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Red Shadows

Chapter I

The Coming of Solomon

The moonlight shimmered hazily, making silvery mists of illusion among the shadowy trees. A faint breeze whispered down the valley, bearing a shadow that was not of the moon-mist. A faint scent of smoke was apparent.

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Chapter II

The Lair of the Wolf

"You are a fool!" The words came in a cold snarl that curdled the hearer's blood. He who had just been named a fool lowered his eyes sullenly without answer.

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Chapter III

The Chant of the Drums

Across the dusky waters the whisper came: boom, boom, boom!—a sullen reiteration. Far away and more faintly sounded a whisper of different timbre: thrum, throom, thrum! Back and forth went the vibrations as the throbbing drums spoke to each other. What tales did they carry? What monstrous secrets whispered across the sullen, shadowy reaches of the unmapped jungle?

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Chapter IV

The Black God

Thrum, thrum, thrum! Somewhere, with deadening monotony, a cadence was repeated, over and over, bearing out the same theme: "Fool—fool—fool!" Now it was far away, now he could stretch out his hand and almost reach it. Now it merged with the throbbing in his head until the two vibrations were as one: "Fool—fool—fool—fool—"

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Chapter V

The End of the Red Trail

Limbs and vines slapped against Kane's face. The oppressive steam of the tropic night rose like mist about him. The moon, now floating high above the jungle, limned the black shadows in its white glow and patterned the jungle floor in grotesque designs. Kane knew not if the man he sought was ahead of him, but broken limbs and trampled underbrush showed that some man had gone that way, some man who fled in haste, nor halted to pick his way. Kane followed these signs unswervingly. Believing in the justice of his vengeance, he did not doubt that the dim beings who rule men's destinies would finally bring him face to face with Le Loup.

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End Notes

Robert E. Howard was a US author known for books and short stories in several genres. Often considered the father of the Sword and Sorcery genre, his most famous characters are Conan the Barbarian and Solomon Kane. His work is often influenced by his native Texas.

Red Shadows 1st appeared in Weird Tales, August 1928, and is considered to be in the Public Domain in the US due to non-renewal, as well as in countries where the copyright term is life +75 years or less.

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