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Opening Paragraphs
From The Works Of
Edgar Rice Burroughs

Notes and Analysis
by David Bruce Bozarth
March, 1997

Ace Cover

Nothing scientific here, folks. Just a quick reference to the opening paragraphs of the Grand Master's many works. Obviously I should have been doing something else (as Wife will attest) instead of compiling this listing. The paragraphs are presented in grouped order, specifically: Non-related, Apache, Barsoom, Caspak, Moon, Pellucidar, Tarzan and Venus. Each section is ordered by year or by series number (which should be the same thing). Each entry contains a word count (Words:), sentence count (Sentences:), and the number of words in the longest sentence (Longest:). Following the listing is an analysis of "top fives" in various categories. Forewords, specifically those by ERB, were not used as a story's inital paragraph. Several Prologues were used where they moved immediately into the story. Paxton's opening letter to ERB was included for that reason.

At some point I will add sequels such as "The Red Hawk" (Moon Men Part 2), "The Return of the Mucker" and "Tangor Returns" as well as the two non-series Tarzan shorts.


Outlaw Of Torn, The

(1911) Words: 58, Sentences: 5, Longest: 21

Here is a story that has lain dormant for seven hundred years. At first it was suppressed by one of the Plantagenet kings of England. Later it was forgotten. I happened to dig it up by accident. The accident being the relationship of my wife's cousin to a certain Father Superior in a very ancient monastery in Europe.

Mad King, The

(1913) Words: 46, Sentences: 4, Longest: 20

All Lustadt was in an uproar. The mad king had escaped. Little knots of excited men stood upon the street corners listening to each latest rumor concerning this most absorbing occurrence. Before the palace a great crowd surged to and fro, awaiting they knew not what.

Cave Girl, The

(1913) Words: 19, Sentences: 1, Longest: 19

The dim shadow of the thing was but a blur against the dim shadows of the wood behind it.

Monster Men, The

(1913) Words: 66, Sentences: 1, Longest: 66

As he dropped the last grisly fragment of the dismembered and mutilated body into the small vat of nitric acid that was to devour every trace of the horrid evidence which might easily send him to the gallows, the man sank weakly into a chair and throwing his body forward upon his great, teak desk buried his face in his arms, breaking into dry, moaning sobs.

Lad And The Lion, The

(1914) Words: 117, Sentences: 7, Longest: 24

A stately pile of ancient masonry rose in a great park of linden trees and ash and oak. There were broad, formal gardens and great expanses of level sward. There were gleaming marble fountains throwing their shimmering waters into the warm sunlight. There were men in uniform standing guard---tall, splendid fellows. A sad-faced old man walked along neat gravelled pathways through the gardens, past the marble fountains. He was a very erect old man whose unbending shoulders and firm gait belied his age, for he was really a very old man. At the old man's side walked a little boy; and when the two approached them, the soldiers snapped their burnished pieces smartly in salute.

Eternal Lover, The

(1914) Words: 51, Sentences: 2, Longest: 31

Nu, the son of Nu, his mighty muscles rolling beneath his smooth bronzed skin, moved silently through the jungle primeval. His handsome head with its shock of black hair; roughly cropped between sharpened stones, was high held, the delicate nostrils questioning each vagrant breeze for word of Oo, hunter of men.

Mucker, The

(1914) Words: 65, Sentences: 3, Longest: 26

Billy Byrne was a product of the streets and alleys of Chicago's great West Side. From Halstead to Robey, and from Grand Avenue to Lake Street there was scarce a bartender whom Billy knew not by his first name. And, in the proportion to their number which was considerably less, he knew the patrolmen and plain clothes men equally as well, but not so pleasantly.

Man-Eater, The

(1915) Words: 60, Sentences: 2, Longest: 37

A native woman working in the little cultivated patch just outside the palisade which surrounded the mission as the first to see them. Her scream penetrated to the living room of the little thatched bungalow where the Reverend Sangamon Morton sat before a table, an open tin box before him and a sheaf of preferred stock certificates in his hands.

Rider, The

(1915) Words: 17, Sentences: 2, Longest: 15

"I won't!" The king tugged upon one end of his grey mustache and frowned upon the speaker.

