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The Legend of El Muerto

The Legend of El Muerto

Texas Legend

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Vidal was a Mexican bandit and horse thief. In 1848, he made the mistake of stealing some horses from the ranch of Texas Ranger Creed Taylor. Most of the Rangers had gone north to chase a band of raiding Commanche's but not Taylor. He soon discovered the horses were missing and along with a neighbor who had also lost some horses, they took off after the thieves.

The two men ran into Bigfoot Wallace near Uvalde and he joined them in the hunt. Wallace was also a Ranger and he had little patience for horse thieves. The three men soon found the camp of the bandits and attacked and killed them all. Bigfoot wanted to make an example of Vidal so he cut off his head and lashed his body firmly into a saddle on the back of a wild mustang. Bigfoot thrust the head into a sombrero, secured it with a strap and tied it to the pommel of the saddle.

For years, the wild mustang roamed South Texas terrifying everyone who saw it. Horse and rider became known as El Muerto and were blamed for all kinds of evil deeds and misfortune. Eventually a posse cornered the wild horse near Ben Bolt and relieved it of its gruesome burden. The corpse was riddled by scores of bullet holes and Indian arrows. It is said that the body is buried in a small cemetery near Ben Bolt. To this day, there are still stories of people seeing a headless horseman riding through the South Texas plains on clear and moonlit nights.

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