dren—black, brown and white—

who were taken by Indian tribes over

two centuries. All these children

metaphorically straddled two fires,

one tended by their birth parents and

the other tended by the Indians who

carried them away. And even though

their time with Indians was limited,

most survivors came to love their

riding, roaming days.

     “The phenomenon of preferring

native life was more common than

not in captured narratives, although

the women didn’t fare as well as the

men,” said Zesch.

     Zesch’s nine subjects, three of

them German speakers, lived with the

last of the free-ranging Plains Indians.

All were given full tribal rights.

      Despite the brutality of the raids

in which some were captured, the

Texas children quickly changed alle-

giances. Within less than a year,

some of them were enthusiastically

participating in raids near their for-

mer family homesteads. Adolph, for

example, was a particularly daring

warrior by the age of 11. He

sneaked into white campsites and

stole horses, commanded a group of

Comanches in a desperate fight with

Texas Rangers, and even burned

down a homestead near his family’s

place. Zesch believes that at least

four of the seven boys “almost cer-

tainly killed people.”

     He said there have been few aca-

demic studies of how the children

adapted to Indian culture so quickly.

“The Stockholm Syndrome [in which

captives begin to relate to their cap-

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