Beyond Thirty

(1916) Words: 80, Sentences: 2, Longest: 58

Since earliest childhood I have been strangely fascinated by the mystery surrounding the history of the last days of twentieth century Europe. My interest is keenest, perhaps, not so much in relation to known facts as to speculation upon the unknowable of the two centuries that have rolled by since human intercourse between the Western and Eastern Hemispheres ceased--the mystery of Europe's state following the termination of the Great War--provided, of course, that the war had been terminated.

Oakdale Affair, The

(1917) Words: 36, Sentences: 1, Longest: 36

The house on the hill showed lights only upon the first floor--in the spacious reception hall, the dining room, and those more or less mysterious purlieus thereof from which emanate disagreeable odors and agreeable foods.

Efficiency Expert, The

(1919) Words: 84, Sentences: 3, Longest: 32

The gymnasium was packed as Jimmy Torrance stepped into the ring for the final event of the evening that was to decide the boxing championship of the university. Drawing to a close were nearly four years of his college career--profitable years, Jimmy considered them, and certainly successful up to this point. In the beginning of his senior year had captained the varsity eleven, and in the coming spring he would again sally forth upon the diamond as the star initial sacker of collegedom.

Girl From Farris's

(1920) Words: 31, Sentences: 1, Longest: 31

Just what Mr. Doarty was doing in the alley back of Farris's at two of a chill spring morning would have puzzled those citizens of Chicago who knew Mr. Doarty best.

Girl From Hollywood, The

(1922) Words: 90, Sentences: 3, Longest: 51

The two horses picked their way carefully downward over the loose shale of the steep hillside. The big bay stallion in the lead sidled mincingly, tossing his head nervously, and flecking the flannel shirt of his rider with foam. Behind the man on the stallion a girl rode a clean-limbed bay of lighter colour, whose method of descent, while less showy, was safer fir he came more slowly, and in the very bad places he braced his four feet forward and slid down, sometimes almost sitting upon the ground.

Bandit Of Hell's Bend, The

(1923) Words: 71, Sentences: 3, Longest: 33

A half-dozen men sprawled comfortably in the back-tilted chairs against the side of the Bar Y bunk-house at the home ranch. They were young men, lithe of limb, tanned of face and clear of eye. Their skins shone from recent ablutions and their slicked h air was still damp, for they had but just come form the evening meal, and meals at the home ranch required a toilet.

Jungle Girl

(1929) Words: 10, Sentences: 1, Longest: 10 words

"My lord, I may go no further," said the Cambodian.

Deputy Sheriff Of Commanche County

(1930) Words: 63, Sentences: 3, Longest: 32

A lone rider drew rein before a gate consisting of three poles cut from straight pine saplings. He leaned from the saddle and dropped one end of each of the two upper bars to the ground, stepped his horse over the remaining bar and, stooping again, replaced the others. Then he rode slowly along a dirt road that showed little signs of travel.

Pirate Blood

(1932) Words: 67, Sentences: 7, Longest: 15

The first half was drawing to a close. Neither team had scored. They were closely matched; so closely that the best informed rather expected a scoreless tie. Johnny Lafitte, at quarter, was running the Glenora team. The game was the last of the season, and it would decide the championship. Also, it was Lafitte's last game, for he would graduate in June. It was Johnny's big chance.

Resurrection of Jimber-Jaw, The

(1937) Words: 36, Sentences: 2, Longest: 19

Credit this story to Wild Pat Morgan, that laughing, reckless, black-haired grandson of Ireland's peat bogs. To Pat Morgan, one-time flying lieutenant of the AEF, ex-inventor, amateur boxer and drinking companion par excellence.

Scientists Revolt, The

(1939) Words: 36, Sentences: 1, Longest: 36

A small pane in the leaded glass of the Pent House Palace atop the tallest building in Assuria tinkled to the study floor as the bullet embedded itself in the ebony paneling behind the Science Ruler.

Beyond The Farthest Star

(1940) Words: 34, Sentences: 2, Longest: 23

I was shot down behind the German lines in September, 1939. Three Messerschmitts had attacked me, but I spun two of them to earth, whirling funeral pyres, before I took the last long dive.

