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The Headless Horseman or A Strange Tale of Texas (1866)
Set in Texas and based on a south Texas folk tale, The Headless Horseman is a story about an Irish adventurer in the War with Mexico. The story takes place soon after the war. Louise Poindexter, a beautiful newcomer, is courted by two men - the arrogant and vindictive Cassius Calhoun and the dashing but poor mustanger Maurice Gerald. Calhoun plots to eliminate his rival when tragedy strikes: Louise's brother, the young Henry Poindexter is murdered. All clues point to Maurice Gerald as the assassin. At the same time a headless rider is spotted in the environs of the Poindexter plantation.
The Scalp Hunters or, Romantic adventures in northern Mexico (1851)
A Creole is hired by a Scalp Hunter to hunt Navajos and Apaches and finds himself rescuing the Scalp Hunter’s daughter from the Indians. This is Mayne Reid’s second novel and is written for a more sophisticated audience of Wild West tales.
About The Author
Scots-Irish American writer Thomas Mayne Reid (1818 – 1883) known as . "Captain" Reid. He wrote many adventure novels akin to those written by Frederick Marryat and Robert Louis Stevenson.These novels contain action that takes place primarily in untamed settings: the American West, Mexico, South Africa, the Himalayas, and Jamaica. He is perhaps best known for the classic The Headless Horseman (1865). A quotation from The Scalp Hunters is on his grave marker: "This is `weed prairie'; it is misnamed: It is the Garden of God." Reid's work attracted a large following of admirers, particularly young boys. Vladimir Nabokov recalled The Headless Horseman as a favourite adventure novel of his childhood years "which had given him a vision of the prairies and the great open spaces and the overarching sky." In his autobiography, United States President Teddy Roosevelt credits Mayne Reide with being a major early inspiration. The shy, asthmatic aristocrat, Theodore Roosevelt, would grow up to pursue naturalistic zoology and adventure travel. Russell Miller, in his biography of Arthur Conan Doyle, credits Mayne Reid as being one of Conan Doyle's favorite childhood authors and a great influence on Conan Doyle's writings.
Other books by the same author:
The Rifle Rangers or Adventures in South Mexico (1850)
Set in Vera Cruz, Mexico during the Mexican War (1846–48), this novel depicts the plight of American soldiers stationed in Mexico during the war and their effect on the native population. It follows the life of protagonist Captain Jack Haller as he helms the newly formed American battalion, dubbed the "Rifle Rangers". Accompanying Haller is a small band of fellow soldiers whom he leads on several missions through the Tierra Caliente portion of Mexico. The Rifle Rangers was Reid's first novel and is reflective of the author's wartime duty as a lieutenant in the First New York Volunteer Infantry, with which he traveled to the parts of Mexico.