The 1st draft of “Daughters of Feud,” set in the mountain school of Whiskey Run, unravels amidst the backdrop of a long-standing feud between the Kirby and Pritchard families. Braxton Brent, a new and unexperienced schoolmaster, witnesses a fierce brawl between Joan Kirby and Ann Pritchard, leading to his intervention. The fight reveals the simmering hatred and complexities of mountain customs to Brent, challenging his ideals and forcing him into a position that tests his authority and adaptability to the harsh realities of Whiskey Run.

The story encapsulates the violent, passionate, and deeply entrenched cultural practices of a mountain community, with Brent’s outsider perspective serving as a conduit for exploring themes of justice, love, and the inescapable grip of ancestral hatreds.

The finished story was first published after Howard’s death in Fantasy Crossroads #8.

See also Untitled synopsis (Daughters of Feud) and “Daughters of Feud”, the finished story.

Story summary

When forced to discipline the girls according to the barbaric local customs, Brent finds himself in a moral and ethical quandary. His actions inadvertently entangle him deeper into the feud, drawing the ire of both families and putting his life at risk. An unexpected turn of events leads to Brent and Joan Kirby acknowledging their love for each other amidst the chaos. However, their newfound happiness is threatened by the violent societal norms and the looming presence of Joan’s brother, Buck Kirby, a fierce feudist with a notorious reputation.

As Brent grapples with his duties, his personal convictions, and the dangerous implications of his actions, he is subjected to a brutal confrontation orchestrated by the Pritchard family, seeking revenge for perceived favoritism. The situation escalates, leading to a violent altercation that brings Buck Kirby back into the fray, not to exacerbate the conflict but to resolve it in an unexpected manner, highlighting the complexities of loyalty, love, and societal obligations in a community governed by archaic traditions.


  • Braxton Brent: The new schoolmaster at Whiskey Run, thrust into the complexities of mountain feuds and forced to navigate his authority and morals.
  • Joan Kirby: A spirited and fair young woman from the feuding Kirby family, whose brawl with Ann Pritchard and subsequent relationship with Brent centralizes the narrative.
  • Ann Pritchard: A dark-haired girl from the rival Pritchard family, whose fight with Joan Kirby escalates the existing tensions.
  • Buck Kirby: Joan’s brother, a formidable feudist with a reputation for violence, ultimately reveals a protective stance towards his sister and her happiness.
  • Judge Harrison: The educated and wise head of the board of trustees, who warns Brent of the challenges he will face and the customs of Whiskey Run.
  • Old Man Pritchard and His Sons (Jim, Dick, and Joe Pritchard): The Pritchard family members, embodying the feud’s bitterness and seeking retribution against perceived slights, contributing to the narrative’s climax.
  • Joe Barlow: A minor character used as a pretext for the Pritchard’s ambush on Brent, showcasing the deceitful tactics employed in the feud.

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