I Am A Barbarian

(1941) Words: 95, Sentences: 5, Longest: 41

My father was a rugged individualist. He was about as subservient to discipline as a brown bear in the rutting season, and as for tribute: Jove! His face turned purple under its blue paint when emissaries came from Tagulus to demand it. With a single stroke of his blade, he lopped off the head of one of them and then sent it back to Tagulus by the other, saying, 'Here is the only tribute that the grandson of Cingetorix pays to his enemies.' In this little world there were three scourges: Pestilence, Famine, and Father.


War Chief, The

(1926) Words: 46, Sentences: 2, Longest: 27

Naked but for a G-string, rough sandals, a bit of hide and a buffalo headdress, a savage warrior leaped and danced to the beating of drums. Encircling fires, woman-tended, sent up curling tongues of flame, lighting, fitfully, sweat-glistening shoulders, naked arms and legs.

Apache Devil

(1927) Words: 61, Sentences: 1, Longest: 61

The silver light of Klego-na-ay, the full moon, shone down from out of the starlit heavens of an Arizona night upon the camp of the Be-don-ko-he Apaches; shown upon sleek copper shoulders; shone upon high cheek bones; softened the cruel lines of swart, savage faces--faces as inscrutable as the face of Klego-na-ay herself.


Princess Of Mars, A

(1911) Words: 142, Sentences: 5, Longest: 51

I am a very old man; how old I do not know. possibly I am a hundred, possibly more; but I cannot tell because i have never aged as other men, nor do I remember any childhood. So far as I can recollect I have always been a an, a man of about thirty. I appear today as I did forty years and more ago, and yet I feel that I cannot go on living forever; that some day I shall die the real death from which there is no resurrection. I do not know why I should fear death, I who have died twice and am still alive; but yet I have the same horror of it as you who have never died, and it is because of this terror of death, I believe, that I am convinced of my mortality.

Gods Of Mars, The

(1912) Words: 74, Sentences: 1, Longest: 74

As I stood upon the bluff before my cottage on that clear cold night in the early part of March, 1886, the noble Hudson flowing like the grey and silent spectre of a dead river below me, I felt again the strange, compelling influence of the might god of war, my beloved Mars, which for ten long and lonesome years I had implored with outstretched arms to carry me back to my lost love.

Warlord Of Mars, The

(1913) Words: 68, Sentences: 1, Longest: 68

In the shadows of the forest that flanks the crimson plain by the side of the Lost Sea of Korus in the Valley Dor, beneath the hurtling moons of Mars, speeding their meteoric way close above the bosom of the dying planet, I crept stealthily along the trail of a shadowy form that hugged the darker places with a persistency that proclaimed the sinister nature of its errand.

Thuvia, Maid Of Mars

(1916) Words: 68, Sentences: 2, Longest: 50

Upon a massive bench of polished ersite beneath the gorgeous blooms of a giant pimalia a woman sat. Her shapely, sandalled foot tapped impatiently upon the jewel-strewn walk that wound beneath the stately sorapus trees across the scarlet sward of the royal gardens of Thuvan Dihn, Jeddak of Ptarth, as a dark-haired, red-skinned warrior bent low toward her, whispering heated words close to her ear.

Chessmen Of Mars, The

(1921) Words: 113, Sentences: 4, Longest: 44

Tara of Helium rose from the pile of silks and soft furs upon which she had been reclining, stretched her lithe body languidly, and crossed toward the center of the room, where, above a large table, a bronze disc depended from the low ceiling. Her carriage was that of health and physical perfection--the effortless harmony of faultless coordination. A scarf of silken gossamer crossing over one shoulder was wrapped about her body; her black hair was piled high upon her head. With a wooden stick she tapped upon the bronze disc, lightly, and presently the summons was answered by a slave girl, who entered, smiling, to be greeted similarly by her mistress.

