Lovecraft’s “The Mound”

(set partly in 1928, written in 1930, published in 1940)

Part of Lovecraft’s Investigators and Their Guns.

When they saw they could not deter me from my trip, the Binger citizens sadly did what they could to aid my outfitting. Having known before my arrival the sort of work to be done, I had most of my supplies already with me ‒ machete and trench-knife for shrub-clearing and excavating, electric torches for any underground phase which might develop, rope, field-glasses, tape-measure, microscope, and incidentals for emergencies ‒ as much, in fact, as might be comfortably stowed in a convenient handbag. To this equipment I added only the heavy revolver which the sheriff forced upon me, and the pick and shovel which I thought might expedite my work.


This is another story written by H.P. Lovecraft for Zealia Bishop. The anonymous narrator, an ethnologist, is outfitted not unlike archaeologist Dr “Indiana” Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark (set in 1936). The “heavy revolver” could be one of several types then popular with American rural law enforcement, including the Colt New Service (Investigator Weapons 1: The 1920s and 1930s, pp. 39-40) in .45 Long Colt or .45 ACP. The old Colt Single Action Army (Investigator Weapons 1, pp. 42-43) in .45 Long Colt was also still widely used the West in 1928. The most modern type would be the S&W Hand Ejector in .44 Special or .45 ACP. In .44-calibre, it was preferred by legendary gun fighter “Jelly” Bryce, then a detective with the Oklahoma City Police Department.


The “trench-knife” must have been the HD&S MK I (Investigator Weapons 1, p. 104), a vicious close-combat weapon with a 17-cm (6.75”) blade and built-in brass knuckles. This would point to the narrator being a veteran of the Great War, like Jimmy Darmody in Boardwalk Empire (set in 1920/1921).