In the synopsis Howard wrote of the story “A Two-Fisted Santa Claus,” Steve Costigan finds himself unwittingly embroiled in high-stakes adventure when he agrees to play Santa Claus for a missionary’s children in a Chinese port. His simple act of kindness leads to a tumultuous series of events involving bandits, mistaken identities, and a desperate fight to save a mission from a notorious bandit chief. With only his wits and fists, and accompanied by his loyal bulldog Mike, Costigan must navigate through deceit and danger to bring a merry Christmas to the hills.

See “A Two-Fisted Santa Claus” for more details about the story.


  • Steve Costigan: Main protagonist, a sailor who plays Santa Claus.
  • Mike: Steve’s loyal bulldog.
  • Reverend Ebenezer Twilliger: Missionary who hires Steve.
  • Fang Yang: Bandit chief threatening the mission.
  • Yuen Shang: Scarred bandit, Steve’s adversary.
  • Unnamed English Sailor: Confronts Steve in a saloon.
  • Shifty Individual: Tricks Steve into delivering a sack of toys that is swapped for ammunition.
  • Chinese Soldiers: Rescue Steve and the mission led by the trail of Mike.

Alternate title:


Published in: