O armed with Colt pistol and a Bowie knife, Texas Ranger Bigfoot Wallace once more took on the Wild West, and quickly made his mark on Texas folklore. In them days, the Rangers tended to handle stock theft at the end of the rope, so to speak, stringing up the bandits, forcing a confession out of them, and then leaving the bodies swaying in the wind to deter other outlaws. Only it didn’t work, and the bandits kept right on stealing, sometimes passing right under the bodies of their fellow outlaws to do it. S.
That was when Wallace got an idea. Obviously, hanging horse thieves hadn’t gotten the message across to the outlaws raiding the ranches of the good folk of Texas. Perhaps a more drastic example of frontier justice would do the trick. Severing Vidal’s head from his body, Bigfoot and his fellow Ranger tied the body to the saddle of the wildest mustang in the stolen herd and secured the severed head to the saddle horn so that it would bounce and flop around with every step taken by the mustang. Then Wallace gave a shout and sent the horse running away with its headless, dead rider, hoping the gruesome sight would deter future cattle thieves.
What he managed to do was frighten everyone in South Texas. Folks would be peacefully walking down the road of an evening when a terrible headless rider would gallop pass on a midnight black stallion with serape blowing in the wind and severed head bounding on the saddle horn beneath its sombrero. Nothing could deter the terrible specter – not bullets, not arrows, not spears. It was years before a posse of cowboys finally grew brave enough to bushwhack the horse and release the withered corpse from its back.
But on moonless nights, the ghost of El Muerto continues to ride across South Texas to this day with his long black serape blowing in the wind and his severed head bumping on the saddle beside him.
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