Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Robert E. Howard's Big Book of Revenge

Compiled by Charles Hoffman

Some years back Rick McCollum wrote an interesting essay entitled “The Valley of the Worm: A Gathering of Howard’s Essential Creative Themes.” He posited that “The Valley of the Worm” was the “one essential Howard tale” because it encompassed a number of familiar themes or motifs dealt with separately or a few at a time in other stories. Those cited are: Racial Drift, The Picts, Reincarnation, History, The Physical Superiority of the Barbarian, The Moral Superiority of the Barbarian, Bloodshed and Battle as a Commonplace Event, Hate and Revenge, Lost Civilizations, Unnatural Enemies, One Strong Man Against All Odds, Beneath the Earth Lurks Horror, Serpents and Apes.

Most of these occur in Howard’s fantasy tales --fittingly so, since Howard’s chief claim to fame is as a fantasist-- and to a lesser extent his horror stories. The most notable exception is Hate and Revenge, with an emphasis on revenge. Tales with a revenge theme can be found in every series and every genre in which Howard wrote. The revenge theme occurs in heroic fantasies, historical tales, horror stories, Westerns and even comedies. In some stories revenge is given a passing reference, while in others it lies at the heart of the tale. Over time I have compiled a list of 144 stories and 32 poems featuring some element of revenge. There are undoubtedly examples I have overlooked. In any event, these comprise a sizable portion of Howard’s literary output. Viewed collectively, they suggest the strength of the grip of the revenge theme on Howard’s imagination. All told, Robert E. Howard may well have written more extensively of revenge than any other author apart from George Hayduke (author of such revenge instruction manuals as Get Even, Make `Em Pay, Up Yours, and Screw Unto Others.)

The ubiquitous nature of revenge in Howard’s fiction stands in contrast to its comparative scarcity in everyday life. Consider how few people actually swear vendettas or embark on schemes of revenge. Usually they are deterred by legal consequences, potential repercussions, and/or moral inhibitions. It is much more common in fiction, as it furnishes a motive for the protagonist that leads to conflict and action. Howard was especially adept at using revenge as a goad for his often dark and obsessed characters. It is notable, however, that in his more distinctive tales, such as “Red Shadows” and “The Tower of the Elephant,” vengeance is undertaken on behalf of some helpless, innocent party who has been grievously wronged. And, most interestingly, his masterpieces “Red Nails” and “Worms of the Earth” are centered on the negative, toxic effects of revenge.

Here, then, are the stories and poems that make up Robert E. Howard’s Big Book of Revenge:

ALLEYS OF PERIL. Steve Costigan swears vengeance against the crooked referee who cheated him: "'I'll get you for this!' I bellered." The White Tigress informs Steve of her grudge against the same man: "'I, too, want revenge,' she breathed."

ALMURIC. After killing Boss Blaine, Esau Cairn realizes that he "could not hope to escape the vengeance of the machine that controlled the city." On Almuric, he vows vengeance against the Yagas: "And out of my sick horror grew a hate that steeled me for whatever might come, in the grim determination to ultimately repay these winged monsters for all the suffering they had inflicted."

BASTARDS ALL! Eve Hotbreech executes a plan of vengeance against Gowtu, for spanking her. Gowtu swears vengeance in kind: "'Thy vengeance, hussy! Thou'lt pay dear for thy vengeance an I be a true man!'"

BEYOND THE BLACK RIVER. Zogar Sag's plan to wipe out the Aquilonian settlers is motivated by revenge for his being thrown in a cell, "'the worst insult you can give a Pict.'" Conan and Balthus confront "`a forest devil summoned by Zogar Sag to carry out his revenge.'"

BILL SMALLEY AND THE POWER OF THE HUMAN EYE. Bill swears vengeance against a Cree Indian he believes has stolen a bear from his trap: “’My bear came along and fell into the snare,’ he orates, ‘then some son-of-a-sea-horse came along and stole my rightful prey, Grrrrrrr, wengeance gr!!’”

