then their role would have been to form a fifth column in Europe in alliance with the Assassins to subvert the Church and State which is exactly what the Templars were doing.  Thus though the Moslems had been defeated and thrust back by Charles Martel the Templars would be internal allies to achieve the Moslem conquest not unlike the Liberal undermining in favor of the Moslems in the West today.    Wheels within wheels, plans within plans.  There undoubtedly was constant communication between the two groups for well over a hundred years until the Mongols of Ghengis Khan stormed Alamut putting an end to the Assassins c. +1260.  An unforseen event.  It was then only a few decades later that Philip Lebel of France terminated the career of the Templars launching Europe on the period of confusion that terminated with the murder of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.

From the wreckage of the Templars, for they were only wrecked not destroyed, came great criminal organizations such as the Commora, the Carbonara and the Mafia.  All these elements combined to create the revolution in France during which the Compte de St. Germain  and the extra sinister Caligliostro, who might have been the same,  appeared and who in all possiblility emigrated to America to become…John Carter.

Names and dates in this underworld milieu can never be taken as certain.  As the FWNU points out it is clear that Cagliostro left for America after 1795 or at about the same time Edgar Allan Poe was handed the mysterious manuscript detailing the adventures of Arthur Gordon Pym.  We’re slipping into the realm of pure fiction here but suppose that Poe did get the story from someone and suppose that someone was merely posing as Cagliostro or St. Germain, probably the same person in two identities.  Still fantistic but not impossible.

However contrary to Man’s desire nobody lives forever so at some point Cagliostro has to die but before he does he finds the Virginian John Carter and instructs him in this pious fraud to keep the tradition going.  Now, it is clear that whether or not someone gave Burroughs a manuscript which he at least claimed happened in the case of John Clayton he writes of John Carter in the tradition of the Great Conspiracy that had its roots in the Crusades.

Burroughs may very well have been self-indoctrinated in the Traditions as many of us are, however Burroughs was learned in several matters not least of which was psychology by his brothers’ partner, Lew Sweetser.

Sweetser along with the Burroughs Boys was graduated from Yale University which we know is the home of the prominent occult organization the Skull and Bones Club.  The Skull and Bones takes its emblem from the pirates of the Caribbean.  Their banner was a corruption of the black and white Beauceant banner of the Templars.  It is generally thought that the excaping French Templars, or a portion of them, fled to Scotland.  After 1492 when the Spanish gold fleets of his Most Catholic Majesty, the Defender of the Faith, the King of Spain began their runs, the Templars set sail for the New World to prey on the treasure fleets to avenge themselves on Church and Throne.

I have seen no record that Lew Sweetser was in the Skull and Bones but if he was or aspired to, if the Skull and Bones have any secrets which they obviously do, Sweetser may have become privy to some and whether intentionally or inadvertantly he probably imparted some to young Burroughs.  At the very least, in educating young Burroughs as he obviously did he would have given him his outlook or point of view.  Young Burroughs was at an impressionable age.


This point of view was reinforced by all of Burroughs’ reading.  That reading was more heavily occult and revolutionary than is usually supposed.  By 1912 when he began writing ERB was fully versed in the underground French literature in translation of the day.  There doesn’t seem to be a reference to Balzac although he must have read something but maybe not.  He did read Eugene Sue, one of the early nineteenth century writers, a veritable mad man.  Sue’s The Mysteries Of Paris was in his library while I’m relatively certain he read Sue’s Wandering Jew also.  Between

A Boy Named Sue

those two books his mind would have been ripped apart and reassembled as was mine for instance.  He read Dumas, Three Musketeers and Count Of Monte Cristo for sure and probably The Man In The Iron Mask.  He plowed through Victor Hugo’s sewer epic, Les Miserables.  He devoured whatever was translated of Jules Verne.  Verne’s works were firmly implanted in his mind: From Earth To The Moon and Mysterious Island absolutely filled his mind.  Paul Feval and

E.A. Poe, obviously under mental stress

Emile Gaboriau weren’t translated as yet so these very important crime/revolutionary writers missed him.  They write much more directly at what Sue, Dumas, Hugo and Verne imply.  But, all four of those guys are powerful writers dealing with life in a very direct way.  Edgar Allan Poe, another prime influence of Burroughs, 1808-1849 seems to have been influenced by the early bunch of French writers, probably Balzac and some writers less well known but earlier than Feval and the rest.  Poe may be the most astounding writer of all in the French school although its hard to top Sue.  I shudder while I write his name.    And then it is impossible to know what magazine and newspaer articles about such topics Burroughs may have read.  His age was a magazine and newspaper age.



And, of course, Burroughs read a full slate of English and American writers not least the detective stories of Conan Doyle and many others.  One should not overlook George W.M. Reynolds incredible ten volume novel The Mysteries Of The Court Of London which is found in ERB’s library.  An amazing 5000 page novel.

All of this reading seemed to come together in the John Carter Martian Trilogy.  Burroughs never again wrote anything quite like it.  One could remember that one doesn’t have to be fully conscious of what one is writing.  One is caught up in the sweep of intellectual currents developing themes whose antecedents began long before so that one is merely developing the themes.

Thus Burroughs was part of the breaking up of the Semito-Aryan mythology of say -2000 to +1000 which was accentuated by the first of the three major blows to Man’s self-confidence picked out by Freud- the place of the Earth in the Universe.  Once it was understood that Earth was merely one lone planet spinning in a Universe that if not thought boundless in his time was understood to be more extensive than mythological heaven.  The old mythology crubled to the ground, the old gods of the Semitic religions had their teeth pulled, their knees crushed, in other words, they lost their power to command.

Jules Verne

Now, it is often asserted that there is no mythology to replace the old mythology, that science has destroyed the concept.  This is not true.  The Templars began a new mythology, while Galileo, Copernicus and Kepler forwarded it when they discovered or revealed  that the Earth was a point in a surrounding universe.   Thus, if the Earth is not the center of the universe with God in his heaven above it then Man can penetrate this boundless space.  This is where John Carter enters the mythology of the Scientific Era.

The idea of traveling in space according to the FWNU was almost immediately written in a story by Kepler himself.  While this is a sort of change of venue travel in the upper spheres has a long history predating Kepler.  To cite only two examples there is Jacob’s Ladder on which Jacob was said to ascend to the heavens or, in other words, space.  Mohammed is said to have mounted his horse and risen to the Seventh Heaven, way up there in the ideas of the time,  where he conversed face to face with God, or in Moslem terms,  Allah.  So, now that space became open it isn’t unusual that Kepler immediately translated the old mythology into scientific terms.  So while a magic carpet may have served Gullivar Jones if fails as science.

Thus from Kepler to Burroughs the tales of space travel and the complexity of methods increases.

Camille Flammarion

With the development of astronomy, that is space, the concept of Time developed apace.  The Earthly year had already been adequately measured so now the conquest of the Earth day, hour, minute and seconds- eventually nanoseconds- began.  Thus Time and Space became one word, timeandspace.  Along with rocketry came the fantasy of the Time Machine, the time traveler.  As we know Burroughs was an expert on both, having some very well developed ideas about Time.  Rather than being a merely frivolous romanticist then it can be seen that Burroughs was trying to work out the central problems of his times.  to a very large extent, he did.  In a literary sense, then, Burroughs is the equal of Freud and Einstein.  Hence his writing style is odd.  He is trying to convey ideas he is struggling to understand, not unlike Freud and Einstein.  While Freud is considered a literary stylist I find him barely comprehensible, not at all clear.

As the FWNU points out, while John Carter takes his place in space travel in the 1860s his amanuensis, Burroughs, only published Carter’s exploits from 1912 to 1914.

Burroughs himself completely distorts the facts as he claims he himself was born c. 1855 in the Trilogy while we know he was actually born twenty years later in 1875.  He could not possibly have known Carter as a child and been his ‘favorite nephew.’  Why he would tell such a transparent falsehood isn’t clear.  Even when Carter made his second vanishing in 1888 Burroughs would have been entering his teen years while being in Illinois rather than living on the Hudson in the State of New York.  Does he think we’re stupid?  Perhaps he is concealing his real sources.

Even though the issue is somewhat clouded because of the lapse of time between the historical events and Burroughs’ publication of them only in 1912, one thing is clear, John Carter is the Lord Of Time And Space.  As Burroughs recounts Carter’s words claimed to be to him in the prologue to the Gods Of Mars:

I have learned the secret, nephew, and I may traverse the trackless void at my will, coming and going between the countless planets as I list…

Carter’s achievement is of great import because it means that he has become one with the gods.  he has joined the heavenly pantheon with the added advantage that he can move equally freely between the spiritual and the temporal.  Not even the Great Gods can do that.  Although he has the secret he doesn’t choose to divulge it to his ‘favorite nephew’ who we know did not possess this occult secret.

It is interesting in light of Carter’s achievement to pay some attention to the Urania Book that was received by another Chicagoan.  Why Chicago was selected to be the center of revelation at this time isn’t known.  The book of Urania is a massive volume giving the details of the celestial organization of the gods dispersed throughout the universe of which Carter must have been familiar although he didn’t impart that knowledge to his nephew.  Fortunately that vast organization was related by the Uranians.

As Burroughs was left more or less on his own on that score by Carter it is evident that Burroughs must have fleshed out Carter’s bare announcement of having discovered the ‘secret’ of traversing interstellar space by hints from the famed French explorer of space Camille Flammarion.  That author discusses outer space in several profound works chief of which are The Plurality Of Inhabited Worlds, The Inhabitants Of Other Worlds, Imaginary And Real Worlds and Lands In The Sky.  It is to be noted also that rather than taking his information on the nature of Mars from the American Percival Lowell Burroughs took it from the Frenchman, Camille Flammarion.  Lowell and Flammarion were in close communication so it is probable that Lowell’s inspiration was taken from Flammarion.  Burroughs speaks of Flammarion many times even going so far as to say he formed his early ideas on him but he never mentions Lowell.  Unfortunately Flammarion’s information on Mars turned out to be more inspired than factual.  Let us hope his ideas on interplanetary space are more sound.  But then he is a pioneer and the lay of the land always looks different to the first comers than the settlers who become familiar with it.  Cartographers so to speak.  Geographers, that sort of thing.

At any rate the transition from the old astrology to the new astronomy, from myth to science, was achieved through the medium of Edgar Rice Burroughs.  There should a BB and AB, before and after Burroughs.  Thus with the publication of A Princess of Mars in 1912 world history entered a new phase.  The centuries after Keplers’ space epic culminated with Burroughs in 1912 when he more or less perfected the new mythology as far as the heavens were concerned.

Nor was Burroughs finished when Carter using the ‘secret’ transported himself to Mars the second time.  One is inclined to believe that Carter stumbled on the secret before the cave in Arizona or else was selected by the Celestial Organization to receive it.  The latter would have been impossible for a naive earthling like Burroughs to understand so Carter probably chose to say he discovered the secret.

Burroughs himself who was undoubtedly chosen as the conduit to the New Mythology was immediately recognized as the avatar of the New Mythology as nearly all other mythographers began to develop the ideas in Burroughs framework.  His knowledge which was itself almost miraculous seems as though it must have been divinely imparted.  Perhaps the two concusssions he received before 1900 rearranged his synapses so that he could intellectually go where no man had gone before.  He celebrates the memory of these two concussions by beating a steady tattoo on the skull of Tarzan.

Having organized the way in which inter-stellar planetary travel was to be perceived Burroughs set out to create the man-god of the New Age on earth, the second aspect of the trinity, John Clayton otherwise known as Tarzan Of The Apes.  Burroughs retained the JC initials linking Jesus Christ, John Carter and John Clayton as so many have noted although those three are not the Trinity in question- the three in one, one in three.  One must beware of the so-called revolutionaries who with their inability to understand common sense deride the triple aspect of mankind as faulty arithmetic.  In the course of evolution it would seem that  they failed to acquire the advanced intelligence gene.

Three of Burroughs’ most formative years were spent at Harvard Latin School in Chicago where he developed his classical knowledge and fell in love with classical mythology.

Thus, as the mythological god of heaven was Zeus to whom John Carter corresponds, John Clayton, or Tarzan corresponds to the terrestrial god, Poseidon or, perhaps more accurately to the son of Zeus, the great man-god Heracles.  Burroughs often refers to Tarzan as the Heracles of the jungle so perhaps he shoved Poseidon aside in favor of the son of Zeus.  This leaves only the realm of the underworld ruled by Pluto or Hades in Classical Mythology which Burroughs renamed Pelucidar and placed at the center of the Earth.  He doesn’t seem to have felt the need for a ruler of that particular realm.  Thus while the three realms exist in his mythology the trinity seems to be curiously truncated by one but perhaps I’m missing something.

Thus Burroughs updated the Trinity.  It might be coincidence or maybe it was destiny but Burroughs was chosen to transit the bases of the New Mythology at the first glimmer of the dawning of the Age of Aquarius.  Was he conscious of his role as the Man of Destiny?  While he could never be sure he undoubtedly hoped the Light was shining on him.

Although obscure this move shows a very astute religious understanding.  If one wishes to supplant a religion the wise idea is to appropriate the forms of symbols, shrines and ideas and replace their content with your own.  Catholicism did this with Greek and German sites and Jewish and Moslem religions are attempting the same with Christian and or Western sites, symbols and ideas now.  There is an eternal religious war.  For instance Jews have instituted the new Jewish holiday Hannukah in opposition to the Western Christmas which in itself contains the superposition of the Christian religion on pagan sites.  While shining the light on their Hannukah they make vicious attacks on Christmas trying to have it outlawed.  Christmas celebrants are thus being nudged to embrace Hannukah at which time they will be left in peace to celebrate their Christmas under the guise of Hannukah.  In the time honored manner Christianity will have been superseded, in this case by a lesser religious faith.  Undoubtedly they will be happy with an eight day celebration rather than a one.   A little bribery works well.

Thus Burroughs makes John Carter the Master of Time and Space in place of Jahweh or Allah.  When the scientific British conquered India and scoffed at the Hindu notion that the world rested on the back of the elephant as an impossibility the Hindu priests withdrew, worked it over in their minds and countered:  OK.  The world rests on the back of the tortoise.  The Hindus could not accept the negation of their religious beliefs.

So science made clear to Christians, Jews and and Moslems that there was no god and that instead of the earth nestling in an egg of seven heavens with god in the seventh and highest balanced by seven layers of hell beneath the flat earth and that space was in fact boundless and the earth occupied an infinitessimally small space in the universe, the Christians, Jews and Moslems retired to consider the problem then each gave a new solution based on God in heaven much as the Hindus switched from an elephant to a tortoise.  It is impossible to just switch the human mind from one system to another.  As Voltaire said:  No one ever willed himself an athiest.

Science is abstract while religion is visceral. so even those working in science retain their religious views.  The Christians said:  Alright then, if God didn’t create mankind what happened is that a comet brought life to Earth.  You see, Evolution or Creation must come from outside.  It is more comfortable to think that.  Thus nothing changed, life came from ‘above.’  As the space idea developed one had the spectacular Uranian religion develop where the entire universe becomes one huge revival camp while ‘visitors’ from outer space landed handing knowledge to dumb ox earthlings.   Knowledge wasn’t acquired bit by bit by humble earthlings but was given by superior aliens, i.e. God.  The Aliens then began to hover over Earth in flying saucers to monitor our activities until we were ‘ready’ to enter the congress of planets in a peaceful manner.  Like God they don’t interfere in our affairs.

