Alternate version of THE DEVIL’S JOKER. This story was not published until The Robert E. Howard Foundation included it in Western Tales, in 2013. The differences are significant.

The alternate version of “The Devil’s Joker” by Robert E. Howard can be described as darker in tone compared to the published version. This darkness is conveyed through more intense descriptions of violence and the grim situations faced by the characters. The portrayal of the protagonist, Steve Allison, and his interactions in a lawless environment emphasize a harsher and more unforgiving world. The alternate version thus presents a more somber and gritty narrative, reflecting the darker aspects of the characters’ lives and the world they inhabit.


  • Steve Allison (The Sonora Kid): The protagonist, a skilled gunman.
  • Cactus Lemark: The character Steve Allison confronts and kills.
  • Sam Herd: The county sheriff affected by Allison’s actions.
  • Wells Fargo, Larson Rafe, and Yucca La Costa: Outlaws who interact with Allison in the Death Mountains.
  • MacFarlane: A ranger who pursues Allison.

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