THE BLACK BEAR BITES (BLACK JOHN'S VENGEANCE). Black John O'Donnell invades the Dragon House to avenge the murder of Bill Lannon: "I was not seeking escape, but vengeance."

BLACK HOUND OF DEATH. Adam Grimm seeks revenge against Richard Brent for abandoning him to a hideous fate: "'I was upheld by the thought of vengeance!'"

THE BLACK STRANGER. Count Valenso flees to a remote outpost to escape a demon: "'Then I knew that the black one had escaped from the hell where the magician had bound him, and that he would seek vengeance upon me.'"

BLACK TALONS. The Ekoi tribe of West Africa sends a "leopard man" to slay Jim Reynolds for stealing their gold and killing one of their priests.

BLACK VULMEA'S VENGEANCE. Terence Vulmea seeks vengeance against John Wentyard: "'I ought to split your skull,' he wound up. 'For years I've dreamed of it, especially when I was drunk.'"

BLACK WIND BLOWING. John Bruckman is marked for death by the Black Brothers of Ahriman for deserting them.

THE BLOCK. Man swears vengeance after losing money on the stock market due to bad advice: "'If you ever cross my trail again, I'll kick you clear to Hell!'"

THE BLOOD OF BELSHAZZAR. Toghrul Kahn devises a "plan of vengeance" against Jacob.

BLOOD OF THE GODS. El Borak plans to kill Hawkston to avenge Salim.

THE BLUE FLAME OF VENGEANCE. Solomon Kane kills Jonas Hardraker in a knife fight to avenge the daughter of a friend: "'I came, following the trail of vengeance.'"

THE BULL DOG BREED. Steve Costigan fights to avenge an injury to his bull dog, Mike.

CASONETTO'S LAST SONG. The devil-worshipper Casonetto attempts to gain "promised vengeance" on Stephen Gordon from beyond the grave.

THE CASTLE OF THE DEVIL. Solomon Kane plans to avenge the victims of Baron Von Staler. "'It has fallen upon me, now and again in my sojourns through the world, to ease various evil men of their lives.'"

THE CHILDREN OF THE NIGHT. O'Donnel plans to kill Ketrick to avenge his people in a previous incarnation.

THE COMING OF EL BORAK. British colonel threatens to wipe out Afghan tribe if his kidnapped daughter is not returned unharmed: "'...[T]he mullah fears the vengeance of Yar Ali and the British.'"

CUPID FROM BEAR CREEK. Breckinridge Elkins loses a girl to a rival: "And they ain't no use in folks saying that what imejitly follered was done in revenge for Dolly busting me in the head with that cuspidor."

THE CURSE OF THE GOLDEN SKULL. Rotath the sorcerer places a dying curse on his own bones "that they might bring death and horror to the sons of men."

THE CURSE OF GREED. James beats the bootlegger Scarlatti for poisoning people with bad whiskey.

THE DARK MAN. Turlogh O'Brien plans to rescue Moira from the Vikings, or failing that to kill as many Vikings as possible in revenge: "'[B]ehold this token of vengeance!' And he held forth the dripping head of Thorfel."

THE DAUGHTER OF ERLIK KHAN. El Borak seeks to avenge Ahmed: "Ahmed had been his friend and had died in his service. Blood must pay for blood."

DAUGHTERS OF FEUD. The Pritchards seek to exact vengeance against Braxton Brent for siding with their foes in the Pritchard-Kirby feud.

THE DEAD REMEMBER. Ghosts gain supernatural vengeance against their murderer: "'You've killed Joel and you've killed me, but by God, you won't live to brag about it.'"

DELENDA EST. Genseric is aided in his vendetta by a mysterious stranger: "'Rome shall pay for this.'"

DERMOD'S BANE. The ghost of the fiendish Dermod O'Connor attempts to lure Michael Kirowan to his death, to avenge his own death at the hands of Kirowan's ancestor.

