The title “Shackled Mitts” was erroneously applied to an untitled story, as Glenn Lord thought it was a story of that title mentioned in REH’s papers, which REH said he had offered to Fiction House on April 22nd, 1931; but as this story was not written until after early 1932, this can not be that story.

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

Fiction House has been turning down Steve regular. 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.”

The story Fiction House turned down was Shackled Mitts. The suggestion Byrne came up with turned into the story “Cultured Cauliflowers“.

Alternate title:

UNTITLED STORY (“I’m a man of few words . . .”)

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