ROBERT E. HOWARD to
H. P. LOVECRAFT
Dear Mr. Lovecraft:
I am sending on to you the enclosed manuscript, according to instructions. I read it the same day I received it, and I hardly know how to express my admiration for the splendid work you and Mr. Price have accomplished. I was most intrigued by the personalities of "Etienne de Marigny" and "Ward Phillips"! And hope these fine characters will be used again.
My sensations while reading this story are rather difficult to describe. The effect of reality was remarkable. Some of the speculations were over my head, at the first reading--not from any lack of clarity, but simply because of their cosmic depth.
The Dhole-haunted planet of Yaddith conjures up tantalizing vistas of surmise, and I hope you will use it in future stories. I hope, too, that you'll decide to get poor Randolph Carter out of his frightful predicament. I remember "The Silver Key"--yet remember is hardly the word to use. I have constantly referred to that story in my meditations ever since I read it, years ago--have probably thought of it more than any other story that ever appeared in Weird Tales. There was something about it that struck deep. I read it aloud to Tevis Clyde Smith, and he agreed with me as to its cosmic depth.
I should be answering herewith your recent--and as always, interesting letter; but I'm swamped with work just now. However, I hope to answer it in full soon. Our points of disagreement are not so radical as I had previously thought.
Thanks for the picture folder, and please present my best wishes to Mr. Long. I here enclose a few snaps taken at old Fort McKavett, which lies in Menard County, 155 miles southwest of here, three miles from the head of the San Saba River, mentioned in tale and fable, and in connection with the Lost Bowie Mine, mentioned in a previous letter. McKavett is fascinating--a village of ruins and semiruins, people living in the old unruined barracks and soldier's quarters, among the remnants of other buildings which have not stood the test of time. I was in too big a hurry to get much of its history, or many pictures, but I hope to return there some day for more data. The fort was established in 1871 by the Federal government which was foolish enough to station negro troops there; their arrogance led to a fierce and bloody war between the fort and the inhabitants of the country--a wild, hilly, rocky, thickly timbered expanse--in which the natives had the best of it, and in 1883 the fort was definitely abandoned. Don't bother to return these snaps; I have duplicates of them.
Robert E. Howard