Mastermind Of Mars, The

(1925) Words: 111, Sentences: 2, Longest: 76

It was in the fall of nineteen seventeen at an officer' training came that I first became acquainted with John Carter, War Lord of Barsoom, through the pages of your novel 'A Princess of Mars.' The story made a profound impression upon me and while my better judgment assured me that it was but a highly imaginative piece of fiction, a suggestion of the verity of it pervaded my inner consciousness to such an extent that I found myself dreaming of Mars and John Carter, of Dejah Thoris, of Tars Tarkas and of Woola as if they had been entities of my own experience rather than the figments of your imagination.

Fighting Man Of Mars, A

(1930) Words: 19, Sentences: 1, Longest: 19

This is the story of Hadron of Hastor, Fighting Man of Mars, as narrated by him to Ulysses Paxton:

Swords Of Mars

(1934) Words: 50, Sentences: 2, Longest: 41

The moon had risen above the rim of the canyon near the headwaters of the Little Colorado. It bathed in soft light the willows that line the bank of the little mountain torrent and the cottonwood trees beneath which stood the tiny cabin where I had been camping for a few weeks in the White Mountains of Arizona.

Synthetic Men Of Mars

(1938) Words: 82, Sentences: 2, Longest: 54

From Phundahl at their western extremity, east to Toonol, the Great Toonolian Marshes stretch across the dying planet for eighteen hundred earth miles like some unclean, venomous, Gargantuan reptile--an oozy marshland through which wind narrow watercourses connecting occasional bodies of open water, little lakes, the largest of which covers but a few acres. This monotony of marsh and jungle and water is occasionally broken by rocky islands, themselves usually clothed in jungle verdure, the skeletal remains of an ancient mountain range.

Llana Of Gathol

(1948) Words: 111, Sentences: 5, Longest: 40

No matter how instinctively gregarious one may be there are times when one longs for solitude. I like people. I like to be with my family, my friends, my fighting men; and probably just because I am so keen for companionship, I am at times equally keen to be alone. It is at such times that I can best resolve the knotty problems of government in times of war or peace. It is then that I can meditate upon all the various aspects of a full life such as I lean; and, being human, I have plenty of mistakes upon which to meditate that I may fortify myself against their recommission.

John Carter And The Giant Of Mars

(1941) Words: 31, Sentences: 2, Longest: 20

The moons of Mars looked down upon a giant Martian thoat as it raced silently over the soft mossy ground. Eight powerful legs carried the creature forward in great leaping strides.

Skeleton Men Of Jupiter

(1942) Words: 109, Sentences: 6, Longest: 48

I am no scientist. I am a fighting man. My most beloved weapon is the sword, and during a long life I have seen no reason to alter my theories at to its proper application to the many problems with which I have been faced. This is not true of the scientists. They are constantly abandoning one theory for another one. The law of gravitation is about the only theory that has held up throughout my lifetime--and if the earth should suddenly start rotating seventeen times faster than it now does, even the law of gravitation would fail us and we would all go sailing off into space.


Land That Time Forgot, The

(1917) Words: 156, Sentences: 5, Longest: 64

It must have been a little after three o'clock in the afternoon that it happened--the afternoon of June 3rd, 1916. It seems incredible that all that I have passed through--all those weird and terrifying experiences--should have been encompassed within so short a span as three brief months. Rather might I have experienced a cosmic cycle, with all its changes and evolutions for that which I have seen with my own eyes in this brief interval of time--things that no other mortal eye had seen before, glimpses of a world past, a world dead, a world so long dead that even in the lowest Cambrian stratum no trace of it remains. Fused with the melting inner crust, it has passed forever beyond the ken of man other than in that lost pocket of the earth whither fate has borne me and where my doom is sealed. I am here and here must remain.

People That Time Forgot, The

(1917) Words: 126, Sentences: 3, Longest: 62

I am forced to admit that even though I had traveled a long distance to place Bowen Tyler's manuscript in the hands of his father, I was still a trifle skeptical as to its sincerity, since I could but recall that it had not been many years since Bowen had been one of the most notorious practical jokers of his alma mater. The truth was that as I sat in the Tyler library at Santa Monica I commenced to feel a trifle foolish and to wish that I had merely forwarded the manuscript by express instead of bearing it personally, for I confess that I do not enjoy being laughed at. I have a well-developed sense of humor--when the joke is not on me.

