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'To Ease Various Evil Men of Their Lives'
James LaFond's impressions of The Blue Flame of Vengeance by Robert E. Howard
© 2018 James LaFond
DEC/7/18
This unpublished story is barely or almost a novelette, the length at which Howard would thrive. The author obviously felt like he had developed Kane into such a powerful character in his unfinished sketches set in mainland Europe, that he completed this pirate story set in England and festooned with no supernatural elements. The story, however, did not sell, even though its core was the vengeance against evil men embodied in the saying unveiled first in the highly successful Red Shadows, “to ease various evil men of their lives.”
The stronger and deeper Howard developed Kane, the more his buying market pushed him to embed the character not only in exotic locales but in a supernatural horror matrix. The character development is had from the vantage of a hard, impetuous man of passionate type, an honorable duelist named Jack Hollinster:
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