Short Story Review Robert E Howard Conan Jewels of Gwahlur
Conan sets out to steal the jewels of a lost religious cult Goddess but as you might expect, it isn’t going to be easy.
SHORT STORY REVIEW ROBERT E HOWARD CONAN JEWELS OF GWAHLUR 1935 Weird Tales
The story is reprinted in Gollancz’s Fantasy Masterworks series, in Howard’s The Conan Chronicles Volume #2.
Mild spoiler alerts
Conan has gained and lost fortunes over many an adventure, and in his dreams of becoming a Cimmerian king. In this adventure, he is reduced to being a thief once more, seeking the fabled hidden fortunes of a religious cult order in a cave filled with secret chambers and booby-traps. This is a story that may have influenced the Indiana Jones adventures. Conan discovers a hidden temple dedicated a beautiful, but dead Goddess, but when Conan gets to her chamber, he discovers she is a living actress (a dancing girl he recognizes. He finds that she has been forced into a deception by another treasure seeker, to fool priests of the cult into thinking the Goddess lives in order to have her speak as an oracle and dupe them out of their amassed hidden wealth. Conan uses the girl to reverse the deception in a cat and mouse game in which he will ultimately have to choose between the money and the girl in a life and death struggle. A rather Scooby-Doo like series of deceptions, though lots of people really do die and this feels a little contrived beside other better Conan adventures but still a major cut above much run of the mill sword and sorcery stories.