Out Of Time's Abyss

(1917) Words: 27, Sentences: 1, Longest: 27

This is the tale of Bradley after he left Fort Dinosaur upon the west coast of the great lake that is in the center of the island.


Moon Maid, The

(1922) Words: 121, Sentences: 4, Longest: 48

I met him in the Blue Room of the Transoceanic Liner _Harding_ the night of Mars Day--June 10, 1967. I had been wandering about the city for several hours prior to the sailing of the flier watching the celebration, dropping in at various places that I might see as much as possible of scenes that doubtless will never again be paralleled--a world gone mad with joy. There was only one vacant chair in the Blue Room and that at a small table at which he was already seated alone. I asked his permission and he graciously invited me to join him, rising as he did so, his face lighting with a smile that compelled my liking from the first.

Moon Men, The

(1925) Words: 84, Sentences: 3, Longest: 36

It was early in March, 1969, that I set out from my bleak camp on the desolate shore some fifty miles southeast of Herschel Island after polar bear. I had come into the Arctic the year before to enjoy the first real vacation that I had ever had. The definite close of the Great War, in April two years before, had left an exhausted world at peace--a condition that had never before existed and with which we did not know how to cope.


At The Earth's Core

(1913) Words: 60, Sentences: 5, Longest: 33

I was born in Connecticut about thirty years ago. My name is David Innes. My father was a wealthy mine owner. When I was nineteen he died. All his property was to be mine when I had attained my majority--provided that I had devoted the two years intervening in close application to the great business I was to inherit.


(1914) Words: 90, Sentences: 2, Longest: 47

The Arabs, of whom I wrote you at the end of my last letter (Innes began) and whom I though to be enemies only intent on murdering me, proved to be exceedingly friendly--they were searching for the very band of marauders that had threatened my existence. The huge rhamphorhynchus-like reptile that I had brought back with me from the inner world--the ugly Mahar that Hooja the Sly One had substituted for my dear Dian at the moment of my departure--filled them with wonder and with awe.

Tanar Of Pellucidar

(1928) Words: 43, Sentences: 3, Longest: 17

The great ship trembled to the recoil of the cannon; the rattle of musketry. The roar of the guns aboard her sister ships and the roar of her own were deafening. Below decks the air was acrid with the fumes of burnt powder.

Back To The Stone Age

(1935) Words: 41, Sentences: 1, Longest: 41

The eternal noonday sun of Pellucidar looked down upon such a scene as the outer crust of earth may not have witnessed for countless ages past, such a scene as only the inner world at the earth's core may produce today.

Land Of Terror

(1938) Words: 100, Sentences: 2, Longest: 82

When Jason Gridley got in touch with me recently by radio and told me it was The Year of Our Lord Nineteen Hundred and Thirty-nine on the outer crust, I could scarcely believe him, for it seems scarcely any time at all since Abner Perry and I bored our way through the Earth's crust to the inner world in the great iron mole that Perry had invented for the purpose of prospecting for minerals just beneath the surface of the Earth. It rather floored me to realize that we have been down here in Pellucidar for thirty-six years.

Savage Pellucidar

(1963) Words: 47, Sentences: 6, Longest: 15

David Innes came back to Sari. He may have been gone a week, or he may have been gone for years. It was still noon. But Perry had completed his aeroplane. He was very proud of it. He could scarcely wait to show it to Dave Innes.


Tarzan Of The Apes

(1911) Words: 54, Sentences: 2, Longest: 35

I had this story from one who had no business to tell it to me, or to any other. I may credit the seductive influence of an old vintage upon the narrator for the beginning of it, and my own skeptical incredulity during the days that followed for the balance of the strange tale.

Return Of Tarzan, The

(1913) Words: 9, Sentences: 1, Longest: 6

'Magnifique!' ejaculated the Countess de Coude, beneath her breath.

Beasts Of Tarzan, The

(1914) Words: 52, Sentences: 3, Longest: 29

"The entire affair is shrouded in mystery," said D'Arnot. "I have it on the best of authority that neither the police nor the special agents of the general staff have the faintest concept of how it was accomplished. All they know, all that anyone knows, is that Nikolas Rokoff has escaped."

