‘The Phantom of Old Egypt’ is a story that is lost. Howard submitted it to Weird Tales in 1923. But it was never published. 

In a letter (#003) to Tevis Clyde Smith dated July 7th 1923, we learn:

I sent a story to the Weird Tales, “The Phantom of Old Egypt” which I suppose they will turn down.
Write soon. I wish I had a million dollars. I would make things hum. I swear by the hilt of the sword of Abd el Kader.

The title and information is gathered from a letter Howard wrote to his friend Tevis Clyde Smith circa February 1929 (letter #101). The only other information we have is that it was a short story and the cryptic information noted by Howard: “Orient. Lit. & Legends-slight (old Management)”.

This is a bit cryptic and could be interpreted in several ways. Here’s my best attempt to clarify it:

  1. “Orient. Lit. & Legends” could refer to Oriental Literature and Legends. The term “Oriental” is often used to refer to things from the Eastern world, especially East Asia (like China, Japan, and Korea), and sometimes it also includes South Asia (like India). Therefore, this could be referencing the body of literature and traditional stories from these regions.
  2. “Slight” in this context is unclear. It might be used to suggest that there is only a slight or cursory focus on Oriental literature and legends. However, without more context, it’s hard to pin down its exact meaning.
  3. “Old Management” can refer to the previous administrative team or manner in which something was run or managed. This could indicate that the term “slight” is a criticism or a comment about the way Oriental literature and legends were treated or handled under the “old management”.

Given the ambiguity of the phrase, a more precise understanding would require additional context. Are we talking about a university course? An antiquarian bookshop’s classification? A critique on old organizational strategies in literature studies? The interpretation could vary widely depending on these factors.