Introduction

Old Adam Farrel lay dead in the house wherein he had lived alone for the last twenty years. A silent, churlish recluse, in his life he had known no friends, and only two men had watched his passing… little did they know the Fearsome Touch of Death had not left the house…

In this tale, first published in the February 1930 edition of Weird Tales Magazine, a man spends a night alone with a corpse.

‘The Touch of Death’ was presented to Argosy, Ghost Story, and was accepted by Weird Tales in late fall 1928. It was published with the title ‘The Fearsome Touch of Death’. Howard got $18 for this short story.

In a letter (#118) circa January 1930 to Tevis Clyde Smith he says:

Many thanks for the letter you wrote Farnsworth. It appeared in the Eyrie this month. I sure appreciate it. Also appeared in this issue an illegitimate child of mine. By that I mean I had no idea it was to be published this month as I never got any advance sheets for it. If you don’t mind, I wish you’d read it. It’s purely psychological; I’ve told you of it before. No other magazine except Weird Tales would publish such a story — I know because I tried most of them with this one.

Alternate title:

THE TOUCH OF DEATH.

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