The Tomb’s Secret. Under the name: Patrick Ervin. Featuring Steve Harrison.

The February 1934 issue of STRANGE DETECTIVE STORIES carried two stories by REH: “The Tomb’s Secret” and “Fangs of Gold”. It appears that the story titles were inadvertently switched. Howard’s agent, Otis Adelbert Kline, kept a list of titles and the magazines that purchased them. The story was sold for $85 and after Kline had his share, Howard earned $72.25 on the sale.

Above “The Teeth of Doom” on Kline’s list, someone added “The Tomb’s Secret” and above “The People of the Serpent” on Kline’s list, someone added “Fangs of Gold.”

Originally a Steve Harrison story, the main character was changed to Brock Rollins when the story ran in the same issue of STRANGE DETECTIVE STORIES as the Steve Harrison story “Fangs of Gold.”

In a letter (#259) to H.P. Lovecraft, ca. September or October 1933 Howard tells him about his story:

Lately I’ve been trying to write detective yarns, something entirely new for me, and haven’t had much success — in fact none, so far, except for a short yarn, “Talons in the Dark”, written in San Antonio last spring, and which Kline, as my agent, sold to a magazine called Strange Detective Stories. Kline has been a big help in teaching me the technique of detective story writing; whether I am able to profit by his teaching remains to be seen. (Kline marketed another yarn for me since I wrote the above.)

The other story mentioned is probably “The Teeth of Doom,” published as with the title “The Tomb’s Secret”.

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