THE DEVIL IN HIS BRAIN. Steve beats up his wife-beating brother-in-law.

THE DEVIL'S JOKER. Black Jim Buckley wants to see Sheriff John McFarlane dead, because the Sheriff killed Buckley's brother.

THE DEVILS OF DARK LAKE. Jilted suitor Rackston Bane concocts "a devilish scheme of revenge."

THE DRAGON OF KAO TSU. Bull Davies swears vengeance for the thwarting of his plans: "'I'll get even with somebody, I bet!'"

DRUMS OF THE SUNSET. Steve Harmer swears vengeance against the Navajos he believes killed Joan Farrel: "'They killed her!' he screamed, beating his forehead with his clenched fists. 'And by God, I'll kill 'em all! I'll kill - kill -'"

A ELKINS NEVER SURRENDERS. Breckinridge Elkins becomes embroiled in a family feud: "'Nothin' but blood can wipe out a wrong to a Elkins!'"

FANGS OF GOLD. Steve Harrison agrees to help Celia Pompoloi get revenge against John Bartholomew: "'You want revenge on Bartholomew. All right; guide me there and I'll see that you get plenty.'"

THE FEUD BUSTER. Breckinridge Elkins becomes embroiled in the Warren-Barlow war.

FIST AND FANG. Santos threatens Steve Costigan with the Death of a Thousand Cuts as revenge for a humiliating defeat that ended Santos' ring career: "'Aaahhh! I pay you back!' He looked like a madman, gnashing his teeth and rolling his eyes as he roared at us."

FISTS OF THE DESERT. Boxer Kirby Karnes vows vengeance against the crooked manager who exploited him: "'I'm goin' back to the desert, where I belong --after I’ve settled this score.'"

THE GARDEN OF FEAR. Hunwulf kills Heimdul the Strong to possess Gudrun; "And then follows our long flight from the vengeance of the tribe."

GATES OF EMPIRE. Sir Guiscard de Chastillon seeks vengeance against Giles Hobson.

GENERAL IRONFIST. After being embroiled in all sorts of trouble, Steve Costigan ends up chasing Soapy Jackson "breathing threats of vengeance."

A GENT FROM THE PECOS. Jabez Watkins sees a chance to "'git even'" with Esau Hawkins.

GENTS ON THE LYNCH. After getting shot in a scheme gone wrong, Polk Williams swears vengeance against Pike Bearfield: "`I'll git even with you for this if it takes a hundred years!'“

THE GODS OF BAL-SAGOTH. Turlogh O'Brien seeks to kill Athelstane the Saxon, an ally of the Gael's hereditary foes the Vikings, because "seas of spilled blood call for vengeance!"

GRAVEYARD RATS. Joel Middleton swears "still greater vengeance against the Wilkinsons."

THE GREY GOD PASSES. Conn seeks to slay Thorwald Raven, in revenge for enslaving him.

GUNMAN'S DEBT. Joan Laree tries to kill John Kirby because he refused to kill the man who had jilted her. John Kirby and Jim Garfield are determined to kill each other because of a family feud.

GUNS OF KHARTUM. Emmett Corcoran promises an emir, "'I'll vouch for you to my Ethiopian friends, and among them you'll be safe from the vengeance of the Dervishes.'"

THE HAND OF THE BLACK GODDESS. Smuggler is marked for death by Thugs for stealing an Indian treasure.

THE HAUNTER OF THE RING. Jilted suitor Joseph Roelocke plots revenge against a happy couple.

HAWK OF THE HILLS. El Borak seeks Afdal Khan: "An urge painful in its intensity beat at his brain like a hammer that would not cease: revenge! revenge! revenge!"

HAWKS OF OUTREMER. Cormac FitzGeoffrey seeks to avenge Gerard de Gissclin: "'Hate and the glutting of vengeance!' he yelled savagely..."

HAWKS OVER EGYPT. Diego de Guzman searches for an enemy after his release from a Moorish prison: "'It was another year before I could take the road of vengeance.'"

