Robert Ervin Howard (January 22, 1906 – June 11, 1936) was a prolific American author and poet. He wrote pulp fiction in a diverse range of genres and is today most famous for the creation of the character of Conan the Cimmerian.
I'm not going to vote. I won't vote for a Catholic and I won't vote for a damned Republican. Maybe I've said that before. My ancestors were all Catholic and not very far back. And I have reason to hate the church.
Solomon Kane is 17th century Puritan adventurer. He wanders the world with no apparent goal other than to vanquish evil in all its forms, although his subconscious sense of wanderlust is as much the blame. His adventures, published mostly in the pulp magazine Weird Tales, often take him from Europe to the jungles of Africa and back. Howard described him as a somber and gloomy man of pale face and cold eyes, dressed entirely in black and shadowed by a slouch hat. He often carries with him a rapier, dagger, flintlock pistols and occasionally a rifle. During one of his adventures his friend N'Longa, an African shaman, gave him a juju staff that served as an effective weapon against both mortal and supernatural opponents.
Cross Plains, Texas was the home town of Howard from the age of 13 (1919) until his death at the age of 30 (1936). It was in this town that Howard wrote most of his stories and poetry. It was originally called Turkey Creek after a local stream; the name Cross Plains came from the crossings of stagecoaches and military roads prior to the Civil War. The first local newspaper, The Herald, began publishing in 1902 and the second, The Cross Plains Review began in 1909. Only the latter was successful and continues to this day. The town moved in 1911 in anticipation of the new railroad; the first train arrived the following year. In 1925, when Howard was 19, the town experienced an oil boom leading to an increase in population which it has largely retained. Cross Plains is the home of Project Pride, an organisation which bought Howard's old home, restored it and now runs the place as a museum. Robert E. Howard Remembrance Day is held every June.
Howard attended school and college in the nearby city of Brownwood; at Brownwood High School and Howard Payne University. Following his suicide he was buried alongside his mother in Brownwood at Greenleaf Memorial Cemetery; his father was buried beside them following his own death in 1944.
Cover of Weird Tales (August 1934, vol. 24, no. 2) featuring the Conan story The Devil in Iron. The picture depicts Conan fighting a giant, and supposedly extinct, snake while the escaped slave Octavia kneels, recoiling in horror, in the foreground. Art by Margaret Brundage.
A bunch of the girls were whooping it up
In the old Lip-stick saloon,
And the kid at the player-piano
Was twanging a jazzy tune,
When out of the night with perfume on his shirt
And stacomb upon his hair,
A young man staggered inside the door
And meowed like a grizzly-bear.
He kicked the kid off the piano stool
And sat him down to play.
The piano yowled like an old tom cat
To the tune of "Hip! Hurray!"
Says he, "Gals, you don’t know me,
But, by gosh, I know you,
And one of you is a classy dame,
And that one is Sal Snooboo!"
She squawked and somebody turned the lights,
Something went “Smack!” in the dark.
There was nothing for anybody to do
But to stand still and s****** and hark.
Somebody turned the lights on,
And Sally was standing there,
But the stranger wasn’t; he was done,
And Sal was arranging her hair.