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Now that his career in fiction had begun, Howard dropped out of Howard Payne College at the end of the semester and returned to Cross Plains.
Shortly afterwards, he received notice that another story, "The Hyena," had been accepted by Weird Tales.
Howard would have preferred a literary course but was not allowed to take one for some reason.
It was in this publication that Howard's stories were first printed.
The December 1922 issue featured two stories, "'Golden Hope Christmas" and "West is West," which won gold and silver prizes respectively.
Being the son of the local doctor gave Howard frequent exposure to the effects of injury and violence, due to accidents on farms and oil fields combined with the massive increase in crime that came with the oil boom.
At the time, boxing was the most popular sport in the country, with a cultural influence far in excess of what it is today. Jeffries, Jack Johnson, Bob Fitzsimmons, and later Jack Dempsey were the names that inspired during those years, and he grew up a lover of all contests of violent, masculine struggle.