Thus John Carter the man-god can replace both God in his heaven and space aliens and God will still be in his heaven and all right with the world.  Only the symbols will change which is as it must be.  As above, so below.  Following that religious formula Burroughs placed the avatar of primitiveness and sophistication, Tarzan, as overlord of Africa.  Tarzan remains a savage but is sometimes dressed in a tuxedo, even in the jungle.

How aware is this?  Currently certain groups are going into the very heart of darkness to haul Negroes out of the jungle, put them on airplanes which they may only have seen flying high above them and transporting them to the United States where these groups expect these primitives to get a job, eat frozen food, and flush the toilet none of which the primitives have any knowledge.  As is well known feral humans are incapable of transiting to human society.  The brain can only absorb so much and at such a rate.  This inability cannot be accelerated or changed.   Even well educated, supposedly sophisticated humans can’t make the transition from a magical religious mindset to a rational scientific one so what is to become of primitives?  Scientific thought has had no part in Chinese or Asian thought until very recently so how can these peoples be expected to abandon their essentially mythopoeic thought processes for a scientific  one?

So, while Burroughs was attempting to lead the way to an Aquarian scientific conception of the coming New Age he was wisely attempting to do the impossibhle:  Putting new wine in old bottles without bursting the bottles.  It may be impossible yet it has to be done.   The issue has now been complicated, probably irreparably, by the introduction of hundreds of millions of people into Western society for which the transition is a complete impossibility.  The enlightened Westerner will be swamped by those incapable of understanding whether it be their natural limitations or not.

In this global society the Aquarian religion must displace several antiquated thought systems.  The truth is obvious.  A palatable religion has to be packaged for the masses that will make them psychologically comfortable and an elite and priesthood who hopefully understand the issues who can keep society moving forward on an even keel.  Is this possible?  Even Burroughs could solve the problem only by continuing the institution of slavery.  Slavery permeates his entire work.

In our situation it is important to keep the religious warfare confined to the warring elites and away from the masses.

That means of course that the egalitarian character of the last two hundred years has come to an end.  Of course, the Semites put a period to that on 9/11.

The question then is who will wear the crown?  Burroughsian religious ideas must triumph.  The Carter-Clayton ideas must be put into action driving the three Semitic religions off the field as well as conquering the minds of the Asians and Africans.

Not as difficult as it may seem but it takes a steely determination so far shown only by the Jews and Moslems.  You have to know who you are, what you want and be prepared to deal with any obstacles as these two groups obviously are an do.  Know who you are and the superiority of your beliefs.  There is no longer any room for tolerance as with them.  Everything else out there is inferior, nothing can successfully slander our beliefs unless we permit it.


Beam Me Up, Scotty









Four Crucial Years

In The Life Of Edgar Rice Burroughs

Part IV of IV


R.E. Prindle

Edgar Rice Burroughs

Edgar Rice Burroughs


     By this time ERB would have been viewed as a real upsetter.  Since 1890, except for a summer vacation or so, ERB had only been in Chicago from late Spring ’97 to Spring of ’98.  Then he had gone away for a year and now he was back spoiling some other people’s plans.

     Even after having deserted Emma Hulbert twice, the first time without notice for sure, and probably the second also, she was still waiting for him.  Amazing!  Ten full years when when the biological clock was ticking loudest she was still there.  If that’s not true love I don’t know what is.

     It must be that ERB took it for granted that she would always be waiting for him because he was still willing to leave her at the drop of a hat, if he could only get that coveted officer’s appointment.

     As ERB walked down his street you could almost hear Alvin Hulbert say ‘Drat! that young man is not going to set foot in this house.’

      Papa George T., quietly holding that three hundred dollar note, welcomed him back restoring his old job to him.

     The following account is based on two letters, one from R.H. Patchin dated 3/21/1950 and the reply from Jack Burroughs dated 4/4/50.  I learned of the letters which were quoted in part by Burroughs scholar Robert Barrett in the Fall 2003 issue of the BB.  Danton Burroughs of ERB, Inc. subsequently was gracious enough to provide me with full copies as he had Mr. Barrett.

     As of the time of the letter Mr. Patchin was from 68 to 70-75 years old.  My guess is that Frank Martin couldn’t have been younger than Emma so was probably at least 25 to 30 years old in 1899.  It is not impossible that he was older but as his exemplars in ‘W.C. Clayton and Terkoz in Tarzan Of The Apes and The Return Of Tarzan are approximately the same age as Tarzan Martin was most likely 25-27.

     As Emma would be 23 at the beginning of 1899 which would be close to spinsterhood one may believe there was some anxiety on Papa Alvin’s part to get her safely married.  Martin was about the most advantageous marriage possible.  At, say 27, he was looking at one of the last unmarried women of his age cohort.  If he failed with Emma he would have to find a much younger woman than himself or take a woman who had already been married.  He has some reason to repent this man he could not have known well who not seeming to care that much for Emma yet stood between himself and her.

     Patchin says a lot in his letter to Jack Burroughs.  He mentions the three times his and ERB’s paths crossed.  They were all unfortunate for Burroughs.  In the first ERB got his head bashed in; in the second Patchin showed up just after ERB divorced Emma which divorce was national news; the third was the condolence letter at ERB’s death.  Talk about an ill omened bird.

Patchin Letter

Jack Burroughs’ Reply

   Sometime between ERB’s divorce and 1950 Frank Martin became a statistic.  He didn’t survive his nemesis.  I am guessing of course but Patchin’s meeting with ERB after his divorce must have been arranged by Martin.  He may even have been watching from a distance.  One wonders if he ever married.

     I only mention the following as a point of interest.  By the time John Dos Passos wrote the third volumeof his USA trilogy, The Big Money, Burroughs was already a major literary figure.  As he didn’t seem to court publicity he can’t be said to have been a celebrity.  In The Big Money Dos Passos cameos a number of interesting people among them Bernarr Macfadden.

     It should be clear to everyone that nothing can be done in secret.  Whatever passed between Martin, ERB and Emma must have been a source of gossip among Chicagoans.  Somewhere along the way Dos Passos may have heard the gossip.  In The Big Money he includes a story about a woman named Evaline Hutchins.  A segment of the story bears some resemblance to the situation between the three under consideration.  In the episode the Martin-like character takes the Emma character driving.  He cracks up the car leaving the woman with some explaining to do to her husband.

     I don’t say it’s so but suppose that in 1907-08 Martin, still seething at his rejection, in some way got Emma to go out driving with him with the above result throwing Burroughs into a panic.  It was in 1908 that Joan was born to be followed immediately by Hulbert.  Is it possible that after eight childless years Burroughs suddenly began a family as a defensive move against Martin?  I can’t say but it is a hint I would dearly love to follow up.

     At the time Patchin wrote the letter in 1950, judging from his stationery, he was down on his luck.  His sloppy typing can’t be accounted for by age alone, or perhaps a lifetime of hard living had left him a wreck.  My conjecture is that he had been drinking when he wrote the letter.

     You will notice that the staionery bears only a street address- 555 Park Avenue- and no indication in the body of the letter as to what city.  Burroughs’ reply provides the location.  New York City.  Patchin must have been clever enough to provide a return address on the envelope.  The street address is printed rather than engraved so it is less expensive stationery.  With no other address details provided it is obviously not Patchin’s personal stationery.  The paper must have come from a mailing address.  The stationery was probably available to anyone.  555 Park Avenue is a lower East Side address so Patchin was totally down on his luck.  Probably drunk as he wrote.

     He makes a glaring Freudian slip in the first paragraph when he says of ERB, ‘He lived his wife well.  Wife for life!  Hence the letter is as much about Emma as ERB.  Emma meant nothing to Patchin so he must be speaking for Frank Martin.  He then immediately relates the anecdote concerning ERB’s bashing in Toronto; thus Emma and the bashing are related.  The one caused the other.

     What follows now is extrapolated from Patchin’s virtual confession and Jack Burroughs’ reply.  Burroughs hints that he knows more of the story than he is letting out.  He and ERB had discussed this matter shortly before ERB passed over, he says.  Obviously among the last things on ERB’s mind.

     Martin viewed Burroughs’ return from Idaho with apprehension.   Emma’s delight at Burroughs’ reappearance disconcerted Martin’s plans which he and Alvin probably thought were progressing well.  Martin perhaps in talking with Patchin, if they were equals and friends, which I doubt, may have said, ‘How am I going to get rid of this guy?’  ‘Let’s think about it.’  Said Patchin.  ‘What kind of accident could he have?’

     Indeed, that’s how people get rid of someone they don’t like, the victim has an ‘accident.’  Murder is for amateurs.  With murder the Law has to be paid, with accidents it doesn’t.  No investigation.  Perhaps he steps on a banana peel; gets run over by a car going the wrong way down a one way street, pushed in front of a trolley car.  The next question would have been, where, how, when?

     Better that it should be out of town rather than in town.

     How to get Burroughs out of town?  Now we’re talking old hat.  You find a desirable reason for going somewhere, say New York City, then you make arrangements.

      In Frank Martin’s case he had a perfect situation.  Frank’s father, Col. L.N. Martin, was a multi-millionaire railroad man who had his own private rail car.    In July of  ’99 the Col. was going to NYC so Martin, extended an invitation to Burroughs to travel by private car to New York City.  What a deal, huh?

     Burroughs should have been surprised at the offer since the two weren’t that close friends while they were rivals for Emma’s favor.  There should have been enough there to give one pause.  Still, what a tempting offer.

     The trip appears to have lasted at least three to four weeks, returning to Chcago at the beginning of August.  Clearly ERB and Martin were not in the same economic league.  Our Man was receiving fifteen dollars a week.  Martin could spend that much for lunch every day of the week and take Emma to the theatre every night without a single concern for expense.  There was no way ERB could have kept up so that the Martins had to have paid his way.  Didn’t ERB wonder why they would do that for a comparative stranger?

     There was no questioning expenses from the Martin point of view.  They owned a luxurious private railroad car.  It cost more than Burroughs made in a week to connect it to a train.  Jack Coleman Burroughs  recalls:  ‘Dad also recalled on the same trip, a colored porter would knock on the stateroom doors the first thing every morning.  The porter bore a silver tray upon which was a choice of ‘eye openers’.  According to Dad, this went on over different parts of the private car during the rest of the days and into the evenings.’

     Thus ERB was accepting lavish hospitality he couldn’t hope to reciprocate.  This is a fairly humiliating situation.  You cannot feel like an equal nor will you actually be treated as one.  One the other hand he was kept tipsy, to say the least, for the whole trip.

     When they got to New York ERB does not appear to have lived on the car.  Once again with the Army fever on him he wrote to Col. Rogers who was then in Washington D.C. in the hopes of gaining an officer’s appointment.  The return address Rogers was given was 11 17th in NYC.  That is the lower East Side somewhere in the vicinity of the Bowery.  Patchin was writing from somewhere in the same vicinity.  Of course, the address could possibly have been a box of the railroad; the information is incomplete.  At the same time the Martin party was staying  on the posh Riverside Drive.  There’s a degree of separation there.

      ERB’s letter was sent on the 15th while Rogers very quick reply came back on the 22nd in the negative.  He didn’t have to give his reply much thought.  Now, ERB was ready to abandon Emma again.  Marrying her must have been a low priority in his mind.

     If Martin had been thinking, rather than preparing an ‘accident’ for ERB he would have gotten his father, ‘the Colonel’  who must have had some influence, to secure Burroughs an appointment and have him shipped to the Philippines.  That would have made ERB eternally grateful while getting him out of Martin’s hair.  Frank missed a chance.

     Sometime after the 22nd the return trip to Chicago began.  As is usual in attempts of this kind the hit was delayed until the last minute.  In this case the assassination was to take place in Canada to which, if anything went wrong, Martin would have to be extradited as they would cross the river into the United States from Toronto the next morning.

     More rounds of drinks were served as the train moved from NYC to Montreal and thence to Toronto.  Probably a fairly lengthy trip as they might have had to switch trains a couple times while wating in the yards.

     Neither Patchin nor Jack Burroughs gives a date for Toronto.  As this took place in 1899 there were no motorized taxis.  As Patchin says the railcar was parked in the Grand Trunk yards.  These ‘three gentlemen songsters out on a spree’ would have had to walk into town or hire a carriage, probably the latter as Martin had the money.

     At this point someone would have had to have previously hired the thugs to bash Burroughs.  As I figure it the logistics were Patchin’s job.  I don’t see him so much a friend of Martin’s as an accomplice or stooge.  In his letter he does not claim to be a friend of Martin, he does not say ‘our’ old friend but claims to have been a friend of ERB while ERB was a friend of Martin.  Stange circumlocution when he could have just said ‘our friend.’

     Although Patchin describes the thugs as ‘Canadian hoodlums’ I wouldn’t be surprised if they had been brought from Chicago contracted by Patchin there. It would have been easier and surer.

      If you study Patchin’s letter you will see that other than the slip of  ‘He loved his wife well’ there are no other typos in the first paragraph.  As he gets into his story in the second paragraph he begins to have difficulties.  By the third paragraph when guilt seizes him he can’t even spell his last word or keep the words on the same line.  He begins emergency with two Es, can’t spell the critical word ‘hospital’, crossing it out.  Serious stuff.

     Where did they go in Tornonto on that memorable evening.  Probably to the red light and gambling district.  Toronto’s answer to Chicago’s Levee.  Where else could you arrange a fight with such hoodlums so easily.  Patchin doesn’t say whether the fight took place indoors or outdoors, just that Burroughs took a smack to the head.  Since the scalp was opened he was coshed with a sap or pipe.

     Burroughs says that he didn’t lose consciousness but he must have been knocked flat on his back.  He must have had time to get his arm up to partially block the blow or he would most likely have been killed by  it.  As I see it, then, this was an assassination attempt.  Martin meant to permanently get Burroughs out of the way.  Put him in a place from where he couldn’t come back.

     As I see it Martin and Patchin faked the brawl.  Patchin doesn’t say that he and Martin had a hard time of it.  No.  Just Burroughs got hit.  Only Burroughs got hurt which is suspicious.  After the first blow which could have been interpreted to be  in the heat of anger which would still have been manslaughter, to have continued to belabor Burroughs would have been a clear case of murder which would have had to have been thoroughly investigated.  The Law would have to be paid.  Thus the opportunity was lost when the first blow failed.  Martin and Patchin didn’t even report the incident to the police.  The ‘Canadian hoodlums’ could still have legged it across the border though.  It is not impossible that they weren’t Canadian but Chicago hoodlums contracted for the job before the private car left the Big Windy.  Why not?  Perfect job.

     So at two in the morning when asked where he was staying by the hospital doctor ERB replied in our private car down in the Grand Trunk Station.  Not Martin’s car but our car.  He quickly got used to the  luxury of a private car.  Never forgot it either.

     As he was able to walk he was released the party returned to the yards returning to Chicago the next morning.


     One may ask is there any evidence to show that Burroughs after he had thought about it  for a while ever came to the conclusion that Martin and Patchin had meant him harm?  I think there is.  In The Return Of Tarzan Burroughs puts these words into the mouth of Jane perhaps thereby admonishing more sternly who might, not unreasonably, be expected to be reading these books.  He obviously would get more out of them than we might.

     Jane says ‘…this terrible jungle.  It renders even the manifestations of friendship terrifying.’

     A manifestation of friendship was the invitation to NYC from Martin.  This indeed had been terrifying.  So that for the parties concerned if they read between the lines they had every reason to believe that Burroughs understood everything.

     One of the consequences of the attempt on Burroughs’ life was that he rushed back home to propose to Emma.  Within five months they were wed thus taking her away from Martin.  Emma had had a choice between a prince and a pauper and by some miracle had chosen the pauper.  Really a very romantic story worth of a movie on its own.  Grand Opera the way I see it.  Andrew Lloyd Weber should look into this one.

     There were other serious consequences.  Of the blow, Jack Buroughs says:  “He suffered for a number of years with bad headaches from the blow he received in that fight, and attributed one or two short periods of amnesia to that rap.  (Amnesia is a recurrent theme in the Tarzan oeuvre.)  I remember the scar was quite evident on his forehead when we were children (Jack Burroughs was born in 1913 so the scar must still have been visible in 1920 although it doesn’t show up in photographs.) but it seemed to disappear in his later life.  Mother used to jokingly attribute his success to that blow.”

      Emma would be in a position to know.

     So Burroughs suffered lasting injury from that blow– one doesn’t have periods of amnesia unless there is internal pressure on the brain.  There is evidence that he suffered from such pressure.  Perhaps brain damage is too strong a phrase in this case but here is a clinical description that seems to fit the case.  Per Brodal:  The Central Nervous System: Structure and Function (3rd. Edition, page 433):

     A peculiar form or amnesia occurs together with confabulation; that is the patient invents stories (without knowing that they are not real).  Most of the patients have a lesion involving the substantia inominata, the medial hypothalamus, and the orbito frontal cortex (usually caused by a ruptured aneurism in the anterior cerebral artery).  The often bizarre stories can usually be traced back to real events, although they consist of various, unrelated fragments from memory.  It seems the patient is unable to suppress irrelevant associations, and cannot chack them against reality.

     That is pretty close to ERB’s situation although he doesn’t appear to have lost his connection to reality although his stories as fantastic as they come always relate to his own memories.    The Corpus seems to form one gigantic web of psychological unity as Richard A. Lupoff has pointed out.

     One could think that after such a fearsome blow he would have been kept at the hospital for observation for at least a day or two but as he appeared to have no more than an open wound the doctor sewed him up and sent him on his way.  As Patchin says the doctor came down to the yards the next morning to check up on the private car story which may have seemed incredible to him causing him to the think the patient deluded perhaps being more hurt than he looked as, indeed, he was.

     There seems to be no reason to doubt that the blow ruptured the anterior cerebral artery.  Thus internal bleeding over the next couple days would have created a clot which would have put pressure on the prefrontal lobe causing cobwebs, headaches and obviously a faulty memory with periods of amnesia.

      There must be a medical reason for all these.

     The symptoms should have begun showing up within a week or so, so that the several months of faintness ERB experienced began then.  It was in this mental condition that he proposed to Emma.

     Disappointed by the quick rejection of Col. Rogers while at least intuitively understanding that he had been set up in Toronto, ERB quickly went to work to capture Emma from Martin.  I see little reason to believe that he had intended to marry her any time soon before he went o NYC, if at all.  Back in Chicago in August he proposed and he and Emma were married by the end of January.  In terms of years he was twenty-five and she twenty-four but in reality ERB was only four months older than Emma.

     The sudden wedding must have been disconcerting to the Hulberts.  I’m sure they envisioned a magnficent society wedding for their daughter.  There was now no time to plan one so they must have been bitterly disappointed.

     ERB now had to face a reality he hadn’t planned for.  His rough and rowdy days were over.


          While solidly based on documentation the foregoing is at present somewhat conjectural but let us see if we can find some discussion by ERB of these events in his writing.  There are four titles that go over these events in slightly different ways.  Certainly ERB had to ask himself what had happened.  He gave it a lot of thought.  Beginning in 1909 his answers came pouring forth.  Minidoka 937th Earl Of One Mile, Series M which was unpublished in his lifetime was the first of these efforts followed by Tarzan Of The Apes, The Return Of Tarzan and The Girl From Farris’s.  As ‘The Girl’ is concerned with the early married years rather than this period I will forego discussion of that title although it should be read in sequence with Minidoka.

      Minidoka, which actually began ERB’s writing career is directly concerned with this struggle between himself, Alvin Hulbert and Frank Martin.  In the story the evil Brady represents Alvin Hulbert with the genuine thoroughbred godling, Rhi, representing Frank Martin.

     The wars and battles represent Hulbert’s attempts to keep ERB away from Emma which ultimately fail.  However the story may explain a curious situation in which ERB and Emma took up residence in the Hulbert home after marriage.  Not a situation most newlyweds would want, but one that the Brady or Hulbert insisted on.

      Alvin Hulbert had thought little of ERB for several years.  The Army episode and the Denver marching band stunt did little to improve his opinion of Our Man.  How the New York trip was represented to him by Martin would be interesting to know.  Probably Martin who had every incentive to slander Burroughs said he was drunk all the way to New York and back, drank continually,  started the day with liquor.  He may have said that they were in the red light district of Toronto at ERB’s insistence.  In other words, he probably made the most of the situation.

      Undoubteldly terrified at his daughter’s willfulness in marrying this ne’er-do-well Hulbert made it a condition of his consent that the couple live in his house where he could keep a close eye on ERB.  I’m sure he was ready to have the marriage annulled at a moment’s notice.

     In Minidoka Rhi by a very devious trick puts Minidoka/Burroughs in a situation where he is meant to be killed, a situation not unlike Toronto- then rushes to the heroine Bodine/Emma to inform her that Minidoka is dead proposing marriage to himself instead.   It could have really happened that way.

      As in real life Emma/ Bodine remains steadfast and true to Burroughs/Minidoka, all wool and a yard wide as Burroughs puts it.

      Thus Minidoka mirrors the real life events in a fantastic manner as Per Brodal would suggest.

      Minidoka was never published so the same material was available for a retelling.  This was done in the first two Tarzan novels.  Tarzan Of The Apes tells the story of Burroughs life up to 1896 with some interpolations from the later period.  The Return Of Tarzan covers the four years from 1896 to his marriage with Emma in 1900.

     Always bear in mind that Burroughs has to tell his story with commercial ends in mind.

     The blow to the skull made an indelible impression on ERB as well it might.  In Tarzan Of The Apes, Tarzan takes three serious beatings, one with a gorilla from another tribe, perhaps representing John the Bully, and with Kerchak and Terkoz of his own tribe.  In all of them Tarzan is beaten about the head and shoulders.  Terkoz/Martin rips his scalp open from above the left eye over to his right ear.  Clearly an exaggeration of the true wound but that must have been how it felt.

     Kerchak delivers a blow to the head that would have killed him had he not deflected its force with his raised arm.

     Then when Tarzan and Jane are in the jungle Terkoz abducts Jane causing Tarzan to rescue her killing Terkoz in the process.  Thus in Program A Tarzan kills his adversary.

     Running concurrently in Program B Tarzan is a penniless jungle ape-man up against W.C. Clayton who is a genuine thoroughbred godling as was Rhi in Minidoka.  Tarzan feels he doesn’t have a chance against Clayton so he magnanimously resigns Jane to him at the end of Tarzan Of The Apes.   There must have been a sequel in mind because, as in reality Burroughs won Emma, Tarzan must win Jane.

     The end of Tarzan Of The Apes may correspond to Burroughs joining the Army in 1896 while finding Clayton embracing Jane in the jungle may correspond to his second Idaho trip in 1898.

     So that between 1896 and 1898 it may have appeared to him that he had lost out to Frank Martin.  In ‘Return’ Tarzan retreats to Opar which is his fantasy world with the beautiful but unobtainable anima figure, La.  At this early date she and Emma/Jane are fighting it out in his mind for his allegiance.   He would rather have La, that is remain unmarried, but his rivalry with Martin  is pushing him toward Emma.

     Tarzan is captured by the Oparians destined for sacrifice to the Flaming God of which La is High Priestess.  Burroughs reverses the situation and instead of squelching his imaginary La she is about to sacrifice him.  Burroughs can’t renounce his Anima fantasy so rather than kill him which would end both Burroughs’ wish persona of Tarzan and his relationship with La, she releases him.  Tarzan/Burroughs then triumphs over W.C. Clayton winning Jane/Emma.  Jane/Emma leaves Opar never to return.  La remains in Opar until Tarzan The Invincible when Burroughs is about to leave Emma and take up with his Anima figure, Florence Gilbert.  La then comes out of Opar in the same way Burroughs leaves Emma for Florence.  Opar disappears from the oeuvre, never being mentioned again.

      Then as ‘Return’ ends Burroughs and Emma are married mirroring his fantasy where Tarzan and Jane are married.  While not literal as Burroughs is writing for publication and must construct an interesting and, at least, nominally plausible story he confabulates events from his life into a fantastic and improbable tale.

      The history of his slugging which closes this period was mysteriously obscured by his youngest son John Coleman Burroughs.  These two letters were only discovered by Danton Burroughs, John Coleman’s son, recently.  They were unknown to biographers Fenton, Porges and Taliaferro.  For decades it was believed that Burroughs had been coshed in Idaho by a policeman as an innocent bystander in a saloon brawl.

      In an interview with Porges Jack Burroughs told this latter story in 1970.  Porges then dutifully reported the Idaho story in his biography.  the question is why would Jack invent the latter story to replace the true one with which he was aware.  As he himself replied to Patchin having previously discussed the event with his father I don’t see how he could have forgotten it.  Nor was there any need for him to even tell Porges the Idaho invention.

     Perhaps Jack knew details buried away in the archives wishing to lay down a false trail to disarm the curiosity of Porges.

      In 1899 ERB had had the direction of his life changed by a rap on the head.  He now had to face a life filled with heavy responsiblities which he had been able to avoid to this point.

      We see a new Edgar Rice Burroughs emerge from his early married years.


Four Crucial Years

In The Life Of Edgar Rice Burroughs

Part II


R.E. Prindle

…presumptuous attempts to conquer the outer world of appearances by the inner world of wishful thinking.

–S. Freud, Letter To Arnold Zweig 5/8/32.

Quoted by Schur:  Freud: Living and Dying

     Now back in Chicago he had to consider what direction his life was to take.  At least secure working for his Dad, ERB made a tentative move in the direction of an artistic career.  During the summer he enrolled in the Chicago Art Institute.

     Chicago is billed as America’s Second City but in many ways it is or was, America’s First, certainly West of the Appalachians.  The city was much more important to the Southern States than New York City, while its importance to the West is shown by the fact that the Outfit- the Chicago Mafia- considers the whole West as its province.  The Outfit ruled everything west of the Appalachians by the end of the fifties

     At the time in question when Chicago’s population was a mill six the population of the country was about 75 million so Chicago represented over 2% of the total.  West of the towers rising from the mud there was virtually no one and those that existed were rubes and hicks or living on the reservation.  During Burroughs entire youth this most modern of American capitals stood a beacon of civilization, such as it was, on what was then known as the great American desert.

     Burroughs was to approach this metropolis from the West several times so is it any wonder that when John Carter emerged from the deserts of the Green Men- read Indians- the towers of Helium rose from nowhere much like Chicago.  The twin of Chicago was probably New York City in ERB’s mind.

     As the capital of the Empire, Helium, like Chicago, reflected the racial and ethnic makeup of Mars. 

     Chicago was polyglot and the mix was troubling.  Bruce Grant who wrote the history of the Union Club of Chicago entitled characteristically ‘Fight For A City’ in 1955 characterized the situation during Burroughs’ time in this manner, page 96:

     The thousands of laborers and adventurers who were attracted to Chicago during the rebuilding era following the fire of 1871 were for the most part uneducated newcomers.  Ignorant of the underlying spirit of American institutions.  Chicago was the Western distributing point for a vast European immigration.  With the good came the bad, and borne along with the stream were the scum and dregs of countries where despotism had made paupers and tyranny had bred conspirators.  From Russia came the Nihilists, described by one newspaper as ‘the gift of centuries of Slavic slavery and cruelty.’  From the German states came the Socialists, the offspring of military exactions and autocratic government.  And from Europe generally, including Great Britain and Ireland, Chicago drained the feverish spirit of human resentment against laws and life; of property and of conduct which it had no hand in making or enforcing.

     This was the environment Burroughs was growing up in.  I suppose he was getting his Russian and Jewish information from the newspapers.  Therefore it was heavily slanted in favor of the Jews.  But as he walked around Chicago he must have thought himself a Stranger In A Strange Land.  I do today.  No more than 10% of Chicago’s population could be considered native.  The city had a larger Irish population than Dublin, was the most populous German city in the world, The Polish population could compete with Warsaw and on down the line.

     The Socialists paraded shouting and screaming Revolution under the Red banner which may have made sense in Germany but made no sense to the native born.  Anarchists unfurled the Black Flag with their preposterous social conceptions.

     The remarkable thing about America is the extent that the Anglos went to accommodate the immigrants.  Of course there were movements such as the APA- American Protective Association- and later the Ku Klux Klan, but these were scorned and ineffective in any event, regardless of how seriously some paranoid immigrant writers like Gustavus Myers might take them.

     Then as now Liberals controlled the country.  More typical of the reaction was this querulous little poem gleaned from the pages of ‘Chicago’s Public Wits:  a Chapter In The American Comic Spirit,’ Edited by Kenny J. Williams and Bernard Duffy.  LSU Press, 1983:

I Wish I Was A Foreigner


An American

I wish I was a foreigner, I really, really do.

A right down foreign foreigner; pure foreigner through and through;

Because I find Americans, with all of native worth,

Don’t stand one half the chances here with men of foreign birth.

It seems to be unpopular for us to hold a place,

For we are made to give it up to men of foreign race.

The question of necessity and fitness to possess

Must never be considered- who cares for our distress.

Perhaps it is not wicked to be of foreign birth,

Or to mutter a mild protest when an alien wants the earth;

But the latest importation is sure to strike a job,

And be the sooner qualified to strike and lead a mob.

A Dutchman (German) or an Irishman, a Frenchman or a Turk

Comes here to be a voter, and is always given work;

A native born American is here, and here he must stay;

So it matters little how he lives, he cannot get away.

The Spaniard and Bohemian, the Russian and the Pole,

Are looking toward America with longings in the soul,

Because the politicians will receive them with open arms,

And the goddess of our freedom bid them welcome to her charms.

But the law abiding Chinaman from the Celestial shore,

Because he has no franchise, is driven from our shore;

Americans and Chinamen are not in much demand,

The one remains neglected while the other is barred the land.

