Defending The Jungle Lair

Before defending my chronology theories presented in ERB-APA #19 I would like to sincerely thank the number one Edgar Rice Burroughs researcher, Alan Hanson, for his response in ERB-APA #20.  I know it is not easy delaying projects already undertaken and this special attention is appreciated by yours truly.


First of all Alan, you have twisted my challenge to sound like something it was not meant to be.  My challenge is for anyone to prove with facts, not preferences, that any of my theories are wrong.  Not just the Greystoke's sailing dates which you used as an example.  Let me be quick to point out that I am not saying someone else can not have a different opinion, or they can not come up with a theory just as good as mine, or better.  Everyone knows that when it comes to a Tarzan chronology more than one direction can be followed, and who is to say which direction is right and which is wrong.

I would also like to clearly say that I do not arbitrarily grab a date out of Edgar Rice Burroughs' life and assign it to my chronology.  I study and research everything I write.  Almost all of the dates used in my chronology is provided by sound research I can prove.  As you have admitted yourself some dates have to be concluded without any help from ERB.  Therefore, I would rather devise some kind of consistency that folks can relate to, then use a personal system that only means something to me. If I use my personal system, and you use your personal system, and the next researcher uses his personal system none of us is going to end up in some place.

I find it amusing that you state, "In fact, I am opposed to resorting to any other information anywhere other than what is found in the story itself.  Take that information and work with it.. bend it, push it average it approximate it.. until it falls into some kind of useable chronology."  Personally, I do not see how a Greystoke chronology can be formed without other research and I can even see it in your work.

My Greystoke chronology dates are based on Edgar Rice Burroughs' provided information.  That is a fact.  The only time any other date is ever inserted is when ERB provides nothing to go by.  If some date is not provided someway there is no way to form a chronology.  You know that as good as I do. Instead of arbitrarily grabbing a date, as you put it, I have tried to create a system that it is regular and predictable.  One that Edgar Rice Burroughs himself used.

You must understand that in my dating system there are four basic kinds of provided dates.

  1. Edgar Rice Burroughs provided dates.
  2. Factual historical dates.
  3. Those dates derived by circumstantial evidence and logic.
  4. Those dates used for a point of figuring.
What I mean by number four is calendar dates provided to occurrences that fall under the category of, it does not make any difference as long as it does not contradict  known facts.

As far as I am concerned all my figuring (4) dates can be altered, if someone can change them with a better researched one that still remains constant with the known facts of the whole chronology.  The way you chose the Greystoke sailing date is not what I am talking about, however.  The way I see it your way is no more scientific than mine, and a heck of alot more inconsistent.

Let's call a halt to the substructure discrepancies in our philosophies for the moment and let's get on with the chronology.  When I look at your chronology comparison in ERB-APA #20 I see no major difference in our total outlook.  The major difference is that you are using your personal method and I am using mine.  If the excellent ERB researcher, Bill Waters was to use his personal method he would be slightly different than either you or I.  That is way it is so important to form a universal way of thinking.

The way I see it John and Alice's wedding date, in my system, is a (4).  Meaning there is not enough information to provide a provable date, but since we need to provide a calendar date one must be concluded.    If someone else should provide a sound logical researched date I would not care to change mine and use theirs.  I repeat, mine is for figuring purposes.  Other dates could be used and still be in agreement with the provided information of Edgar Rice Burroughs.

Alan and I disagree slightly on Lady Alice's pregnancy, but as I pointed out before, this is a (4) in my dating system.  I would not care one bit to change my provided date if a well researched one was provided.  Although I still personally do not agree with Alan's provided date as is, I can relate to Lady Alice becoming pregnant almost immediately.  After all, both Jane & Meriem did.  My research indicates that ERB does not provide the slightest hint that Tarzan was born premature.  Since ERB did not supply this information I personally feel John and Alice's wedding date still must occur at least nine months before Tarzan's birth.

