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Western Short Stories
Martyn C. Marais

Martyn C. Marais

Western Short Stories Bio. of Martyn C. Marais

As a child I was a voracious reader, but mainly of non-fiction and, living in South Africa, I had a particular interest in books about African wildlife. As an adult I now read more fiction than non-fiction and my favourite novels include; Watership Down (Richard Adams), The Killer Angels (Michael Shaara), Of Mice and Men (John Steinbeck), The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (John Boyne) and Lonesome Dove (Larry McMurtry).

I have always wanted to write a novel, but for many years could not find a style or subject that enthused me sufficiently to put the time aside to write one. I have a great interest in history and one day picked up a copy of The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara. It is a wonderful telling of the Battle of Gettysburg and it provided me with an idea for the structure of my novels and also the subject matter. My debut novel, The Battle of Paardeberg: Lord Roberts' Gambit, the story of a key battle of the Boer War in 1900, was the result.

My first western novella, The Bounty Hunters, was inspired by the Spaghetti Western films I used to watch as a child. It came to me during a sleepless night. I could not get to sleep for two or three hours and by the time I did fall asleep the story was fully formed in my mind. That weekend I typed up the skeleton of the story and over the next few weeks developed it more fully. As I did so I came to realise that there was in fact more to the story and it evolved into five novellas. The Bounty Hunters is the first in the series of stories about a pair of alienated bounty hunter cousins who meet unexpectedly in a remote cattle town. 

I love writing and in addition to westerns and military history, I am writing a novel set in medieval Europe and plan to write novels in a western-style, steam-punk style. So far I have written two short stories, my first western being Outlaw's Reprieve. It is part of my Bounty Hunter Series.

When I am not writing or reading I enjoy photography, cycling and the red wines of South Africa and South America.

Below are the links to Martyn's social media sites and also where his books can be found.

 Amazon>>  Website>>   Facebook>>   Goodreads>>   Twitter>>   

Western Short Stories by Martyn C. Marais

Bare-Faced Outrage

Part 3: Justice of Sorts

A Billy Cotton Short Story by Martyn C. Marais © Martin Marais 2020

So, this is Cheyenne, I think as I ride into the city.

I've heard many interesting stories about the place. That there are more millionaires in this city than any other in America, or possibly the world, but I’m not sure how anyone can know that for a fact. I've also heard that the city has past its heyday, or so Mary Hayes, the landlady of Rawlings House, was fond of saying. She blamed the city’s demise on the killer winter of 86/87 which, she claimed, killed virtually all the cattle in the area. I suspect that was an exaggeration, but I have certainly seen the skeletons of a large number of cattle during my travels in this part of Wyoming Territory.

Read the full story HERE>>

Bare-Faced Outrage

Part 2: Vengeance

A Billy Cotton Short Story by Martyn C. Marais

© Martin Marais 2020

I have decided to leave the town of Laramie and take a ride into the surrounding countryside and now find myself riding through the rock-strewn, wooded slopes of the hills to the south east of the town. The weather is glorious and I feel myself relaxing under the comforting warmth of the sun and the gentle rolling gait of Anthracite. I could continue on to Cheyenne, but I’m happy to stay a day or two more in Laramie, even though I’ve already stayed in the town longer than I intended. Read the full story HERE>>

Bare-Faced Outrage

A Billy Cotton Short Story by Martyn C. Marais

Dedicated to Ellen L. Watson and James Averell. Victims of a bare-faced outrage.


20 July 1889

I lift my hat and run a sleeve across my forehead. I raise my gaze to the azure sky. Soft brilliant white clouds have settled above the low ridge of hills to the south.

“I’ll say one thing about Wyoming,” I say to Anthracite as he gratefully draws cool water from the Sweetwater River, “the skies are sure biiiig.” Read part one of three HERE>>

Billy Cotton

Martyn C. Marais

I drew my stallion to a halt and looked over his glossy ebony head to read the sign. It read, DEADSTONE, KANSAS. I glanced over the sign at the ramshackle collection of dusty-brown wooden buildings, towards the town that would serve as my next step to infamy. Read the full story HERE>>

The Widow

Martyn C. Marais

Jeb lifted his wide-brimmed hat and ran his sleeve across his wet forehead. He leant forward, resting his arms on the horn of his saddle. His horse shifted in the uncomfortable heat. It snorted impatiently, keen to carry on down the slope to the farm house, where it could shelter in the shade and hopefully plunge its muzzle into a trough of cool water. Read the full story HERE>>

Johnny Rebel

Martyn C. Marais

Peter Dexter breathed out slowly. The chest of the white-tailed deer obscured the view of the rugged landscape beyond the end of his barrel. When he was happy with his aim, he began to squeeze the trigger. The animal suddenly looked up and shifted quickly from his sight. Peter panned the barrel in the direction it had moved, only to find it bounding away up the scrubby slope.

“What the …?”   Read the full story HERE>>

Outlaw's Trail to Nowhere

Martyn C. Marais

The horseman drew his mount to a halt. He watched an old man step from the shadows of the canopied veranda of his house.

“Howdy,” the old man said.

The horseman thought he saw a look of recognition in the bright blue eyes of the old man. He leaned forward and scrutinised his ragged old face.

“Do I know you?” he asked.

The old man looked at him for a moment, as though searching for something. “I don’t believe so,” he replied. There seemed to be an edge of resignation in his voice.

Read the full story HERE>>

Outlaw's Reprieve

Martyn C. Marais

Harold Timms ran his brown, business-like eyes critically over the customers in Joshua Swartz’s saloon.

“It’s quiet again,” he observed.

“Sure is,” agreed Joshua.

Joshua absently picked up a glass and gave it another wipe with a ragged, grey, stained cloth.

Harold nodded his head thoughtfully. “Same in the store,” he added.

“It’s at times like this that I wish I owned a smaller place,” said Joshua. “At least then it would look busier.”

Harold laughed lightly, his developing jowls wobbling. He straightened up from resting his back on the counter and turned to face Joshua.

“I’ll have another,” he said.

Joshua refilled his shot glass with whiskey.

Harold raised it and stared reflectively through the amber liquid.

“Thank the Lord for our regular customers,” he pronounced.

“Pray that we get more than are here today.” Read the full story HERE>>