William John Locke (1863 - 1930) was a novelist, short story writer, and playwright. In 1894 he published his first novel, At the Gate of Samaria. His first success as a writer came with the publication of The Morals of Marcus Ordeyne (1905) and The Beloved Vagabond (1906). The Red Planet was published in 1917. The Red Planet is a story of two men injured during World War I. The story begins, " Heaven knows that never another step shall I take in this world again; but Sergeant Marigold has always ignored the fact. That is one of the many things I admire about Marigold. He does not throw my poor paralysed legs, so to speak, in my face. He accepts them as the normal equipment of an employer. I don't know what I should do without Marigold. ... You see we were old comrades in the South African War, where we both got badly knocked to pieces. He was Sergeant in my battery, and the same Boer shell did for both of us. At times we join in cursing that shell heartily, but I am not sure that we do not hold it in sneaking affection. It initiated us into the brotherhood of death. Shortly afterwards when we had crossed the border-line back into life, we exchanged, as tokens, bits of the shrapnel which they had extracted from our respective carcases."