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The Scalp Hunters

Mayne Reid

Book Overview: 

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 Wes

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Had I encountered him in my struggles for water, or had I dreamed it?

“Oh yes!” answered he, with a smile, “but you will remember that I had something to do with your being exposed to the risk of losing it.”

“Will you take this hand? Will you forgive me?”

After all, there is something selfish even in gratitude. How strangely had it changed my feelings towards this man! I was begging the hand which, but a few days before, in the pride of my morality, I had spurned from me as a loathsome thing.

But there were other thoughts that influenced me. The man before me was the husband of the lady; was the father of Zoe. His character, his horrid calling, were forgotten; and the next moment our hands were joined in the embrace of friendship.

“I have nothing to forgive. I honour the sentiment that induced you to act as you did. This declaration may seem strange to you. From what you knew of me, you acted rightly; but. . . Read More

Community Reviews

One of my favorites, but I've read it when I was about 16. Therefore, I'm not sure more grown people would find it that amazing.


El Salvaje Oeste. Eso, y solo eso. No busca lo artificial sino que simplemente nos muestra una cacería.

A good story and well written. Although the story is written from a educated 'civilized' point of view, it does tell a complete story of the early history of the differences between the eastern settlers and the American Indian and the clashes of difference between what it thought to be right or wron


Best Western I have read....which predates the heyday of the American Western novel. But all the elements are there which make a true Western. Some of the story comes off a bit cliche, but you must keep in mind that it was released in 1851. Many of these scenarios became cliche later.

The story of the search for and rescue of a scalp hunter's yellow-haired daughter from blood-thirsty, Quetzalcoatl-worshiping "Navajoes" almost gets lost in delirious descriptions of a lush, fantastic American West in this proto-western masterpiece.

Teddy Roosevelt read this book

I first came across this book in Teddy Roosevelt's autobiography. It intrigued me that he had read this as a boy. The book is very brutal and the whole tale is a bloodthirsty account of frontier life. Some parts reminded me of Fenimore Cooper's Hawkeye books, while the

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