Son Of Tarzan, The

(1915) Words: 103, Sentences: 5, Longest: 29

The long boat of the _Marjorie W._ was floating down the broad Ugambi with ebb tide and current. Her crew were lazily enjoying this respite from the arduous labor of rowing up stream. Three miles below them lay the _Marjorie W._ herself, quite ready to sail so soon as they should have clambered aboard and swung the long boat to its davits. Presently the attention of every man was drawn from his dreaming or his gossiping to the northern bank of the river. There, screaming at them in a cracked falsetto and with skinny arms outstretched, stood a strange apparition of a man.

Tarzan And The Jewels Of Opar

(1915) Words: 119, Sentences: 4, Longest: 45

Lieutenant Albert Werper had only the prestige of the name he had dishonored to thank for his narrow escape from being cashiered. At first he had been humbly thankful, too, that they had sent him to this Godforsaken Congo post instead of court-martialing him, as he had justly deserved; but now six months of the monotony, the frightful isolation and the loneliness had wrought a change. The young man brooded continually over his fate. His days were filled with morbid self-pity, which eventually engendered in his weak and vacillating mind a hatred for those who had sent him here--for the very men he had at first inwardly thanked for saving him for the ignominy of degradation.

Jungle Tales Of Tarzan

(1916) Words: 48, Sentences: 2, Longest: 26

Teeka, stretched at luxurious ease in the shade of the tropical forest, presented, unquestionably, a most alluring picture of young, feminine loveliness. Or at least so thought Tarzan of the Apes, who squatted upon a low-swinging branch in a near-by tree and looked down upon her.

Tarzan The Untamed

(1918) Words: 79, Sentences: 3, Longest: 51

Hauptmann Fritz Schneider trudged wearily through the somber aisles of the dark forest. Sweat rolled down his bullet head and stood upon his heavy jowls and bull neck. His lieutenant marched beside him while Underlieutenant von Goss brought up the rear, following with a handful of askaris the tired and all but exhausted porters whom the black solders, following the example of their white officer, encouraged with the sharp points of bayonets and the metal-shod butts of rifles.

Tarzan The Terrible

(1920) Words: 91, Sentences: 3, Longest: 44

Silent as the shadows through which he moved, the great beast slunk through the midnight jungle, his yellow-green eyes round and staring, his sinewy tail undulating behind his, his head lowered and flattened, and every muscle vibrant to the thrill of the hunt. The jungle moon dappled an occasional clearing which the great cat was always careful to avoid. Though he moved through thick verdure across a carpet of innumerable twigs, broken branches, and leaves, his passing gave forth no sound that might have been apprehended by dull human ears.

Tarzan And The Golden Lion

(1922) Words: 191, Sentences: 9, Longest: 34

Sabor, the lioness, suckled her young--a single fuzzy ball spotted like Sheeta, the leopard. She lay in the warm sunshine before the rocky cavern that was her lair, stretched out upon her side with half closed eyes, yet Sabor was alert. There had been three of these little, fuzzy balls at first--two daughters and a son--and Sabor and Numa, their sire, had been proud of them; proud and happy. But kills had not been plentiful, and Sabor, undernourished, had been unable to produce sufficient milk to nourish properly three lusty cubs, and then a cold rain had come, and the little ones sickened. Only the strongest survived--the two daughters had died. Sabor had mourned, pacing to and fro beside the pitiful bits of bedraggled fur, whining and moaning. Now and again she would nose them with her muzzle as though she would awaken them from the long sleep that knows no waking. At last, however, she abandoned her efforts, and now her whole savage heart was filled with concern for the little male cub that remained to her. That was why Sabor was more alert than usual.

Tarzan And The Antmen

(1923) Words: 80, Sentences: 2, Longest: 44

In the filth of a dark hut, in the village of Obebe the cannibal, upon the banks of the Ugogo, Esteban Miranda squatted upon his haunches and gnawed upon the remnants of a half-cooked fish. About his neck was an iron slave collar from which a few feet of rusty chain ran to a stout post set deep in the ground near the low entranceway that let upon the village street not far from the hut of Obebe himself.

