“Breed of Battle” is a tale of loyalty, honor, and the fierce bonds between a man and his dog, set against the backdrop of the rough-and-tumble world of early 20th-century Singapore’s waterfront. Sailor Steve Costigan, a seaman known for his pugilistic prowess and straightforward honesty, and his loyal white bulldog Mike are at the heart of this adventure, which spirals out from a casual evening into a wild chase of honor and redemption.

It was originally named ‘The Fightin’est Pair‘ and was accepted by Fiction House on May 17th, 1931. It was then published in the November 1931 issue of Action Stories under this title. Howard earned $80.00 for the story.In the spring 1942 issue, it was again published, but this time under the title “Samson had a soft spot” and the name Mark Adam as the author. The story is now in the public domain.


The story kicks off with Porkey Straus informing Steve about Joe Ritchie, a fellow sailor who has docked in Singapore with his formidable brindle bull terrier, Terror, the pit champion of the Asiatics. A suggestion is made for Mike to fight Terror, which Steve vehemently declines, condemning dog fighting for money as cruel. An offer to buy Mike for a substantial sum is then made by Philip D’Arcy, a well-known adventurer and gentleman, which Steve refuses, further establishing the deep bond between him and Mike.

The plot thickens when Steve receives a deceitful letter, supposedly from an admirer, leading him into an ambush that results in Mike’s kidnapping. In his fury, Steve mistakenly accuses D’Arcy of the theft, only to later learn that the real culprits are Johnnie Blinn, a barkeeper, and Grieson (also known as “Limey”), who have stolen Mike to fight against Terror in a secret dog-fighting arena owned by Fritz Steinmann.

The climax of the story unfolds in a chaotic blend of action and humor as Steve, upon discovering Mike’s location, embarks on a frenzied rescue mission. He crashes through Steinmann’s arena, knocking out anyone in his path, to save Mike from the brutal fight. In a dramatic showdown within the pit, Steve interrupts the fight, rescuing both Mike and Terror from further harm. Through Grieson’s confession, Steve learns of Blinn’s involvement in the scheme.

In an unexpected turn of events, D’Arcy arrives at the scene, not to fight Steve, but to reconcile, having been moved by Steve’s unyielding loyalty to Mike. The two men make peace, and D’Arcy offers his assistance in tending to Mike’s wounds.

The story concludes with Steve and D’Arcy addressing the aftermath of a humorous misunderstanding, wherein Steve’s poorly worded poster offering a reward for Mike’s return led to a comical influx of locals attempting to sell their dogs to him.


  • Steve Costigan: The main protagonist, a sailor and a fighter, deeply loyal to his bulldog, Mike.
  • Mike: Steve’s white bulldog, known for his fighting spirit.
  • Porkey Straus: A friend of Steve who brings news of Terror’s arrival.
  • Joe Ritchie: The owner of Terror, a formidable fighting dog.
  • Terror: Joe Ritchie’s brindle bull terrier, the pit champion of the Asiatics.
  • Philip D’Arcy: A gentleman adventurer who initially has a conflict with Steve but later becomes an ally.
  • Johnnie Blinn: A barkeeper involved in the scheme to steal Mike for a dog fight.
  • Grieson (“Limey”): Hired by Blinn to kidnap Mike; a fighter who faces Steve in the ring.
  • Fritz Steinmann: The owner of the dog-fighting arena.

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