So I wish I was a Dutchman, or some other foreign cuss

I’d lord it over the natives- who don’t dare to make a fuss,

But my blushes tell the story, I am native to the soil’

So the aliens hold the places- visitors must never toil.

     With the real American response as above, the retiring Bill Moyer doesn’t have to worry much about ‘the thunder on the Right’ caused by a few radio announcers.  The real threat to them is that the Liberal ideology will be shown to be false and ridiculous not that the ‘danger from the Right’ is pernicious.

     One believes that if Burroughs were alive today Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly would find him an ardent supporter. One wouldn’t want to be called ‘an unapologetic Conservative.’  The Liberal oppression is that strong.

     The resignation is fairly bitter in the above poem.  The Chinese, the only nationality  ever excluded, had been denied entry in 1882, which was shortly before the above poem was written; thus the writer laments that ‘Americans and Chinamen are not in much demand’ comparing natives with the excluded Chinese.

     By the nineties the Irish had seized control of many municipal administrations, including Chicago’s, so that they were in control of political patronage.  The boodle as it was known.  All the sinecures, city and county, were theirs to distribute to friends and cronies.  The Irish effectively controlled Chicago.  As the poem indicates this privilege was obtained by the vote and votes were obtained by corruption thus the Irish and the Democrats, then as today, were the party of corruption.  All Irish city administrations were corrupt.

     The failure of the potato, of course, sent the Irish fleeing Ireland for more emerald pastures, but the Scottish emigration to the US and Canada  caused by the Highland Clearances  is virtually unknown.  There were two clearances, one in the eighteenth century which sent the Highlanders to the colonies or US and second , 1800-1860 which populated Canada.

      After the Union when the Scottish Lairds no longer had need of armed retainers they simply cleared the natives off the land in about as brutal a manner as the Americans cleared the Indians to make room for sheep.  All these people who had lived in the highlands for centuries discovered they were mere squatters on land which legally belonged to the Laird.  Past services were forgotten; they were literally thrown off the land.  How do you like that?  Matches any hardluck story you’ve ever heard, doesn’t it?

     The Lairds then invoked the law to kick their former retainers not only off the land but out of the country.  Dig that, and take heed for the future.  Sheriffs burned down their houses around their ears.  There was then no place for them in their homeland.  They were ordered to emigrate.  What was that Walter Scott said:

Breathes there a man

With Soul so dead,

Who to himself hath not said,

This is my home,

My native land…

     Well, with a mere change of place you can that about Canada, too.  That’s how the Scots came to the US and Canada.

     The Irish supremacy in the US lasted until the thirties when the massive immigration of the nineties through 1914 wrested power from them.  Fiorello LaGuardia, the Jewish-Italian politician, replaced Jimmy Walker in New york ending the long Celtic rule of that city.  James T. O’Farrell in his Studs Lonigan trilogy has the Irish lamenting that the Slavs are swamping the Irish causing them to lose control of the boodle.  The Irish of Chicago must have rallied because Mayor Daley put the Irish back on top but because of the huge Negro influx into Chicago the Irish have to share power with the Blacks.

     If one makes an analogy of the present with the past it won’t be long before Mexicans and Moslems are directing the affairs of municipalities and States.  A vote is a vote.

     Be that as it may, in 1897 I believe ERB would have been in sympathy with the author of I Wish I Was A Foreigner.  The Irish certainly figure largely in both his personal and political images of the time.  David Adams writing in the ERBzine has come up with several possible origins for the name of the Mahars of Pellucidar.  I think the most obvious is that the Mahars are intended to be a parody of the Irish administration of Chicago.  Mahar is an Irish name.

     Earlier in the century the city of Chicago which was built on slightly different gradients so that sidewalks had a lot of up and down stairs had been literally jacked up to one level making the sidewalks even.  Entire huge buildings and city blocks were raised several feet above ground to make a level city.  The resulting cavity produced an underground city which the indigent occupied.

     This might suggest the image of the occupants as slimy reptiles into an imaginative mind.  Putting the images together one comes up with an Irish administration of slimy reptiles.  I haven’t figured out why they’re deaf and female yet unless ERB was unhappy with Emma who may have been deaf to his entreaties.  For the present I’ll leave that one up to you.


     I shall permit myself to send you a small book which is sure to be unknown to you.  Group Psychoogy And The Analysis Of The Ego, published in 1921.  Not that I consider this work to be particularly successful, but it shows a way from the analysis of the individual to an understanding of society. 

S. Freud to Romain Rolland.

Quoted by Max Schur: Freud Living And Dying

     Working at the Battery Company, starting from the ground up, his father must still have allowed ERB flexible hours because Our Man found time to attend classes at the Chicago Art Institute.  He was not a very cooperative student, refusing to accept any discipline.  According to Porges he only wanted to draw horses and that without acquiring the fundamentals of drawing.  As he couldn’t find anyone willing to drop some hints on the fine points of equine deliniation he lost interest dropping out of school

     I for one would be very much interested in learning exaclty how he passed his time during this halcyon period.  If he and Emma went to the theatre as Porges suggests I would like to know what shows or lecture they attended.  Lecturers were a much more important adjunct to entertainment than they are today.  Robert Ingersoll had a huge reputation and of course Mark Twain.  There was also the Chautauqua Circuit.

     In the much discussed issue of Theosophy in Burroughs’ life it is quite possible that he attended a lecture or series of lectures either in their own building or some other place.  There undoubtedly would have been reviews of lecture in the papers.  Chicago had at least a dozen, in which the tenets or beliefs would be discussed.  In the crowd in which Burroughs associated I’m sure the fairly amazing doctrines would be discussed.

     When the US government places its 30 million pages of newspapers on the internet by 2006 dating back to the earlyh nineteenth century we will be able to examine this pertinent period in detail.

     At the theatre he and Emma would most likely have seen an actor by the name of John McCulloch who was a fixture of the Chicago stage.  This would have struck ERB as quite a coincidence as his mother had a John McCulloch as an ancestor.  If I am right in my surmise John the Bully was surnamed McCulloch.

     Nor would this be such a far fetched coincidence.  There must have been a couple dozen John McCullochs in Chicago at the time, probably hundreds in the United States.  As I write, my phone book lists a half dozen John McCullochs in this area.

     If Emma introduced ERB to the theatre at this time, there seem to be no reference3s to the theatre earlier, it held an attraction for him he never lost.  The old actor in Marcia Of The Doorstep is probably based on John McCulloch while ERB wrote his play You Lucky Girl at about the same time for his daughter Joan.

     Then at the beginning of the thirties ERB wrote his novelette Pirate Blood using the pseudonym John T. McCulloch which united the McCulloch references in his life.  It is said that ERB capitalized too much in his writing on improbable coincidences which on the one hand may be true but on the other, life is just like that, isn’t it?

     A near contermporary of ERB, Vachel Lindsay, who was born in 1879 in Springfield, Illinois, catalogs the influences to which he and his generation were subject.  It might not hurt to look through the poem here to try to capture some of the essence of what it meant to be young during this period.  The piece is entitled: John L. Sullivan, The Strong Boy Of Boston.

      The poem may be especially relevant to Burroughs as it centers on boxing which was a special interest of his.  During the period from 1892 to 1897 Burroughs’ idol, Gentleman Jim Corbett, was the heavyweight champion.  Corbett had defeated the incredible hulk, John L. Sullivan, in 1892 by landing one on the solar plexus making that piece of anatomy a topic of conversation down to when I was a kid.   In 1897 Bob Fitzsimmons took the title from Corbett.

     In the poem, Lindsay lists the many influences on his young life centered around 1889.  Pervading and overriding all is the ominous figure of Sullivan and the Irish.  Both Lindsay and Burroughs were Anglos.  The refrain ‘East side, West side’ refers to the Irish domination of New York City while the capitalized LONDON BRIDGE IS FALLING DOWN  of the last stanza implies that the Irish were conquering the Anglos.

When I was nine years old in 1889,

I sent my love a lacy valentine.

Suffering boys were dressed like Fauntleroys,

While Puck and Judge in quiet humor vied.

The Gibson Girl came shining like a bride

To spoil Tennyson’s Elaine.

Louisa Alcott was my gentle guide….


I heard a battle trumpet sound.

Nigh New Orleans

Upon an emerald plain

John L. Sullivan

The strong boy

of Boston

Fought seventy-five red round with Jake Kilrain.

In simple sheltered 1889

Nick Carter I would piously deride.

Over the Elsie books I moped and sighed.

St. Nicholas magazine was all my pride;

While coarser boys on cellar doors would slide.

The grownups bought refinement by the pound.

Rogers groups had not been told to hide.

E.P. Roe had just begun to wane.

Howells was rising, surely to attain!

The nation for a jamboree was gowned.

The hundreth year of roaring freedom crowned.

The British Lion ran and hid from Blaine

The razzle-dazzle hip-hoorah from Maine.

The mocking bird was singing in the lane….


“East side, west side, all around the town the tots sang: ‘Ring a rosie-

‘London Bridge is falling down.’


John L. Sullivan

The strong boy

Of Boston

Broke every single rib of Jake Kilrain.

In dear provincial 1889

Barnum’s bears and tigers could astound

Ingersoll was called a most vile hound,

And named with Satan, Judas, Thomas Paine!

Phillips Brooks for heresy was fried.

Boston Brahmins patronized Mark Twain.

The baseball rules were changed.  That was a gain!

Pop Anson was our darling pet and pride.

Native sons in Irish votes were drowned.

Tammany once more escaped it chain.

Once more each raw slaoon was raising Cain.

The mocking bird was singing in the lane….


“East side, west side, all around the town

The tots sang:  ‘Ring a rosie’

‘London Bridge is falling down.'”


John L. Sullivan

The strong boy

Of Boston

Finished the ring career of Jake Kilrain.

In mystic, ancient 1889

Wilson with pure learning was allied.

Roosevelt gave forth a chriping sound.

Stanley found old Emin and and his train.

Stout explorers sought the pole in vain.

To dream of flying proved a man insane.

The newly rich were bathing in champagne.

Van Bibber Davis, at a single bound

Displayed himself and a simpering glory found.

John J. Ingalls, like a lonely crane

Swore and swore and stalked the Kansas plain.

The Cronin murder was the ages’ stain.

Johnstown was flooded, and the whole world cried.

We heard  of Louvain and Lorraine,

Of a million heroes for their freedom slain.

Of Armageddon and the world’s birth-pain,

The League of nations, the new world allied,

With Wilson crucified, then justified.

We thought the world would loaf and sprawl and mosey,

The gods of Yap and Swat were sweetly dozy,

We thought the far off gods of Chow had died.

The mocking bird was singing in the lane….


“East side, west side, all around the town

the tots sang: ‘Ring a rosie’



John L. Sullivan knocked out Jake Kilrain.

     So many of the references which had an influence on Vachel Lindsay have lost their relevance but there are two which are important for our story.  One is that:  The Gibson Girl came shining like a bride to spoil the cult of Tennyson’s Elaine.  Elaine came from Tennyson’s Arthurian poem ‘Idylls Of The King.’  She was sort of pale and wan.  The Gibson Girl was created by the illustrator, Charles Gibson.  The latter girl was a robust saucy temptation of the All American Girl.  Emma made the choice between the two the Gibson Girl  her role model which is why I find her so entrancing.  In that sense Emma was forward looking heading into the twentieth century.  The Gibson Girl may be said to epitomize the woman of the myth of the twentieth century.  From the Gibson Girl the ideal  progressed to the Vargas pinup girl of the heyday of Esquire Magazine and from there she degenerated to the sex fantasies of Hugh Hefner and on down to Larry Flynt’s Hustler.  The story could have had a happy ending but didn’t.  It’s gotten worse.  I don’t want to go into that.

     The second key point is the general regretful tone concerning the Irish.  Just as in the poem I Wish I Was A Foreigner where the American complains …’the foreigner comes here to be a voter,’ so Lindsay notes ‘Native sons in Irish votes were drowned.’  This is serious.  This was a major problem with the ‘democracy’ when its intended fairness was turned against itself.  In a homogeneous society votes are used to determine an issue regarding the welfare of the whole people.  In a heterogeneous society votes are used to advance the interests of one segment against the others.  Thus the whole democratic process is subverted.

     Thus while the Anglos were concerned with regulating the country and immigration for the benefit of all, the Irish put themselves forward as the benefactors of the immigrants against the Anglos taking moral shortcuts which undermined the integrity of the State.  Immigrants then were brought in on the Irish side condemning the Anglos who were their true benefactors.

     Hence the baffling undercurrent of condemnation and complaint that runs thorugh American historical writing.

     Vachel Lindsay would also run afoul of the Diversity with his poem of the Congo which the Left portrayed as anti-Negro while it merely was an expression of Lindsay’s understanding of the culture of the Negro Group within the Diversity.  The Negro deserves to have his own psychology and he does.  We should value and honor that.

     Such censoring of opinion will have its consequences.  Burroughs himself was and is charged with racism merely for having prescient views.  The man was a deep thinker.  Viewing the world around him at this time he came to a remarkably accurate conclusion.  I can’t tell what his thought processes were but analyzing history he came to this conclusion.

     In his prophetic futuristic novel ‘Beyond Thirty’ of 1915, just after the Great War began, he has a post-war Europe ruled, as I thought improbably by Black Africans.  In light of recent events this now seems not so improbable.

     Life is not what we would have it:  The world is not run on any principles we can cheerfully accept.  The twentieth century was one of unprecedented disasters in their scope.  Shiva and Kali rule whether we will or not.  The twenty-first century will be even more destructive.  Now, beginning in the fifteenth century Europe, in essence, began the invasion of the world.  Scientifically far in advance of the rest of the world its success was dazzling.  However, somewhere in these years, we are considering, perhaps specifically 1893, the Euroamericans, the West, lost its will to dominate.  This lack of will was presciently picked up by a number of writers including Burroughs.

     The way of the world is that one either conquers or one is conquered.  Having begun to impose its will on the world there was no turning back for the West.  However it has attempted to do so.  The result is that instead of invading and conquering the West is now being invaded and conquered.

     Any Freudian analysis of the ego of the various peoples or, Groups, will provide a record of their mental processes, objectives and desires, not mention, capabilities.  The myth of the twentieth century was destroyed on 9/11/01 when the Moslems destroyed the religious symbol of the World Trade Center.

     The West at the height of their confidence moved peoples about the world to satisfy their needs.  East Indians were taken to all corners of the world while Chinese were moved into areas in the Pacific where their skills were in advance of the native populations.  During the two wars Africans were recruited to fight from Europe to the Far East.  A great deal of the consequences have been suppressed.  Having set the peoples of the world in motion, the West withdrew from its conquests, the conquered peoples began to assert their Group egos realizing that it was either conquer or be destroyed.  Then they began their invasions.

     The Japanese attempt to expel the West from Asia was successful although costly for themselves.  Nevertheless by the 50s the West had been expelled from Asia while the enclave in Hong Kong was allowed to live out the terms of their lease.

     By the early sixtes the Africans had expelled the West except in South Africa.  that fearful drama is not yet finished.

