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Scalp Hunters

Book cover
By: (1818-1883)

"Unroll the world’s map, and look upon the great northern continent of America. Away to the wild west, away toward the setting sun, away beyond many a far meridian, let your eyes wander. Rest them where golden rivers rise among peaks that carry the eternal snow. Rest them there.

You are looking upon a land whose features are un-furrowed by human hands, still bearing the marks of the Almighty mould, as upon the morning of creation; a region whose every object wears the impress of God’s image. His ambient spirit lives in the silent grandeur of its mountains, and speaks in the roar of its mighty rivers: a region redolent of romance, rich in the reality of adventure.

Follow me, with the eye of your mind, through scenes of wild beauty, of savage sublimity."

So begins this early book by Mayne Reid, a book of romance, of adventure, and of the wide open spaces of the Wild West. (Adapted from the first chapter)

First Page:

The Scalp Hunters, A Romance of Northern Mexico, by Captain Mayne Reid.

This is very much in the cowboys and Indians genre, and there can be no doubt that the author knew exactly what he was writing about, and had lived through similar experiences.

It was quite a hard book to transcribe, though the copy used was nice and clean, because of the very large number of Mexican Spanish words and phrases. There was also a great deal of speech by people whose grammar and words were supposed to indicate a lower education. Hence it was not at all easy to present the book as the author would have liked, but we think that at last we have got it just about right.

On writing this book Reid had the general public in mind. It was one of his first. It was not until later that he adopted a more peaceful style and wrote for a boy readership, saying that in those books there was not a single passage that a boy could not read aloud to his mother or his sister. This book falls just outside that scope... Continue reading book >>

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