THE HEATHEN. Town drunk mocks religion. When he falls out a window to his death a year later, the local preacher declares, "'He defied the Lord, and the Lord has taken vengeance!'"

HIGH HORSE RAMPAGE. Cousin Bearfield Buckner plans to scalp Breckinridge Elkins alive, break his legs and leave him for the buzzards after Breck’s blunders ruin Bearfield’s wedding plans.

THE HOUR OF THE DRAGON. Conan frees galley slaves, who take vengeance on their masters: "Conan's ax rose and fell without pause, and with every stroke a frothing, screaming black giant broke free, mad with hate and the fury of freedom and vengeance." Valerius suffers the vengeance of his many victims.

THE HOUSE OF OM. John Stark plans revenge against Joel Bainbridge for abandoning him to the priests of inner Mongolia: "Om told Hawksbane that he had accomplished his vengeance on Bainbridge, for the latter's treachery..."

INTRIGUE IN KURDISTAN. El Borak makes war against the Turks: "'For burned cities, for murdered children, for unarmed men massacred, for the raping of girls and the enslavement of women, Turkey is my foe.'"

IRON SHADOWS IN THE MOON. Conan hacks Shah Amurath to pieces to avenge the slaughter of the Free Companions: "'You Hyrkanian dog!' mouthed this apparition in a barbarous accent. 'The devils of vengeance have brought you here!'"

KHODA KHAN'S TALE. Yar Ali Khan vows to avenge El Borak: "'And if the Matabele slew El Borak, I will slay thee, also, Lal Singh.' said the Afghan in a voice that was like the snarl of a blood-hungry wolf."

KID GALAHAD. Kid Allison vows to avenge a damsel in distress: "'[S]how me the skunk which done this here vile and contemptible deed and I will flail the livin' daylights outa him.'"

KINGS OF THE NIGHT. Cormac of Connacht intends to slay Bran Mak Morn in retribution for the sacrifice of the Viking warriors.

KNIFE, BULLET AND NOOSE. Grizzly Gullen wants to kill the Sonora Kid to avenge Bill Galt, whom the Kid killed to avenge a cowhand.

THE LAST RIDE. Buck Laramie avenges his brother Luke by killing his murderer, Killer Rawlins.

LAW-SHOOTERS OF COWTOWN. Grizzly Elkins, jailed by corrupt lawmen, vows to "'scour the street with their blasted carcasses!'"

THE LION OF TIBERIAS. After twenty years as a galley-slave, John Norwald escapes to take vengeance on Zenghi: "'When I fainted at the oar, it was not ripping lash that roused me to life anew, but the hate that would not let me die.'"

LORD OF THE DEAD. Joan La Tour desires revenge against Steve Harrison because she believes he killed her brother Josef: "'I thought you killed him, yourself...I wanted revenge.'"

LORD OF SAMARCAND. Donald MacDeesa seeks vengeance against both Bayazid, to avenge thousands, and Timour, to avenge one. "...Donald's was the vengeful heart of those wild folk who keep the fires of feud flaming for centuries and carry grudges to the grave."

THE LOSER. Man seeks revenge against rival who cheated him at cards.

THE LOST RACE. The Picts tell Cororuc how they prey on the Britons in revenge for being driven into exile: "'You have made a free, prosperous nation into a race of earth-rats!...But at night! Ah, then for our vengeance!'"

THE MAN ON THE GROUND. Cal Reynolds seeks to kill his old enemy Esau Brill: "After a man has felt his adversary's knife grate against his bones, his adversary's thumb gouging at his eyes, his adversary's boot-heels stamped into his mouth, he is scarcely inclined to forgive and forget, regardless of the original merits of the argument."

THE MAN-EATERS OF ZAMBOULA. Conan delivers Aram Baksh to the cannibals to avenge many innocent victims: "Conan’s vengeful fingers strangled the yell in his throat."

