It was an ambush by Cavendish's vicious gang that led to the deaths of an entire posse of Texas Rangers, including Daniel Reid, its leader. Overlooked during the slaughter, Dan's younger brother John survived and was found by his old friend Tonto and nursed back to health. John made sure his own grave marker lay next to that of Dan and his fellow Rangers, then donned a mask and wore an outfit that marked his status as The Lone Ranger. As the Lone Ranger, John kept his survival a secret and rode the Plains with Tonto bringing justice to a lawless land. One of his first achievements was his and Tonto's breaking of Cavendish and his gang, though accounts vary widely on whether or not Cavendish survived this. Whether he did or not, his villainy created not one but eventually four iconic crimefighters : Not merely the Ranger and Tonto in the late 19th Century, but Daniel Reid's descendant (by John's orphaned nephew, Dan Junior), Britt Reid, who with his partner became The Green Hornet and Kato.
Several men have portrayed Cavendish on the radio and on the television screen, and at least one on the silver screen, Christopher Lloyd, of "Back To The Future" "Taxi" "Star Trek" and "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" fame. In 1981's "The Legend Of The Lone Ranger", Lloyd played him as a disgruntled Army Officer seeking revenge on the US Government by kidnapping President Ulysses S. Grant. He ambushed and killed the Texas Rangers to keep them from interfering with his plans, but the Lone Ranger and Tonto rescued the President, who all but swore to see Cavendish hang for his crimes.