     Africans had been dispersed throughout the Americas during gthe 16th through 19th centuries.  Beginning recently they have begun to invade Europe from the North African ports especially from Libya.

     At the same time the world’s population has grown so large that there are areas that can no longer support their populations.  Whether by design or natural increase the Semitic States were so productive that they began exporting people throughout th world  beginning in the seventies while their populations at home continue to grow.

     As the Moslems invaded the world in this second Eruption From The Desert this narrow, bigoted, antiquated religious faith came into conflict with Western Scientific knowledge.

     To accept scientific knowledge would destroy the Moslem faith in much the same way that the Christian and Jewish faiths in the West have been affected.  There can be no compromise between the two; this is an either-or situation.

     While Moslem proselytizing has never ceased since the seventh century there was now a renewed burst of activity combined with an all out assault on the West, well conducted within Moslem military limitations.

     On 9/11/01 they were successful in destroying the symbol of scientific achievement, the World Trade Center in New York City.  They aimed directly at the strength of the West- its economic system.

     It is a mistake to think that anything can be achieved by fair minded discussion or concessions, otherwise known as appeasement.   Appeasement didn’t work out so well in the thirties when another determined ideology asserted its will.  This is a war to the knife; only one side will be left standing.

     More remarkable still, having disturbed the Africans in their nest, the Africans are on the move having begun an invsion of Euorpe which is already over populated there being no room for vast numbers of either Africans or Moslems, unless….  Religious and racial intolerance began to take a vicious turn in the twentieth centgury when racial clashes began almost simultaneoulsy in Europe and Asia.

     Since then genocidal wars of either a racial or religious nature have proliferated.  The Moslems have opened a guerilla war on the world.  In areas where resources are insufficient to support an Arab or Semitic population against other races the Semites or Arabs are conducting genocidal wars as in the Sudan where they are wiping out the Negroes or driving them beyond the borders.

     As Moslems and Negroes flood into Europe this must result in a terrific struggle for survival of the Europeans, probably breaking out within the next ten or twenty years.

     The resultant war must be genocidal in nature.  If the European struggle is successful it must result in the death of alien populations or their being driven out of Europe the same as the long struggle to drive the Moslems out of Spain.  Or the Europeans will be annihilated.

     This is an unpleasant but inevitable prospect.

     If the Europeans fail as I am sure they will then Burroughs remarkable prophecy of a Black Europe in ‘Beyond Thirty’ is almost certain to become a reality.  Life does not give you any easy choices.  Here in America you’re not even supposed to talk about this problem in a realistic manner so  there is no hope of avoiding destruction.

     ERB’s head must have been aswirl with all these thoughts that society forbade him to express directly.

     Probably wrestling with all these macro thoughts he had the really important micro thoughts to deal with.  Really, what to do with Emma who he wanted but didn’t want to marry, while still not losing her to Frank Martin.

     In February of  ’98 he once again for some reason decided to seek an officer’s appointment.  He wrote to a former commandant at the MMA, Capt. Fred A. Smith, seeking his assistance.  Smith, of course, replied that there was nothing he could do.  ERB still didn’t understand the consequences of abandoning his post in 1896.

     Shortly thereafter ERB pulled up stakes to return to Idaho abruptly abandoning Emma again.  Why he should have done so is not clear although perhaps there is a clue in the Return Of Tarzan.  Remember that dream displacement and disfiguration are in operation so that one cannot expect a literal representation of the incident.  One has to demythologize it.l  In the Return W.C. Clayton, Tarzan’s rival for Jane, and Jane have been stranded in the jungle. 

      Tarzan has chanced upon their camp.  As he watched an aged, toothless lion was about to spring on a cringing W.E. Clayton as Jane watches.  Tarzan transfixes the lion with his spear.  He then sees Clayton get up to embrace and kiss Jane.  Mistaking the import of the embrace and kiss, Tarzan turns sorowfully back to disappear into the jungle.

     Burroughs himself may have seen Frank Martin kissing Emma.  Perhaps he thought that a pauper like himself had lost out to a prince like Martin.  Thinking himself cut out might have been the reason for his departure to Idaho much as Tarzan melted back into the jungle..  With no more thought for his Dad at the Battery Company than he had for Col. Rogers at the MMA ERB just up and left.  Poor old Emma must have been wondering what she had done.  Couldn’t have been anything she said.

Continue to Part III.


Four Crucial Years

In The Life Of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Pt. I


R.E. Prindle

Every artist writes his own autobiography. 

Even Shakespeare’s works contain a life of himself for those who know how to read it.

–Havelock Ellis as quoted by Robert W. Fenton

The Great One

     Eighteen ninety-six found Edgar Rice Burroughs confronting the first great crisis of his adult life.  The weight of his childhood experiences pressed on his mind as he turned twenty.  His subconscious mind was directing his actions while his conscious intelligence futilely struggled against it.  He had no plans; nor could he form any.  He was in a state of emotional turmoil.  He obviously did not think out his moves nor weigh the effects of his actions on others.  He was to burn many bridges as he flayed about like the proverbial bull in the china shop trying to find his way out.

     Having graduated from the Michigan Military Academy he had been serving in the capacity of instructor for the previous year.  All his heroes were military men.  He fancied a military career as an Army officer even though he had failed the West Point exam the year before.  Still, he was in a fine position to realize his objective.  Men who could help him were nearby friends.  Captain, soon to be General, Charles King, who had befriended him as a cadet, and the Commandant of the MMA, Colonel Rogers.  All he had to do was to be patient and those men of some influence would surely have obtained an appointment for him.

     They had given a mere boy a position of great trust and responsibility in making him an instructor.  They were military men who judged others in the military manner.  Then in the Spring of 1896 Burroughs did one of the most inexplicable things in a career  of the inexplicable; he abandoned his post.  Without notice to those career officers who were depending on him he resigned his post and on May 13th of 1896 he joined the Army as an enlisted man, a common soldier, a grunt.  Within days he was on his way to his asignment.

     As he was to say of so many of his later fictional heroes: ‘for me to think is to act.’  He oughtn’t have been so precipitate.  He should have thought twice.  He shouldn’t have had to think about it at all.

     If he seriously wanted a military career as an officer he should have known that it is virtually impossible for an enlisted man to rise through the ranks.  Even in the rare cases when this occurs, the enlisted man is always an odd duck between the officer caste and the enlisted men.

     In this case he had not only forteited caste but as far as Rogers and King were concerned he had deserted, the worst crime that a military man can commit.  Both men wrote him off at that time.  Strangely he never understood that his precipitate act would be held against him by those he disappointed.

     Apparently joining in a fit of despair- for me to think is to act- as the date of the 13th would indicate he requested the worst duty the Army had ensuring his desire to fail.  On one level it is almost as though he did have his next move worked out.  Not normally too receptive to the desires or needs of its grunts in this case the Army was only too glad to accommodate him.  Burroughs was sent into Apacheria to a place called Fort Grant in what was then the territory of Arizona.  Neither Arizona nor New Mexico became States until after the turn of the century so Burroughs had actually ‘lit out for the territories’ as Huck Finn would have put it.  There was still some Apache resistance going on, thus ERB was a part of the Wild West.

     According to Philip R. Burger, writing in the Winter 1999 issue of the Burroughs Bulletin, the standard term of enlistment at the time was three years but, as there would be no reason to join the Army except to make it a career, the reasonable assumption for those left behind in Chicago without a word of goodbye would have been that Burroughs was out of their lives.  He was a dead man.

     For those of you who have never joined the services, once you leave you’re out of the lives of those left behind.  Your traditions have been broken.  Even when you come back for leave you are only tolerated as a visitor who will leave, the sooner the better, so you don’t disrupt their lives any longer than necessary.

     Burroughs didn’t even have traditions in Chicago except with a few people.  From the sixth grade on he had a record of broken attendance at a number of schools, from the girl’s school to Harvard School and then back East, to Idaho and on to the MMA.  He would have known but few people well, intimate with none except the lovely Emma Hulbert.

     He could have seen her but rarely over the last years which included high school.  He really had no ties in Chicago.  His relationshlip to Emma dated back to Brown grade school.  At sometime before he began his peripatetic education he began to propose to her.  As he was gone from Chicago all this time it is very difficult to believe that Emma sat home pining.  She must have been dating other boys, however, at the same time she must have been waiting for Burroughs since, at 24, when she married him she was only a couple years from spinsterhood.  She must have been giving her parents some cause for alarm.

     Thus when Burroughs appeared to walk out of her life in 1896 without a word about his intentions one wonders what her response was.  Certainly it was about this time that Frank Martin began to pay his court.  We will learn more of Frank Martin a little later.

     For Burroughs, like so many of us once we were inducted, ERB speedily learned his mistake.  For the men who don’t fit in ‘each fresh move is a fresh mistake.’  He regretted his decision immediately.  For him to think was to act, so from his arrival at Fort Grant he began a petition for discharge.

     As he had been under twenty-one when he joined, he had had to ask his father for his consent.  He now asked him to use his influence to get him out.

     Perhaps we do not have enough information on why he now so desperately wanted out.  In later life this short ten month period of his life would be fraught with great significance in his mind.  Just before he divorced his lovely wife Emma in 1933 ERB took a solo vacation to return to this scene of his young manhood.  That would indicate that Emma and Fort Grant were linked in his mind.

     Two of his Martian novels are associated with the Fort Grant experience.  In his first novel, A Princess Of Mars, John Carter serves in the Army in Arizona, is discharged, then returns as a prospector.  Under attack by Apaches he seeks refuge in a mountain cave in which he leaves his body while his astral projection goes to Mars.  Viewed from one point that’s as neat a description of going insane as I’ve ever come across.

      During his 1933 visit to Arizona, Carter returns to visit a trembling fearful Burroughs in his mountain cabin.  One gets the impression that Burroughs felt like a whipped dog.

     The Apaches made a terrific impression on the young man.  So much so that he could see himself joining them as a Brave as is evidenced by his two Apache novels, The War Chief and Apache Devil.  Then too his two cowboy novels are placed in Arizona rather than in Idaho where one would expect them.

     In his Return Of Tarzan the trip to the Sahara is an obvious reference to Apacheria.  The French government sends Tarzan into the desert rather than the US government sending ERB to Arizona.   In the deseart Tarzan develops a strong liking for the Arabs, much as ERB did for the Apaches.  Tarzan considered becoming a Son Of The Desert just as ERB thought he might become Apache.

     A large part of ERB’s fascination for the military life was based on his respect for Capt. Charles King under whom he had served briefly at the MMA.  King was, I would imagine, a boy’s dream of a dashing Calvalry Officer.  In this wildly romantic period of the Indian Wars, not to mention the proximity of the Civil War, a man who had served at the same time and the same place General Custer must have been held in some awe.  King had also served with and knew Buffalo Bill,  a nonpareil hero of the time and one ERB may have met at the 1893 Columbian Expo.

     Burroughs names two of his characters after Custer.

     On top of all this King was a successful writer of military novels.  He wote an excellent analysis of Custer’s defeat, which is available on ERBzine, as well as a first hand account of the resultant campaign to quell the uprising, Campaigning With Crook.  the latter is a superb recreation of a time and place we’ll never see again.  In just a few words King is able to recreate a Deadwood, South Dakota for which the movies have filmed endless miles of photographs with less result.  His single reference to barbaric cowboys wearing their guns on their hips says more than dozens of Hollywood films.  ERB was also able to capture some of this feeling in his two excellent Western novels as well as his two Apache novels.

     King was prolific writing nearly seventy books in his long career.  I have read only a few, which I find of only of journeyman quality.  King has an emascualted precious style which is reflected in his photographs.  Burroughs enthusiastically said he wrote the best Army novels ever, which may be true, I haven’t come across any other novels of Army life.  among his many novels of Army life are three that deal with the Pullman strike when the Seventh was stationed at Fort Sheridan.  One, An Apache Princess written in 1903 might possibly have been an influence on A Princess Of Mars.

     At any rate King glorifies the officer’s life.  He fooled a young green ERB.  In any event ERB failed to notice the haughty distinctions King drew between the relative status of the officers and the enlisted men.  King had all the prejudices of the officer class seeing the enlisted man as a subhuman species.  Knowing this, as Burroughs should have, I am baffled by his enlisting.

     Perhaps as at the MMA he thought that one entered as a buck private working up to officer rapidly as he had at the MMA.  If so he must have had a very rude awakening.  It couldn’t have taken him long to realize that advancing through the ranks was rare while at the same time a long process for such an impatient lad as he.

     While he was cleaning those stalls he must have had plenty of time to think out his dilemma.  As he thought back over his past actions it must have occurred to him that perhaps he erred in walking out on Colonel Rogers the previous May.  Accordingly on December 2 of 1896 he sent a letter back to Rogers of which the reply is extant.  We don’t know what ERB said but I imagine he was feeling Rogers out to see if he couldn’t get him an officer’s appointment.  Rogers reply was, of course, polite but cool and distant firmly placing Burroughs as oneof the rest of Rogers’ students.  Yuh.  ERB should have thought twice about abandoning his post.

     The many, many references to this period of his life point to a great regret later in life that he had left it.  He associated this regret with Emma.  Perhaps the visit of the officer, John Carter, to him in his lonely cabin in the White Mountains of Arizona represents his lost career as an Army officer but was one of the reasons for his wanting to get back to Chicago that he hadn’t dealt with his relationship with Emma?  Did he now learn that in his absence someone else was playing his old love song to Emma?  Someone who Papa Alvin Hulbert much preferred to ERB?

     It would be interesting to  know what Emma thought when her beau just up and removed himself to Arizona.  Perhaps perplexed but still hopeful she sent him her picture on his birthday in September.  Remember me, perhaps?

     Unhappy with his life at ‘the worst post in the Army’, how one’s attitude changes when one’s dreams are realized, he petitioned his father to use his influence to return him to civilian life.

     Surprisingly his father was easily able to do this.  By March of 1897 ERB had his discharge papers in his hand.  He was a free man again.  How many tens of thousands of us would have appreciated such an easy resolution to the problem.


     Our Man still didn’t have a plan.  What we he going to do with his life?  Apparently Colonel Rogers’ reply to his letter didn’t apprise him of the facts of life.  Nor did he seem to realize that once you reject the military the Army has no use for you.  At the time, the US Army was very small, perhaps seventy-five thousand men.  The officer corps was about ten per cent or seventy-five hundred men.  This is virtually a club.  The officers would have known each other personally, by name or by reputation. The same was more or less true of the enlisted men.

     Thus Porges records a letter ERB received in 1936 from one W.L. Burroughs of Charlotte, N.C. who probes:

     This morning an old army sergeant whom I soldiered with back in the nineties dropped in my office and our conversation started at Fort Sheridan, ILl. when the 7th US Cavalry and the 15th U.W. Infantry left that post for Arizona and New Mexico.  He asked me if I remembered Edgar Rice Burroughs of  Troop ‘B’ Seventh Cavalry, said he was discharged during the summer of 1896 at Fort Grant, Arizona account of a ‘Tobacca heart’…will be delighted to know for certain that we soldiered with so distinguished a person back in the nineties.

