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'A Tocsin of Alarm'
James LaFond's Impressions of Conan Loses His Axe by Robert E. Howard
© 2019 James LaFond
Reading from Beyond the Black River, pages 45-53 of The Conquering Sword of Conan by Del Rey, 2005
Beyond the Black River has often been cited, by myself and others, as a “leather-stocking tale” as a Conan story, indicating the cycle of Natty Bumpo or Hawkeye stories about the fictional white Indian’s adventures in the time of the French and Indian wars in New England and New York. However, Howard’s history was clearly vested in his reading of his own family history, which, in the U.S. occurred mostly in the trans-Appalachian forests of the Tennessee, Cumberland and Mississippi watersheds. I have written, I think convincingly, that the campaigns of Nathan Bedford Forrest in this region, which involved some of Howard’s blood relatives, inspired his heroic vision most memorably imbedded in the Conan character...
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Shep     Jan 5, 2019

This has always been my favorite Conan tale.
James     Jan 6, 2019

It's my favorite every time I read it.
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