MARCHERS OF VALHALLA. Ishtar destroys Khemu in reprisal for her abuse and imprisonment by its priests.

A MATTER OF AGE. Jealous wife spanks her underage rival.

MISS HIGH HAT. An “insolent flapper” is publicly spanked as a comeuppance for her haughty ways.

MISTRESS OF DEATH. Dark Agnes must contend with a resentful suitor: "'I know well why you wish to arrest me, Tristan,' I said coldly, approaching him with an easy tread. 'I had not been to Chartres a day before you sought to make me your mistress. Now you take this revenge upon me. Fool! I am mistress only to Death!'"

MOON OF ZAMBEBWEI. The treachery of Richard Ballville and John De Albor set Bristol McGrath on a "path of vengeance."

MURDERER'S GROG. Enemies conspire to get Wild Bill Clanton intoxicated on bhang, the "'drink of murder,'" in the hopes of setting him off on a rampage of revenge against a British deputy-commissioner.

NAMES IN THE BLACK BOOK. Steve Harrison and Joan La Tour are marked for death by Erlik Khan for foiling his evil schemes. They are aided by Khoda Khan, an Afghan warrior "'raised in a code of blood-feud and vengeance.'"

NEKHT SEMERKEHT. Plains Indian attempts to slay invading conquistador: "A vengeful yell of triumph quivered in the late afternoon stillness."

NERVE. Man vows to avenge his brother: "'That was supposed to be a fair fight,' he says, 'and you, you dirty coyote, you've killed him. Well, you've got the knife and I've got nothing, but I'm going to kill you.'"

THE NIGHT OF THE WOLF. Picts battle Vikings: "Driven to madness by countless outrages, the Picts were glutting their vengeance to the uttermost, and the Norse people neither looked nor asked for mercy."

THE NOSELESS HORROR. A mummy takes revenge against the man responsible for its hideous fate.

THE NUT'S SHELL. Barber kills unfaithful wife with a razor.

OLD GARFIELD'S HEART. Jack Kirby "recovered, swearing vengeance" after the narrator scars him in a knife fight.

PAY DAY. Wage slave shoots his wife's boss to avenge an insult to his wife: "Joe collapsed like an empty sack, holding his guts and howling in frightful agony and Bill emptied the gun into his jerking carcass."

THE PEACEFUL PILGRIM. Bill Price swears vengeance against Breckinridge Elkins: "He shook a quivering fist at me and croaked: 'You derned murderer! I'll have yore life for this!'"

THE PEOPLE OF THE BLACK CIRCLE. Yasmina plans to use Conan to get revenge on the Black Seers for the murder of her brother: "'I have devoted my life to the destruction of his murderers.'"

THE PEOPLE OF THE BLACK COAST. After super-intelligent giant crabs kill his fiancée, the narrator undertakes his "red work of vengeance."

THE PHOENIX ON THE SWORD. Thoth-amon summons a demon to wreak vengeance on Ascalante: "'[B]y the serpent-fangs of Set, you shall pay--'"

PIGEONS FROM HELL. Joan seeks supernatural vengeance against Celia Blassenville: "'And why should one become a zuvembie? ' asked Buckner softly. 'Hate,' whispered the old man. 'Hate! Revenge!'"

THE PURPLE HEART OF ERLIK. Wild Bill Clanton vows to avenge Arline Ellis's rape by Woon Yuen: "'I'll get that filthy cur for that!'"

QUEEN OF THE BLACK COAST. Conan kills a monstrous winged ape to avenge Belit. "The black fury in his soul drove out all fear."

RATTLE OF BONES. An evil inn-keeper gloats over a fallen foe: "'Now your gold shall be mine; and more than gold --vengeance!'" A sorcerer gains supernatural vengeance from beyond the grave.

RED NAILS. The Techultli pound red nails into the "pillar of vengeance" to represent slain enemies.

RED SHADOWS. Solomon Kane hunts down Le Loup to avenge an innocent girl: "When the full flame of his hatred was wakened and loosed, there was no rest for him until his vengeance had been fulfilled to the uttermost."

