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Tales of Mason

04 Jul

ride-on
Welcome to the official website for Western novelist William F. Martin.  Please bookmark this site and check back often over the days ahead, as Mr. Martin debuts the adventures of Clint Mason online. 

The third book published in the Clint Mason series, School Teacher and Gunman is the actual beginning of the Tales of Mason; Stand Tough and Ride West complete the series. School Teacher and Gunman was published on this blog serially beginning in March, 2011, running through July, 2012. Second in the storytelling sequence comes Destination Santa Fe, followed by Phantom Rider and Rio Pecos Compound, the latter of which is being published here serially beginning in July, 2016.

You can also find Chapter One from School Teacher and Gunman, Destination Santa Fe, and Phantom Rider on this site, and each of these books’ full contents may someday return to this site.

Please also look around the site for additional information on Mr. Martin and his books. Your interest and feedback are greatly appreciated.

 
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Introduction: Rio Pecos Compound

03 Jul

Author’s Note: The third book published in the Clint Mason series, School Teacher and Gunman is the actual beginning of the Tales of Mason; Stand Tough and Ride West complete the series. School Teacher and Gunman was published on this blog serially beginning in March, 2011, running through July, 2012. Second in the storytelling sequence comes Destination Santa Fe, followed by Phantom Rider and Rio Pecos Compound, the latter of which is being published here serially beginning in July, 2016. Please consider picking up copies of all the Clint Mason books for yourself and a friend, and also look for the contents of these books on this site. Thank you very much for your interest.

Cover for Rio Pecos Compound, Book Six of The Clint Mason Series by William F. Martin.

Cover for Rio Pecos Compound, Book Six of The Clint Mason Series by William F. Martin.

Book Six of The Clint Mason Series by William F. Martin.

Clint Mason has never been this close to achieving his dream of building a peaceful community around a big, top-quality horse ranch on the Rio Pecos. Using his talents as a land surveyor, he outfoxes a crooked land baron to secure an idyllic estate, but soon finds himself at a poker table with at least three guns pointed his direction. One false move and all of Clint’s plans will die with him. A powerful foe aims to make it look like a justified killing over card cheating, and that bold play might help balance Clint’s odds for survival.

Will it be just another ruthless murder, or will Clint win another day to further his quests for justice, peace and prosperity?

 
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In memory of Scott A. Martin

28 May

Scott A. Martin, 1969-2016.

Scott A. Martin, 1969-2016.

On May 22, 2016, the author’s youngest son, Scott A. Martin (47), passed away after a long battle with cardiovascular illness. His obituary is available here.

Scott was a generous and kind person with devotion to the study of the Bible. He held an Electrical Engineering degree from the University of South Florida and worked for 12 years for Raytheon Corporation on the Patriot Missile Defense Projects in Boston, Massachusetts. His last position as a computer programmer was with ATF (ATTTB) in Washington D.C. He resided in Alexandria, Virginia. He was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and is survived by his mother Barbara Gillim, his brother Eric Martin, and his father William F. Martin.

 
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In memory of Virginia

03 Nov

Virginia T. Martin.

Virginia T. Martin.

To honor the passing of the author’s beloved wife Virginia, we invite you to read more about her life here and to pursue your own most treasured dreams. For more inspiration, consider helping one of Ginny’s favorite charities, like Two Rivers Community School and Heifer International.

Thank you!

 
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Rio Pecos Compound: Chapter 4.

13 Nov
Cover for Rio Pecos Compound, Book Six of The Clint Mason Series by William F. Martin.

Rio Pecos Compound

Learn more about Rio Pecos Compound: Book Six of The Clint Mason Series

Copyright William F. Martin. All Rights Reserved.

Chapter 4.

The four Mexican guards that were staying at the ranch were given the task of hunting down the coyotes. This gave them a chance to practice their rifle skills and put them in a place to scout the outer edges of the range. The Navajos requested the coyote skins for tanning. The thin, soft hides of the coyote were a useful item for trading, plus they could be made into clothing. After almost two weeks, the Mexican guards were ready to join their friends in Santa Fe. The Basque and Navajos had their hides, wool, blankets and jewelry packed and ready for travel with horses and wagons. The sale of any livestock would be made another time.

