THE HOT ARIZONA SUN. Originally untitled. Set in The Rio Grande. A fragment by Robert E. Howard featuring The Sonora Kid, Steve Allison, and his sister Helen. 950 words.

The story sets the stage for an adventure in the Arizona desert, hinting at potential encounters and explorations, but being unfinished, it leaves the narrative and the characters’ journeys unresolved.

The story

In this untitled and unfinished story fragment by Robert E. Howard, the focus is on a scenic journey in the Arizona desert, featuring two main characters: a young man and a girl, who are siblings.

The story begins with a vivid description of the Arizona landscape in the early morning. The girl and her brother are riding along a cliff-side trail leading to a plateau. The girl, new to the area, is described as slim, lithe, and possessing a fresh, vivacious beauty. Her hair is notably golden and wavy, contrasting with her brother’s black, straight hair.

The brother, identified as Steve Allison towards the end of the fragment, is of medium size with a light, wiry build. He is dressed in typical cowboy attire and is distinguished by his steel-grey eyes and the two heavy Colts holstered on his hips. The narrative emphasizes the siblings’ different physical traits, particularly focusing on the girl’s soft, gentle eyes and delicate features, in contrast to Steve’s more rugged appearance.

Upon reaching the summit of the plateau, the siblings take in the breathtaking view of the desert, mountains, and the ruins of the ancient Cliff-Dwellers. The girl, named Helen, is mesmerized by the grandeur of the landscape, expressing her joy and admiration.

As they begin their descent, another rider, a tall, broad-shouldered young man on a black stallion, passes by. Helen’s attention is caught by this stranger, leading to a light-hearted reprimand from Steve about her manners.


  • Steve Allison: A young cowboy with a wiry build, steel-grey eyes, and skilled with guns.
  • Helen: Steve’s sister, a newcomer to the Arizona desert, characterized by her beauty and golden hair.
  • Mysterious Rider: A tall, broad-shouldered man on a black stallion who captures Helen’s attention.

Alternate title


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