Introduction

‘Cultured Cauliflowers’ is an unpublished manuscript by Patrick Ervin found after Howard’s death. ‘Cultured Cauliflowers’ was edited and retitled ‘In High Society‘. Cross Plains Library has one original draft of this story and a retyped draft by the Otis Adelbert Kline Agency. 

Kline received the manuscript on May 22, 1935 together with “Sailor Dorgan and the Yellow Cobra“.

In a letter to Tevis Clyde Smith (letter #164, mid-May 1931) we learn:

I got a long letter from Byrne which said, in part:
“My idea of a Steve Costigan yarn is one in which Steve is recovering from an overdose of belladonna that some tricky opponent has put into his eyes before the bout. He is wearing glasses and has a scholastic, weak-kneed appearance. They get him to box an exhibition bout for society with the east coast champ refereeing. And the heat of battle, plus Steve’s near-sightedness causes him to sock the champ by mistake . . . . . the champ comes back at Steve . . . . Mike, the bulldog, leaps into the ring, tearing the champ’s pants off in front of the society queens. And then in the things that follow you have Steve in his normal sphere, doing the things we like to see him doing.”

Howard used the suggestion from Byrne (Fiction House) and we learn from another letter to Smith (letter #165, week of May 18, 1931):

I should have answered your letters before, but I’ve been working pretty hard. In the time I’ve been back from Marlin — a little more than two weeks — I’ve written three Costigan stories, a Kid Allison tale, a western adventure yarn and a long historical novelet.

‘Cultured Cauliflowers’ and ‘One Shanghai Night‘ are two of the three Costigan stories mentioned in the letter. In the same letter, Howard also says:

The stuff I quoted in my former letter about Costigan’s belladonna spree was in the words of Byrne, verbatim — whatever the Hell that means. I submitted a story based on the suggestion and I hope he takes it.

The story was rejected.

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