“The Killer’s Debt” is an untitled fragment. Might be the same as ‘A Killer’s Debt’ which was sent to Adventure on June 7, 1931, and later rejected. It was then sent to Street & Smith on June 20, 1931, but also rejected. The complete story seemed to have been lost.

The story revolves around Brill and Texas, carrying a significant load of treasure and trying to evade Beldon, a relentless tracker. The narrative is filled with tension and the harsh reality of the Old West, showcasing Howard’s skill in creating a gripping, suspenseful atmosphere. The fragment ends with Brill regaining consciousness after an ambush, bound and at the mercy of Beldon and his deadly companions, leaving the reader in suspense about his fate.


  • Brill: A key character in the story, Brill is portrayed as a sharp, observant individual. He is cautious yet daring, aware of the risks involved in their journey, and is a central figure in the unfolding events.
  • Texas: A knowledgeable and experienced character, possibly an acquaintance or partner of Brill. He leads the way through the treacherous landscape, aware of Beldon’s potential pursuit. His familiarity with the terrain and concern about being tracked are evident.
  • Beldon: An antagonist in the story, Beldon is hinted at being a dangerous pursuer, possibly with a personal vendetta or mission against Brill and Texas. His reputation precedes him, creating an air of menace and suspense.
  • Yaqui Kane and La Costa: Companions of Beldon, both are described as some of the deadliest gunfighters on the Border. Their presence adds to the threat posed by Beldon.

Alternate title:

( . . . fabulous amount stated in the exaggerated legend,)

Published in: