Tag Archives: Solomon Kane

Blogging Solomon Kane: “The Footfalls Within”

Miskatonic University Press
Weird Tales compendium

“The Footfalls Within” was first published in the September, 1930 issue of Weird Tales.  It’s a pretty straight-forward story, but one that has some depth if you know where to look.  It seems to take place after the previous tale, “Wings in the Night” (reviewed here).  Solomon Kane has continued his eastward trek.

The story opens with Kane coming across the body of a young black woman.  The corpse is fresh, and there are marks where whips and shackles have torn her flesh.  It doesn’t take long for Kane to catch up with the slavers who killed her.  He sees a train of blacks being led away by a group of armed Arabs and other blacks who have allied with them.  They’re taking their captives to a slave market.  They’re also driving them hard, neither giving them rest breaks nor providing them with ample water.

When another young woman collapses and can’t get up, the slavers decide to skin her rather than give her water or put her out of her misery.  It’s more than Kane can stomach, and he shoots the man with the skinning knife.  This brings the rest down on him, but he kills several before they can subdue him.  The leader of the group, Hassim, realizes he can get a great deal of money from Kane after he learns his captive’s identity, so Kane is treated better than the rest of the slaves.  As they march, Kane is approached by an old man named Yusef, who has retrieved Kane’s ju-ju stick from where Hassim had discarded it. Continue reading

Another Robert E. Howard Birthday

This is a good thing.  It’s Howard’s eleventy-first birthday.  I’ve been writing these tribute posts for a few years now, and I’m at the point I’m about to start repeating myself if I haven’t already.

So for those of you who may have stumbled in here from someplace else and aren’t quite sure what’s going on, Robert E. Howard was born on January 22, 1906.  He was  one of the greatest and most influential writers of fantasy and horror of the 20th Century, although those genres constituted only a small portion of his writings.

Rather than regurgitate biographical details or wax eloquent about his greatness, I’m going to pay tribute by looking at one of his works.  This is a practice I’ll be engaging in for other writers about whom I regularly read and blog. Continue reading