RESTLESS WATERS. A ghost frightens his murderer to death.

THE RIGHT HAND OF DOOM. A sorcerer gains supernatural vengeance from beyond the grave.

A RINGTAILED TORNADO. Breckinridge Elkins shoots up Ace Middleton’s bar: "'You dern murderer!' says he passionately. 'I'll have yore life for this!' 'Shet up!' I snarled. 'I'm jest payin' yuh back for all the pain and humiliation I suffered in this den of iniquity.'"

THE RIOT AT COUGAR PAW. Breckinridge Elkins breaks the toe of his brother John, who swears "'...I'll have his heart's blood if it's the last thing I do.'"

THE ROAD OF AZRAEL Kosru Malik joins forces with Sir Eric de Cogan: "'Whither do you ride? To seek vengeance? I will ride with you.'"

THE ROAD OF EAGLES. Ivan the Cossack is offered a chance to trap an enemy: "'You wish vengeance --here is a chance for both vengeance and profit...'"

ROGUES IN THE HOUSE. Conan drops his treacherous former lover into a cesspool in return for betraying him to the police.

SAILOR DORGAN AND THE DESTINY GORILLA. Gangster seeks revenge against Dennis Dorgan for refusing to throw a fight: "'You'll regret this,' he promised. 'I'll get you, Dorgan...'"

SAILOR DORGAN AND THE TURKISH MENACE. Bill McGlory resents Abdullah's cheating to win a wrestling match: "Bill said he was going to find that Terrible Turk and beat up on him if it was the last thing he ever did."

THE SCALP HUNTER. Breckinridge Elkins tracks down parties he believed scalped Uncle Jeppard Grimes: "Them fellers would be put in the pen safe out of my rech, and Uncle Jeppard's sculp was unavenged!"

THE SCARLET CITADEL. Pelias the wizard gains vengeance against Tsotha-lanti for the former's imprisonment.

SEA CURSE. The witch Moll Farrell places a curse on John Kulrek and his crony Lie-lip Canool after Moll's niece is "put to shame" by Kulrek: "'The sea has taken vengeance and has given me mine.'"

THE SHADOW OF THE BEAST. Fugitive criminal Joe Cagle threatens an innocent girl: "'...Cagle shot my brother, and snarling like a wild beast, promised to revenge himself on me, also.'" Cagle flees from "the vengeful white men combing the country."

THE SHADOW OF THE VULTURE. Suleyman has Mikhal Oglu hunt down Von Kalmbach for wounding him.

SHE DEVIL. Wild Bill Clanton attacks Buck Richardson as soon as he sees him because Richardson once stole a girl from Clanton.

SHIP IN MUTINY. Wild Bill Clanton thrashes Tanoa for attempting to rape Raquel O'Shane: "But for his insane fury Clanton might have wreaked his vengeance and escaped, but the American was in the grip of a berserk rage."

THE SILVER HEEL. Ti Woon plans to behead Steve Harrison, whom he believes killed Ahmed: "'Blood must pay for blood.'"

SKULL-FACE. Stephen Costigan seeks revenge against Kathulos for making him a drug-addicted pawn: “A fierce wild exultation surged over me. Now I could begin to pay the debt I owed Kathulos and all his hellish band!”

SKULLS IN THE STARS. Solomon Kane helps a vengeful spirit find peace: "'Naught but your death will lay that ghost.'"

SLUGGERS OF THE BEACH. Steve Costigan seeks to settle a score with crooked referee Red Hoolihan.

SON OF THE WHITE WOLF. El Borak seeks to kill Osman to avenge a massacre: "[H]e had taken the death-trail and would not turn back while he lived."

SONS OF HATE. Factions pursue a generations-old vendetta: "What a heritage of hate was theirs, molding their lives into vessels of vengeance for men who had died before they were born."

THE SOPHISTICATE. Man shoots a rival for cuckolding him.

