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‘More Necessary Homicides’
Law-Shooters of Cowtown by Robert E. Howard

Reading from pages 127-37 of The Last Ride

Grizzly Elkins, of all Howard’s heroes, is the most barbaric, most uncouth, the most totemic:

“He was hairy as a bear, burly and powerful as a bear. Burned dark as an Indian, he wore the buckskins and moccasins of an earlier era…he was as much a part of the wild land as one of the beasts he hunted.”

Grizzly Elkins is a man out of Time, left behind from bygone days, yet remains armed with a sustaining sense of humor and a grim savagery, displayed in a brutal jailhouse fight with a character named Reynolds, in which they both loose teeth, which follows on another, more lethal brawl in which a knife is put into play by a certain Jim Kirby.

Elkins ends up in jail, the town mob coming to lynch him. His answer to the mob is classic Conan, right out of The Phoenix on the Sword, and he is not done, because he has discovered in jail that the varmints who are the law in this town are fixing to defraud it and, well, it’s an excuse to commit “more necessary homicides.”

Grizzly Elkins is Howard’s most primal barbarian and I look forward to reading more stories featuring this humorous killer.

The Pale Usher

Impressions of Moby Dick: Herman Melville and Modern Man?s Transcendental Journey

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