     Whether true or not these men remembered ERB as a malingerer who obtained a fraudulent discharge.  I interpet ‘Tobacco heart’  to be a feigned ailment which would make ‘so distinguished a person’ a sarcastic and insulting remark.  If W.L. Burroughs is correct then ERB got himself out by reasonable discreditable means rather than through the efforts of his father.   Thus forty years on an Army reputation followed ERB.

     Burroughs replied cooly a few days later ‘…seldom have been in touch with any of the men I soldiered with since I left Fort Grant.’  ERB didn’t say ‘AND GOODBYE.’ but I think that is implied.

     So having committed blunder after blunder it would have been wise for Our Man to reevaluate his position.  Strangely he didn’t do this, hoping against hope, as I imagine to pull that particualr rabbit out of the hat over the next few years.  Good luck, Edgar Rice Burroughs.


     For now he could only think of returning to Chicago.  As we know the Burroughs Boys were ranching up in Idaho.  ERB always wanted to prove that he was a businessman.  Why, I don’t know.  The fact of the matter seems to be that the Burroughs family was particularly inept at business.  Papa George T. had been burned out of his distillery while his battery business was steadily running down, due for extermination about a decade later.

     The Boys would turn to dredging for gold after failing at ranching.  Perhaps one of the reasons they failed at ranching was just this operation coming up.  They had bought a Mexican herd, apparently sight unseen.  They were then in Nogales to receive and transship the herd to KC.  I suspect they lost their shirt.  In less than two years they would be gold dredging.

     The world is full of sharpers.  Out West so many salted gold mines were sold to greenhorns that it doesn’t bear telling.  Frank Harris, the British magazine editor in his autobiography has a great story about how he and his outfit lifted a Mexican herd driving it back across the Rio Grande.  I have no doubt that some Mexican sharpers took advantage of the Burroughs Boys.  They would later buy a salted gold claim.

     The herd ERB put on board the train he describes as no bigger than jackrabbits while probably being less well fed.  The death rate of the cows on the trip back to KC was horrendous, while the survivors became starved and dehydrated.  I don’t think the Burroughs Boys did well on that transaction.  You gotta watch your back or, hopefully, see ’em coming.


     Edgar Rice Burroughs came home.  Perhaps he had now reached childhood’s end.  At twenty-one perhaps he now realized that he had a life to lead.  Perhaps.  If so, it was slow dawning.  But then ERB’s was not an ordinary mind, a normal bean as he would have put it.  No, his was a slow ripening melon.  But then, why should everyone develop at the same pace?  If up to this point I seem to have been overly critical of Our Young Man it’s because there has been much to be critical of;  just as there will be more, but he hasn’t done anything really reprehensible.  Your record may not be much better; mine certainly wasn’t.  He’s a good sort of guy; just a little on the goofy side.  Slow to learn.  He doesn’t seem to catch on.

     However he’s watching.  He’s observing.  He’s ingesting and there out of sight he’s digesting all the information coming in.  Plus, he will give it a brilliant interpretation when he egests it.

     These four years would be of great use to him in his writing career.  Always a subtle psychologist ERB was also a skillful employer of the Freudian concepts of condensation, displacement and sublimation and this before he could have read Freud.  An attentive reading of any of his novels always reveals layers of hidden meaning.  Simply put Edgar Rice Burroughs is the most poetic of novelists.

     His poetic tastes weren’t always elevated.  He did have a copy or two of Eddie Guest in his library.  Edgar A. Guest.  Perhaps forgotten today Guest was a people’s poet.  In the 1950s when I spread out the Detroit Free Press on the floor one of the first things I read was the daily poem of Edgar Guest.  Of course, I thought he had written each one the night before.  I marveled at his facility.  Nice homey thoughts though.

     Burroughs tastes ran to the likes of Rudyard Kipling, H.H. Knibbs, Robert W. Service and others of the jingly-jangly people’s school.  Although he did know enough about a high brow like Robert Browning to consider him a bore.  Rightly from my point of view.  He liked Tennyson, who was considered a high brow, also I suspect Walter Scott, Shelley and Byron.  He frequently hints at Longfellow’s ‘Wreck Of The Hesperus’ while he probably had to read Hiawatha in school

     He knows all the popular stuff of the day like ‘Over The Hill To The Poor House’ too while he had probably read that anthem of doomed labor,  Edward Markham’s Man With The Hoe, too.  If that one didn’t gag him he’s not the man I think he was.

     Song lyrics were big with him too.  On his cross country auto tour he mentions three records by name that his family wore out- of course a battery operated portable played in a field with the plows they called styluses (well, cultured people called them styluses or styli, us near illiterates called them needles) in those days they might have worn out a record in two or three plays.  One song was ‘Are You From Dixie?’, another was ‘Do What Your Mother Did; and the last ‘Hello- Hawaii, How Are Ya?’ I guess he liked songs that asked questions.  I’ll examine the lurics a little farther on down the road but when we’re considering the literary influences don’t forget the poetry.  After all ERB wrote a whole book around the lyrics of H.H. Knibbs ‘Out There Somewhere.’

     Just before he returned to Chicago one of the great newspaper literary lights and poets of Chicago Eugene Field had died- 1895.  Burroughs had a collection of Field’s writings in his library while Field, when alive, hung out at the McClurg’s book store.  Perhaps there were sentimental reasons for Burroughs pursuing McClurg’s so ardently as well as practical ones.

     Another Chicago writer among ERB’s collection of books who was reaching an apex at this time was George Ade.  While these Chicago stalwarts are mostly forgotten now they were considered immortal at the time.  Ade especially is a very clever writer with a real skill at turning a phrase.  His  ‘Fables In Slang’ would have knocked ERB flat.  ERB’s own interest in the colloquial, which is very pronounced, may have been influenced by Ade’s style.

     Another columnist of the period, Peter Finley Dunne, with his Irish dialect stuff written around his character Mr. Dooley doesn’t seem to have made much of an impression on ERB.

     Thus while involved in his attempts to correct his mistake of enlisting he was very attentive and observant of the life going on around him in whatever milieu.

     As I mentioned earlier, when you leave for the military your friends edit you out of their lives.  Returning is not so easy.  Even when I returned on leave, actually almost ten months after I left, people demanded almost belligerently, ‘What are you doing here? I thought you joined the Navy.’  After explaining I was on leave, nearly asking permission to hang around for a couple weeks, I was grudgingly given permission but let it be known that if I wasn’t gone I would have some explaining to do.

     ERB has left a record of his reception by his friends in Chicago.   He had sixteen years to let it run around his mind before he wrote it down.  It came out in Return Of Tarzan which, I imagine might be read as the Return Of Edgar Rice Burroughs.  Actually as Havelock Ellis hints in the opening quote, both Tarzan Of The Apes and The Return Of Tarzan can be read as autobiographical sketches from birth to the marriage with Emma in 1900.

     Burroughs describes his reception in Chapter 23 of the The Return.  The jungle is a Burroughsian symbol for society as in ‘It’s a jungle out there.’  Tarzan in the jungle can be read as ERB in Chicago.  Tarzan is resting in the crotch of a great limb of a jungle giant when he hears a troop of apes approaching the clearing beneath the tree.  The tree is a symbol of security or getting out of or above the tumult.  Trees probably correspond to his imagination.

     Tarzan recognized the troop as his old band of which he is still nominally king.  Having been gone for two years he rightly thinks the dull brutes will have trouble remembering him: 

      ‘From the talk which he overheard he learned that they had come to choose a new king- their late chief (the successor of Terkoz?) had fallen a hundred feet beneath a broken limb to an untimely end.

     Tarzan walked to the end of an overhanging limb in plain view of them.  The quick  eyes of a female (Emma?) caught sight ofhim first.  With a barking guttural she called the attention of the others.  Several fhuge bulls stood erect to get a better view of the intruder.  With bared fangs and bristling necks they advanced slowly toward him, with deep ominous growls.

     ‘Karnath, I am Tarzan Of The Apes,’ said the ape-man in the nernacular of the tribe.  ‘You remember me.  Together we teased Numa when we were still little apes, throwing sticks and nuts at him form the saftey of high branches.’

     ‘And Magor,’ continued Tarzan, addressing another, ‘do you not recall your former king- he who slew the mighty Kerchak?  Look at me! Am I not the same Tarzan- mighty hunter- invincible fighter- that you knew for many seasons?’

     The apes all crowded orward now, but more in curiosity than threatening.  They muttered among themselves for a few moments.

     ‘What do you want among us now?’  Asked Karnath.

     ‘Only peace.’  answered the ape-man.

     Again the apes conferred.  At leangth Karnath spoke again.

     ‘Come in peace, then, Tarzan Of The Apes.’  He said.

     So Tarzan and ERB returned to the fold.  However there were two young bulls who were not ready to receive Tarzan back.  We will find that two young men resented Burroughs’ return.  The resentment of the principal young man would nearly cost Burroughs his life while forcing him to commit to a marriage against his will.

     Thus Burroughs was received back into Chicago.


     He would spend about ten months before he uprooted himself once again to make his second visit to his brothers in Idaho.  I should think that this period in Chicago was perhaps the most idyllic of his life.  He found gainful employment with his father at the Battery Company.  However at fifteen dollars a week it was much less than his allowance had been at the MMA.  However he was living and eating at home so one imagines it was all pocket cash which afforded a certain limited affluence.  He could afford to take Emma out.

     Emma appears to have preferred him but he was no favorite of Papa Alvin and the Mrs.  If Frank Martin had begun to pay his court he was much the preferred suitor.  The son of Col. A.N. Martin who was a millionaire railroad man he was to be much preferred to a penniless Ed Burroughs whose father had apostacized to William Jennings Bryan in the election of 1896.  No, Martin should be given the inside track.  Burroughs was forbidden the house in an attempt to disrupt his relationship with Emma.

     The Hulberts looked askance at Burroughs patchy history.  He was less than promising.  While his father had gotten him released from his enlistment, people are wont to say there’s more to that story than meets the eye.  Plenty of room for rumor, if you know what I mean.  ERB probably had to explain a lot.

     So while he could date Emma he couldn’t go hang around all evening every evening as lovers are wont to do.

     So what did ERB do with his spare time.  He obviously read.  H.Rider Haggard was popping them out two or three a year at the time which is clear from the evidence ERB read.  Jules Verne was alive and producing although much of his production remained untranslated.

     There weren’t any movies or television, however there was the Levee, Chicago’s Sin City.  In later novels ERB would show what appears to be first hand rather detailed knowledge of this area of brothels, saloons and gambling joints.  Burroughs was certainly no stranger to drinking and gambling, whether he frequented brothels may not be known but, if you’re in the area….

      In a city of a million six there were only about forty thousand library cards issued but it is probable that one of them was in the wallet of our investigator of curious and unusual phenomena.  He sure knew a lot of odd details.  One of the big intellectual questions is whether or not he knew of Theosophy.  A volume of William Q. Judge, a leading  Theosophist who died in 1896, is to be found among Burroughs’ books.  His first story Minidoka 937th Earl of One Mile which is concerned with this period while unpublished until just recently makes mention in the descent to Nevaeh of the Seven Worlds which is a reference to either Theosophy, Dante or both.

      Again, hanging around a library one might come across volumes of Dante and Theosophy.  Shoot, Tarzan spent his afternoons in the Paris library becoming discouraged by the surfeit of knowledge to be covered.

     And all around him floods of changes were rolling over him.  The world was moving with breathtaking rapidity.  If a guy wasn’t half crazy already trying to keep up would get him the rest of the way.  Actually these four years were the intellectual bottom, in the musical sense, of the rest of Burroughs; life.  perhaps sensory overload occured culminating with his bashing in Toronto and subsequent marriage to Emma so that he was no longer open to new experiences afater his marriage.  Everything after 1900 was interpreted in the light of this experience.  the interpretations were inventive enough.

     His situation might be compared to that of Zeus and Metis of Greek mythology.  Ordinarily when the Patriarchy took over a Matriarchal cult the event was comemorated in a myth of sexual union.

     In the case of Metis, a Goddess of wisdom, she went down into the belly of the monster like a plate of oysters perhaps meaning the Patriarchy had attempted to stamp the Metis cult flat or eat it up as the Zulus would say.  If so Zeus and the boys had bitten off more than they could chew or digest, as it were.

     Metis lived on in his belly giving him unwanted advice until I would imagine the Patriarchy came up with a compromise solution.  Thus Metis gave birth to Athene who was born fully formed from the forehead of Zeus, which is to say that the cult of Metis was transformed into the cult of Athene.  Athene retained all the attributres of the goddess of Matriarchy but ‘she was all for the Patriarchy.’

     So now with Burroughs; he ingested all this experience which he gave a ‘definite impression of fictionalizing’ to appear full blown from his forehead +- twenty years later.

     Porges reproduces a political cartoon of Young Burroughs on page 68 of the First Edition in which Uncle Sam and John Bull are watching a scene.  One or the other says:  ‘How would you like to be a Russian?’

     In the cartoon Russian soldiers are shooting and bayonetting obvious Jews while the Jews are bombing the Russians.  The villains of the first four Tarzan novels, ‘The Russian Quartet; are two Russians Nikolas Rokoff and Paulevitch.  Thus, if the cartoon was drawn in this period, twenty years later the Russians show up as villains.

     Now, among all the ‘minor’ events like the depression after 1893, the Pullman Strike, Coxey’s Army, Altgeld’s pardoning of the Haymarket bombers, the Sino-Japanese war and such like trivia was the infamous Dreyfus Affair in France.

     This minor event involving a Judaeo-French spy was magnified into an international cause celebre by accusations of anti-Semitism.  Alfred Dreyfus was a Jewish French army officer who was accused of spying for the Germans or of selling information to them.  Originally convicted and sent to Devil’s Island, a few year later after key evidence was tainted or disappeared and key witnesses had died or been discredited the case was reopened and after a terrific media blitz resulting in Zola’s article with the famous title: J’ Accuse, Dreyfus was acquitted.

     The man convicted in his place, strangely enough, was probably also Jewish, one Walsin Esterhazy.  Supposedly of Hungarian descent, at the instance of the chief Rabbi of Paris he was given financial assistance by the Rothschild family.  It would be very unusual in that case if he weren’t Jewish.

     Burroughs must have followed the Affair Dreyfus closely as it unfolded during the lat nineties.  In 1913’s Return Of Tarzan he chose to fictionalize Esterhazy’s end of the Affair in the character of Gernois.  Burroughs must have studied the Affair because Esterhazy actually served in North Africa where he came in contact with German agents.  Of course, Gernois is compromised by our old friend Nilolas Rokoff, the Russian agent.  Thus ERB combines his dislike of the Russians as eveidenced by his cartoon with sympathy for Dreyfus.

     In real life Esterhazy led a dissipated life which, it is said, led him to be a spy.  In ‘Return’ Gernois is led into syping because Rokoff, the hyper-arch villain had something on him.

     In a sort of editorial comment on Dreyfus ERB has Rokoff tell Gernois:  ‘If you are not agreeable I shall send a note to your commandant tonight that will end in the degradation Dreyfus suffered– the only difference being that he did not deserve it.’

