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The above grisly postcard was sent by Howard from Santa Fe, New Mexico to Novalyne Price, postmarked June 20, 1935 with a simple handwritten message on the back:
Santa Fe, N. M.
Also on the back of the postcard was a description of the front of the card:
The postcard was sent while he was on a trip to New Mexico with Truett Vinson. It is believed that Howard had found out just before the trip that Novalyne was dating Vinson secretly behind Howard’s back. While it is impossible to say what his reason was for sending the card with just a lighthearted greeting on the back, obviously his hurt feelings played some role in prompting him to mail it to her. Perhaps Howard felt a bit like the rabbit. And, of course, there is that old idiom: “a snake in the grass,” defined as “someone who betrays you even though you have trusted them.”
Just the day before, on June 19th, Howard sent her this more benign postcard from Roswell, New Mexico.
Dear Novalyne; Roswell.
The weather is good but the beer is lousy. Hoping you are the same.
As above, the back of the postcard has a description of the front of the card:
Interestingly, here Howard makes a contradictory statement followed by a sarcastic remark. So what is his true wish for Novalyne? To feel good or lousy? Of course, being a master of the written word, he could be trying to be humorous, but there is a tinge of bitterness.
Of course, no one knows what was really going on in Howard’s mind during the trip, but it would have been interesting to have been along for that ride. By all accounts, (based on his letters) Howard enjoyed himself. Hopefully Vinson did too. Of course, Howard was a master at masking his true feelings. The hours leading up to that fateful morning of June 11, 1936 attest to that.