SPEARS OF CLONTARF. Conn seeks to slay Thorwald Raven, in revenge for enslaving him.

THE SUPREME MOMENT. Scientist Zan Uller gets revenge on humanity for the many cruelties he has suffered by allowing the world to come to an end when he could have prevented it: "'Gentlemen, this is my vengeance, this the supreme moment!'"

SWORD WOMAN. Dark Agnes forgoes vengeance against Etienne.

SWORDS OF THE NORTHERN SEA. Viking seeks combat with his hated rival: "'Vengeance!' murmured Wulfhere softly. His fierce eyes gleamed in the starlight and his huge hand locked like iron about the handle of his battle-axe."

SWORDS OF THE RED BROTHERHOOD. Count Henri d'Chastillon flees to a remote outpost to escape a ju-ju man he cheated in the slave trade: "'He swore an awful vengeance upon me...'"

THE THUNDER-RIDER. The Sioux slaughter Iron Heart's brother, Red Knife: "And the purpose of my life thereafter was to pay the Sioux the debt I owed them...I was Iron Heart, the Scalp-Taker, the Vengeance-Maker, the Thunder-Rider."

A TOUCH OF COLOR. Robber swears vengeance against gang member who betrayed him to the police: "'I cursed him and promised to repay him when my time was up.'"

THE TOWER OF THE ELEPHANT. Conan enables Yag-kosha to take vengeance on Yara: "Yara threw up his arms and fled as a madman flees, and on his heels came the avenger."

THE TRACK OF BOHEMUND. Galley slave Roger de Cogan escapes and strangles his captor in his sleep.

UNTITLED DRAFT. Enraged by an insult, Kull pursues Felgar. “’Men avenge their own insults in Atlantis --and though Atlantis has disowned me and I am king of Valusia-- still I am a man, by Valka!’”

UNTITLED STORY ("EXILE OF ATLANTIS"). Tribesmen of Atlantis attempt to kill Kull "for violating their strange and bloody code of morals."

UNTITLED SYNOPSIS ("Steve Harrison received a wire from Joan Wiltshaw..."). Joe Barwell waits "ten years to consummate his vengeance..."

THE VALE OF LOST WOMEN. Livia plans to enlist Conan to gain vengeance against Bajujh: "'Kill that black dog Bajujh! Let me see his cursed head roll in the bloody dust! Kill him! Kill him!'"

THE VALLEY OF THE LOST. The story takes place in the fifteenth year of the Reynolds-McCrill feud: "He had grown up in the atmosphere of the feud, and it had become a burning obsession with him."

THE VALLEY OF THE WORM. Niord resolves to slay the Worm after the monster wipes out a settlement of his fellow Æ sir.

THE VOICE OF THE MOB. Wrongly accused black man fears a vengeful lynch mob.

THE VULTURES OF WAHPETON. Corcoran kills Middleton to avenge Glory Bland, his sweetheart: "But if she had been a stranger, or even a person he had disliked, he would have killed Middleton for outraging a code he considered absolute."

WAR ON BEAR CREEK. Uncle Jeppard Grimes swears vengeance against J. Pembroke Pemberton: "'Nothin' but blood can wipe out the stain on the family honor!...I'll git that English murderer if it's the last thing I do..."

WATERFRONT LAW. Steve Costigan agrees to a grudge match with Bucko Brent: "'At last, you blasted Yank,' says he, 'I got you where I want you.'"

THE WEST TOWER. Steve Allison narrates a tale of the Scottish clans: "The clashing of sword on sword ran through his narrative, oppression and rebellion, cruel injustice and savage vengeance and the ambition of a strong man."

WHEN BEAR CREEK CAME TO CHAWED EAR. Breckinridge Elkins forgoes vengeance against Margaret Devon and J. Pembroke Pemberton. Wild Bill Donovan sets Breckinridge up to get even for losing Cap'n Kidd.

