Introduction

THE BLUE FLAME OF VENGEANCE. This story was originally written in 1929 and featured Solomon Kane. Howard failed to sell it, perhaps because it had no weird element, and hence WEIRD TALES would likely not take it. Howard rewrote it in 1932, changing the hero to Malachi Grim, changing the title to ‘Blades of the Brotherhood’, and shortening the story by a couple of pages. There is no record to show to which magazines this story was offered, if any. 

John Pocsik rewrote the story adding a weird element that was published under this name. Subsequent publishings of the REH-only version, use the title BLADES OF THE BROTHERHOOD, which was originally the title of a story featuring Malachi Grim. An earlier REH draft of ‘The Blue Flame of Vengeance’ was titled THE BLUE FLAME OF DEATH.

Alternate titles

THE BLUE FLAME OF DEATH and BLADES OF THE BROTHERHOOD.

Information about the typescript

According to William Ellwood, his father acquired two pages of the original manuscript from Tim Underwood and Chuck Miller in 1981. This is one of the only sets of typescripts that ever were split up and appears to have been sold in either single pages or in pairs together with a photocopy of the entire typescript. William’s father spoke to Paul Herman who verified the authenticity of the typescripts. There is one page at the Howard Museum. Bill “Indy” Cavalier bought page #25 at Comic-Con in Chicago and brought the price down from $50 to $45. This might have been in the early 90s.

REH Scholar Lee Breakiron thinks that Underwood and Miller committed an atrocity and desecration of the integrity of the original typescript.

According to REH Scholar and professor Patrice Louinet, these pages went from $500 to $700 between 2015 to 2017. Page 28 and 29 were sold on Heritage Auctions on August 15, 2022, for $2,880.

Below is a copy of pages 28 and 29 of the original typescript. 

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