     Thus ERB comes down firmly on the side of Dreyfus.

      For those who will misread racial and ethnic attitudes I believe ERB’s attitude in the Jewish-Russian conflict and the Dreyfus Affair should exonerate him, if the need exists, of any charges of anti-Semitism.  Especially in the light of his portrayal of the worthy Jewish gentleman in ‘The Moon Maid’ trilogy.  It would seem that all of ERB’s later attitudes remain consistent with these brought to fruition between 1896 and 1900. 

Continue on to Part II


Tales Of Space And Time:

Love, Lust And Edgar Rice Burroughs

A Short Story


R.E. Prindle

The Image Of Flaming Youth- Colleen Moore

     As they say in Hollywood, this is based on a true story.  Only the facts have been changed to make a better story.  Just as in Hollywood the tale is wholly fiction.  Well, not wholly, there is one true fact included.  I’ll highlight it at the appropriate time.  I have used real names and places so as to cast an aura of truthfulness about a  story that never happened.  No matter,  just as in the movies you won’t be able to tell the difference.  Fact and fiction blend.  It’s just like your memory.

     Perhaps the time is March of 1934 when a now has been actress who had once, in the days when acting really counted in silent movies, been at the top of her craft earning 12,500 smackaroonies a week.  Not small change in those pre inflationary days.

     Sound and the depression had changed all that, plus advancing maturity.  She was no longer in demand.  After her last, The Scarlet Letter the studio head had nearly thrown her torn up contract in her face.  As unpleasnt as that may be life contains such humiliating moments.  Still as Hank Williams song says:

My hair is still curly,

My eyes are still blue,

Why don’t you love me

Like you used to do?

     Love is like that, fleeting.  Box office.  Demand.  Transient things like that.

     Angry at the treatment and now having no future in the film capitol and the hearts of the multitude, with a stamp of her pretty little foot she turned her back on Tinseltown, if not her fans, returning to home town Chicago.

     There she was fondly remembered and even lionized.  She had been the original flapper girl, Colleen Moore, who had created the type for her starring role in 1923’s Flaming Youth.  Twenty-one at the time her success had been exhilarating but she was a tough minded practical young woman; she hadn’t let it go to her head unduly.  She she thought, she had gotten to the top at an age when others were still gazing at the distant snowy crests; she was on top and she would do what she had to do to stay there.

     In creating the role of the Flapper in Flaming Youth she had created a new woman displacing the former ideal of the Gibson Girl.  She had bobbed her hair, raised the hemlines of her skirts, given voice to a careless, carefree, thrill seeking easy party girl who liked to go skinny dipping.  True she was following the script but she had been the archetype of a newer sleazier morality.

     Quickly typecast in the new role her whole career had evolved into the naughty but nice type of girl.  She was the image of the girl who would go all the way.  It had been a burden to bear.  She had quickly retreated into unreality.  Using her new found wealth she had begun building a very expensive doll house which she called the Fairy Castle.  Five hundred thousand dollars worth of Fairy Castle.

Colleen was not as carefree and careless as the image she had projected.  She was a hardnosed investor who turned her own money green.  The five hundred thousand dollar doll house hadn’t actually been made with her own hands  but for her.  She employed experts to design and construct it.  Even as she was paying for it she was providing against an uncertain future.  The house was modular with each room having its own separate container for easy transport.  The Fairy Castle could be broken down and reassembled with ease.

     And now as 1936 approached, just imagine the ’34 and ’35 flipping off the calendar and floating away across the screen, the reason became evident.  No longer a star but still craving the limelight Miss Moore announced that she would take the Fairy Castle on the road to raise money for needy children.  This was the Depression.  There was a sure fire attention getter; she knew how to appear concerned for the young after having been responsible for corrupting flaming youth.

     Over the next couple years she was very successful.  The Castle would eventually raise over six hundred thousand dollars which in today’s equivalents would be several tens of millions.  How much of it actually got to underprivileged kids wasn’t carefully recorded.

     If she wasn’t quite as in the spotlight as in Hollywood, which place she still preferred to drab Chicago which  for personal reasons she couldn’t leave, she didn’t go unnoticed.

     On this occasion in mid-1936 she was gathered with the lights of Chicago for the reception of a rare book collection donated to the Newberry Library by one Mr. Frank Martin.  In truth Mr. Martin would have given much more than a few old books to meet the Flaming Girl but this was unnecessary.  As a reward for the books at his request he had been seated beside Colleen.  He’d been a handsome rogue, you can accentuate the rogue, in his youth and now although almost seventy he still retained refreshing youthful features, full bodied but not stout, a head of glistening silver hair and no paunch, altogether a prepossessing figure of a man.  Much better preserved than Edgar Rice Burroughs as he would comment to his mirror.

     A dissipated life hadn’t hurt him any.  It was true that Miss Moore was half his age but I think I mentioned earlier that Miss Moore was a practical woman; Frank Martin was rich, while at seventy he couldn’t live forever.  After him there was room for one more.

     On the other hand Colleen liked older men.  She herself was Irish, knowing a great many Irish proverbs, which are the most amusing kind, she had selected as her favorite:  ‘It is better to be an old man’s darling than a young man’s slave.’  Alas, in her first two marriages she had erred in this dictum much to her regret.  Life, being a little forgiving in this instance, was giving her another chance.

     She waited for Mr. Martin to be seated and then made her grand entrance.  Never truly beautiful, what nature had denied art had supplied.  She passed for beautiful in any man’s eye although the camera would have been less forgiving.  As she approached Mr. Martin an electric spark worthy of a Tesla experiment flew between each as each realized their desires were to be met unless things went terribly wrong which I assure you they didn’t.

     Frank raised his imposing 6’3″ frame from his chair with a grace that was warmly received by Colleen.  They were nearly fast friends before their derrieres touched bottom.

     ‘I can’t tell you how much I admire your efforts for those poor children, Colleen.  May I call you Colleen?’  This was a few years back when manners were different.

    ‘You may call me Darling if I can call you Frank, dear.’  She replied sweetly in her most flaming manner.

     ‘By all means Darling.’  Frank smiled back realizing he was in like Flynn before even Flynn discovered the way in.  ‘Colleen, that’s a grand old Irish name.’

     ‘I am an Irish girl, but Frank, I’ve heard so much about you.’  Colleen ventured, who had, indeed, wasted no time in catching up on the gossip of the last thirty years or so.  As an old roue Frank had left more than a paper trail in the memories of many.  But, that’s gossip, on with the story.

     ‘Thank you Colleen.’  Already Martin who was also Irish had discovered a new love for the grand old name of Colleen.  He put that emphasis on the pronunciation that Miss Moore blushed with pleasure.  ‘We’ve certainly heard here of your wonderful success in the cinema.’  He used the word cinema to raise the cultural value of Miss Moore’s contribution to the developing world capitol of porn.  then he compulusively blurted out:  ‘Did you know my old friend Eddie Burroughs out there?’

     ‘Do you mean Edgar Rice Burroughs?  No, I’ve never met him but I’ve heard his antics discussed a few times.’

     Antics struck the right note with Martin.

     ‘What antics are you talking about?’  Martin followed up, eager for dirt.

     ‘Well, you know he bought the Otis estate?  Apparently he bit off more than he could chew because no sooner had he bought it than he tried to turn it into a movie location for the studios.  Said he wanted to be a businessman.  He was raising pigs, cows, sheep, whatever, in what we thought was a madcap attempt to salvage the place.  Then, of all things, he developed a golf course and something called the Caballero Country Club.  I guess he thought we would all rush to join, and that after he defamed us all with that horrid book he wrote called ‘The Girl From Hollywood.’  What a time we had to get the publisher from continuing to print that.  I was sure he was talking about me.

      Next, this was really incomprehensible, he decided to start some Bohemian Free Love community.  He sold lots and advertised for people who were like minded to him who minded their own business and lived and let live.  You know what that’s a code for and this after writing his horrible Hollywood story condemning the rest of us for practically the same thing.’

     ‘Yes, Ed always was eccentric although he had charm for some people.  Fell a little flat with me.  You never could tell what he was going to do next.  First he was here and then he was there and then he was back again.  Wouldn’t stay home and wouldn’t stay away although we all wished he would.’

     Martin’s eyes set on a scene of the distant past as his brow lowered and lower lip quivered in bitter remembrance.

     Colleen had heard many of the rumors and stories concerning Burroughs.  Martin and Emma Hulbert from 1896 to 1910 and beyond and especially the famous murder attempt in Toronto.  It appeared the gates were open in Martin’s mind.  Without trying to disturb his thought processes Colleen gently insinuated:  ‘Yes, I understand you and he were rivals for the same woman.’

      Martin wasn’t that far gone.  He looked at her sharply but then as he had already conceived in his mind the notion that he was going to marry this woman he thought it perhaps best to get the story of Emma out in the open.  Thus, wheareas he had been before truly speaking from the soul he now feigned the same expression crafting his evidence for his object.

     ‘The man, it hurts me to call him a man, had no use for Emma but as an adornment to his ego.  He had no intention of marrying her he just wanted the comfort of knowing that she was there waiting for him, she was true blue all wool and a yard wide  too.  I was already thirty, hadn’t been married yet, and she, at my age then,’  he wanted to leave a path open to Colleen, ‘seemed an ideal choice.  She was the perfection of the Gibson image, not like…’  Here Frank was about to make a derogatory reference to the Flapper but caught himself in time. ‘…the pale bloodless Elaine of Tennyson.  Quite a wonderful girl really.  You must have heard that Ed divorced Emma for a tramp half his age.  Disgusting.’

     Colleen was half Frank’s age but both seemed oblivious to the incongruity.

     ‘Yes.  There was a lot of merriment over that one in Hollywood.  Dearholt brought home his mistress to live with he and Flo.  Of course Flo would have nothing to do with it.  She already had her net around Burroughs so I don’t see why she ca…’    Here Colleen had to catch herself from seeming too liberal in sexual matters.  Chicago was no LA and while the same sexual misdoings might have gone on there they were spoken of in a different way.  ‘…red whether he had a mistress or not.  Naturally she wouldn’t have wanted a menage a trois.  But wasn’t there something about Burroughs being almost killed in a barroom fight?’

     ‘Oh, you mean Toronto.  What a trip that was.  The Colonel had business in New York so he was taking the car out of the yards for the trip anyway so I asked Burroughs if he wanted to tag along.’

     ‘I hadn’t heard you were that close friends at the time.  I mean, Emma…did he go along with a rival?’  Of course Colleen knew the whole story but led Martin on to hear him  tell it.

     ‘Did he?  He jumped at it.  ‘That’s what I mean, what was Emma to him?  He didn’t even consider her feelings.  And then he was disgustingly drunk from the moment he stepped in the car.  Drank nonstop from the first thing in the morning to the last thing at night.  We almost threw him off in Cleveland.’

      Characterization is the thing.  It should be clear that Martin is exaggerating for effect while the truth was Burroughs himself drank

Edgar Rice Burroughs- Author Of Tarzan

only because everyone else was as was the order of the day.  The booze was provided courtesy of the Martins and pushed on Burroughs.  A careful selection of facts produces the desired effect.

     ‘Then by the time we got to Toronto all the sot wanted to do was to go to their version of the Levee looking for whores.  Far a guy who seemed pretty well acquainted with the sleazy side of life he hadn’t learned to keep his mouth shut.  He antagonized a couple degenerate brutes and before Patchin and I could make a move one of them flashed a sap that would have crushed Ed’s skull if I hadn’t grabbed the slugger’s arm deflecting the blow.  Had to run him down to the hospital to get him sewed up.  Bloody mess he was; served him right too.’

     ‘Who was Patchin?’

     ‘Dick Patchin.  He came along too.’

     ‘Patchin.  Patchin.  The name doesn’t ring a bell.’

     ‘He wasn’t anybody.  Just a guy I knew so I let him come along.’

     Martin considerably expurgated the story.  In fact Patchin was a go between who knew a number of unsavory characters, being a borderline thug himself.  At Martin’s request he had hired a couple Chicago thugs to travel up to Toronto to meet the party in the Yellow Dog Saloon.  There while Martin and Patchin stood one on either side of Burroughs to identify him words were exchanged followed by the assault with the spring loaded blackjack.

     Martin’s intent had clearly been to murder Burroughs which the blow would have done if Burroughs himself hadn’t been able to get his arm up in time.

     ‘Ed wasn’t anybody then.  Just a bum not much better than the guy who hit him.  You should have seen the excuse for a suit he wore.  No one could have figured he’d become so famous.’  Martin added in self-defense.  ‘Then we came back and before I knew it he and Emma were married.  Cut me out, just like that.’

     ‘And that was that.’  Colleen smiled.   The comment made Martin realize she knew more than he was letting out as why shouldn’t she, the story had been all over Chicago for decades now. 

     ‘I’m not saying I’m not a sore loser.’  Martin sulked.  ‘I gave him hell until he fled Chicago to the wilds of Idaho where he belonged although he took her with him.’

     A passion seemed to seize Martin at this time carrying him along on a flood of reminiscences.

     ‘And then he came back with her again.  the son-of-a-bitch wouldn’t stay away.  Like a bad penny he had to keep turning up.  A kind of madness got me in its grip then.  I couldn’t leave her alone.  Damn, she was true to him.  I couldn’t control myself.  They never had kids you know, so I thought I still had a chance, like maybe she was waiting for me.  They never had kids until after that night.  She was visiting some friends and I just happened by as she was on the way to the streetcar.  I offered her a ride home and she accepted.’  Here what Martin means is he got out of the car forcing her in which as Emma knew him well she allowed rather than embarrassing him by screaming for help.  ‘Then, I don’t know, something took possession of me.  Happens to everyone.   Rather than driving her home as I intended I drove out into the country.  I just wanted to talk to her.  She told me to turn around but I hadn’t said what I had to say yet.  Then she tarted yelling at me and she hit me.  I lost control of the car.  It took the ditch but fortunately we were thrown clear landing in some new plowed furrows.  Neither of us was hurt. Somebody came along and I got us a ride.  I got her home all right.

     I guess she must have convinced Ed but right after that after eight years of marriage they had two kids in a row, I mean right after each other.  That took care of her figure.  After that I didn’t bother her anymore.  I knew he wouldn’t do right by her though.  I’m just surprised it took so long.  Patchin went to see him after the divorce.  The self-centered son-0f-a-bitch was blithe about the whole thing.  After thirty-five years of marriage and three kids he was glad he’d done it, like she had it coming.  He asked Patchin with a sneer and laugh how I was doing.  He was doing OK.  Hah!’

     Colleen put her hand on his meaning to comfort him but coming across cynically:  ‘Hollywood is full of hundreds of the same kind of story.  Life is like that a whole lot, isn’t it?

     With the suspicion of a tear in his eye and a deep wavering sigh Martin actually more than a little embarrassed by his outburst smiled bravely and said:  ‘Well, enough about me.  How about you?  Where did you go to school in Chicago?

     ‘Oh Frank, I wasn’t born in Chicago.  I was born in Port Huron, Michigan, a grim little town I was glad to get out of.  Dad and Mom moved to Florida which I liked a whole lot better.’