Tarzan, Lord Of The Jungle

(1927) Words: 81, Sentences: 5, Longest: 28

His great bulk swaying to and fro as he threw his weight first upon one side and then upon the other. Tantor the elephant lolled in the shade of the father of forests. Almost omnipotent, he, in the realm of his people. Dango, Sheeta, even Numa the might were naught to the pachyderm. For a hundred years he had come and gone up and down the land that had trembled to the comings and goings of his forebears for countless ages.

Tarzan And The Lost Empire

(1928) Words: 28, Sentences: 2, Longest: 17

Nkima danced excitedly upon the naked, brown shoulder of his master. He chattered and scolded, now looking up inquiringly into Tarzan's face and then off into the jungle.

Tarzan At The Earth's Core

(1928) Words: 52, Sentences: 3, Longest: 21

Tarzan of the Apes paused to listen and to sniff the air. Had you been there you could not have heard what he heard, or had you you could not have interpreted it. You could have smelled nothing but the mustiness of decaying vegetation, which blended with the aroma of growing things.

Tarzan The Invincible

(1930) Words: 69, Sentences: 2, Longest: 35

I am no historian, no chronicler of facts, and, furthermore, I hold a very definite conviction that there are certain subjects which fiction writers should leave alone, foremost among which are politics and religion. However, it seems to me not unethical to pirate an idea occasionally from one or the other, provided that the subject be handled in such a way as to impart a definite impression of fictionalizing.

Tarzan Triumphant

(1931) Words: 57, Sentences: 3, Longest: 42

Time is the warp of the tapestry which is life. It is eternal, constant, unchanging. But the woof is gathered together from the four corners of the earth and the twenty-eight seas and out of the air and the minds of men by that master artist, Fate, as she weaves the design that is never finished.

Tarzan And The City Of Gold

(1932) Words: 44, Sentences: 1, Longest: 44

Down out of Tigre and Amhara upon Gojam and Shoa and Kaffa come the rains from June to September, carrying silt and prosperity from Abyssinia to the eastern Sudan and to Egypt, brining muddy trails and swollen rivers and death and prosperity to Abyssinia.

Tarzan And The Lion Man

(1933) Words: 47, Sentences: 6, Longest: 32

Mr. Milton Smith, Executive Vice President in Charge of Production, was in conference. A half dozen men lounged comfortably in deep, soft chairs and divans about his large, well-appointed office in the B.O. studio. Mr. Smith had a chair behind a big desk, but he seldom occupied it. He was an imaginative, dramatic, dynamic person. He required freedom and space in which to express himself. His large chair was too small; so he paced about the office more often than he occupied his chair, and his hands interpreted his thoughts quite as fluently as did his tongue.

Tarzan And The Leopard Men

(1931) Words: 107, Sentences: 7, Longest: 46

The girl turned uneasily upon her cot. The fly, bellying in the rising wind, beat noisily against the roof of the tent. The guy ropes creaked as they tugged against their stakes. The unfastened flaps of the tent whipped angrily. Yet in the midst of this growing pandemonium, the sleeper did not fully awaken. The day had been a trying one. The long, monotonous march through the sweltering jungle had left her exhausted, as had each of the weary marches that had preceded it through the terrible, grueling days since she had left rail-head in that dim past that seemed now a dull eternity of suffering.

Tarzan's Quest

(1935) Words: 6, Sentences: 1, Longest: 6

"My dear Jane, you know everyone."

Tarzan And The Forbidden City

(1938) Words: 75, Sentences: 1, Longest: 75

The rainy season was over; and forest and jungle were a riot of lush green starred with myriad tropical blooms, alive with gorgeous coloring and raucous voices of countless birds, scolding, loving, hunting, escaping; alive with chattering monkeys and buzzing insects which all seemed to be busily engaged in doing things in circles and getting nowhere, much after the fashion of their unhappy cousins who dwell in unlovely jungles of brick and marble and cement.

