Born and raised in the farm communities of Texas, Herbert C. Klatt became a primary figure of the Lone Scouts of America movement in Texas. Not only did he contribute to Lone Scout, the organization’s official organ, he also wrote articles for a plethora of “tribe papers” and edited Lone Scout columns for regional and community newspapers. Despite all this, Klatt is probably best known as a friend and correspondent of Texas author Robert E. Howard. Klatt’s importance in Howard’s biography has not been fully explored, but he was instrumental in the introduction of his more famous friend to the group of writers that eventually produced The Junto, including Harold Preece and Booth Mooney. Upon his death in 1928, Klatt’s friends attempted to garner support for a memorial collection of his writings. Plans were made and printers contacted, but the attempt was never realized—until today.
Now available from Roehm’s Room Press, Lone Scout of Letters collects all of the known surviving letters written by Klatt to Tevis Clyde Smith (12) and Robert E. Howard (1). It also includes a sampling of Klatt’s work from various tribe and farm papers, letters outlining the planned memorial collection, and an extensive appendix containing all of the known material written by Truett Vinson, including Lone Scout items, letters, and articles from The Junto.
The material is presented in chronological order, with articles from various publications interspersed between Klatt’s letters and excerpts from other correspondents, including Robert E. Howard and Truett Vinson. The complete text of Howard’s single surviving letter to Klatt is included, as is his letter to Smith eulogizing Klatt, the section from Post Oaks and Sand Roughs that describes Klatt’s visit to Brownwood, and other excerpts from his novel and correspondence.
The collection also features all of the known surviving photographs of Klatt (9 of them), a recently found article by Tevis Clyde Smith from The Junto that mentions Howard, and title and subject indexes, all with introduction and notes by yours truly.
While primarily a collection of material by and about Herbert C. Klatt, Lone Scout of Letters also serves as a resource for the Howard fan and scholar. Besides Klatt’s mentions of Howard in his letters to Smith, the volume provides information about The Junto and its members, as well as the Lone Scouts of America, an organization whose members had an influence on Howard.