Alan and I do disagree about the events concerning Clayton receiving his Colonial mission.  I can not help but feel my fellow researcher is rushing Clayton along much to fast.  Alan wants to present a high explosive political situation where immediate results are demanded.  His descriptions tend to make one assume that Clayton was going into the direct trouble zone as a spy, and that his presence was directly needed.  This is not what my research reveals, however.

Leopold I by George Dawe

So I won't have to repeat past claims any interested party should reread my article The Greystoke's Destination, Tarzine #55.  This research clearly shows that Clayton was going much further south of the trouble zone.  This in itself implies that Clayton was not being sent as a field spy.  Secondly, the fact that he was taking his wife and soon to be child should clearly imply that Clayton was not going to be overly exposed to dangerous situations.

This same research also points out that Leopold's African political going ons was known to be around 1865.  So, Clayton's being assigned to the project in 1872 hardly implies extreme urgency.  Alan also seems to think Clayton's presence is going to stop or slow Belgium down.  I hate to tell him, Leopold's oppressions was still going on sixteen years later in 1888.  My date is still a (4), however, and I would not care one bit to change mine slightly for a more researched one.

Africa 1865

From this point on Alan and I run pretty much the same until the Clayton's are finished with their cabin.  Alan, when you describe the events of the cabin building and Tarzan's birth you imply that my dating does not comply with Clayton's description of "months."  I would like to correct you on this, and make my reasoning more clear.

Burne Hogarth

Using my 1872 chronology dates, the Greystoke's were put ashore the morning of June 26, 1872.  We have a desperate man with a seven month pregnant wife facing a very unkind jungle.  We are informed that Clayton bravely built a temporary shelter using "four trees which formed a rectangle about eight feet square, and cutting long branches from other trees he constructed a framework around them, about ten feet from the ground, fastening the ends of the branches securely to the trees by means of a rope.  Across this framework Clayton placed other smaller branches quite close together.  This platform he paved with huge fronds of elephant's ear, and over thi

Joe Kubert

Seven feet higher he constructed a similar, though lighter platform to serve as a roof, and from the sides of this he suspended the balance of his sailcloth for walls." Tarzan Of The Apes-ERB. This, plus a rude ladder is all that made up the Clayton's first dwelling.

Burne Hogarth

As darkness approached both saw a huge silhouetted manly image that filled them with terror.  When darkness fully ascended a panther visited them and "for an hour or more they heard it sniffing and clawing at the trees which supported their platform.  During that first night they caught but fitful snatches of sleep, for the night noises of a great jungle teeming with myriad animal life kept their overwrought nerves on edge, so a hundred times they were startled to wakefulness by piercing screams, or the stealthy moving of great bodies beneath them."  Tarzan Of The Apes-ERB.

One can imagine how the Greystoke's must have felt by morning.  You can bet Clayton's thoughts were on his little tree shelter, which amounts to not much more than a tent  in a tree, and his rifle and revolvers.  That friends is very little protection against the predators of Tarzan's jungle.

On June 27, 1872 , "as soon as they had made their meager breakfast of salt pork, coffee and biscuit, Clayton commenced work upon their house, for he realized that they could hope for no safety and no peace of mind at night until four strong walls effectually barred the jungle from them."  Tarzan Of The Apes-ERB.

I think the description just provided shows that Clayton fully realizes their pearl so, therefore, is going to go all out to get some kind of protection formed.  I just can not imagine Clayton and Alice living in the tent-like tree structure for one month.  Would you under the same circumstances?

The way I see it Edgar Rice Burroughs stops the flow of action at this point, and goes on a fling to describe Clayton's building operations which span nearly a month.  You use twenty-five days as the cabin's building time and I used twenty-seven, but the difference is insignificant.  I feel that ERB's description in this reference is meant as a broad coverage of the cabin building and is not meant to be a detailed account of Clayton's work schedule.

What I am getting at, is under all practicalities you do not build a cabin, in security situations, by the exact order which ERB's broad description relates.

