Exploring the Life and Works of Edgar Rice Burroughs

FAQs, Articles, Reviews, Persona Directory, Hall of Memory
Summarizing ERB's works one chapter at a time
Shorts, Novels, Poetry, Plays, Pulps
Articles, Contributors: Tangor Responds, Edgardemain, ERB: In Focus, Nkima Speaks, Beyond 30W, Tantor Trumpets, Dime Lectures, Korak in Pal-ul-don, Public Domain novels of ERB
Worlds of: Barsoom, Pellucidar, Moon, Amtor, Caspak, Pal-u-don
ERB Summary Project
You Lucky Girl!


Ann Mason

William Mason

Bill Mason


Mr. Barton




Hazel Jones

The Policeman

You Lucky Girl!

A Love Story in Three Acts

Summarized by
Stanley Galloway

David Bruce Bozarth
Managing Editor


You Lucky Girl! was first published in 2000 by Donald Grant Books as one of the few remaining unpublished manscripts penned by Edgar Rice Burroughs. The play was discovered in the company safe some 15 years after his death in 1950. You Lucky Girl! has been speculated by some as a work written for Burroughs' daughter Joan in support of her desire to work on-stage or in film. She did, in fact, work in radio with her husband Jim Pierce in the Tarzan series.

The play is a tale of middle America, both in value and tone, yet also delivers one of Ed Burroughs' more prophetic speculations of the world to come—and history has proved him correct! The speculation is over population, yet this speculation is truly incidental to the play itself. Burroughs' only three act play was first produced in 1997, Palmdale, California.

— David Bruce Bozarth
Managing Editor

Act One, scene one

Anne Mason has irritated her father, William, by failing to have dinner ready because she is spending long hours rehearsing as a stage actress. Her brother Bill jokes with William about it then turns the conversation to his business venture--and the loan denied by the bank where William works. Anne enters and somewhat mollifies her father amid Bill's wisecracks with baby-jibberish and the suggestion that they eat out. William voices his objections to Anne's stage career, telling her a woman should learn domestic skills; he then reluctantly agrees to see Anne's performance later that evening. Bill says he has business and cannot attend the performance. Corrie, Anne's friend, enters. After discussing her mother's deteriorating health, for which she and her brother cannot afford medical treatment, she talks about Anne's role in the play. Anne indicates success in this play will bring greater roles and a chance to play in Chicago in Mr. Barton's stock company. Corrie reminds Anne that Anne's fiance, Tracy, would not approve. Anne prods Corrie to audition, but Corrie reminds Anne that her fiance, Phil, is adamantly against his wife on stage. Anne urges Corrie to join them for dinner, revealing Barton will be along to help change William's attitude regarding women on stage. While Anne freshens up, Bill talks with Corrie about Frank, Corrie's brother, who has "quieted down" too much from worrying over his mother's illness. Corrie then sings for Bill. Barton arrives during the song, complimenting her voice. Anne and William return and all but Bill depart for dinner.

Act One, scene two

A man enters the room through the window, nervously looks around, quickly hides something beneath a sofa pillow, which he unwittingly knocks over as he hurries out another way. Bill calls "Frank" from off-stage, enters, and finds the package. As he opens the package of money, a policeman enters to arrest him.

Act Two

Bill enters, then Frank, who confesses to Bill that he stole the money to get medical treatment for his mother. Bill reveals he was arrested for the theft but is out on bail. Frank attempts to telephone a confession, but Bill stops him, agreeing with Frank that this news would literally break Frank's mother's heart. Bill also cites Corrie's marriage to Phil as reason for Frank to remain silent because Phil would never marry the sister of a thief. Bill offers to take the rap and Frank agrees to secrecy as long as his mother is alive. Frank and Bill exit separately when they hear the others returning home. Phil, Tracy, and Hazel Jones have joined the party. William continues to downplay Anne's stage success. Barton offers Corrie a place in the company. Corrie refuses because Phil would not approve, and she is depending on Phil to send her mother to Chicago for treatment after their marriage. Barton then offers to advance the money for her mother's treatment if she will sign a two-year contract and come to Chicago. Corrie asks for time to think about it. Bill and Phil insult each other. Corrie answers the phone learning of Bill's arrest, and runs off sobbing. Hazel enters with Phil, trying to "vamp him" while Corrie is away. Barton tries to persuade Tracy to support Anne in going to Chicago with him. Phil, Barton and Hazel exit together. Tracy and Anne argue over the role of the stage in their relationship, Tracy delivering the ultimatum to Anne: choose the stage or him. Anne chooses the stage but recants when Tracy begins to leave, Phil returns and Corrie argues with him regarding Barton's offer. Corrie breaks their engagement. She phones Barton to accept his offer then goes alone to the piano and sings softly. Bill enters. Corrie and Bill talk about Anne's giving up the stage for Tracy. Bill says it is a mistake. Corrie tells Bill she knows about the charges against him and that she loves him. Bill denies loving her and exits.

Act Three

At Tracy and Anne's house three years later, Phil calls to make an appointment to speak with Bill. The two have not spoken together since Corrie left town. Phil married Hazel who has since left him for their chauffeur. Bill and Anne wonder what has become of Corrie, who has not communicated with them since her departure. Anne regrets leaving the stage, especially now that she has heard rumors that Tracy is seeing another woman, an actress named Cora Carson. Tracy, Anne says, is guiltily evasive regarding what he does when away on business. Phil arrives and offers to buy the car agencies that Bill is running. When Bill refuses to sell, Phil intimates that Bill's success was financed by stolen money then threatens to re-press theft charges from the incident three years earlier. William enters, and after hearing the recap of the incident advises Bill to capitulate to Phil rather than ruin his life in jail, but he says he will support Bill in either choice. Anne receives a phone call from a reporter asking for her reaction to her husband being seen in town with Cora Carson. Anne threatens divorce; Tracy enters, is verbally assaulted by Anne, then tries to explain to her his relationship to Cora Carson. Phil interrupts, returning with a policeman, to arrest Bill who will not sell the agencies. Cora Carson arrives asking to see Anne. Entering uninvited, she startles Anne, who recognizes her as Corrie. Phil proposes marriage to her. She refuses and, learning of Bill's second arrest, produces from Frank who is in South America a written confession written after his mother's death. William reveals that Corrie has provided the money for the business. Tracy reveals he has been arranging with Barton and Corrie the reopening of the local theater company for Anne to star in. Corrie, who says she did not believe Bill when he said he didn't love her, implies a marriage proposal. Bill and Corrie embrace.