Western Short Stories
Bret Harte

Bret Harte 1836-1902Bret Harte 1836-1902

Western short stories Bio. of Bret Harte

Bret Harte was born in New york in 1836. He began writing at an early age. In 1853 he moved to California to try his luck as a gold miner. He was unsuccessful. 

He continued with his writing while working in other ocupations such as teacher and journalist.

He's best remembered for his stories set in the gold camps of California although he also wrote poetry, book reviews, lectures and editorials.

Harte basically abandoned his family in Boston and spent the last 24 years of his life in England. He died there of throat cancer in 1902.


Western Short Stories by Bret Harte


The Sheriff of Siskyou (in three parts)

Bret Harte

On the fifteenth of August, 1854, what seemed to be the entire population of Wynyard's Bar was collected upon a little bluff which overlooked the rude wagon road that was the only approach to the settlement. In general appearance the men differed but little from ordinary miners, although the foreign element—shown in certain Spanish peculiarities of dress and color—predominated, and some of the men were further distinguished by the delicacy of education and sedentary pursuits.

Read The Sheriff of Siskyou Part One>>


The Idyl of Red Gulch

Bret Harte

Sandy was very drunk. He was lying under an azalea bush, in pretty much the same attitude in which he had fallen some hours before. How long he had been lying there he could not tell, and didn't care; how long he should lie there was a matter equally indefinite and unconsidered. A tranquil philosophy, born of his physical condition, suffused and saturated his moral being.

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The Luck of Roaring Camp

Bret Harte

There was commotion in Roaring Camp. It could not have been a fight, for in 1850 that was not novel enough to have called together the entire settlement. The ditches and claims were not only deserted, but "Tuttle's grocery" had contributed its gamblers, who, it will be remembered, calmly continued their game the day that French Pete and Kanaka Joe shot each other to death over the bar in the front room.

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The Outcasts of Poker Flat

Bret Harte

As Mr. John Oakhurst, gambler, stepped into the main street of Poker Flat on the morning of the 23d of November, 1850, he was conscious of a change in its moral atmosphere since the preceding night. Two or three men, conversing earnestly together, ceased as he approached, and exchanged significant glances. There was a Sabbath lull in the air, which, in a settlement unused to Sabbath influences, looked ominous.

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