The trip to Santa Fe went without any problems. Clint had separated himself from the group so he could keep his secret identity separated from the people from the Rio Pecos compound. By riding some distance from the wagons, he could serve as the scout and no one in his trading party would even know that he was looking over them.

The Rio Pecos wagons pulled into the Santa Fe traders’ camp near sunset and set up for the night. Clint snuck into his loft room in the stable without notice. The stabling of his horse made some noise, but Joe Black never came out of his quarters. A quick change of identity and Clint reemerged into the back alley as an unkempt hide-trading Mexican.

Information was his goal and saloons were the best source. It did not take long for Clint to spot his young Mexican guards, or at least three of them. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Rio Pecos Compound: Chapter 3.

13 Oct
Cover for Rio Pecos Compound, Book Six of The Clint Mason Series by William F. Martin.

Rio Pecos Compound

Learn more about Rio Pecos Compound: Book Six of The Clint Mason Series

Copyright William F. Martin. All Rights Reserved.

Chapter 3.

Almost three weeks had passed since Clint had purchased the sheep herd from Sr. Juan Martinez. The Basque herders had made excellent time moving the 100,000 head of sheep. He noticed that the trail was getting very fresh, so the herd could not be very far in front of him.

Then he saw one of his horses he had left with the Mexican guards lying dead in a wash. The alarm shot through his body; instant keen alertness. He used the spyglass to scan the trail. He noticed a few white clumps in the distance and soon learned that they were dead sheep. Reading the tracks told the story of five or six bandits that had raided the Basque camp. However, the Basque carts and sheep trail continued. It would appear the bandits pulled out without success and had headed south. Clint knew that the trail they’d taken led toward the town of Tucumcari.

Within a few hours of hard riding, Clint came upon the sheep herd. The Mexican guards met him at the rear of the herd. Once they recognized him, he was waved on in. The Basque had already set up camp for the night, but everyone was on high alert for another attack. They were sure glad to see a friendly face and another gun hand.

The story they told about the raid was short. The only person hurt was one of the young Mexican guards. The bandits apparently had not realized the sheepherders had an armed guard unit with them. The bandits had ridden into their camp last night demanding money, food and horses while the Mexican guards had been out front of the herd scouting the next day’s drive. When they came back into camp, the surprised bandits started shooting wildly. The bandits had then dropped everything and rode at a dead run back down the riverbed. A stray bullet had hit one of the guard’s horses. The tumble had killed the horse Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Rio Pecos Compound: Chapter 2.

11 Sep
Cover for Rio Pecos Compound, Book Six of The Clint Mason Series by William F. Martin.

Rio Pecos Compound

Learn more about Rio Pecos Compound: Book Six of The Clint Mason Series

Copyright William F. Martin. All Rights Reserved.

Chapter 2.

The last trip to Santa Fe had been quite rewarding. His Navajo herders were well supplied with favorable trades for their jewelry, wool, blankets and mutton. Clint was able to reactivate his financial ties to Mr. Jenson, the Santa Fe banker. Also, a surprising piece of information that Clint had picked up at the card tables involved a possible source for a large sheep herd.

Clint had returned to the Santa Fe gambling tables after having escorted the Navajos back to his Rio Pecos Compound. Clint’s finances were in great shape, but extra cash was always useful. He enjoyed matching wits with gamblers, but mostly he was gathering information. Clint’s Mexican hide-trader image proved to be an excellent cover. The gamblers could accept that this hide-trader would have money, and was a reasonably smart trader, but their confidence was high that they were smarter than any lowly Mexican.

The tale gradually developed that cattlemen were moving their herds on to the high plains of northern Texas. The Spanish and Mexican land holders of that region were no match for the gunmen that the cattle owners were hiring from Texas and the East. A range war was brewing. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Rio Pecos Compound: Chapter 1.

14 Aug

Author’s Note: The sixth book published in the Clint Mason series, Rio Pecos Compound is being published here serially beginning in July, 2016. Please consider picking up a copy of Rio Pecos Compound and all the other Clint Mason books for yourself and a friend, and also look for the contents of these books on this site. Thank you very much for your interest.

Cover for Rio Pecos Compound, Book Six of The Clint Mason Series by William F. Martin.

Rio Pecos Compound

Learn more about Rio Pecos Compound: Book Six of The Clint Mason Series

Copyright William F. Martin. All Rights Reserved.

Chapter 1.

