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The Headless Horseman - A Strange Tale of Texas

The Headless Horseman - A Strange Tale of Texas by Thomas Mayne Reid
By: (1813-1883)

The horse is perfect in all its parts—a splendid steed, saddled, bridled, and otherwise completely caparisoned. In it there appears nothing amiss—nothing to produce either wonder or alarm. But the man—the rider? Ah! About him there is something to cause both—something weird—something wanting!

By heavens! it is the head! (Excerpt from the Prologue)

The Headless Horseman is a novel by Mayne Reid written in 1865 or 1866 and is based on the author's adventures in the United States. The Headless Horseman or a Strange Tale of Texas was set in Texas and based on a South Texas folk tale.

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." At 11, Nabokov even translated The Headless Horseman into French alexandrines.

First Page:

The Headless Horseman A Strange Tale of Texas By Captain Mayne Reid Published by George Routledge and Sons, London, Glasgow and New York.. This edition dated 1888.

The Headless Horseman, by Captain Mayne Reid.



The stag of Texas, reclining in midnight lair, is startled from his slumbers by the hoofstroke of a horse.

He does not forsake his covert, nor yet rise to his feet. His domain is shared by the wild steeds of the savannah, given to nocturnal straying. He only uprears his head; and, with antlers o'ertopping the tall grass, listens for a repetition of the sound.

Again is the hoofstroke heard, but with altered intonation. There is a ring of metal the clinking of steel against stone.

The sound, significant to the ear of the stag, causes a quick change in his air and attitude. Springing clear of his couch, and bounding a score of yards across the prairie, he pauses to look back upon the disturber of his dreams... Continue reading book >>

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