him something about beautiful gals.' No doubt the 'young whippersnapper' will now go to work and turn out something just too ultra-ultra."
Those Finlay Drawings
James Forrest Gall, Jr., writes from Portland, Oregon: "For the past ten years I have been a silent, content reader. Having no reason to complain, I have never written After reading your magnificent December issue, though, I had to express my delight somehow. Finlay's superb full-page drawing was a great surprize. Do continue them! In Virgil Finlay, you have a great illustrator. His work is so gripping in its personal and original touch. Each picture has an atmosphere of its own. Every detail is carried to its fullest interpretation. Notice the eyes, mouth, even the hands convey their message of weirdness. The illustration for this issue's Fane of the Black Pharaoh is exquisite in its adapted form of true stylized Egyptian art. The cover, also, was excellent. I share with others their deep personal loss in the deaths of Howard Phillips Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard. H. P. L. was to me the absolute best in contemporary 'weirds.' His death was a strangely personal loss to me. I still cannot accept the fact that I shall no longer be able to read his immortal stories. The Sea-Witch by Nictzin Dyalhis was my favorite choice of this issue. Barbaric, deeply moving in its beauty, time stood still for me when I read this gem. Robert Bloch again was superb. The Black Stone Statue is written in that same manner which made The Three Marked Pennies so popular. All your stories were tops."
This Unspeakable Horror
Joseph C. Kempe writes from Detroit: "In my estimation, Young Blochinvar from out of the West did not reach his usual standard in his November offering, The Secret of Sebek. Somehow the ultimate disclosure of the fact that Sebek was the real McCoy seemed a rather tame apex for the pyramid of horror char had been built up to it. And the "How-Shall-I-Ever-Forget-This-Unspeakable-Horror" opening is getting a bit outworn, isn't it? Is it really necessary to start effective weird yarns thataway? The inimitable Cahill fellow and several others scan to sidestep it very well. The de Grandin tale was much better than Pledged to the Dead, in the October issue. I think Jules is a swell WT character. I've never yet read one of his exploits that didn't fascinate me in some way and to some extent. This latest one is easily the best story in the November issue. Dread Summons by Ernst was good. However, this writer's stories sometimes give me the impression of having been produced on the assembly-line of the Ford or Chevie plant up here–sorta mechanical. Since this is my first letter, I wish to make a comment on an old story–a comment I've never had the chance to make before. That story is Loot of the Vampire, by Thorp McClusky, which you printed some time ago. I think that story contained the best explanation of vampirism ever to be expounded. Few authors even attempt an explanation. Among your literary novæ–for which this year seems to have been so prolific–I think H. Sivia shows decided promise. I read his two short-shorts, The Interview and The Last of Mrs. Debrugh, with much interest, and I hope you publish something longer by this author in the neat future. His writing isn't splashed all over by great daubs of horrific adjectives. I might also mention that the best illustration for the year–by far–is Finlay's illustration for Dread Summons in the November issue. As a study in human terror it has never been surpassed! I am waiting anxiously for the December Weird Tales."
Charles H. Bert writes from Philadelphia: "A thousand hails for the return of Nictzin Dyalhis, one of your best writers. The Sea-Witch was refreshing like a soft summer breeze in comparison with the horror yarns. I like Dyalhis' style of writing; no other author can compare with him in his excellent choice of words and phrases. The plot was excellent and the way it was handled gave a refreshing new twist to the old theme–an ancient curse and a weird revenge. I liked the story because of the Northmen beliefs and superstitions. Yon must convince Dyalhis to write more often, his stories are too rare. I can recall The Eternal Conflict, The Dark Lore, and The Oath of Hul Jok as marvelous yarns, and it would not hurt your reputation any if you reprinted them…. I liked the cat story by the French writer, The Keen Eyes of Kara Kedi. Good plot and good writing. I felt a sort of spiritual affinity with Polaris by H. P. Lovecraft. I am an