The Snout in the Dark

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"The Snout in the Dark"
Author Robert E. Howard
Original title "The Snout in the Dark"
Country US
Language English
Series Conan the Cimmerian
Genre(s) Fantasy
Published in Conan of Cimmeria
Publication type Paperback
Publisher Lancer Books
Publication date 1969

The Snout in the Dark is one of the original stories by Robert E. Howard about Conan the Cimmerian, an untitled fragment begun in the 1930s but not finished or published in Howard's lifetime. It was completed and titled by L. Sprague de Camp and Lin Carter and in this form first published in the collection Conan of Cimmeria (1969). It has first been published in its original form in the collection Jewels of Gwahlur (Donald M. Grant, 1979) and later in The Conan Chronicles Volume 1: The People of the Black Circle (Gollancz, 2000) and Conan of Cimmeria: Volume One (1932-1933) (Del Rey, 2003).

Plot summary[edit]

Howard's untitled story synopsis takes place in the walled city of Shumballa in the land of Kush, inhabited by warlike blacks called Gallahs, though the lighter-skinned aristocratic rulers are called Chagas. A Gallah commander is slain by a pig-like monster sent by the noble Tuthmes who intends to throw suspicion on Tanada, sister of the king. Part of his plan is to present the king with a white slave, Diana, who he has recently captured. When Tanada rides through the city outside the walls, known as Punt, she is attacked by a mob and rescued by Conan, who is made captain. Conan then puts down an uprising and gains the approval of the king. Meanwhile, Tanada kidnaps Diana, who has attracted Conan's eye, and the witch-finder Agara discovers Tuthmes is behind the murder of the commander. Tuthmes has Agara killed, or so he believes, and Diana, unable to reveal Tuthmes's plans to Tanada, is taken by Conan to his home, where Tuthmes has sent the monster to kill them both. Conan battles the creature into the streets where a sorcerer is being executed, and a still alive Agara appears to accuse Tuthmes. The crowd wildly attacks Tuthmes, the royals, and the city itself as Conan and Diana escape.


The story was adapted for comics by Roy Thomas and John Buscema in Marvel Comics' Conan the Barbarian #106-107.

In 2014 it was adapted by Fred Van Lente in its new Conan the Avenger series #1-7.[1]


  1. ^ Ching, Albert. "NYCC Exclusive: Fred Van Lente Takes on "Conan the Barbarian"". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 12 October 2013. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"The Hand of Nergal"
Original Howard Canon
(publication order)
Succeeded by
Preceded by
"Queen of the Black Coast"
Original Howard Canon
(Dale Rippke chronology)
Succeeded by
"The Slithering Shadow"
Preceded by
"The Castle of Terror"
Complete Conan Saga
(William Galen Gray chronology)
Succeeded by
Conan the Barbarian (2011 novel)
(Part 2)