WHEN SMOKE ROLLED. Boone Elkins writes: "You jest wait; the Sioux nation will regret shooting a Elkins behind his back."

WILD WATER. Jim Reynolds seeks revenge against financier Saul Hopkins for his abuses of common people. A vengeful Bill Emmett attempts to destroy a dam to flood the town of Bisley: "'Damn 'em, oh, damn 'em! Bisley's goin' to pay! I'm goin' to wipe her out!'"

WINGS IN THE NIGHT. Solomon Kane destroys the akaana to avenge the Bogondi: "'Tell me more of these devils, for by the God of my people, this deed shall not go unavenged, though Satan himself bar my way.'"

A WITCH SHALL BE BORN. Conan satisfies his "red lust for vengeance" against Constantius for the former's crucifixion.

WORMS OF THE EARTH. Bran Mak Morn summons the worms of the earth to take revenge on Titus Sulla: "'I will have a vengeance such as no Roman ever dreamed of!'"


AN AMERICAN EPIC. Hiram shoots hired man who kisses his girl.

AT THE BAZAAR. Ghosts enact bloody vengeance against castrator of eunuchs.

THE BALLAD OF BUCKSHOT ROBERTS. Billy the Kid and company lay siege to Roberts over a killing in the Lincoln County War.

THE BALLAD OF KING GERAINT. Turlogh and Uther settle old scores.

THE BALLAD OF NELL OF SINGAPORE. Nell murders unfaithful lover Cap McTee.

BLACK HARPS IN THE HILLS. Gaels make war against hereditary foes.

THE CUCKOO'S REVENGE. Deranged rejected suitor bites woman's buttocks.

DEAD MAN’S HATE. Walking dead man fulfills vow of vengeance made in life.

THE DEAD SLAVER’S TALE. Murdered slaves sink a slave ship.

A DUNGEON OPENS. Freed prisoner is eager for vengeance against Cromwell's Puritans.

ERIC OF NORWAY. Herald of Norway seeks vengeance against Eric the Viking.

THE FEAR THAT FOLLOWS. Dead woman haunts her murderer.

THE FEUD. Man kills the brother of a man he also killed in retribution for the killing of his son during the Lincoln County War.

HATE'S DAWN. World War I soldier kills an abusive officer.

JOHN KELLEY. A cry for horrible vengeance against John Kelley.

JU-JU DOOM. Plunderer of black people dies of voodoo curse.

THE KING AND THE MALLET. Slave dreams of the bloody overthrow of his conquerors.

THE ONE BLACK STAIN. Solomon Kane contemplates revenge against Francis Drake for an unjust execution.

ONE WHO COMES AT EVENTIDE. Murderer knows his victim will rise from the dead to take revenge someday.

REMEMBRANCE. Man is haunted by the ghost of a man he murdered in a previous incarnation.

THE RHYME OF THE THREE SLAVERS. Slave traders suffer the supernatural vengeance of their victim.

THE SAND-HILLS' CREST. Impoverished moonshiner waits to ambush an enemy who turned him in to the law.

SHADOWS FROM YESTERDAY. Man is haunted by memories of a man he killed in a previous incarnation.

SKULLS AND DUST. Man dies from ancient curse.

SKULLS AND ORCHIDS. Scorned Athenian woman kills the boy her Spartan lover has spurned her for; she is killed in turn by the Spartan.

A SON OF SPARTACUS. World War I soldier kills an abusive officer.

SONG BEFORE CLONTARF. Oppressed know that vengeance will soon be theirs.

TARANTELLA. Mob exults in its bloody vengeance against aristocrats during the French Revolution.

THOR'S SON. Shipwrecked Viking, enslaved in the East, escapes to rejoin his comrades and return with "torch and axe."

TO A FRIEND. Galley slaves revolt and kill their captors.

TO A WOMAN. Dead man vows vengeance against a woman.

THE WHOOPANSAT OF HUMOROUS KOOKOOYAM. Husband spanks unfaithful wife.

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