had a sweeping view of the plains

below and diamond-shaped holes for

ventilation. Zesch speculates that they

once served as a Comanche lookout.

     As Adolph became more and

more removed from society, Herman

became a celebrity known as the “last

captive.” He performed at county

fairs and old settlers reunions, which

brought together all the participants

in the transition of the Old West—

Indians, Rangers and trail drivers,

among others. At fairs, Herman wore

an eagle-feather headdress and buck-

skins. His signature act was to ride

his pony into the arena chasing a

calf. He would shoot arrows at the

calf’s heels to get him up to speed,

occasionally letting out a war whoop.

Then he killed the calf, jumped off

his pony, cut out the calf’s liver and

ate it raw, as natives sometimes did

when they were away from camp.

According to Zesch, the act usually

brought down the house.

Kaye Northcott is editor of Texas Co-op


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