Tarzan The Magnificent

(1939) Words: 5, Sentences: 1, Longest: 5

Truth is stranger than fiction.

Tarzan And The Foreign Legion

(1944) Words: 85, Sentences: 6, Longest: 22

Probably not all Dutchmen are stubborn, notwithstanding the fact that stubbornness is account one of their national characteristics along with many virtues. But if some Dutchmen lacked stubbornness, the general average of that intangible was maintained in the person of Hendrik van der Meer. As practice by him, stubbornness became a fine art. It also became his chief avocation. His vocation as that of rubber planter in Sumatra. In that, he was successful; but it was his stubbornness that his friends boasted of to strangers.

Tarzan And The Madman

(1940) Words: 96, Sentences: 6, Longest: 25

Man has five senses, some of which are more or less well developed, some more or less atrophied. The beasts have these same senses, and always one and sometimes two of them are developed to a point beyond the conception of civilized man. These tow are the sense of smell and the sense of hearing. The eyesight of birds is phenomenal, but that of many beasts is poor. Your dog invariably verifies the testimony of his eyes by coming close and smelling of you. He knows that his eyes might deceive him, but his nose never.

Tarzan And The Castaways

(1940) Words: 61, Sentences: 2, Longest: 49

It is sometimes difficult to know just where to being a story. I recall an acquaintance of mine who in telling of an accident wherein a neighbor had fallen down the cellar stairs and broken her leg, would recount all the marriages and deaths in the family for a generation or two back before getting to the point of the story.


Pirates Of Venus

(1931) Words: 27, Sentences: 1, Longest: 27

"If a female figure in a white shroud enters your bedchamber at midnight on the thirteenth day of this month, answer this letter; otherwise, do not."

Lost On Venus

(1933) Words: 34, Sentences: 1, Longest: 34

Leading my captors, but taking no part in the capture, were Moosko, the Ongyan, and Vilor, the Thorist spy, who had together conceived and carried out the abduction of Duare from aboard the Sofal.

Carson Of Venus

(1937) Words: 76, Sentences: 1, Longest: 76

Everyone who has ever flown will recall the thrill of his first flight over familiar terrain, viewing the old scenes from a new angle that imparted a strangeness and a mystery to them as of a new world; but always there was the comforting knowledge that the airport was not too far away and that even in the event of a forced landing one would know pretty well where he was and how to get home.

Escape On Venus

(1941) Words: 50, Sentences: 2, Longest: 34

If you will look at any good map of Venus you will see that the land mass called Anlap lies northwest of the island of Vepaja, from which Duare and I had just escaped. On Anlap lies Korva, the friendly country toward which I pointed the nose of our plane.

Wizard Of Venus, The

(1940) Words: 45, Sentences: 2, Longest: 23

I believe it was Roy Chapman Andrews who said that adventures were the result of incompetence and inefficiency, or words to that effect. If that be so, I must be the prize incompetent of two worlds; for I am always encountering the most amazing adventures.

Analysis of 76 Entries:

Top fives:

Most words:

Tarzan And The Golden Lion - 191

Land That Time Forgot - 156

Princess Of Mars - 142

People That Time Forgot - 126

Moon Maid - 121

Least words:

Tarzan The Magnificent - 5

Tarzan's Quest - 6

Return Of Tarzan - 9

Jungle Girl - 10

Rider - 17

Longest Sentence (word count):

Land Of Terror - 82

Carson Of Venus - 76

Master Mind Of Mars - 76

Tarzan And The Forbidden City - 75

Gods Of Mars - 74

Shortest Sentence (word count):

Tarzan The Magnificent - 5

Tarzan's Quest - 6

Return Of Tarzan - 6

Jungle Girl - 10

Rider - 15

Most sentences:

Tarzan And The Golden Lion - 9

Pirate Blood - 7

Lad And The Lion - 7

Tarzan And The Leopard Men - 7

Savage Pellucidar - 6

Least Sentences:

(Unreliable comparison, ERB started 20 novels with 1 sentence paragraphs and 22 with 2 sentence paragraphs)

5 stories begin with dialogue.

2 begin with a letter (Mastermind and Pirates of Venus)

2 begin with athletic contests