Colorful, vivid stories of the California Gold Rush, the Wild West, and the Mexican War made Bret Harte one of the most popular writers of his time. The Bell-Ringer of Angel’s short story title is the epithet of one Alexander McGee, whose accurate aim would pierce the bull's eye of a mechanical target and cause a bell to ring. The Luck of Roaring Camp is the story of an infant born into a mining camp who changes the lives of the miners and brings them good luck, until tragedy strikes. The Outcasts of Poker Flats tells the story of several “immoral” characters who are cast out of their town only to show their true colors when their situation becomes dire. The Idyl of Red Gulch centers on a young schoolmistress, a drunken but charming young man, and a prostitute in a quiet, moralistic tale with a few unexpected twists and turns.