     ‘But I thought you were from Chicago?’

     ‘My uncle Walt Howley was the editor of the Examiner who used his influence to get me a screen test with D.W. Griffith when I was fifteen.  The rest is history.  Over the years I’ve come to consider Chicago my second home so when I left Hollywood I came here.’

     And so the evening wore on very agreeably.

     Frank, who was a real candy and flowers man, proved a most charming and romantic suitor.  Just right for the woman whose ideas of romance were reflected by her Fairy Castle.  In the back of his mind Martin obsessed on his old rival Edgar Rice Burroughs.  He had written finished on that particular book but slowly an idea formed in his mind to finish the job he had begun in Toronto.

     To succeed he would have to lure Colleen into using her charms to lure Burroughs back to Chicago.  Prostitute herself after the fashion of a temple priestess.  People always put different names and constructions on their heart’s desires so one evening in September over a candlelit dinner Frank Martin put it to Colleen Moore like this:  Honey…remember when we were kids and we used to set up a chump by having a message sent to him to meet some girl for a hot date then stood and laughed while he waited in vain?’

     Uh huh, Colleen had heard of such things.

     ‘Ed has married this young woman who isn’t half what you are.  When Patchin was in LA to talk to him he said that Ed just raved about the Colleen Moore of Flaming Youth and Naughty But Nice.  I’d like to play a trick on him but I’ll need your help.’

     ‘What kind of help, Frankie?’

     ‘Well, if  you were to send him a letter asking for him to make a miniature book for the miniature library of your miniature castle and make it sound like you were really interested, you know,  hot for him, he might come back to Chicago to see you and then we could stand him up and have a real laugh at his expense.’

      A little of the romance went flat as Colleen interpreted the request to mean that as Burroughs had once taken Martin’s girl now Martin would take Burroughs’s girl.  Certainly this was part of Martin’s plan but the years had passed since those golden years at the turn of the century.  With the coming of prohibition the Capone Mob ahd virtually seized the streets of Chicago staging murder and mayhem on a daily basis.  The recent Century Of Progress Expo of 1933 had been practically controlled for the benefit of the Outfit.  The thugs of 1893 were real amateurs compared to the professional assassins of the incipient Outfit.  It mgiht cost a little bit but Martin thought a drive by shooting with typewriters might be a fitting end to his nemesis.  He didn’t mention that part to Colleen though.

     Unwittingly Frank had thrown a chill on their relationship.  Romance had flown.  In truth Colleen had had enough of Chicago.  Those mobsters were not pleasant to fend off and they were attracted to the Flaming Girl like moths…naw, that’s too corny.  She now longed to get back to Hollywood but wished to return as a conqueror rather than as a dog with its tail between its legs.  It would never have occured to her otherwise but now as she thought about it, yes, she believed she could take Burroughs away from Florence.  Martin waiting with hope and expectancy didn’t notice the change in Colleen’s voice as she said:  ‘I think I see what you’re after.  I think I could do that, Frank Martin, yes.’

     As Martin left Colleen’s apartment he smiled to himself.  ‘Nearly forty years to get that bastard back but it will be worth it.’

     Colleen composed a very nice letter asking Burroughs for a little Tarzan Jr. book for her miniature library.  The letter breathed romance terms like ‘long term relationship’ which were mixed in such a way to imply more than just an enduring friendship.  You didn’t have to be born at the bottom of a wishing well to get your hopes up.

     When Burroughs received the letter in the future Porn Capitol Of The World he was somewhat puzzled to receive a letter from Colleen Moore.  ‘That’s the Flaming Girl herself.’  He thought.  A faint whiff of pleasing scent was emitted as he slit the envelope open which made him raise his eyebrows.  When he read what he read his eyebrows went way up.  To say that he was steamed would be an understatement.  The man had had a smoldering crush on the image of Flaming Youth Colleen had projected in 1923.  He had seen most if not all her pictures.  Separating a movie image from the real person is not always as easy as it seems espcecially as Colleen had reinforced the image in picture after picture.  Naughty But Nice had all but sealed the image for Burroughs.  He failed to note the romantic allusions in the letter as his sexual fantasies ran away with themselves.

     He imagined himself as the legendary sixty minute man rolling and tumbling all night, night after night with the Flaming Girl.  Who can blame him but that wasn’t how it was.

      He should have studied the Fairy Castle a little more closely.  Instead he put together a fairly salacious little volume dedicated wholly to sexual fantasies without a hint of romance.  I told you this piece of fiction was based on a true story; this is the true part.  If you want to see a copy of the little book, Tarzan Jr., go to www.erbzine.com/mag0/0042.html .  It’s right there.

     So Our Man wrote this up, he and his son John Coleman drew some fairly rasty pictures, and posted it back to Colleen.

     Colleen received the little book which she perused thoughtfully.  ‘Why the old buzzard is just a dirty old man.’  She thought, deeply offended.  She put a mental cross through the name of Edgar Rice Burroughs and tossed the little book in the fireplace.   She stood looking after the little book for a few moments then went over to retrieve it.  Romance was romance but the practical Colleen overrode the romantic Colleen.

     When Martin got the news that Burroughs had taken the bait he was overjoyed.  ‘Verily, I shall smite my enemy hip and thigh.’  He said to himself.

     He left Colleen stepping blithely.  Then he bethought himself to have some nice pasta at this little Italian restaurant not too far away.  He didn’t pay much attention to the gentleman who entered a the same time to also enjoy a nice pasta dinner.  This gentleman was Jackie Inglese who had shown too much independence in intra-mob matters.  Jackie was a marked man and this night was his night to be rubbed out.

      Frank emerged from the restaurant just ahead of  Jackie Inglese.  He was standing there contentedly digesting his dinner with roseate thoughts about those typewriters.  ‘Rat-a-tat-tat.’  He said lifting a finger in imitation of a Tommy gun.

     He was so absorbed in his reveries that he didn’t hear the screech of the tires of a big touring car careening around the corner with a young Sam Giancana behind the wheel.  Jackie Inglese did.  Seizing Frank he pulled him in front of himself as a shield beginning the drop to the ground as a battery of Chicago typewriters poked through the open windows of the speeding auto opened up.  It wasn’t the St. Valentine’s Day massacre to anyone but Frank as two slugs found their to his heart and one went through his brain.  Rather amazing that three Tommy guns unleashing about a hundred rounds of ammunition could only get three into Frank but that’s the way it was.  The earthly career of Frank Martin was ended.  Edgar Rice Burroughs would have to go unavenged in this world.  Tough luck.

      Inglese with a deep sigh pushed himself up from the ground.  Without even a look or a thank you to his savior, Frank Martin, he casually dusted himself off, sought a train for the Coast and stayed there until he cooled off.

      Colleen read the news in the papers with a misture of disgust and relief.  She made no further effort to contact Edgar Rice Burroughs who had disgusted her.  Within a month she had married a local businessman named Homer Hargrave.  She lived happily for a while until the old geezer topped off, she really did like mature men, then with the combined fortunes made her successful entry back into Hollywood taking up a residence on Sunset Boulevard.

      As for Ed Burroughs?  He didn’t go on to bigger and better things.  Like Colleen’s his day was past.  It’s possible he might have done something but the big WWII intervened which was probably more rewarding for him than any woman.  He realized his desire to be a war correspondent.  And then after the war was over disease and old age carried him away.

     His dying thought though was of the fabulous Flaming Girl and what could have been.  It is the kind of thought to hold on to when the lights go out.

< Wep> 

Conversations With Robin, Page 3

Conversations between R.E. Prindle And Robin Mark


     Well, well, well.   Robert Goulet.  I should have known that filthy bastard would be mixed up in there somewhere.  What amazes me is that Guralnik could write two fat volumes on Elvis and never mention the Mob once.  I think we can begin to integrate Elvis’ Mob conflicts pretty clearly now, although research will have to establish the connections for sure.

     For starters, entertainment is a Mob industry both records and movies; that includes both Jews and Sicilians.  If you haven’t read Gus Russo’s Supermob yet, do so.  The Sidney Korshak role at MCA is crucial.

     Anent shooting out TVs remember that Sinatra had a plane he called Superwop or something to that effect so it is clear he bore a grudge against the Anglo world.   The plane was a small ‘Lear’ if I remember correctly.  Elvis went out and bought a 707.  Big plane, big penis; little plane little penis.  Not exactly true in Frank’s case, but you get the point.  So at least Goulet and Sinatra.  I can understand why Dean Martin tried to distance himself from those creeps.

     Parker must have had the business dealings with the Outfit.  As he ran into gambling problems the only commodity he had to barter was Presley.  Thus he would have had to ‘sell’ Presley to keep both his legs under him.  Elvis’ rapid deterioration could have been because of his realization that he was ‘caught in a trap.  I can’t get out.’  Devastating awareness.  One could only retreat into booze and/or drugs.

     Now, Leiber said that he and Stoller at one time worked for the Mafia.  This wouldn’t be unusual nor should it  be held against them because if you’re in entertainment you’re involved, like it or not.  The question is when were they involved, for how long, and for what purpose.

     We all know Fabian was a Mob creation.  Why not others?  If you haven’t seen and studied The Girl Can’t Help It, do so.  The movie is an alegory of the record business.  Everything you see in the movie is the Outfit in action.  In the fifties every Juke Box in America was stocked by the Outfit.  You didn’t get your record stocked unless you were Mobbed up somewhere along the line.  Someone recently told me that the girls on the Dick Clark Show were prostitutes and Bandstand was used to showcase them for Johns.  Don’t know that it’s true but I wouldn’t be surprised.

     Leiber and Stoller could have been co-opted to write songs for, say, The Coasters.  A Black act with interchangeable personnel.  Kind of an early Back Street Boys.  I don’t know but I’d like to hear Leiber talk about it.  Might prove enlightening.

     So, let us assume that the Colonel was drawn into the Mob scene from the beginning of Presley’s movie career.  That might explain some of his stupid decisions and those dumb movies.  Perhaps Parker didn’t have a free hand but was ‘wise’ enough to figure out that something is better than nothing.

     Then after Vegas Presley was increasingly drawn into orbit until he learned the horrifying truth.  Guralnik seems to have his head up his ass as far as I’m concerned.

     As Presley learned the truth looking forward to forty more years of slavery he found drugs more comfortable than reality.  Possible, it would make things make sense.





Exhuming Bob 21:

Will The Real Bob Dylan…?




      Our friend Bob Dylan has given the impression that he knew nothing of Barry Obama, The Great Black Hope, until the summer of 2008 with just a few months left in the campaign when he gave the candidate his endorsement.  Surely this isn’t so.  Surely he not only knew of the Hope but knew him personally probably before 9/11/01.

     In my essay Bill Ayers, Greil Marcus, Bob Dylan and Barry Obama on my Contemporary Notes blog, linked above, I posit that all four knew each other and of 9/11 before it happened.  Impossible, huh?  Stranger things have happened.

     I hadn’t thought about it much after writing my piece but then a few days ago- 7/22/09- I came across a post by one Lark, The Times Are A Changing (Again):  Bob Dylan On Obama.  Lark quotes Dylan on Obama in the London Times.  Let’s review it:

     Dylan begins:  “Well you know right now America is in a state of upheaval.”

     True enough.  Many sorts of upheaval.  What sort of upheaval does Dylan refer to:

Bomber Billy Ayers

     Poverty is demoralizing.

     Can’t argue with that.  Is he talking about coal miners, fruit pickers, the unemployed, or what?

     You can’t expect people to have the virtue of purity when they’re poor.

     More problematic here.  Purity isn’t a virtue it’s a state or condition.  Has nothing to do with poverty.  Well, Dylan’s a poet, one of the enigmatic kind, so I presume he may mean honest by pure.  But which people, is he talking about Blacks?

     Well, I come from a long line of poor people and so far as I know we were the kind described as ‘poor but honest.’  In other words we didn’t steal or cheat.  I’m not sure how scrupulous we were about lieing.  Seems to be a much more common fault.  I’ve been around the block a few times now and I’ve come to the conclusion that crime has nothing to do with poverty.  Rich or poor a thief steals and is well able to justify his thefts.  Need I point out the 50 billion dollar thief Bernie Madoff?  Or about the raft of Rabbis just arrested in New Jersey for some very serious financial crimes.  And then I read about this reasonably well off  one guy who stole some records because he thought he could use them better than the rightful owner.  So it may be common to think you have to be poor to be ‘impure’ or dishonest but mistaken nevertheless.

     Bob makes himself a little more clear:

     But we’ve got this guy out there now who is redefining the nature of politics from the ground up…Barack Obama.

     Naive but sincere.  Spoken like a true cheerleader.  ‘This guy out there’ sounds like affection if not familiarity to me.  So now, when and how did Dylan become aware of the Hope?  As I conjecture it Greil Marcus is the key to the riddle.  I’m guessing, but my guess is that Marcus’ curiosity led him to introduce himself  or be introduced to Bill Ayers, the ole Mad Weatherman Bomber,  probably in Chicago.  Ayers and Marcus being of the school of  Whiteness is a plague on the Earth probably quickly came into accord.  And then the Hope was probably on the way under the sponsorship of Ayers so Marcus and the Hope were introduced when certain anti-American and anti-White plans were discussed probably among them a projected attack on America.  Certainly one remembers that Ayers had already made several bomb attacks on America so why not the Big One…the Really Big One…the World Trade Center.

Greil Marcus

    Dylan and Marcus are pretty close.  Dylan is either a Lubavitcher or close to them.  Lubavitchers hate Whites, especially of the Christian sort.  That partially excludes me by the way, White but not of the Christian persuasion.

     As it appears that Dylan was much more familiar with the Hope than he let on and his album Love And Theft seems to reflect a pre-knowledge of 9/11 coupled with Marcus’ Rolling Stone article as detailed in the link to my essay above, there is every reason to believe, or think, or fear that Dylan, Marcus, Ayers and Obama were privy to 9/11 well before it happened.  Possibly if not probably in on the planning stages.

     Dylan goes on:  He’s redefining what a politician is, so we’ll have to see how things play out.

     If the Hope is redefining what a politician is then the definition is toward that of an African chief.  An African chief owned every bit of his territory personally.  He owned every inhabitant as his slave to dispose of as he wished.  He was free to do with all as he chose with or without their consent.

     That seems to be how the Hope  is playing things out.  True, the Hope is somewhat hobbled by the remains of the old political system but with his Liberal allies he has so far met with no insuperable resistance.  To oppose his plans is to be vile.  So far the fear of being considered vile has prevailed.

     Then Dylan:  Am I hopeful?  Yes.  I’m hopeful that things might change.  Some things are going to have to.

     Well things have changed.  Many of us believe the way things are changing is in a direction more destructive than beneficial.  In short the Hope is already a complete failure.  We’d all be pleased to have a detailed opinion from Dylan on whether his hopes have been realized.

Barack Obama     Dylan then closes with a platitude:  You should always take the best from the past, leave the worst back there and go forward into the future.

     Yep.  Sure enough.  I suppose the argument would break down over the issue of what’s best or worst and which has been left behind.    There’s no doubt we’re headed into the future.  Some kind of future at least.