I know that if I was in Clayton's position the first thing I would attempt to do is to cut logs and form the cabin's main structure.  Once this is done a limited amount of protection has been provided.  In my personal opinion, one hundred per-cent more than their sailcloth sided tree structure.  Clayton would have been provided with the best English issue equipment of the times, so I foresee no big obstacles in all probabilities for a recent military man in cutting the small six inch diameter logs.

Russ Manning

At this time the two mainly ate from their provided rations, and Clayton had little trouble killing the abundant game who strayed to close to the building sight.  Thus, the Englishman lost little work time because of providing food.  I theorized Clayton could have completed the walls and roof in five full days of work.  This would put us at July 1, 1872.

After providing protection from immediate dangers, simple logic dictates that Clayton would want to provide protection from the weather.  His wife is seven months with child, city delicate, and is now in tropical heat.  To me it seems Clayton's next sensible job would have been to thatch the A-shaped roof.  Using small branches laid close together Clayton covered the six inch diameter log beams.  He then covered this work with long jungle grass and palm fronds.  The covering of mud comes later.  I judged this to be one good hard days work.

Burne Hogarth

Now the Clayton's had the potential to sleep nights safer then ever before.  If you were in Clayton's position, would you continue to stay in the flimsily described tree structure with all the described dangers lurking about for another two to three weeks?  Or, would you like anybody with any since move into the security of the log structure?  I for one, would be putting my loveables in that log structure.

Clayton's next task was to fill the chinks with clay.  Not the four inch covering which will be done when the cabin is fully built.  Since the clay was no problem to obtain I theorized this task to cover two days.

During this operation I do not see how Clayton could help but get a start on collecting stones for the fireplace, although  the majority had to be carried from the beach,  My reasoning dictates that the chimney and fireplace would be the most time consuming task of the whole project.  Therefore, I allowed eight days, but you can still borrow time from one of the other work days.  We are now at July 12, 1872.

Burne Hogarth

On July 13, 1872 Clayton formed a substantial grating out of one inch thick branches to fit into the window opening.  This task within reason is no full day's work, but we can safely assume any spare time would be spent doing chores ERB has not mentioned.  One of those is hunting.

Again, simple logic dictates that Clayton had been working so hard on immediate protection that he had no time for food providing.  They had been mainly living on ship provisions and what he had shot while cutting logs.  After sixteen days of this kind of hunting you can bet the animals had gotten the word out not to go near the strange lair from whence issued the terrifying thunder death,

On July 14, 1872 Clayton built a door made from pieces of shipping crates.  When finished the solid body was some three inches thick.  I again doubt this task consumed a whole day, but there was so many little odd chores ERB does not bother to mention that needed to be done that it can safely be said Clayton's entire day was a busy one,

On July 15-16, 1872 Clayton fashioned two massive hardwood hinges and hung his massive door. ERB wrote two days so there is little to debate here.

On July 17-21, 1872 Clayton spent his time applying a coating of clay to the entire cabins outer surface,  The four inch thickness was even applied to the outer thatched roof.  Now the cabin is complete, and in twenty-five days as Alan Hansen.suggested.

Now we come to the point which causes Alan and I to see different perspectives.  We are told, "the stuccoing and other final touches were added after they moved into the house, which they had done as soon as the roof was on, piling their boxes before the door at night and thus having a comparatively safe and comfortable habitation."  Tarzan Of The Apes-ERB.

Burne Hogarth

Alan's logic shows that the Clayton's moved into their cabin at the end of the one month construction. In this case July 22, 1872.  The way my logic dictates the Clayton's actually move into the cabin on July 1, 1872 which is much sooner than the first sections completion date.  Above  we were told, "they moved into the house, which they had done as soon as the roof was on."  Tarzan Of The Apes-ERB.  So, if the Clayton's moved into the cabin on July 1, 1872 and the Mangani attacked on September 1, 1872 that is a difference of two months.  Therefore, my 1872 chronology of events does indeed meet the requirement of "months" as described by ERB.

Burne Hogarth

James Michael Moody