Several years had passed since Clint Mason had first ridden into the wide, spreading, grassy valley several days’ ride east of Santa Fe. Here the Pecos River, better known as the Rio Pecos, flowed between two steep mountainsides. The mountains formed a natural fence on both sides of the river.

Clint had joined a government survey crew almost five years earlier. The surveyor had been charged with the task of identifying the old Spanish land grants, their boundaries and set markers. The Mexican War had just ended and the United States Government had reached a settlement that gave them ownership of the New Mexico Territory. The U.S. Congress passed various legislation and rulings about the opening of this and other pathways to the West Coast.

The surveyor that Clint was working for back then was a crook, a bully and a lousy gambler. Clint’s excellent math and geometry skills advanced him into the confidence of the master surveyor. It also put Clint in a position to see the rip-off the surveyor was pulling on the U.S. Government and land grant holders.

When Clint went to work for this U.S. Government surveyor, Charles Norton, Clint had just turned 20. His six-foot frame was outfitted with a sharp mind, olive skin, dark eyes, wide shoulders and tough as rawhide muscles. It had only been five or six years since he had been driven from his home by a murder frame-up. If anyone had thought Clint was a fast-draw gunman at 15, they would not believe the speed and accuracy that he had developed since. These skills with a gun, even though exceptional, were second rate when compared to his abilities at card playing.

Clint’s mathematical mind was tops, and when combined with his ability to read people, he was a gambler without equal. In fact, these exceptional card skills had necessitated the development of the gun skills. During the past five to six years, Clint had been in over 20 gunfights, with only a few scratches or minor holes to show for them. The near-misses had convinced Clint that skill alone was not a guarantee of survival. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Now available: Rock Slide

22 Feb

Author’s Note: The third book published in the Clint Mason series, School Teacher and Gunman is the actual beginning of the Tales of Mason; Stand Tough and Ride West complete the series. School Teacher and Gunman was published on this blog serially beginning in March, 2011, running through July, 2012. Second in the storytelling sequence comes Destination Santa Fe, followed by Phantom Rider and Rio Pecos Compound, the latter of which is being published here serially beginning in July, 2016. Please consider picking up copies of all the Clint Mason books for yourself and a friend, and also look for the contents of these books on this site. Thank you very much for your interest.

Rock_Slide

Cover for “Rock Slide”

From Rock Slide, Book Seven of The Clint Mason Series by William F. Martin:

He had thrown caution to the winds and had almost lost his life as well. Feeling the cuts and bruises on his arms, legs, and back reinforced the need for brains over impulse. Revenge he would seek, but on his terms. There would be no justice until all six gutless roadside thieves were made to pay for killing his horse.

Getting his money back would be a bonus, but the real goal was to have all six riders pay with his own pound of flesh… each and every last one of them.

 
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Phantom Rider: Chapter 1.

06 Oct

Author’s Note: The fifth book published in the Clint Mason series, Phantom Rider was published on this blog serially beginning in October, 2013, running through June, 2016. The book’s full contents may someday return to this site. Please consider picking up a copy of Phantom Rider and all the other Clint Mason books for yourself and a friend, and also look for the contents of these books on this site. Thank you very much for your interest.

Phantom Rider

Learn more about Phantom Rider: Book Five of The Clint Mason Series

Copyright William F. Martin. All Rights Reserved.

Chapter 1.

The talkative gambler had no idea of the trouble he was stirring up. While his tale of two families being driven off their ranches by rich land grabbers from St. Louis and Chicago was a common occurrence on the gold coast of California, what this gambler did not know was the amount of personal interest in the families held by one of the listeners.

The lean, tall, olive-skinned cowboy showed no outward signs of the turmoil churning deep within his chest. His stone face masked completely the raging thoughts going through Clint Mason’s brain. A very observant gambler may have picked up on a tightening of Clint’s jaw muscles, but other than that slight sign, the poker game continued without a change. A more delayed reaction was the steady flow of chips into Clint’s stack. The possibility that his two young families had been cheated out of the ranches that Clint had set them up on changed his game. Knowing that his gambling skills were far above this group, he had been playing for pure fun, taking it easy on the other players at the table. His new anger turned against the messenger, even though he knew that was not logical.

It only took an hour or so for the talkative messenger to be wiped out of his table stakes. Clint followed the newly broke gambler to the bar to buy the man a few drinks. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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