John Martin Comments ERB-APA #26: A Reply

In your entertaining article you make the statement, "You'd think that after all that Tarzan would be able to recognize Rokoff on the ship trip, if by no other way than by his...smell."  Although a villain at heart Rockoff constantly passed himself off as a gentleman.  He dressed to that accord and presented himself as such.  Thus, as most gentleman of that time period he most presumably wore different colognes and body powders.  That is why Tarzan did not pick up and associate his smell.

You were sharp at noticing Olega's splintered cabin door.  In real life you have caught Edgar Rice Burroughs in one of his many inconsistencies.  Fiction wise, I'd like to have heard Olga's explanation myself.

Actually, I do have a theory explaining the occurrence.  As revealed in earlier works I have shown that...

  1. You have the actual events themselves occurring.
  2. You have the events reported to Edgar Rice Burroughs, the narrator.
  3. You have the events Edgar Rice Burroughs, the narrator, reported to Edgar Rice Burroughs, the author.
  4. You have the events Edgar Rice Burroughs, the author, sent in to be published.
  5. You have the events editors edit and publish.

Along this chain of production that explanation was left out.  I would guess that in ERB, the author's, recording he was the one who failed to explain.  As mentioned in other writings ERB, the author, has a traceable habit of dropping detail to keep the flow of action going.  Anyway, I would presume that Tarzan, or Olga, paid handsomely one of the ship's workers to replace the door before it was noticed.

James Michael Moody